Halloween Hanging! (All Hallows All Welcome)


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Mirror 778 Sandy River Gorge

Mirror 778_Sandy River Gorge, Oregon

The Mirror Project was originally installed in the public spaces of the Comfort Inn Columbia Gorge Gateway in October, 2012.   It’s been a great year (how many artists get the opportunity to glance up at the video array while at the day job and see someone standing engrossed in a hall in front of one of their pieces?), and response to the Project has been overwhelmingly on the continuum between positive and delighted.

Halloween evening will be celebrating the renewal of the Installation, and everyone is (yes you are) invited. There will be new Mirrors on the walls, a Treasure Hunt through the halls in search of the critters in the middles, plus Mindy’s great hot cider, the popcorn machine, caramel for the apples, nuts & bolts, and a general atmosphere of good cheer.  No schmoozing required – if you want to just grab your Treasure Hunt cards and wander off in search of, with a cup of mulled cider in your hand, that’s the sort of gathering it is.


Some of the Treasure Hunt cards

Everyone attending will be entered in the drawings for hotel stays, Mirror Project edition prints, and artist-designed Mirror Project earrings.  The drawings are at 8:00p and you don’t need to be present to win, just to have appeared at some point in the evening.

If you’re taking the kids out trick-or-treating, stop by before or after – we’ll help fill their bags and have a Treasure Hunt game for them, too!

Halloween Basket

The Hands of Steph and Amanda

Fall Foliage Studio Tour Begins Now!


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Event Date: October 12th through the 20th, 2013

Fall Foliage Studio Tour in Oregon’s West Columbia River Gorge

Awe-inspiring views, adorned in the spectacular colors of autumn, will delight your senses as you meander through the Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge, visiting the artists as they work in their studios.



Cascade Locks, Oregon (September 3, 2013) – Fall Foliage Studio Tour invites you to see and meet professional artists in their natural element, the studios in which they fashion their creations. Enjoy a historic and spectacular scenic journey as you experience the communities and meet the artists who live and create here.  Awe-inspiring views, adorned in the spectacular colors of autumn, will delight your senses as you meander through the Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge, visiting the artists as they work in their studios. This free, self-guided event is sponsored by the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce.

The event begins with the opening of the exhibition gallery in Cascade Locks on Saturday, October 12th at 11:00am.  The gallery will be located at Lorang Fine Art & Gorgeous Gifts. Samples of each artist’s work will be on display October 12th through the 20th, 11:00am-5:00pm. The Reception will be Friday evening, October 18th at the exhibition gallery to meet the artists and mingle with other art enthusiasts. Sample hors d’oeuvres, sip local vintage wine and enjoy live music as you bid on your favorite leaf-themed art pieces and cast your vote for the “People’s Choice Award.”  Maps for the Studio Tour are available that night or anytime the Exhibition Gallery is open.  Artists’ studios will be open Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am-5:00pm. The exhibition gallery closes Sunday, October 20th, at 5:00 pm.

Opening Reception:  Friday, October 18th, 2013, 6:00 pm
Open Studios Tour:  Saturday and Sunday, October 19th and 20th, 11:00am-5:00 pm daily
Gallery Hours:   October 12th through October 20th, 11:00 am-5:00 pm daily
Gallery Location:  Lorang Fine Art 360 WaNaPa St. Cascade Locks OR  www.lorangfineart.com

Visit their website:  www.fallfoliagestudiotour.com or contact  Debora Lorang at 541-374-8007; lorangfineart@embarqmail.com




October First Friday Art Walk!


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October Banner

First Friday is always a great time.  Ignore the rain (it will undoubtedly be a balmy clear night, now that I’ve said that) and come on out for great art, food, coffee, and a refreshing adult beverage!

Remember to pick up your Passport at Columbia River Gallery or Marco Polo Designs for a good shot at a ridiculously good basket of goodies. : )

October lineup

Beaver Dance


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I noticed a new pile of sticks across the river last month.  It’s an oddish place for a beaver to build a den in the summer, as the beach on this side gets heavy and exuberant use when the sun is shining, so it didn’t really register, but we hit an afternoon after some rain last week and got to watch the show.


Just before this shot, the beaver had been coming towards the three Mergansers who were minding their own business floating about and enjoying the day.


Then he turned and headed upstream.  It was unclear, as I don’t actually know how beaver brains work, whether the Mergansers were a perceived threat (what kind of threat could a duck be to a beaver?), or if they had a past history of hanging around to purposely annoy him, or if it was some sort of catch me if you can game.


You would think that a human would be a larger threat than a duck (maybe beavers species memory has forgotten the whole Hat thing), but he came right down in front of me…


… before another of the Mergansers arrived and he turned…


… to find the rest of the family taking up position.


At the point the last two flew in and he was surrounded, he gave a good thwack and dove.  I had a bad moment thinking a duck was going to get pulled under the surface (probably an unreasonable fear, but, again, I don’t know how beaver brains work).


Having been totally oblivious up to this point, the thwack! got Max and Ebb’s attention.


The Mergansers took up position in the front yard again, with the beaver patrolling the perimeter.



Max and Ebb were on the beach watching, and the beaver was swimming in circles between the Mergansers and the dogs…


… until the beaver finally got thoroughly fed up with all the unwanted company and dove with a huge and very clear fwap of the tail.


