Around 2001, I decided to build a Japanese water garden in my backyard. I studied and planned for almost a year. I learned as much as I could about the traditional Japanese garden, how to use plants, water and rock to reflect the natural world. Over the years my knowledge and appreciation of Japanese culture has grown. As such, a top destination during the family vacation to Oregon last summer was the Portland Japanese Garden.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.
During our stay in Portland, we visited the Old Town district, the original urban core on the Williamette River. Our day included a stroll along the waterfront, a visit to the Lan Su Chinese Garden (to be featured in a future post), Old Town Pizza, Voodoo Donuts and finally a tour of the haunted Shanghai Tunnels Portland Underground.
For the best viewing experience, click on a image to see the high resolution version. Thank you stopping by today!
Araucaria araucana, or monkey puzzle tree, is native to the south-central Andes of Chile and Argentina. The leaves of this confer are thick and appear as triangular scales encircling the tentacle like branch, the pattern similar in structure to a pine cone. While the leaves last on average 24 years, the tree can live as long as 1000 years.
Its English name was derived during its early cultivation in Britain in the mid-1800s. While visiting an estate in Cornwall, a lawyer noted his friend’s specimen tree “would puzzle a monkey to climb that”.
The round globes are the female cones. Indigenous people in Chile and Argentina continue to harvest the edible seeds. Our Airbnb in Portland was named after this specimen. I am impressed on how striking this tree works as a monochrome composition.
Thanks for stopping by today. To appreciate the character of this tree, click on an image to view a high resolution version.
This post presents expansive color landscapes, featuring the wide range of earth tones found in the volcanic rock formations in Smith Rock State Park.
I typically finish my color composition workflows with a Kodachrome 25 film emulation using Alien Skin’s Exposure X3. For this series, I used Photoshop to mix in, at varying percentages, an older Kodachrome II film emulation with the newer Kodachrome 25. The results offered what I felt was a more realistic, and pleasing, presentation and separation of yellow to green tonalities.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version. More of this amazing landscape and be viewed at my Smith Rock State Park Gallery.