Hottest Day of the Year

I just got back from a week-long trip to Malheur cut short because of temperatures in the high 30’s accompanied by “showers.” Heck, there was nearly white-out conditions in Willamette Pass on the way home.

Can’t explain why it was nearly 80° here on Saturday. But it was too beautiful of a day to spend editing the 1,000 plus photos I took on my trip. With rain forecast most of the upcoming week, I decided I would wait to post shots from the trip and be satisfied with sharing the best of them with Leslie.

We, and half the city of Tacoma, apparently, decided to visit Pt. Defiance Park Saturday. Luckily most were visiting the zoo, not the Rhododendron Garden. I love the garden any time the flowers are in bloom, but the photographer in me loves it even more when brilliant sunshine filters down through the forest cover.

Rhododendron in Forest

That sunshine makes it harder to avoid blowing out the highlights on the flowers, but that’s a small price to pay for the eye-popping colors it produces.

Pink and White Rhododendron

Although some of the plants are beyond their prime, others like this azalea seemed to be at their peak.


Walking from light to shadow, I was struck by how different the same flowers look in direct sunlight versus in the shade.

Purple Rhododendron?

I would have said this was a purple rhododendron, but seen in full light I would be tempted to say it was white with purple tinges.

I like to think that Gerard Manley must have been inspired by something like the Rhododendron Garden when he wrote:

Pied Beauty
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                Praise him.