Being Upstaged by a Tree


Let me introduce to you my only tattoo, my passionate pup and then we’ll get to the fantastic tree. I promise.

I’m not a big fan of defacing human flesh. Too much pleasure comes from our skin so trying to perfect it by adding drawings. To me this seems almost uncivilized. (For Example; It’s pretty neat for Ancient Egypt but seems a little off base for modern humans.) That being the case I did decide on a bit of a whim to add one to my right thigh. It’s about the size of a quarter and I choose the symbol for yin and yang.

Two reasons;

First, I had thought if I was going to be 78 with a tattoo I’d want it to be something that I don’t mind an embalmer saying, “wow do you realize this old bat has a tattoo on her thigh?” Had it been some gaudy butterfly I would – yes, even in death – feel really silly.

And Secondly, I didn’t want to do a cross – it’s nothing personal against Jesus, He is very cool. (I could only wish to be as cool as Him.) It’s just every Christian gets a cross and sadly, I also believe it’s a pretty popular in prison systems.

Okay why the yin and yang symbol? At first for fun and entertainment purposes I studied Buddhism. I’ve always found religion a fascinating study. I surprisingly liked Buddhism. Not that you’ll find me “ommmm-ommmm-ommmm”-ing anytime soon. (It really isn’t necessary where I live.) So I chose this tattoo to remind me of balance. When I studied the religion I realized that it was balance I had been looking for the whole of my life yet never finding.

I am a creature of habit. If I isolate I do it to a magnitude that would rival many of old roughneck fur traders. I don’t answer the phone. I don’t visit a city. I read a book a day. I walk by myself as often as possible. I talk loudly to myself and yes, answer myself every single time I ask myself a question. I could be a fabulous hermit. I get offended if the mail lady comes up to drop off a package. I reinforce all the no trespassing signs and consider buying the ones that speak of prosecution by law. I’d do that.. but then I’d have to talk with the lady who sells them at the feed store. So I don’t. I just don’t want to see one human face. I think I must have been ignoring that tattoo because then God sent a pup.

{I think this is worthy of noting; I am not “uninviting” anyone I’ve invited. Visit me; please come! You are my salvation from myself.} My sister once said of sex; I never understand why I say no I always realize after the fact how much fun it is. Having visitors is exactly the same way.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind the human face – just sometimes everything else is a lot more enjoyable – and so much less judgemental. A massive rock face does not judge you it simply is. And the only time my pup judges me is if his food dish is empty or if I attempt to stop love in it’s tracks. So lets move on to Patch.


 This is Patch. I think God sent him to me to remind me of balance.

He fell in love today. A cute beauty, a golden lab with a bulky figure. I appreciate Patch – as you’ve seen on all runways the bulky look usually isn’t the look that most males go for – not even overly furry ones. His personality says he’ll never love another dog. (Not just human runways but also the Westminster dog show as well – bulky is only good on a bulldog.)

Balance. Patch whines when I pet another dog. He’s intensely jealous. He’s all about extremes. He’s addicted to this girl, he’s addicted to the families affection – and gets upset to the point of barking if we give Bear or Pepper any attention at all.

I like how he’s extreame – I can relate, Patch is just like me.

When I take the pups out for a walk each day – Patch hangs with me while the other puppies play. His hope is that I will touch him. The only thing that relieves this even for a second is the hope that his girlfriend who lives two houses away will come and play with him. (Two houses and about 60 acres away – so it’s a faint hope but he keeps hoping.)

Patch may be extreme but on his face he has the yin yang symbol. Of course he does not know this, because he rarely looks in the mirror, so his face does not teach him balance it only reminds me. Just in case I miss his face he also has one on his furry bum.

My Daughters are twins and the first ultrasound picture I saw of them was in the same shape.

Lucky. And another reminder.  

Yesterday we had a concern which all boiled down to a telephone call and a good sum of money falling into our bank account. So hubby and I walked the floors and walked them more and I didn’t like where the whole day was going. Just awaiting for a call from of all things a lawyer. So I said, “hey lets go hiking.”

We did. Below are some of the things we saw. They won’t show our three pups chasing the red squirrel up the tree. They won’t show the smiles of appreciation on their faces or how Peppers tongue was hanging out so far that we watched for a couple of minutes how her long tongue bounced up and down in time with the breeze while we laughed. Or the two bald eagles flying right above us.  Or how we relaxed and the phone call we waited all morning for came in about four minutes after we walked in the door. Life is hinged on balance and the neglect to utilize it can cause a pretty decent amount of stress. I shudder to think how things would have went had we waited all day for the call.

Before we left I said to hubby – “this waiting thing is annoying. It reminds me of being in high school and waiting for the cute boy in the third row to call me and ask me to a movie. I say we respond the same way I did in high school – we leave.” He laughed and we left and end of story. 

Except we walked down the wrong path and it turned out to be the right path. Don’t you just love it when that happens? And here is what we saw.


A wildflower (I’m working on finding the specific name.)


This shows rather well how the Kettle River smoothly meshes with the Columbia (Lake Roosevelt.)


And speaking of balance – the next shot is a close up of the base of the tree. Now that’s balance. I love it! I’ve been out-classed.



7 Responses to “Being Upstaged by a Tree”

  1. 1 montucky

    I’m glad you wrote and posted this. You do indeed understand balance!

    Somehow you have an ability to put things into words that I can’t and I admire that.

    I love your photos, especially the one of the Kettle River. It’s a beautiful place!

    We’re all up-staged by the last photo of the tree. Trees are always amazing to me, but this one is in particular. It exhibits at once the will to live and the sheer exuberance of living. If that’s not balance, I don’t know what is!

  2. Thanks again for your kind words Terry. I was amazed by the tree like you many of them facinate me. There is one on the property I think of as “bird city” It’s like New York but because the old ponderosa pine was infected with witches broom dozens of birds feel safe there. I feel pretty blessed being here – it feels almost like cheating life. I’m supposed to be in a little cubical somewhere plotting the death of my boss. (Oh well – maybe my next life :o)

  3. Your flower looks like a species in the Purslane family, possibly in genus Claytonia. My photos of flowers in that family (see ) look very similar to yours, although I don’t think any of mine are the same flower.

    _Adam (who has a celtic version of a yin-yang tattooed on his arm 🙂

  4. Hi Adam, (your post helping me out really made me happy)

    So, I looked over your photos (they are gorgeous by the way! excellent shots!) and your right it does look an awful lot like your spring beauty! I’ll dig deeper because, like you, I think there is a link but it’s not the same. That whole six petal thing is throwing me off. So far all the species of spring beauties I’ve looked at have five petals – just my luck, I just might have got a mutated flower. :o) Okay off to hunting!

    I really appreciate you tossing me this carrot at least now I can limit my looking time! Thank you. ps. nice choice in a tattoo – I’ve always thought those Celtic knots to be really beautiful.

  5. Thanks! I took a quick look in my western wildflowers Petersen guide and didn’t see anything that looks like yours, but Petersen isn’t (by any means) complete. You’ll probably have better luck with a flower book for your local area.

    Happy hunting 🙂

  6. 6 aullori

    I’ve been digging thru them one flower at a time…. for fun and chuckles I’ve even looked into the extinct flowers in the area and found that we have three orchids up on these mountains … can’t wait to capture those! Thanks for trying Adam I really appreciate your efforts.

  7. 7 wendy

    Your photos are great. I especially like the one of Lake Roosevelt. Could I have your permission to use it in a publication? I work for the Office of Columbia River (WA Dept of Ecology) and am always looking for good photos to use in our reports, website, etc. Please let me know if using your photo(s) is okay.

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