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Harvest

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Cherry tomato that grew inside a fence wire. (c) J.S. Reinitz

Cherry tomato that grew inside a fence wire. (c) J.S. Reinitz

The harvest is finally in for our backyard garden. This year we did really good with the cherry tomatoes. We didn’t get too many regular tomatoes, but the raspberries weren’t bad.

The surprise was the miniature pumpkins. They were a surprise because we didn’t plant any. Last fall we tossed our old Halloween jack-o-lanterns and associated carvings in the compost bin. And over the summer, a strange vine slinked out of the bin and sprouted pumpkins.

Treasure Hunts

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Portland Japanese Garden.
Friday, Aug. 5 2011

PORTLAND, OR — Even if you’re an adult, I recommend the children’s treasure hunt at the Japanese Garden, not so much for the coloring map or the prize at the end (it’s a bookmark), but because it forces one to take a closer look at the surroundings.

The garden, nestled into the hillside of Portland’s Washington Park, has five different styles sprinkled with statues, stone lanterns and fountains. There is so much beauty, it’s easy to miss the subtle details.

A small statue of a jizo (Japanese protective spirit) guards the entrance to the zen garden. I walked right past the guy, carved into a foot-tall moss-covered stone, but the kids found it. It was on the scavenger hunt list.

That was the morning. After a microwave lunch at the hotel, it was off to Mollala to go geocaching with the cousins.

More photos at our gallery.