16 September 2011

Skywatch Friday: like a house a'fire, summer is ending

Summer is at and end with the first heavy frosts gracing the hills of the Continental Divide ringing Butte, Montana. Large forest fires are burning throughout the northwest United States. Though the heavy smoke obscurs our view of the mountains (visibility is usually 60 miles or so), it makes for outstanding sunsets (view from Montana Tech):

On a recent trip to the Portland, Oregon, area for a wedding, we began our visit on the deck of a the Mount Hood Winery:

And watched as the fire on Mt. Hood went from "laying low:"

To a major "blow up:"

Fires and all, the Columbia Valley is a lush place with abundant wild fruit, like these blackberries:

And lots of excellent farm stands with yummy fresh produce:

No trip to the Portland area is complete without visiting a few of the many wonderful brewpubs. We took in music (and a few pints) at the Double Mountain Brewpub:

Samplers and pints at the Coalition Brew Pub (a true 10-barrel microbrewery with OUTSTANDING English-style ales):

And even a visit to the McDonald's or Starbucks of beer, one of the many McMenamins locations--the former Kennedy School, with its movie theatre, several restaurants and bars--including a bar with a "steam punk" theme:

We worked off the brewpub visits with activities such as a hike up Beacon Rock:

Get a load of those walkways bolted into the cliff face! (looking up):
(and down):

A visit to just one of Portland's several incredible, sprawling Rose Gardens:

As always, walking around Portland delivers architectural delights, ranging from this quonset-hut house:

To the fantastic architecture of this building supply store:

Oh yeah, we were there for a wedding, and that was great fun too. How can you not have a wonderful time when the wedding begins with the arrival of the bridal party in "pedicabs?":

Back at home, fires around East Missoula and Phillipsburg are still mostly out of control with tens of thousands of acres ablaze (see Montana Forest Fires):

Still, as with our visit to Portland, we're not letting our summer fun go up in smoke. This past weekend marked the Boulder Music & Art Festival -- a fun, low key event with good local music including Mariah Paige (she did a knockout version of Miranda Lambert's "Famous in a Small Town"):

And our favorite--little yodelin', fiddlin' sensation Bridget Reedy (with her Dad accompanying on guitar): 

 Summer is nearly gone, but we are enjoying those last few sweet drops.


Janie said...

Beautiful sunset shots, Eco. The Portland trip looks fun. Those bolted walkways are really something.

TorAa said...

from Norway:
We love the area and want to come back.
Your photos are simply brilliant and show the wondeful natur and the activities and life...

Kim, USA said...

Wow these photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! Happy weekend!


Powell River Books said...

Looks like you had a great Portland trip. It is such a fun city. Like you sky shots too. - Margy

Shirley @The Gardening Life said...

Those walkways would certainly require a certain amount of bravery and a whole lot of stamina! Fantastic photos!

troutbirder said...

I'm not much of a city person anymore but Portland (where my cousin lives) works for me. Looks like you had a great time Pat. We have a megafire going in the BWCAW right now.

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Lovely post and photos, especially I like the 4th.

Regards and best wishes

Jackie said...

Beautiful sunset photo's, and the others are a very interesting visual diary of your travels. The blackberries just reminded me of the apple, blackberry and redcurrant pie I made last night, time for a piece with ice-cream right now I think.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, the sunsets are beautiful. I would love to visit Oregon someday. The scenery is gorgeous and the wineries sounds great too. I am not so sure about climbing all those steps but I am sure the view at the top is beautiful. Lovely post and photos. Happy skywatching!

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

What great moments you've had to end summer! Yes, summer is saying goodbye in a beautiful way.

Kcalpesh said...

BEAUTIFUL PLACE and really amazing captures!!

Pixellicious Photos

Veronica Wald said...

Oh, don't you love the Pacific Northwest! Looks like you had glorious weather and a lovely, relaxing trip. Thanks for the illustrated tour :-)

Crafty Green Poet said...

some lovely mountain views there! That walkway looks a bit much though, that would give me vertigo for sure!

laughingwolf said...

ab fab!

used to live, for many years, in british columbia's lower mainland, sure miss it!

secret agent woman said...

I can hardly bear to think about summer ending. no matter how beautifully it is ending.

snow goggles said...

Some beautiful snaps. Thanks for sharing