The Portland Heritage Tree Quest: Group 12, continued - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

May 30, 2020

The Portland Heritage Tree Quest: Group 12, continued

We awake this morning to a steady rain and the rumble of thunder - fittingly enough, as the city feels tense this morning, after last night’s demonstration/riots.  Like the mayors in many other cities that are reeling with unrest, Mayor Wheeler announced a citywide curfew that will go into effect at 8 tonight: no driving, walking, or biking on city streets tonight other than for emergencies or to get to or from work.

We expected the day to be a total rainout, but unexpectedly we’ve got about a three hour dry window that opens up later in the morning.  Just large enough for Rachael to make a dash on her own, and for me to go back and complete yesterday’s PHTQ list that was cut short when my camera battery died.

It’s peaceful enough this morning when I bike away from our home in this quiet North Portland neighborhood.  A few blocks later though I’m crossing MLK Boulevard, the route last night’s demonstrators took on their four mile march from Peninsula Park to downtown.  There’s evidence that they passed this way, with spray painted condemnations of the police defacing buildings and windows.

As I wait for the light to cross MLK, an elderly African-American gentleman mumbles something to me.  I can’t make it out, but I smile at him and he repeats it twice more.  I finally conclude that he’s asking how long I’ve had this bike.  Three years, I reply.

Wrong answer.  He repeats himself for a fourth time, and I realize he’s been asking for how long I’ve hated blacks.  I quickly correct my misstatement, but he looks beyond skeptical.  It’s a relief when the interminable light finally changes and I cycle off.  Is no place down here safe any more?

Not too much to say about today’s four trees.  I came, I saw, I tallied.  I made it back dry, and unscathed.  As did Rachael.

Here are the pair of American sweetgums I failed to find yesterday. Nice that they weren’t cut down in the night.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is another of my favorite trees from childhood - undoubtedly because it’s so easy to recognize.
Heart 1 Comment 0
This isn’t the best time to see this tree. Best is in the fall, when their leaves are brilliantly colorful. I remember collecting them as a child and preserving them in melted paraffin.
Heart 1 Comment 1
Bill ShaneyfeltI like the scent of fresh crushed sweetgum leaves.
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1 month ago
Not on the list, but here’s another wonder new to me.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Such strange, tubular blossom clusters. They make me think of cannelloni for some reason.
Heart 1 Comment 2
Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like chokecherry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_virginiana
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltNeat! I’m convinced. This one looks like about as large as they get.
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1 month ago
The Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum), a native of SW Europe and Asia. Very rare in Portland. This instance is described as quite old and large.
Heart 2 Comment 0
An interesting name, whose origin isn’t what you might suspect. It comes from the Greek kerkis meaning a weaver's shuttle, in reference to the shape of the seed pods.
Heart 1 Comment 0
I don’t know. I can’t say these pods make me think of weaver’s shuttles. But what do I know? I’m not a weaver.
Heart 1 Comment 1
Bill ShaneyfeltInteresting. Reminds me of redbud trees.
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1 month ago
This canyon live oak is another fantastic tree. Also, another of those trees that’s mostly hidden behind the screen guarding an estate. This property, another Historical Register listing, was the home of timber baron Thomas Autzen. You may recognize his name because he funded the construction of the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis) is another tree that’s very rare in Portland. This one was hauled from California to Portland on a flatbed truck in 1920.
Heart 2 Comment 2
Jen GrumbyI almost missed Roddy hiding behind that fire hydrant.

Love how these huge trees make the objects below them look like decorations for a dollhouse.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYup. He’s playing it coy here. I won’t tell him that you thought he’d look great inside a dollhouse though. He’s quite sensitive about his masculinity.
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1 month ago
The leaves of the canyon live oak have a lovely bronze tone.
Heart 1 Comment 0
OK, finally we’re at the end of group 12. This is another elm, the European white elm.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The European white elm (Ulmus laevis), a native of Southern Europe and the Caucasus, is similar to the American elm.
Heart 2 Comment 0
This one has an interesting shape, like a tuning fork.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Now this is what we like to see. An elm with clean, green leaves. No blight, no leaf miners.
Heart 1 Comment 0

This afternoon I make an errand run down to our bike storage unit.  I’m taking Rachael’s Bike Friday back to storage, after having picked it up a few days ago with the plan to reassemble it so Rachael could ride it in the coming months.  With our new thought that we may consider going to Greece though, we want to put the bike back so it’s still in the best shape before we go, if we go.

