San Antonio, its hot!


If anybody asks you can assure them that it is hot in San Antonio in August. My seminar schedule took me to Randolph Air Force base, which is 22 miles northeast from downtown San Antonio’s famous river walk. I spent three days teaching a wonderful group  about writing and communication. Thanks to a couple of people in the seminar I discovered 1908 House of Wine & Ale, on Main St. in old town Cibolo, Texas. I sat on the porch of this old house that they converted into a restaurant, it was a toasty 98F, but the IPA was cold, there was shade from aged trees, and there was an old house to sketch.

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Tricia flew in on Thursday afternoon so we could spend my birthday weekend at the River Walk. Our hotel was on the river just a few blocks south of the heart of the city. The temperature went up to over 100F, so walking in the afternoon was limited. Mornings found me sitting on a stone wall next to the city sketching as runners, walkers, and even  a couple of paddle-boarders went past.

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We visited The Alamo on Friday. Since my childhood days of Fess Parker and Disney’s depiction of Davy Crockett I have wanted to see it. The real history is even better than the sanitized Disney version, though they still have the “coonskin caps” for sale like the one I had as a boy, I resisted the urge to get a new one. It was pretty warm so did not take time to sketch, yet I did take a few photos that will let me revisit the day in a cooler setting.

A friend of Tricia’s urged her to visit other missions in the area, they are less touristy and even more beautiful. Saturday we went to Mission San Jose, part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

2018-08-18 16-36Early Sunday morning I walked about a half-mile up the river into the city looking for Main Plaza, where I knew there was a church; we heard the bells. Mornings are often the best as the temperature is still cool, people are out walking and running, and on a Sunday they are heading for an early church service at the San Fernando Cathedral.

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Nice birthday, one of best meals ever at Nonna Osteria – wild boar pappardelle was so good. A trip I will remember, and I will also remember to visit San Antonio at a cooler time of the year.

 

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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  in 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.

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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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