Someday, we really need to learn about that swimming thing.

all images Loree Harrell; 2013

Fall Into Peace



Fall Into Peace
September 11th, 2013

They had been falling for four thousand, three hundred, and eighty-one days.
There when he expected them, there when he thought maybe, just maybe,
they had finally quieted and would let him sleep long and deep and free.

He had always thought of that first leap as an act of courage, of defiance,
as a final, No, not you – I will choose my fate, you don’t get to choose for me.
Saw that leap out and away from the flames as a flight of hope, an
affirmation of the epic of an ordinary life, saw in it the acceptance of the
inevitable of this single unexpected moment. He saw grace.

There was a beauty in the fall, an unexpected peace that showed as a lack
of struggle against, a long, solitary flight to an end too near, but I understand,
I will go, take me, love me, love them, please please love them.

There was nothing ugly in that leap to freedom, that fall to peace. A choice
to fly rather than burn, a decision to choose this death for myself. It was a
gift to the people they loved here I am, this is what I choose, I don’t want
you to search in vain or never know. here I am and I love you.

The horror was that last fraction of a moment, when the choice was made
and the flight was done, when skin and bone and blood and heat and love
hit the unyielding gray of the sidewalk they would never again walk, the street
they would never again drive, the city they would forever be a part of. That
last fraction of a moment, that instant he couldn’t fix, over and over and over
again that day, was what burned into the hollows behind his eyes, sounded
and resounded forever in his ears, haunted his heart.


They were falling again, and he woke shaking and sweating and sobbing.
She pulled him in close against her breasts, and smoothed the soaked hair
off his forehead. She wrapped her arms and legs and love around him,
and she rocked him and soothed him and waited.

When his breath and his body and his mind finally quieted, she said, it’s
time to let them go.
He said, I can’t. I can’t forget them. ever.
Of course not, she said, of course you won’t.  They are as much a part of you
as your wife or your daughters or that time you swam naked in the fountain.
She gentled a tear from his cheek. She said, listen.
Once, she said, one time, there was nothing to be done but witness. And
you didn’t look away. You witnessed their courage and their fear and their
choosing and their death. You gave a part of yourself to die with them.
You gave them your love and your sorrow and your anger. She kissed his
forehead, and then his left eyelid and his right eyelid, and the tip of his nose
and she smiled. She said quiet into his ear, It’s time for you to help them, baby.
It was only the one time that there was nothing to be done. Help them.
And she tightened her arms and her legs and her love around him and she
pulled him inside and rocked him and soothed him and waited for sleep.


They were falling again. The woman with the long brown hair. The man in
the dark suit with the kaleidoscope tie. The quiet one. He watched from
inside her, watched the leap and the flight and he knew.

He caught her first, the woman with the long brown hair, now twelve years
dead. He caught her and his knees buckled and his heart broke, but he
cradled her in his arms, then laid her down easy on the unyielding gray.
He touched her forehead and her chin, her closed left eye, then her right,
and he said, There was only one time that couldn’t be changed. He said,
You have my promise. I will never forget you. I will never look away.
I will catch you and lay you down gentle and talk to you until you no longer
have to fall, and then I will miss you.


Four thousand, three hundred, and eighty-two days.



Loree Harrell;  2009 – 2013


A Quiet Place To Run


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What I love most about this place we live is that there is always a new place, always a place with no people, always green and water and sweet air.


Sometimes you just have to look a little further, venture someplace you don’t know.

The dogs and I have five places we usually run, and in all five, for most of the year, we have the trails to ourselves.  This time of year, the two river trails are busy with summer people, and the other three trails, beyond the gates on tree company land, were closed to entry two weeks ago because of elevated fire danger.

So we’ve been going to the river trails in the early morning before the summer people have had their breakfast, but a late shift Friday had us out in the afternoon with no place to go, so we went further up Larch Mountain, into the National Forest land, to find a place.

At milepost 9, we found a gate with paved road and walked in.


Well, I walked.  The dogs exuberated.  (No, it’s not a word.)  (But it should be.)

I expected, it being Larch Mountain and all, and Larch Mountain having a large network of trails, that we would come across a trail that would take us off into the woods, but two miles of paved, and another mile of pack gravel before we ran into a Bull Run Watershed No Trespassing sign, and nary a trail.


Still.  Beautiful little creeks that those of us in the party with four nimble legs could get down to for a cool down, wildflowers by the road, gorgeous forest, and quiet.

Venture out someplace you don’t know.  There’s something there, I promise.

Here, have a smile.


Snapshot No. 7


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The end of July always feels like it came too soon.  There is such a brief moment of summer, and where has it gone.  Beauty day after beauty day slips away in the thousand things, defined by the small pieces of each, and the next time you look around, the greens have faded under the sun, and the river runs low and green, and the dark comes earlier every day.

It is the time to slow down and notice the tiny gifts, to make the most of the strong days and soft evenings.

And to go out in the yard and sleep with an old dog under a starred night sky.

Image:  Loree Harrell, July 2013, King by the spring on Larch Mountain.

The Artful Giving Blanket Concert


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The Artful Giving Blanket Concert
July 27th
Noon – 9:30p
29330 SE Stark St, Troutdale, OR
Parking at Mt Hood Community College

The trucks are already rolling in for this wonderful annual event.  8 bands, 15 restaurants, and a dozen or more artists all come together to raise money for the Soulful Giving Foundation, which benefits Randall Children’s Hospital and the Providence Cancer Research Center.

It’s a great day on the Yoshida estate by the river, don’t miss it!

Tickets and information at http://www.soulfulgiving.org.