Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Farm and Garden Report

Part of the reason for driving to Bend after the Beavers' game was to shorten the drive to Boise the next day. Another reason was to visit a couple "folk environments" in Redmond early, before hitting the road. Melvin and I have toured several folk art landscapes on the past couple trips. Some of these can accurately be described has piles of junk, although the creators would certainly claim deeper meanings and purposes. The Fun Farm fell more or less into this category. The most poignant tableau was a field of crosses and a sign, partially faded, apparently making some statement about the war in Iraq.

A couple of miles away, we visited the Peterson Rock Garden, a collection of buildings and sculptures constructed of cement and large, semi-precious stones by a Danish farmer in the middle of the twentieth century. The constructions are in remarkably good shape. Although not religious, this reminded Mel and me of the Ave Maria Grotto, and other sculptures built over a lifetime by a monk, that we saw in Alabama two years ago.

The peacocks that roam the property are beautiful to look at but not so pretty to hear.

Several people told me that for scenic beauty, a drive across Oregon should be made on US 26 and their advice was accurate. Highlighting the trip was our stop at the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The "painted hills" are stripped by minerals in the soil that have oxidized, looking like less brightly colored versions of the sand-art-in-a-jar souvenirs that can be made on the boardwalk or at a county fair.

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