A trip to the high desert property

Where to begin. On Friday July 30, 2010, I left Mayne Island for a visit to Oroville Washington and out into the high desert. I was invited on a camping trip for the long weekend to come and see the 20 acres that my son, daughter-in-law, David’s daughter and three other friends had purchased last year. I am excited. It will be a five hour drive from Vancouver but I had heard so much about how it was the home of the rattle snake. And how it looked and felt like Clint Eastwood would ride over the hill any moment. And about how it hardly ever rained.

Well, I didn’t get to see a rattle snake. We  tried to  ensure that didn’t happen as we climbed up the dry cliff side. I didn’t get to see Clint Eastwood – but I thought I might from the looks of the hills. And it did rain – both evenings. The thunderstorms were glorious and refreshing after the heat of the day.

Here is a quick snippet of what it was like as the waves of hot air brushed my skin in the early morning sun. The light is more yellow orange than usual because of smoke in the air, likely from forest fires started by lightening.

Just around this bend…

Is the property a good part of which is an amazing bluff…

and here is the other end of the bluff…

can you smell the sagebrush I’m standing in?

What else I wonder might we see somewhere near a grove of small poplar trees?

Oh my what do we have here?

A wild turkey hen and over here is one of her four chicks…

We won’t go any closer as these fellows are still very small.  The grasses and drying flowers are particularly beautiful.

Later in the morning we climb part of the way up the cliff side. This is where I am most worried I might see a rattle snake. My son assures me that it was too early in the day. He advises that I step on the logs and rocks, not over them, so the snake will hear and feel the vibration of my foot steps. After all the snake doesn’t want to see me either.

There is a spring that comes out part way down the hill and it still has a small pool of water for the birds. Even so, I was surprised to see this colourful fellow on the branch of a ponderosa pine…

It is a western tanager. Though fairly common they are a bit shy so this is only the second time I have seen one.

My apologies for being late getting the post up today. I had some computer trouble and then it was time for lunch. As you can see we had a marvelous trip. I will do another post a little later of just the rolling hills and grasses. Next time I go, I hope to bring you photos taken from the top of the bluff. We shall see.

Special thanks for having me along go out to…

My son Kris, eating sunflower seeds while the ants pack the shells away as fast as they hit the ground.

My daughter-in-law Tina, who doesn’t know I took this photo while she was cooking up one of her many outstanding dishes made with fresh vegetables and lots of herbs and spices.

My step-daughter Anya, soaking up the cooler late afternoon sun.

My grandson Arrow,

who was also my photo-shooting partner.

Sprout Question: How do you release your creative expectation and remain open to possibility?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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19 thoughts on “A trip to the high desert property

  1. Beautiful pictures of beautiful land.
    Oh, 20 acres what a dream.
    How do I remain open? By constantly seeking, by not judging and by not following the narrow path. : )
    Just one lesson I’ve learned from a very special friend.

    • Yes Leanne it is a wonderful junk of property. It has a sacred feeling to it but then I think most land that hasn’t been greatly disturbed has this feeling. I like your sprout response:)

  2. Amazing property…and how great that your combined family is sharing it!

    The sprout question: How do you release your creative expectation and remain open to possibility? I’ll allow my fingertips to answer.

    Being in the moment…in my body…in my feelings…fully present, is the only way I’ve found so far.

    • Helen we are such a lucky family with our eclectic group of children who are all intermingled in there goings on. This is particularly wonderful because they didn’t grow up together. Your fingertips have provide a wonderful answer:)

  3. Oh, oh, oh — I’m so with you on this trip, Terrill! What a grand adventure you’ve had. Thank you so much for sharing it with us on your return. All of the photographs are stunning. My favorite is “My grandson Arrow.” Just look at the widom in those eyes.

    Sprout Question: How do you release your creative expectation and remain open to possibility?

    By jumping into the deep end of the writing pool without water wings.

    • Laurie I can see you bobbing up and down there at the deep end of the pool… kick! kick! Ahhh there you go with the skill of a dolphin!

      Your comment for some reason Laurie reminds me of the last thunderstorm when within a milli-second the rain was pounding to the ground. I had run with two plates of hot dinner and Tina was on my heals with a pot and another couple of plates. I got their big tent door open and we slipped inside. I set the food down and went back to the tent opening and through the sheets of rain I can see Arrow coming with his knees wobbling with each step under the weight of the big Dewalt getto blaster as he waved his DS in the other hand for balance. I yelled “RUN ARROW, RUUUNNNNN!” and he did his best. He dove into the tent and then we started laughing because it was like one of those movie scenes where something impossible is happening and the child makes it to the other side just in time. I don’t think I have laughed so hard for a long time.

  4. .hi.
    by sketching everyday in the morn without thinking too much about it…just doing it. then using them as part of whatever the next painting will be…that’s what is working right now.

  5. A painting is a moving target. I always question a painting after phase of putting paint down. What does it tell me what does it need? I stay awake to re-evaluating mistakes as possible avenues to explore.

    Trust the process

  6. what a cutttttttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeee grandson terrill..
    i love the scenery photos of yours..
    it makes me want to go there too

  7. Some beautiful land here, great photographs too. How I would love to spend some time getting intimate with that space!
    Yes you have a wonderful expanded family adventure here. How special.
    I love the photo of Arrow too, Great name by the way!
    How do release creative expectations …? I don’t think I have creative expectations of my creativity. I use what I have, seek to learn everyday. I use my blog/morning pages to inform, excite, renew those creative juices !

  8. Well, this is surely one of your most wonderful and enagaging picture essays, especially since you caught some of these unannounced. It’s a beautiful trek of land too. Again your knowledge of your surroundings and the various species is remarkable.

    If I am interpreting that sprout question correctly, I would say we can often revise our expectations, and employ our creativity as circumstances dictate.

    Anyway, this is really a glorious post.

    • My pleasure Sam and I am so glad you could drop in. Sam I am what we Canadian rural folks call “a bush bunny.” I’ve collected the names of plants and animals like city folks learn the classics. I make it a point to learn about what is around me. The nice thing is there is always more to learn. I don’t know as much as some and I know more than others… it is all the same really. Just keep asking questions and learning. As soon as a person goes to a new area there will be some plants and animals that don’t live in another area. Always fun. Other plants grow small or larger with changes in soil and weather as well.

  9. Pingback: Ken Russell, Chaplin, Ozu and Jean-Michel Basquiat on Monday Morning Diary (August 9) « Wonders in the Dark

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