The (not so) deep sleep

We landed in Portland, Oregon, and it’s here that we’ll spend the first weeks of winter. Days of shortest daylight…Days of damp cold. We tried to stay cozy and warm in our little place, but every day we roused ourselves, bundled up, and took a long walk.

We climbed the hill to the park where we loved to walk on our summer visits. Our destination was always the rose garden. But, in winter, it hardly seemed like the right destination for a chilly day’s walk. A cold rain fell in the morning, and everything was still covered with drops of water. In winter, the garden would be dormant – in a deep sleep. We walked there anyway.

We heard birds in the bushes but didn’t recognize their calls. It was then that we saw the spotted towhee just a few feet away.

We were surprised to see the bushes still in their magical Fall colors.

As we entered the Rose Garden, we couldn’t believe that some of the roses were still in bloom. Don’t they know it’s winter?

Even the fuchsia had a number of flowers and bright green leaves.

We walked along the soggy pathways to photograph the roses in bloom. Shadow Dancer, Monkey Business, and Charisma. In the summer the garden is always filled with people admiring the blooms. We saw only a few other people out for a stroll. No one else seemed to be noticing the flowers.

One of the features of any landscape in Portland that we have come to love is the ever-present moss.

We realized that most of our attention, flower-wise, was focused on what was near our eyes. As we left the garden, an attractive plant at our feet grabbed our attention – a heather, filled with magnificent white flowers.

Leaves covered part of the plant, but those blooms were a pure white with red accents.

We expected the Rose Garden to be in a deep sleep and were delighted to discover all there was for us to see. Has it always been like this, and we just never bothered looking?


December 2017

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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11 Responses to The (not so) deep sleep

  1. Such a wonderful post Beth. and a reminder to take the time to pay attention to all that surrounds us. I loved seeing the muted winter colors of the foliage and how delightful to find roses and heather still blooming. A walk that far exceeded your expectations! Anita

  2. Joe says:

    Your post reminds me of a quote by John Muir, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks”.

  3. leggypeggy says:

    Mother Nature surprises us all the time. Lovely stroll.

  4. What a delight to see so much colour. I know the temperatures can’t compare in any way, but my roses flower right through the year. The only time they don’t have any blooms is when they’re pruned at the end of winter. Aren’t fuchsias gorgeous.

    • How lucky you are! I do love a good snow but think the temptation is there to trade it for warmer weather and year round flowers.

      • The last time it snowed here was August 1984 and that was extreme! Right now you might not envy our warmer temperatures. Today it’s been 38 degrees C, this afternoon it’s 35 and overnight it will be 24. Also quite extreme but happening more often these days.

  5. Peggy Oneil Ross says:

    I think you are rich…Thank u for generously sharing, giving much. Inspiring.

    • You’re too kind!! When we started this blog 6 years ago our goal was to inspire others to get out, see their world, travel, and not feel they needed to wait for someone else to guide them. There is so much to see – but we need to LOOK. Likewise, we love your FB posts involving your world and nature. It makes our lives all more centered and rich. So happy to have you join us for our travels, Peggy!

  6. plaidcamper says:

    I can’t believe it is usual, but I’d take roses in December on a winter walk. A lovely surprise!

    • Most of our outdoor walks reveal some little surprise or other – but we loved seeing those roses! Then yesterday we walked by a neighborhood house with a gardened area between the sidewalk and street. Set amidst the plants was a little fairy (about 2″ high) and her fairy house. Oh, my!

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