The King And I

Do you know of a place near where you live, a place you consider an “escape,” and without fail, can, after a time, leave feeling refreshed and more alive? Meet the King:

His highness is nestled off the road among acres of holiday trees, the trail to which never meets a road. In other words, it helps to know the owner. The King’s massive branches would be hard to conceal; still, all of what I’m about to show you is gloriously private.

This is my therapy, my escape, and I’ve been asked to share (in fact, I’ve been wanting to share). I am enormously blessed that all of this is close. And, I can’t get enough.

trail_june 2016 (13)I hop on somewhere in this stretch, next to this mass of rhododendrons the offerings of which–showy, deep pink blooms–greet me each year and stand well over my head. When in full bloom, it’s a sight to behold.

Heading toward the apple orchard, the trail curves to the right (near some delicious berries. Never mind how I know).

outdoors trail_june 2016 (6)

The trail appears to end, but it does not; it meanders to the left. At the end of the apple trees, large oaks provide housing to many species of birds. It can be a musical delight depending on the day.

outdoors trail_june 2016 (8)

As I turn around and face the field, I spy his majesty.

outdoors trail_june 2016 (12)But, first the trail and surrounding fields; we’ll get back to the King. Various crops are grown here, including mustard, radish, and several types of wheat grass. Mustard, as expected, forms a striking, yellow canopy, but it’s the radish that knocks my socks off. When in full bloom it appears as a coat of new snow. It’s simply gorgeous. The bulbs, incidentally, which are white, are not eaten; this crop is grown for seed.

This-n-that, July 2011 227

Radish, in full bloom

The trail curves towards the holiday trees. How many of you have never had a live/cut Christmas tree? It may seem like a silly question, but many people don’t buy a live tree. They are very expensive when purchased out of state. The smell of a freshly cut Doug Fir or Noble is indescribable and becomes part of the holiday experience. (We’ve also purchased them live/uncut to later plant in the yard, as did my parents. If space is available, this could be the start of a great tradition.)

outdoors trail_june 2016 (16)Let’s have a tour:

One of my children’s favorite holiday pastimes was to watch the helicopters come and go as they loaded cut and wrapped trees for market. It’s an amazingly quick (and noisy) process.

Wildlife varies around the property. Some years we see wild rabbits, others we see none. When bunnies abound, this is where they live.

herd of birds_june 2016

my herd of birds

We’ve seen Heron, bats, nutria, too many rodents and snakes to name, racoon and skunk families, coyotes, and the variety of bird species is something I’d like to document. While I have yet to see a deer, family and neighbors assure me they live nearby.

I once stepped on a live snake, one smaller than this gem, here. I’d apparently lost control of my faculties and dared look off trail.

2014-09-26 08.23.07

I don’t dilly dally, I move, but I like to look around. When I put my foot forward, it was too late. The nerve! To bask in the sun ON MY TRAIL! Next round, Slimy was gone. As long as they don’t wrap themselves around my ankles, or slither up my leg, I’m fine. Just fine…

Let’s step inside:

A photographer’s dream is the seasons, and being open to change. These are a few of my favorites, when playing  with lighting, angles, and any plant in season, or not. There is always color.

And now, my King.

We are told my King maple is somewhere between 150 and 200 years old. If you look closely, you can see that farmers have farmed around the King. He sits smack dab in the middle of these holiday trees, and the rows have been carefully planted around his highness.

outdoors trail_june 2016 (19)It’s hard to get a true feel for the enormity of my King, but most of those holiday trees stand above my head. I’m standing beneath the King near that falling branch, below:

outdoors trail_june 2016 (1)Children prior to mine living in our “neighborhood” must have visited with regularity; the sign–it may have been the beginnings of tree house steps–is unreadable.

outdoors trail_june 2016 (25)Thanks for joining me on my daily hike. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed sharing. It’s my place of peace, my therapy (which I almost always need after seeing Slimy and his extended family).

❤ Peace to all. ❤


 the King

  36 comments for “The King And I

  1. June 19, 2016 at 6:46 am

    What a wonderful place to go! I love those huge trees, so calming and relaxing. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 19, 2016 at 8:23 am

      It is incredibly peaceful out there. I wish I could adequately convey the sounds. The birdsong is fabulous. Sometimes during the long summer days, I am out there maybe three times. I never tire of them, but those trees may be getting sick of me. 😉 Thanks for your comments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy
    June 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Just stunning, Karen. I had to wait for a quiet few moments to enjoy this. Such a lovely place, such an awesome tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 19, 2016 at 8:02 am

      Thank you, Amy. It is truly a happy, peaceful place. I really need to get a lawn chair and keep it nearby so I can begin to document the various birds living there. It’s such a chatty, cheery place. Next time you are in Oregon, I’ll take you there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. June 18, 2016 at 11:07 am

    You are so lucky to have such a place close by. I’m quite envious. I used to always have live trees and on occasion went to a farm to have one cut for me after moving to the PNW but have since given them up for lightweight artificial. Age has a lot to do with it. I love to see and smell them though. Someone told me there are no poisonous snakes in Oregon so there is nothing to fear. Don’t know if I believe that and should look it up. 🙂 I would feel quite peaceful too on that walk and under that majestic tree. Great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 18, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      Hi, Marlene. Lucky, indeed. My father hated the idea of having a live/cut tree only to throw it away after the season ended, so they started buying live trees (in a bucket) that we planted in our yard. For many years when I was growing up our holiday tree sat on a table, the bucket covered with a white sheet or something approximating “snow.” When my mother relocated two years ago, the thing (aside from my childhood home itself) so hard to say goodbye to was the huge tree in their backyard that had once been our Christmas tree. That one, a Cedrus Deodara Spruce, stands today. It takes up an entire corner of that yard, and is far too large. We kept it for sentimental reasons. New owners will surely cut it down, never knowing its history.

