Thursday, January 29, 2009

An evening on the Deschutes River

I took this photo earlier in the day while Lee was doing an errand downtown. There were tables outside the bakery/cafe, and I loved the idea that it was a non-smoking area, even outdoors. I've come to detest cigarettes and cigarette smoke, even though I have lived with smokers in the past and it didn't bother me. As I've gotten older and as more damaging reports have come out, it seems to be a combination of personal disgust and intellectual awareness that convince me I would be happy if everyone on earth quit smoking today and that was the end of it. Anyway, it's nice to see the area designated as clean air space.

I'd been working all day, and I needed to get out. In the late afternoon, we went down to the Old Mill district for an early dinner or snack or something on that order. The old mill used to produce plywood, I think; anyway, it was lumber-related, and now it's a very cool REI store. The stacks are sunning to look up at. They seem even taller in person. And speaking of clean air, I'm sure it produced its share of pollutants even as it brought money into the local economy.

These storefronts are located right near the old mill. It's the next building to the left of the photo. It's a pleasant, clean, upscale, nicely designed area of town. There's nothing left of the industry that created the area in the first place.

A beautiful scene on the Deschutes in evening light near a row of restaurants.

Another scene on the Deschutes with mountains on the horizon.

Mountains in the evening light. The Deschutes River is in the foreground.

Interior of the Italian restaurant, where Lee and I went for appetizers, which turned out to be big enough for dinner. We had a nice window table with a view over the river. As you can see, the place wasn't exactly packed, but then it was still early. Even so, people are simply not buying and spending the way they were. You hear it everywhere because it IS everywhere. The economy is scary right now. I've been off bread, trying to eat low glycemic, and I was dismayed when Lee ordered an entire plate of bread baked on the premises, to be dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. "Oh, well," I said, "I guess for this one day I'll just go for it." I'm glad I did. It was SO good, and although I got full, I didn't feel bloated. I'm not sure why not. Anyway, it was incredibly good and I recommend it highly. I wish I remembered the name. We also had shrimp in some kind of thin sauce, which were also excellent. There were beautiful black and white photos of Italy on the walls, especially in the bathroom and the passageway to it. The bathroom was perfumed. It was all very nice. Apparently it's a chain, and there's one in Portland. It's not Bella Cucina, it's the other Italian restaurant right there on the river.

The day was clear, and the light was gorgeous and calming as evening grew later. When we left the restaurant, I saw ducks in the distance. I'm used to the birds that hang out near my office in Astoria, and I wanted to be quiet so I could get their picture before I scared them away. Little did I realize at that moment that these ducks were not going to flee.

When you emerge from a restaurant in that sector of the Deschutes, the ducks are ready for handouts. These came cruising toward us without fear. I love this picture of ducks and patterns in the muted colors of evening.

Sorry, ducks! We didn't bring food. In any event, they should not be eating bread and pasta, popcorn and other non-ducky handouts. They don't seem to know it, thought. Hey, ducks, you should be eating plants. You're supposed to like grass seeds, aquatic plants, and a few insects. Yummm. There's a nice article on mallard ducks here on Nature Works.

It's really pleasant this time of evening on a warmish day walking back to the car. The temperature drops fast when the sun goes down, but it's unseasonably warm for January, and we weren't freezing or anything.

This is also near restaurant row in the Old Mill District of Bend.

If you can't see the planet in the upper left, click on the photo to enlarge it. I was jazzed that I got the moon and planet in focus. :) It's probably Venus, but I know and care a lot less about the sky than I do about other things. I like Earth and underwater studies better. Maybe because animals live there.

1 comment:

laurelgrace00 said...

Yeah for NO Smoking!!! You have some beautiful pictures up on this blog!