Being an artist, it’s important to move beyond my home and studio. I need to see new vistas, experience new smells, do new things. Joe and I decided to head up to Mount Hood and visit Lost Lake. The Native Indians to the area called Lost Lake, E-e-kwahl-a-mat-yam-lshkt, meaning ‘heart of the mountains.’ We started our trip off with a stop at Hood River Lavender farm.
When we stepped out of the car, the field was singing – buzzing with bees. It was the most incredible hum and I knew that honey was in the making! This is one of my absolute favorite smells and colors. The way the silvery green leaves and stalks play against little purple dots of scented color is just incredible.
The purple coneflower was also busy with bees. Toby insisted I take this picture because it’s his favorite flower. I love how the hot pink and sienna colors played against the purple lavender. I’ll have to use that color combo in a painting.
After a little quarreling on the way up to Mt. Hood, the kids quickly mellowed out once they were in the lavender fields. The essential oils can relieve any stress or tension. I swear, every family should have a lavender patch in their garden. Once the quarreling starts, send ’em outside for a time out! I heard of a family that stripped down and hopped in the hot tub once things got too tense. Whatever it takes to recalibrate harmony…anything to ease the tension of family life cuz it just gets that way sometimes.
We took no time renting a boat, putting on unfashionably, horrid, orange life-jackets and rowed out to the middle of the lake. The view of Mt. Hood was just incredible. The day, spectacular. There aren’t any motor boats on the lake so it was incredibly quiet. Just other boaters and the hawks.
Joe and I took a stroll along the shore. Toby was eager to use his big brother skills and rowed Anie back to the dock by himself. They were both so proud and no arguing at all! Amazing when the parents are out of earshot.
As we headed back to the car, Miss Muse suggested I trail a little bit behind. I saw a woman painting watercolors in the woods and promised myself I’d do that soon. I’m jonesing for a day to myself. Suddenly, I was standing in the still, dark quiet of this ancient wood. No wonder the Indians called this the Heart of the Mountains. The quiet, soft earth beneath my feet healing. The moist air rejuvenating. The huzz buzz of my busy life was miles away.
Something flickered in the fading sun and I followed it around the corner to find a Lost Lake Gnome. They’re not really gnomes as you’d expect. We have different gnomes in Oregon. They’re just wee folk that live in the trees and stumps along the lake shore. They ride pine cone canoes and red tailed hawks. They fish and collect nuts and berries along with the chipmunks and squirrels. They’re the mellow version of the Oregon High Desert Gnomes…probably because they prefer bumblebee tea over deer beer. They, too, don’t like having their picture taken so I promise to sketch my encounter soon.