Around noon today my wife and I saw a Pileated Woodpecker at Ed Grenfell Park.  I don’t often see one on the valley floor here in Yamhill County.  This one came flying in, screaming as he arrived.  Landed on a tree leaning over Baker Creek at Ed Grenfell Park.  Soon it flew into the thick woods bordering the park’s west side and continued to sound off from there.

I had foolishly violated one of my own personal birding rules:  Camera–never leave home without one.  No photo.  Evidence that some rules based on experience actually make sense.

Baker Creek Road, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Oct 21, 2019
4 species

Pileated Woodpecker  1
American Kestrel  2
Steller’s Jay  1
American Crow  40

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“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.” 

“I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.” ~Henry David Thoreau

I find I cannot escape trees these days.  Not that I would want to.
Here in the Willamette Valley the soft wood trees are leaf loosening.  Gold and orange and scarlet and buttery yellow parts are being shed.  The bold green of the chlorophyll is gone from ash and alder, willow and aspen, maple and dogwood.

Both images above from Joe Dancer Park, McMinnville. …

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Muge – Ash


Based on Lao Tze’s “Theory of Nature,” Muge’s series approaches objects, sceneries and places from the perspective not of an intruder or observer but as an insider, as someone who belongs, giving his subjects the necessary space to weather, grow, decay, and simply exist. Divided into three parts (“Still Life,” Shan Shui,” and “Scenery”), Muge’s images draw on symbolism and metaphor to create larger connections between the pages of the book. The three parts of the book are stacked on top of each other, forming a staircase-like design, with each photo printed in black and gray and finished “with glossy varnish, matte varnish or special color varnish, depending on the delicate state of each object.”

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Seika Garden Typhoon Measures saika bonsai Ayaka Bonsai Class Mini Bonsai Saitama Saitama City Omiya Culture School Horticulture Tokyo Omotesando | Seikaen Staff Blog

Saika bonsai Ayaka Bonsai Class Mini Bonsai Saitama City Omiya Culture School Horticulture Tokyo Omotesando | Seikaen Staff Blog

Saika bonsai Saika bonsai classroom Mini Bonsai Saitama City Omiya Culture School Horticulture Tokyo Omotesando | Seikaen Staff Blog

2019 5th Zhongguo Fen Penjing Exhibition– Part 1

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


The 5th Zhongguo Fen Penjing Exhibition is being held this weekend on October 19-21, 2019 in Nanjing, China, a short 4 HOUR bus trip from the Shanghai Airport, after traveling over 18 hours from home.


The exhibition is huge and I did not get an opportunity to study the layout and trees, yet, that’s for tomorrow’s activity. I was told there are over 300 shohin bonsai compositions, each with at least 5-7 individual trees. Remember this is China, not Japan, and often more is better.


Before starting the Opening Ceremony several collage photos from the organization’s past exhibitions were projected on a huge LED screen. I was surprised to see they captured two photos of me, in my foot boot and with my scooter from 2013! NO scooter for me this year, but I do have TWO foot boots for my broken feet…. They did not stop me, only…

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