Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

I never tire of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

(Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

April in Portland means flowers are bursting. They always bring a smile to my face. They also bring back amazing memories of my first trip here as a senior in high school in the 1980s. I bought my own ticket with money I saved and visited a college, where I eventually applied and graduated. It was something I controlled from start to finish: the trip, choosing the school, and eventually paying for the school with my savings, earnings, and a little bit of support left to me from my long deceased grandfather. It wasn’t much, but college was affordable in the 1980s for those of lesser means who got good financial aid packages. I was a very lucky young man indeed.

That life choice is linked partially to one fateful decision I made on that trip. I wasn’t that enamored by the school, but Portland had me spellbound. During that trip I took a detour to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, in southeast Portland. I was blown away. I still am every time I visit the place in April. It is funny to think what can influence your decision at certain stages of your life.

I took these shots with a simple handheld Canon, which was about as fussy as I wanted to be. I spent most of my time smelling the aroma of spring and feeling young and on Cloud 9. There is something to be said about memory linked to the senses, olfactory and visual, and what rekindling those senses do for one’s mood. For me the place brings me back to my earlier days when I chartered the kind of life I ended up living, where I wanted to live it.

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden bursting with color

Warm April days have arrived on the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is bursting into colors. My visit here in the 1980s was one of the most influential factors making me want to choose Portland as my home. It still has that pulling power for me.

(Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Portland

I think one of my favorite places in the world is the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, in the southeast Portland neighborhood of Eastmoreland. Natural springs bubble up here, and the city and the volunteers who mostly run this place keep it special beyond words, beyond poetry even in the spring. (Click on the photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

 

Rain falling on blue heron

Blue herons can be seen in areas in urban areas like Portland and Seattle because of protected habitat where they nest. I snapped this one in Portland on the last weekend of April, wandering through Portland’s amazingly beautiful Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, very near where I once attended college. Many poems can be written about these¬†elegant avians.