One beautiful early-Fall day, while on a walk through my neighborhood, I noticed three outdoor sculptures in three front yards. They expressed a wider range of conformity to conventional values than might be be typically associated with Southwest Portland, so as a group they deserve my attention here.
When I think of front-yard sculpture or statues, what first comes to mind is something like this,or maybe this.But things are different here in my neighborhood, where yard embellishments carry few affectations. For example, this unassuming cat almost escaped my attention. Its prim and proper expression was a contrast to the free-flowing planter box and stairs.Another neighbor had removed a large patch of overgrown bushes from the front yard,revealing this:I am pretty sure this concrete deer has been sitting there, sheltered by all the shrubbery, since 1961.Finally I walked by this house, and something near the front door caught my eye.I looked closer but still was not sure what it was.When I see something this intriguing, I am compelled to stop and stare, and only beg for tolerance and understanding from others. So when I noticed this, I stopped cold, kind of like a birdwatcher traipsing through the countryside and suddenly catching sight of a rare and beautiful species. This was my indigo bunting.The odds of finding images like this on a walk through the neighborhood are infinitesimal and thrilling. As I was staring, this young man came outside to see what I was up to.Ben Klein is a jazz guitarist, a sculptor, a student at Lewis & Clark College, and a most pleasant person to talk to. He said that one of the images is of him, but I cannot remember which one it was. We had a nice conversation before I headed (no pun intended) home. My neighborhood always seems to fascinate.