Flower Photographs

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.

Counting flowers at the stall, that don’t bother me at all …


I seemed to see an inordinate number of couples walking away from the uber-trendy Ballard market this past Sunday. In all cases I saw, it was the women, not the guys, carrying away the bouquets. (Guys, this is what you may wish to consider as your surprise gift on a Sunday morning.) The regional flower market, at farmers markets, is quite interesting. In the Puget Sound, where I live, mostly Laotian-American entrepreneurs grow and sell their flowers at these markets around the  Sound. And they are really lovely in the brilliant displays of color and natural design. Thanks, Momma Nature. (Click on the picture to see a larger photo on a separate picture page.)