Leach Botanical Gardens, Portland, Oregon

Two weeks ago we spent the weekend in Portland with friends. They took us to the Leach Botanical Gardens in Southeast Portland. I was surprised to learn of its existence, since I grew up not all that far away from it and lived in the area for 37 years. What a wonder in the city.

John, a pharmacist, and Lillia, a botanist, Leach bought the 4.5 acres along Johnson Creek ┬áin 1931; the property was devoted to Lillia’s love of plants. Thankfully they donated the property to the Portland Parks so we get the pleasure of enjoying their legacy.

This is the stone cabin they lived in while they built their wonderful house, which is open to visitors.

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TheTravelsketcher in the Mukilteo Beacon

Thrilled, and honored, are the two words that keep going through my mind as the reality that I now have a column in the Mukilteo Beacon, the local weekly of my town, sinks in. On the first and third weeks of each month a sketch with some brief notes will be featured. For those who do not get the paper, it is online at the Mukilteo Beacon site, in the “Columns” section. Here is the first one, with more to come tomorrow.

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Hunting in Puget Sound

The tide was lower than normal yesterday, exposing green rocks and providing a rich hunting ground in the shallow water for the local herons. A clear cerulean blue sky changed the often gray green water to a deep blue.

Watching a heron hunt is a lesson in patience, standing completly still for minutes at a time, taking an occasional step so delcatly that the water is barely disturbed. The unsuspecting fish unfortuanate to wander too close is snatched with lightening speed.

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Sketching in Mukilteo

It is so pleasant living in a town by Puget Sound. Here are some recent sketches.2018-06-27 09-21

The Red Cup Cafe is a popular place for locals. It sits on the hill above the waterfront giving a sweeping view of the Sound.

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This totem stands guard at the South end of the parking lot at Mukilteo Beach. I don’t know its history, one day I will ask the historical folks what they know.


This Coffee Stand sits just a hundred feet or so from my condo, amazing I don’t go there more often, but it was a delight to sketch.

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There is a trail that goes north from the boat launch at Mukilteo beach, toward the ferry dock. I sat at the hidden bench and scketched the view of the dock.

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Mornings at Mukilteo Beach

The last two mornings I went early to Mukilteo Beach, here is the result

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Summer day at the Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum is one of the gems of Seattle. I walked along Azalea Way, dazzling colors all around. This old gnarled tree caught my attention.

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Remembering more trips – sketching yours

Sketching helps me remember past trips. Photos are great but a sketch has a different feel. If you are not an artist I can do an original travelsketch for you from your photo, ready for you to frame. Email me if it sounds interesting, thetravelsketcher@gmail.com

A garden in Tokyo

A morning walk in Kyoto

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