Friday, May 24, 2024

#214 Paths and Roads


The topic for this post—late as it is—is paths and roads, the highways and byways we choose or are forced to travel. This topic is dictated by the current path Anne and I have had to travel recently. It’s a path littered with boxes and bags filled with too many things—extra clothes, dishes, books, photos, hats and much, much more. We’ve chosen to move into a single floor home from a three story home and thus have been forced to downsize from three bedrooms and a basement to two bedrooms and a den (small bedroom size but no window). And neither of us have been good about throwing or giving things away.

With fantastic help from Anne’s sister, her husband and son, Anne’s cousin from Redmond, and various friends, we’ve managed to get everything out of our house of 38 years and put it somewhere in storage, the new garage, or the new house. Now comes the next hard task of deciding what we need to and can keep, and what must go to family, friends, and favored local charities. It’s long road, but we’ve chosen it and are happy with our choice.

That leads me to the path for this post. I’ve poured over files of photos (digitals are easy keepers) for interesting paths and roads we’ve taken in the past. Hopefully, the paths and roads I find in may files will remind you of choices you’ve made and paths you’ve traveled. And may those bring back good memories for you. 

I’ll begin and end our travels with parts of the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. In between I hope to present some salient comments to guide our way.

The Road Not Taken   by Robert Frost

“Two road diverge in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both…” 

A younger Anne hiking the Cascade mountains in the early 1970s.

The Birks of Aberfeldy

A darling belle and lovely Scottish bluebells.

A typical path through an old Scottish forest.

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”  —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Danger Road in Colorado.

The beech road into Drummond Castle near Crieff in central Scotland.

Birch forest in Cairngorm National Park, Scotland.

The Bridge to Nowhere on Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides -- the road literally ends after you cross the bridge.

“Roads are a record of those who have gone before.”  —Rebecca Solnit, writer,   historian, activist

Dunnattor Castle

The climb to the fifth green at St Fillans GC, Scotland--many attempt it, few make it.

Heavy traffic on the Glen Lyon road. Guess who has the right of way.

Leadhills, Scotland, is one of the highest villages in the UK.

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.”  —John Steinbeck

Branklyn Garden path, Perth, Scotland.

Highland Gate

Farm road in Sma'glen, Scotland.

Tree tunnel near the east coast of Scotland south of Aberdeen.

“I may not have ended up where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I intended to be.”  —Douglas Adams

The myriad of paths at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley.

A unique path at Johnston Creek near Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Glen Lyon, the longest glen in Scotland.

Rush hour in Glen Quaich, Highlands.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll

Path into the Red Cullins, Isle of Skye.

This path leads to the oldest capital of Scotland, Dunadd.

Yewe shall go no farther!

“…Two roads diverged a wood, and I

I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference.”

NEXT: Scotland May Be Calling

Thursday, March 28, 2024

#213 Doors and Windows

#213 Doors and Windows

Where do I get my ideas for a blog? Some are original with me, but I must admit that I’m guilty of stealing topics. Whenever I do I like to give credit to the real source—it assuages my guilt to an extent. Thus the topic for this photo retrospective. In a blog by Taos photographer/author/photo-tour guide Geraint Smith ( I was attracted to several of his photos of local Southwest doors. After viewing some of Geraint’s shots I looked at my files and decided I had enough photos of doors and windows to make an interesting post.

Doors and windows bring up the subjects of entrances, exits, and view into all manner of life experiences. I selected the photos I want to share and let them organize themselves into common themes. I’ll keep my commentary simple and let the doors open and close and the views be as narrow or far reaching as they will be.

Closed Doors. It’s often said that when one door closes another one opens. That may be true, but some closed doors do open up many questions.

Glencoe Village, Scotland: Is the face on this bricked up door inviting or off-putting?

Scotland: Where did this door lead and why was it closed off?

In the Window. From the outside we see what’s in the window or what’s on the other side. Either or both views can be interesting.

Spittel of Glenshee, Scotland: The Old Manse

Muthill, Scotland: Pooh in the Window

The Shambles, York, England: I ponder the watches in the window.

Acorn Bank Gardens, England: Is the story of the photo us looking in at the gentlemen in the tearoom or of him looking out?

Edinburgh, Scotland: Where the girls are.

Sellwood district, Portland: A Window of Windows

Through the Door. “Close some doors today. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead nowhere.” [Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist] Let’s see where these doors lead.

St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland: From the front to the back.

An Oxford door leading to bikes.

Fort Stevens, Oregon: Multiple doors or just one?

Sweetheart Abbey, southern Scotland: One door leading to many others.

Duunottar Castle, Scotland: Enter a tunnel and emerge seven centuries earlier.

Tintagel castle, Cornwall, England: Step out of the doorway into the view King Arthur saw. Supposedly.
 Anne was so excited about being in the castle that she phoned her sister in Oregon--at 2:30 AM.
Bonito Pueblo, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico: Historic 10th C Doorways

Out the Window. “Two men look out a window. One sees mud, the other sees the stars.” [Oscar Wilde, playwright] Looking through these windows what would we see?

Lake District, England: The view of her garden that Beatrix Potter enjoyed as she wrote.

Falkland Palace, Scotland: The guide said we couldn't take photos inside the castle, but she did let me take a picture of the outside from inside.

Stonehaven, Scotland: A view of the harbour from inside our B&B bedroom.

Sunlight transformed by stained glass windows of a church. I'd tell you the name of the Scottish church but my notes are already packed for the move to our new home in Canby. The move is coming soon.

Decorated Doors. In Ireland, locals were required to paint the doors to their houses black in remembrance upon the death of Queen Victoria. In diference, the Irish painted their doors every color of the rainbow—black is not a color of the rainbow. Anne and I liked the look of the Irish doors we saw on our first trip to Ireland. We came home and painted our front door red and back door blue.

Cathedral in Cork, Ireland: Doorway decor over the top. Literally.

Papermill, Oregon City: The decoration on the door tells the status of the mill.

Santa Fe, New Mexico: A very understated decorated door in Santa Fe.

Falkland, Scotland: The door lintel notes the marriage of RMK to MM in 1743.

I'm not certain of the meaning of decorations above this Arizona church door, but it is defintely grim.

Look carefully at the detailed small images decorating the wall above this doorway in a small Scottish church. Much to imagine.

Smoke Shop Wall and Door, Sant Fe

Decorated Windows. Most of the decorations for windows will be holiday decor or what’s just on the inside, We did find an example of note of window decoration in Santa Fe.

Reflections. “There’s a world out there. Open a window and it’s there.” [Robin Williams, actor and comedian] The same could be said for looking at the reflection in a window—look, a world in the image.

The world of a small Scottish country road reflected in cottage window.

What did you see first in the York store window--sewing machines or the reflected building across the street?

The sign on this Santa Fe door invites you into the reflection.

Just for Fun. It’s knot a door and knot a window. 

NEXT: I'll see if I can find another interesting world to visit.