Wildfire 2013 front


Wildfire 2013 back


I’ve been making lots of native plant leaf platters, necklaces and dishes for the 9th annual Wildfire Pottery Showcase and sale in Bend. There will be over 20 clay artists, pottery demonstrations, a kid’s clay area and several raffles every day for $25 towards a pottery purchase. It should be lots of fun — as well as a great opportunity to buy local, handmade gifts for the holidays. Hope to see you there!



Summer Garden

I was taking photos of flowers on our porch this afternoon and a Rufous Hummingbird came by:
rufous hummingbird and lavender
I wanted to plant a hummingbird garden this summer. It worked!
Happy Summer!
Reps. Earl Blumenauer and John Conyers just introduced a bill which would suspend the use of bee killing pesticides. Please join me in adding your support to the Save America’s Pollinators Act:


Last month, 50,000 bumble bees died after trees in Wilsonville, Oregon were sprayed with dinotefuran, the neonicotinoid ingredient in Safari pesticide. This was the largest bee die-off ever recorded.
With bee populations declining across the around the country at an alarming rate, I urge you to support the “Save America’s Pollinators Act” to restrict the use of these chemicals until we can be assured that they are safe and being used properly.
Why is this important?
From flowers to chocolate, berries to tequila, pollinators are integral to the planet, economy, and many aspects of our lives. In fact, the USDA estimates that about one in every three bites of food is either directly or indirectly made possible because of bee pollination. Both our environment and food supply are inextricably tied to the welfare of bees, making the decrease in bee population a cause for great alarm.
Changes in climate and ecosystems are certainly at least partly responsible for the increase in colony collapses, though man may be playing a more direct role in die-offs than that.  Neonicotinoids, a particular type of pesticide, have become increasingly common in the last decade and are suspected to be contributing to the decline in bee populations around the world. The die-off of 50,000 bees in Wilsonville, Oregon – roughly 300 nests – after the application of the neonicotinoid dinotefuran was a call to action.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture is investigating the die-off and is temporarily restricting the use of 18 pesticide products containing dinotefuran, and the Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing the use of these chemicals. However, that review is not scheduled to be completed for another five years. Meanwhile, Europe has already moved forward with restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids
We must act now. This week I introduced H.R. 2692 The Save America’s Pollinators Act  with my friend Congressman John Conyers to suspend certain uses of neonicotinoids until the Environmental Protection Agency reviews these chemicals and makes a new determination about their proper application and safe use.   This will increase pressure on the EPA to speed their review before another mass bee-die off can occur.
Raising the public awareness of the integral role of pollinators to the world, the precarious state of their population, and what we can do to protect them is of the utmost importance. I’ll hope you’ll join me as a citizen co-sponsor of this important legislation.
Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress


This Saturday, I’ll be participating as a vendor at the C.O. Master Gardener Association’s spring gardening seminar. I’ve been busy pressing lots of native plants into clay, so I’ll have new plant platters and dishes at the show. Hope to see you there!

April 20th, 2013
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Central Ore. Master Gardeners
Spring Gardening Seminar & Garden Market
Deschutes County Expo Center
Middle Sister Building
Redmond, Oregon

Pam Yocum of Organic Ceramic Designs (www.pamelayocum.com) and I are bringing our pottery to the upcoming Trillium Festival at Tryon Creek State Natural Area in Portland, Oregon. There will be artists, crafters, a native and hardy plant sale, garden art show, food and coffee vendors, guided hikes for kids and adults. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days (9 a.m. Saturday for members).

It should be a fun weekend to celebrate spring and gardening in western Oregon!


Trillium Festival

I am very exited that Silver Sage Trading gift shop at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon is carrying my leaf necklaces and native plant platters.  Here is a photo of the lovely display created by the gift shop staff:


The museum is also getting ready to host a traveling exhibit about the plants of John Muir in April:

Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy
Opening Saturday, April 20, 2013
John Muir’s passion for the nature and beauty of plants significantly influenced his drive to preserve wilderness. This exhibition traces his travels, and presents vivid images and specimens of the actual plants that Muir preserved for all time. A traveling exhibition from Exhibit Envoy.  (Information from www.HighDesertMuseum.org .)

You can get a sneak peak at the lovely botanical photographs that are part of this show at the following link:

Spring will be here soon — bringing lots of fresh plants to press into clay!



photos by Dennis Pack

My friend Dennis is volunteering in Kiribati as a computer instructor. Kiribati, at 6 feet above sea level, is very likely to be the first island nation to disappear beneath the Pacific Ocean because of global warming. Dennis’ blog is at http://paradiseinthepacific.blogspot.com/

Here is Kiribati President, Anote Tong, describing Kiribati’s situation. It features some lovely images of this island nation. It was very moving to hear that Kiribati children are learning new skills so that they can emigrate and work with dignity, rather than as climate refugees. It brought home the reality of their situation for me like nothing else.