      I’m with you on the snakes. Mainly I see black snakes with either a neon blue stripe or a green stripe. Once I saw a larger burnt orange/brown/tan colored snake, and picked up my pace; that one, too, was on my trail. A friend in the Happy Valley area saw a lime green snake in her yard which abuts a hilly area. I don’t know about poisonous species in Oregon, but I’ll keep my distance (and my eyes on the trail) from now on. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Are you enjoying our rain today?

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 18, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        We got very little. A few claps of thunder but the roofers 2 doors down never missed a nail during it all. I was hoping for more as I put a lot of plants in yesterday. Oh, well. I also looked up snakes in Oregon. Rattlesnakes are the only indigenous snake that is poisonous. Who knows what someone has brought in to the area. Do be careful.

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 18, 2016 at 3:59 pm

          Oh, that gives me the chills. You are so right! What people may have brought to the area is what we need to remember. Thank you for checking. The snake I mentioned with rust/brown/tan coloring only appeared once that I saw. Back then, I was not taking the number of pictures I do now, so didn’t think to take a photo (and probably ran for my life, lol). It would be very difficult to avoid snakes here. They are everywhere; I’ve seen them all over what I showed you in these pictures. I just keep my eyes on the trail now and try to pay attention. I just planted a bed of wildflowers. Will see how they do. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. June 18, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Wow, what a beautiful place! Just looking at these pictures make me feel more serene and relaxed. Your comment about the maple trees that are 150 to 200 years old reminded me that I once read that when land was cleared years ago that they saved a few of the “great” trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 18, 2016 at 8:33 am

      It’s so true, Sheryl. It sounds so corny (probably because it is), but, as soon as my feet hit that trail, a sense of peace comes over me, and sometimes it’s inexplicable. So peaceful, so serene. When I’m upset, it’s the first place I think of and head to when I’m close by. I dread the day they take down our King (and when that day comes, they may have to deal with me!). 😉 I love that these farmers have farmed around this tree as long as they have; that is evident. There is a creek near the King and is where we’ve seen nutria and heron. I may have to write a post about the wildflowers that grow there. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary Roberts
    June 18, 2016 at 5:10 am

    I enjoyed our visit to see the King. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 18, 2016 at 8:26 am

      His highness is enjoying a cool breeze today, and rain or not, I’ll be visiting later (again). Can’t stay away. 😉 Thanks, Gary.


  6. June 17, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful post Karen. I felt totally transported. Just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 18, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Thank, Miriam. It is incredibly peaceful here, and while we live in the sticks, I’ve learned that the drive to get here is worth every mile. They day they take me out of here I’ll go kickin’ and screamin’. 😉 Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Hope you are having a great weekend. How is your winter today?

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 18, 2016 at 2:46 pm

        It’s just come Sunday morning here, I’m just waking up to grey skies and cockatoos screeching. My weekend has been nice so far. Last night I babysat my neighbors two boys, today will be quiet I think. Hope you’re enjoying yours. xo

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 18, 2016 at 4:03 pm

          What a lovely image, well, on second thought, is the sound of cockatoos screeching a good sound? 😉 How nice to take care of your neighbors’ children. I’ll bet they love coming to your house. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • June 18, 2016 at 4:13 pm

            I love waking up to birdsong so yes, it is a lovely image. Enjoy your weekend Karen.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. June 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Pleased to meet His Majesty 🙂
    What an impressive tree , and surrounded in such beauty . Awesome place to get lost in a book (minus the little critters 😉 ) or with a notebook and some pencils 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 17, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Turtle! Yes, all I need now is a lawn chair, possibly some bug spray, sunglasses, and a pad and pencil. It’s a magical place. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 17, 2016 at 4:20 pm

        I’ll just look at your beautiful pictures and imagine me there 🙂 and I won’t have to carry all that (lazy me) 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 17, 2016 at 4:22 pm

          I may have to drive as close as I can get, then park and carry it in, depending on how many supplies I think I’ll need, lol. We’ll have to see how this goes. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • June 17, 2016 at 4:23 pm

            We must be clever where we spend our energies 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • June 17, 2016 at 4:25 pm

              You’ve got that right, lol. We must be very careful so as to not tire ourselves too quickly, or too often. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

  8. June 17, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    This is my favorite post EVER!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 17, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Aw…thank you so much! I had so much fun taking pictures and walking the trail, trying to imagine how it would look here. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • June 17, 2016 at 3:58 pm

        It’s so weird to look at the King and “see” Glory.

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 17, 2016 at 4:15 pm

          My husband did the funniest thing several years ago when someone called our home asking about religious preferences. When my husband was asked about his religion, he stated he was not interested (in whatever they were promoting) because we are druids. Not only was it hilarious, it stops them cold (because druids worship trees. This has been something the kids remember and use when they need to). Maybe we are all druids. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • June 17, 2016 at 4:55 pm

            Never heard of that before!

            Liked by 1 person

            • June 17, 2016 at 5:28 pm

              It was hilarious, and deadpanned, and that is what the kids recall. Comes in handy. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • June 17, 2016 at 5:29 pm

              I bet you’ve had many laughs over that one! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • June 17, 2016 at 5:31 pm

              We have. He can be pretty funny. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

      • June 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm

        And it looks very very good 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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