Cool early morning, the promise of a hot day on the breeze. Last week’s thunderstorms and rain showers, the relief from the heat and humidity, a distant memory. Tea kettle boiling. In the pasture outside the kitchen window, three deer look up, ears alert for sounds. Close by, nearly hidden by the tall grass, a fawn, all white splotches and spindly legs, waiting, watching. Taking tentative steps before bounding off through the woods, a riot of greenery to cool and shelter.
In Oregon, a short visit to the Portland Japanese Garden. A lush mossy oasis, one of many attractions within the enormous city green space of Washington Park. A peaceful meander on stone steps and paths through five acres of gardens. Set into a forested hillside, mossy stone lanterns and waterbowls tucked in among streams and water pools, cascading water, carp shimmering underwater. Azaleas in bloom, graceful willow trees and carefully sculpted evergreens, bamboo fencing and water pipes, many distinct parts in harmony, designed to exact specifications. Only thing missing was tea in the Tea Garden. Easy access from downtown via public transport on the MAX light-rail, 260 feet under the park, a high-speed elevator from the dark depths to the top. The bus ride (TriMet’s 83-Washington Park Loop) from the top to the Garden, more like a guided tour of the hilly west side of town, a super friendly driver pointing out notable houses and woodland trail systems.