As I drive through downtown, I’m sobered by its look.  All along Fourth Avenue, storefronts are either already boarded up or are in the process of becoming so.  Work crews are everywhere, hurriedly slapping up plywood  in hopes of protecting shops from further destruction and looting.  We can only hope that demonstrators respect the curfew tonight and things quiet down.

On a happier note, I passed by Ex Novo on my way downtown and saw someone walking in with a growler in hand.  I just happen to have an empty growler in the car, so I stop in on the way back home and fill it up with Eliot IPA.  It takes 10 or fifteen minutes, because the staff is being so health conscious.  They give a double cleansing to the growler before filling it, and take my credit card using a clean washcloth.  Rather different than the scene back in John Day.

We ate in at the apartment tonight, because it’s wet out.  As we ate, we checked in periodically on the news and saw that demonstrators were gathering downtown again, in defiance of the curfew.  I have to say, an autumn in Greece is sounding mighty tempting all of a sudden.

I’m fond of Ex Novo, a non profit brewery. Nice slogan on their pizza boxes, and a nice message on the specials board too.
Heart 4 Comment 0
Eliot IPA, the flagship brew of Ex Novo Brewery.
Heart 1 Comment 0
My Eliot IPA pairs very nicely with a grilled half chicken from Quaintrelle.
Heart 3 Comment 0

Keeping score

Group 1 (7 species):  grand fir, willow oak, hedge maple, Douglas fir, incense cedar, tulip tree, sugar maple.

Group 2 (9 species): silver maple, Japanese cedar, oriental plane tree, European beech, American chestnut, copper beech, mockernut hickory, basswood, butternut.

Group 3 (9 species): ginkgo, crape maple, northern red oak, deodar cedar, bigleaf linden, giant sequoia, coast redwood, Japanese pagoda tree, Mount Fuji flowering cherry.

Group 4 (8 species): Zelkova, Carolina poplar, Japanese red pine, Katsura, bur oak, river birch, catalpa, wych elm.

Group 5 (8 species): Monkey puzzle tree, western white pine, boulevard cypress, madrone, single needle pinyon, pecan, Coulter pine, Monterey pine.

Group 5-1/4 (2 species): Port Orford cedar, English yew

Group 6 (6 species): White fir, Atlas cedar, Cedar of Lebanon, Endlicher pine, Dawn redwood, Umbrella pine.

Group 7 (6 species): China Fir, Blue Atlas Cedar, Eastern White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Sitka Spruce, Yellow Bellflower Apple.

Group 8 (5 species): Himalayan Pine, Gray Pine, Apache Pine, Italian Stone Pine, Loblolly Pine

Group 9 (6 species): Sycamore Maple, Japanese Larch, Spanish Chestnut, Weeping Willow, Oregon White Oak, Oregon Myrtle.

Group 9.5 (4 species): Southern Magnolia, Empress Tree, Saucer Magnolia, Yoshino Cherry.

Group 10 (4 species): Apricot, Weeping Cherry, Rhododendron, Gravenstein Apple.

Group 11 (10 species): Common Horse Chestnut, English Walnut, European Hornbeam, American Persimmon, Silver Linden, Sasafrass, Southern Catalpa, Bigleaf Maple, Pacific Dogwood, a California Buckeye.

Group 12 (7 species): English Elm, London Plane Tree, Scarlet Oak, Chestnut Oak, Caucasian Wingnut, Smooth-leaf Elm, American Sycamore.

Group 12, continued (4 species): American sweetgum, Judas tree, Canyon  live oak, European white elm.

Dropped (3 species): Paradox Walnut, which I couldn’t find and may no longer exist; and the Lacebark Pine and Bald Cypress, both of which were unapproachable and hidden in the middle of a large private woodland.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 3
Comment on this entry Comment 2
Bruce LellmanMaybe nobody has ever found a Paradox Maple.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanPerhaps not, since it’s actually a paradox walnut. I’ve been mislabeling it for the last 8 cycles, waiting for someone to notice. About the time! But then, it’s not actually a paradox walnut either, since it’s a nonentity now. It looks like it was bulldozed for a new housing development.
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1 month ago