Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cherry Orchard

These trees, frantic with their fiery leaves
Were only a few months ago heavy with cherries
Bing, and Rainier, and Royal Ann
Hanging like holiday ornaments on their limbs

Photo taken in Kennewick, WA, October 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apple Harvest

These are Pink Lady apples growing in Kennewick, Washington. They are a sweet, crisp, delicious apple. Best for eating right off the tree. For pies, use Granny Smith apples (I just gleaned a big bucket of 'em).

Apple Pie Recipe

pastry for 9-inch double crust pie
6 cups thinly sliced and peeled Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces
Line a 9-inch pie pan with pastry. Mix next 8 ingredients and fill pie shell, laying apple slices flat. Dot with the butter. Roll out top crust and cut slits in several places for steam to escape. Moisten edges of crust well with cold water and adjust top crust. With fingers or fork, pinch two crusts together to make a tight seal around pie. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of pie. Bake at 450° 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake 45 to 50 minutes longer.


And here's the pie, right out of the oven. Want a slice?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent.

H.P. Lovecraft

Photos taken at Cannon Beach, OR, October 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dark Forest

The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one's own.

Willa Cather

This is what I believe: that I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go.

D.H. Lawrence

Photo take on Oregon Coast, October 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tangled Thoughts

I took this photograph during a hike in Ecola State Park on the Oregon Coast. The tangle of vines and roots reminded me of representations of the brain's neural networks.

From "The Brain: Understanding neurobiology," NIH. The brain of an adult human weighs about 3 pounds and contains billions of cells. The two distinct classes of cells in the nervous system are neurons (nerve cells) and glia (glial cells). The basic signaling unit of the nervous system is the neuron. The brain contains billions of neurons; the best estimates are that the adult human brain contains 10 to the 11th neurons. The interactions between neurons enable people to think, move, maintain homeostasis, and feel emotions. A neuron is a specialized cell that can produce different actions because of its precise connections with other neurons, sensory receptors, and muscle cells. A typical neuron has four morphologically defined regions: the cell body, dendrites, axons, and presynaptic terminals.

But how to explain our emotions; falling in love, joy in the birth of a child, the pain of loss? Glia, neurons, synapses? Or something more? An intangible humanity, unknowable, ethereal, and eternal.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red

O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red.

Percy Bysshe Shelley