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This wooden horse statue greeted me in Rawlins, Wyoming as I was passing through on my way to Colorado.
For Marsha’s Always Write blog, PPAC #17 .
Photographing Public Art Challenge
Public art encompasses any form of art you see in a public place, large or small, statues, murals, graffiti, gardens, parks, etc. The art should be visible from streets, sidewalks or outdoor public places.
I open my stats page, already knowing I’ll see lots of blank spots on the calendar that indicates whether I’ve posted to my blog on any given day. It’s been a dry summer, weatherwise and creative writing-wise.
Now the autumn rains are here and my garden projects are on hold. It’s a good time to write. But I need to replace the splintered door frame in the garage. I need to dust the wall-to-wall bookshelves. I need to brush the tangles out of my dog’s wet fur.
I know it will come soon; that irresistible pull toward pen and paper; that need to harvest the thoughts that have been ripening over the summer. My computer dings with an email alert: a writing prompt from dVerse. I fire up the word processor and my mind wanders, far away from doors and dust and wet dog smells.
lock the garden shed
leaves drop like unfinished thoughts
time to introspect
I got kind of waylaid in recounting my Summer Spots visits. Spoiler alert: I did complete the requisite 15 site check-ins to qualify for the drawing. Second spoiler alert: I didn’t win anything in the drawing. That’s okay, though. Chules and I had fun seeing the sights. And I’ll get around to posting about the rest of the sites soon.
What derailed my blogging was a late summer building project.
I had been knocking around the idea of making a play structure of some sort in my back yard for my grandkids to enjoy. We’d talked about it, and they had drawn up “plans” for what they wanted. Some of their ideas defied the laws of gravity, some defied the limits of my budget, and some had good potential.
After a prolonged conceptualization phase, I figured I’d better put my muscle where my mouth is, and I set about coming up with a real plan. My first draft looked like an outhouse with windows.
I then advanced to something that resembled a roadside fruit stand.
I can’t find the subsequent plans I drew, but they were equally inspirational.
I ordered materials from the lumber yard and set about digging post holes.
Having successfully built a square deck last year, I figured I could easily make a rectangular frame out of 4×4 posts. Unfortunately, I figured wrong.
I tried to determine what geometric shape I had made, if not a rectangle. I still needed to put a square roof on it, after all.
It was time to conjure up some optical illusions.
It didn’t help that most of the posts and boards picked out by the lumberyard were warped, some had significant splitting, some weren’t pressure treated as I had specified, and some – well, I couldn’t remember why I had ordered those particular size of boards in the first place.
Nevertheless, I persisted. I had to get creative to make some things work, and when I ran out of materials, I made do with odds and ends I had about the place.
It seems sturdy enough, though, and the kids like it. If you stand way back and squint real hard, it even looks pretty good.
I think I’ve placated the building bug for now, so I’ve returned my attentions to the front yard. Here’s my plan for that:
I’ll let you know how that goes.
Low clouds loom, dooming twilight
into gloom, dusk into the blackness of a hidden-moon
Garish winds grow more incessant,
raging, though irrelevant as I
insist on lingering, beneath the skies that ravage me;
notwithstanding tendencies to
gravitate toward calmer seas.
As our Vancouver USA Summer Spots Challenge walks continue, Chules and I moved on to the Salmon Creek Greenway Trail and the Lacamas Heritage Trail.
The Salmon Creek Greenway Trail check-in was at the west end of the trail. The east end is 3 miles away at Klineline Pond, where we visited earlier in our 7th walk. I’ve been on the Salmon Creek trail many times, so it was a familiar, comfortable place to visit.
I was surprised at how low the water level was, but I guess that’s to be expected given the dry, hot weather we’ve been facing this year.
It was heating up pretty fast on the day Chules and I visited, so we didn’t walk the whole length of the trail. But we got in a good mile and did our gps check-in.
The day we went to Lacamas Lake for the Heritage Trail visit, it was actually cool and drizzly, and I was glad to have taken a warm vest along. Chules didn’t seem to care one way or the other.
I had never been on this trail before, at least not that I recall, and I was pleasantly surprised at the tall trees, lush ferns and expansive lake.
This is another candidate for a return visit in the fall to enjoy the color changes.
Eleven check-ins done, four to go!
In our quest to complete the Vancouver USA Summer Spots Challenge (and thereby be entered into a drawing for which I no longer even remember what the prizes are), Chules and I made our ninth outing a trip to Washougal, Washington, which is east of Vancouver. There, the Captain William Clark Park overlooks the Columbia River.
The park’s namesake, William Clark, is half of the famed Lewis and Clark explorer duo that came to the Pacific Northwest in 1806. The park features replica dugout canoes, and while I was trying to figure out if they were supposed to be Lewis and Clark’s dugouts or those of the local Chinook tribe, I learned that the explorers never described their canoes in their journals, so the replicas would be speculation at best.
I can pretty much guarantee, though, that they didn’t have a hole at the bottom as seen in this photo:
The park is also the location of Cottonwood Beach, and I took Chules down to the water to soak his tootsies, but he was not interested in the least so we made our gps check-in and headed home.
Nine check-ins down, six to go!