In the West Portland Park and Arnold Creek neighborhoods on a cold hazy-sunny day last weekend, I found several things of interest. First, this white house and blue boat.
I liked the way the red tree branches stood out against the house’s white paint.The garage window and doors were unusual, and the red fish sculpture brought out the natural colors of the branches.Looking back down the street, the boat was barely visible through the trees. The 17-acre wooded area on the left has two names: West Portland Park Natural Area, and Loll Wildwood. (Some of my internet research said it is managed by Metro, and some said Portland Parks. If I learn more, I will update this.) The headwaters of Arnold Creek are in these woods – see a map here.The grassy picnic area was surrounded by trees.The boat was the color of a lake on a sunny day. The 17 acres of wooded land behind the picnic area was brushy, and no trails were discernible.Heading home, I saw this sign.I followed the arrow into a residential area, and eventually saw the entrance to Bovees Nursery.As I took some pictures, Mr. White Smith came out through the gate, accompanied by his dog Susie. He said his wife owns the business, and that they sell tropical rhododendrons and other rare plants. I commented that “White” is an unusual first name. He agreed, and said it was his father’s and grandfather’s name as well.He told me to be sure to come back in the spring and summer when there would be more to see. He was right. This winter day all I could see were lots of bare trees with little name tags.If there is any humor in climate change, they found it for this bit of marketing on their car:He gave me his card:A couple of the houses along the street had these greenish ponds:A couple of mossy old trailers were parked on the side of the street, ready for action.As I drove toward home, I noticed a historical marker on the side of SW 35th Avenue.The plaque:As it happened, Ron Lansing, retired law professor and writer with an interest in Portland history, was out for a walk, and stopped to chat with me for a moment. He pointed over the rock wall to the area down in the ravine where Deputy Sheriff Ernest Loll was shot. A little creek runs through here, and from the map I think it is (or feeds) Arnold Creek.You can read more here and here of the story of Deputy Loll, who confronted two young men who were hunting pheasant out of season. They shot Deputy Loll, fled to Washington, and were later apprehended and convicted of the crime. I walked along the street, and wondered about the person who placed the little blue heart on the plaque. And I thought about what this area looked like in 1935, when it was just woods and wildlife.I returned to my car and noticed something about the sign next to it.Free Cascadia. Of course.* * * * * * *
This well may be my most disjointed blog post to date, yet it is a true account of how I spent hour and a half last week. The wooded hills of Southwest Portland keep their secrets close, so you have to search, listen, and notice.