In the wake of a duck.


If you are a duck connoisseur or if you hate Portland, I’ll probably offend you with this post.  You could instead read my cat porn blog, that way we avoid this whole potential conflict all together.

So this all started Saturday when a friend asked me to take some photos of Portland for an amazing 3 day wine tasting event this November that benefits the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.  And for those of you who have given me any love over my blog writing years, you KNOW i hate cancer like a motherfucker, so naturally I said yes.

So in my head i’m all, “wow, cool… i am going to shoot the big reindeer sign and the bridges on the river and some weird people! I’ve got this Portland photo shoot NAILED!”

then this happened:


If you scrolled over this photo without reading the fine print on the poster, you have missed the BEST SIGN IN THE UNIVERSE.

and i’m like, “move over, reindeer sign, we’ve got new plans.” 

So i’d like to share with you, if you’re still with me and not over on my other blog watching my cat lick herself, my version of what I found interesting and meaningful on a 3 mile jaunt with my family around Portland on Saturday.


The church on Alder.

We started at Cheryl’s on 12th (important to be well fed before walking), and this was the view from our outside table.  It’s significant that i shot this, because I love this church. It is my proverbial True North, though not in a religious sense (c’mon guys, it’s ME, here), but in a “where the crap is that bridge that takes me over the river?” sense.  If it weren’t for this church, I would NEVER know which street is Alder, which is the main road I take to cross the bridge to Yoga, or to get me to my naturopath.

Both activities, as a Portlandian, you just DO.

So we began walking down near the Waterfront where we used to live, and ran into this guy.  He’s kind of famous.


Murphy the potential Police Horse that was found on Craigslist and had no chance in hell of making it as a Police Horse but he defied all odds and did.

I’m pretty sure “Police Horse” is the completely wrong term for those awesome horses that roam our streets.  All i know is that every Sunday morning i begin my day with coffee and The Oregonian, and i’ve followed the plight of this goddamn horse since the story began, and when we walked by him, I felt like a 12 year old seeing Liam or one of the other boys with perfect hair from One Direction… i’m a big fan of this horse.  Sadly, all he wanted was food and despite every attempt of me shoving his headshot in his face, he refused to sign my photo.  something, he said, about opposable thumbs.  Whatever, Murph. 


Murphy’s colleagues (or whatever you call the horses with whom you work).

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again (ok, that’s not true, i’ve never actually said this, but it IS true…), i’ll pay whatever tax dollars it takes to keep these beauties on the streets of Portland.  Once we lose the horses, all we have is…cars. So we continued walking along the riverfront and it is… special. I kid you not, we ran smack into a couple of ducks having a SUPER intense flirting session:


a couple of ducks having a super intense flirting session

I’m not really sure the sex of these ducks.  My husband thought they were both female because they both had such cool markings, and  his theory goes, “the chick ducks are always beautiful, the boy ducks have no color.”

So then I was thinking how completely awesome this would be if these were two chick ducks flirting with each other (this is the part where, if you are a duck connoisseur, you are probably thinking i’m the dumbest human on the planet).  I mean, either way, either sex, same or different, these two ducks have chemistry.  And the one on the left is TOTALLY having duck sex with the one on the right tonight. (how ducks have sex i have NO clue, i’d love some help here).

So anyway after we left Sasha and Kris (we needed neutral names for them. I mean, we just didn’t know…), we kind of decided to look up and see what was happening on the river.  There were a lot of barges.


a barge. wait… this is a barge, right? is there better term for exactly what this is? I AM NOT UP ON MY BARGE KNOWLEDGE, PEOPLE!


a tugboat pushing (not tugging) a smaller barge in front of a bigger barge. it’s not fast action stuff, by any stretch.

So after the cool barges, I thought i should probably take a couple photos of the bridges, being all famous and stuff in Portland, but it just didn’t work for me.  So we went under the bridges, and i got a few cool shots, this one in particular i sort of loved:


and another one, which happens to be the one my friend has chosen for her wine event:


We kept walking, the ducks kept following, and finally we ended our jaunt along the riverside…


…and landed at the uber famous Saturday Market. Now every Portland guide will reference this, as it should.  There is a lot of really cool shit you can buy at the Saturday Market, not the least of which is some extraordinary additions to your wardrobe. More specifically:


one of eight hundred stands… c’mon, it’s Portland.


tie-dye is a wonderful option for cute kids. And the henna stand and dog butt are Saturday Market “must haves.”

oh, and the t-shirt stands are fabulous.


a great alternative solution to “my parents when to Portland and all they got me…”

So we finished our walk, full of totally cool cats, flirting ducks, mounted police horses (ok, i looked up the term on the internets by the time i got here), barges, bridges, and the finest wardrobe choices PDX had to offer.

Here are a few more I took:


we'll call him Louis.

we’ll call him Louis.


I think we should turn these negatives into positives. Yes, you are welcome to carry your skateboard instead of riding it, lest people judge you as hoodlums vs. athletes. Yes, you may carry your cigarettes in your pocket and THANK YOU for not lighting up and killing people with your second hand smoke!!!

I just liked this.

I just liked this.


The line at Voodoo donuts for a penis shaped something or rather or bacon covered awesomeness.

The line at Voodoo donuts for a penis shaped something or rather or bacon covered awesomeness.

ok, ok.  fuck it.  I had to do the sign.

ok, ok. fuck it. I had to do the sign.

Yet as I got home and looked through the hundreds of photos i took that day, my mind kept going back to one of them.

It was, yes, a duck.

And this duck was just swimming along, minding his own goddamn business, paddling along by himself.


i couldn’t scratch the image from my mind.  The ripples it was creating, i could imagine them hitting the shore, and in an immeasurable way eroding the shoreline, which in turn would lead to an entirely different Portland millions of years from now.

It’s ripple effect was real, yet it just didn’t know it.

But we do.

We create ripples every day.

By every action we make and inaction we choose not to.

And the downstream effect of both can have either beautiful or catastrophic consequences.

So i finished the walk thinking… What if, with every decision we made each day, we were acutely aware of the ripple it created.

wouldn’t that be something.

Peace, AC.

This entry was posted in animal photography, beauty, Christian Louboutin, gross things to eat, overexposing, Portland Saturday Market, Portland Walking Tour, wedding, wedding dresses, Western Medicine, Wildfang, wine, wishes, Women's Ski Jumping and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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