Wednesday Vignette – pyro in the park

Each Independence Day, our neighborhood goes mad. The real big fireworks are illegal to sell in Oregon, but up until last year, one could easily skip across the river to Washington state to get them. Supposedly, this year, they too banned the sale of the real pro gear, but as far as I could tell, the mayhem in the park 50 yards away from our house, was no different than in previous years. The size of the stuff blasting off in the park was very much comparable to the rockets the City discharges over the much safer river, downtown.

Last year ended with one of my neighbor’s arborvitae hedge catching on fire, and going up in flames. We all suggested he keep the charred stems for Halloween. Mind you, 2016 was a much drier spring than the one we’ve just had. Right now, I’m grateful for that, as it seem like last night went off without any major incidents. (Although, at one point, my youngest and I heard three “pap-pap-paps” as in a fired gun.) After deliberating whether we should bike downtown for the Big Show, we ultimately decided to stay within the relative safety of home, if for no other reason than to be sure we didn’t catch fire, and also to ensure the poor terrified cat was okay. The 4th of July when the world goes even more nuts than usual, is a terrible time for both pets and combat vets. If I had PTSD, I would make a point to venture far out into the middle of nowhere for this one. I can’t even imagine what they are going through…

These photos are from last year. This year, I was too lazy to try. But I sat outside until midnight, when the cacophony of fiery explosions finally began to subside, keeping a watchful eye on the circus. Quite happy it’s mostly over for this time…

EDITED: Loree thought I should add the shot of the old couch I carried outside just before the fireworks began. It is all torn up by our cat, old and worn, and not nice enough to donate to Goodwill – but we are getting rid of it. Since July 4th generally marks the end of rains here in Portland, I figured I would put it outside for now. Last time I put furniture in this spot, it disappeared into the night. It is my hope that someone will find this to be the perfect couch for them, and remove it. But until someone does, expect me to take naps out there. For as ratty as it is – it is a very comfy couch! 🙂


About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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21 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – pyro in the park

  1. What, no photo of the couch? Our neighborhood was as loud as ever. I just don’t understand the appeal of blowing things up.

    The subject of my WV kinda looks like fireworks….

    • annamadeit says:

      You know, I was going to post it (it is still there, by the way), but thought it might be too repetitive, since I had just posted it on Instagram, but okay – I will add it. Just for you. 🙂 I don’t get the allure either – maybe I’m just becoming a curmudgeon, like Alison said.

  2. Peter/Outlaw says:

    While I enjoy looking at the big pro fireworks shows, it’s been years since we walked down to see the big show on the water here. We can see most of it from our roof (It’s flat on the top and there’s access from the attic) and some years have climbed up there to watch. This year was spent comforting the dogs who weren’t at all fond of the noise. When the big shows are so impressive, I don’t understand why people delight in setting off their own all over the place until all hours of the morning. Oh well, there’ll still be some explosions for the next few days as people go to the big discount sales at the fireworks stands and then it’ll be over for a while.
    My WV is here:

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, how nice to be able to see it from your roof! That would decide it for me – stay far away from the crowds, and STILL get the spectacle. Gotta love that! I’m with you – why create your own when you can see what the pros do? I guess it must be the thrill of the danger of playing with fire…

  3. Eve says:

    For the past few years, we have walked over to a nearby school playground. This year, the local show was not nearly as grand as last year but, as David pointed out, neither is America.

    • annamadeit says:

      Wow, that is one of the most succinct statements I have ever heard, Eve… It truly IS one of those Emperor’s New Clothes realizations, isn’t it? (And, now that I got home from work, and heard about the NPR tweets – that feeling is even stronger. Shaking head…)

  4. Alison says:

    Like Loree, I don’t understand the appeal of blowing things up. I used to like looking at pro fireworks shows when I was younger but I’ve outgrown that, or maybe I’ve just become much more curmudgeonly about it. They were still setting them off here last night at 12:30, and I wanted to shout out the window, “People have to work in the morning!” You did a good job capturing last year’s explosions. My WV is here:

  5. Mark and Gaz says:

    It’ll be November when we get such displays, something to vaguely look forward to…

    • annamadeit says:

      Let me guess… Guy Fawkes? At least in November, I’m thinking there might at least be a better chance of rain, in case there are straying tinders… I remember with horror your neighbor’s fire, and how it devastated your garden…

  6. Kris P says:

    Gorgeous photos, Anna, but I share your concerns with the potential repercussions of massive displays in the hands of people ill-equipped to handle them safely. Fireworks are illegal in most metropolitan areas here, including my own community, but you wouldn’t know it. As we have a terrific view from our backyard, we used to host a viewing party each 4th but I’ve skipped it the past 2 years as it seems more like a war zone than a celebration here. Fire is an ever-present danger in SoCal but, for some reason, people never think it’s going to happen to them – until it does.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, Kris – I can’t even imagine fireworks in a state with the kind of drought you have had down there for so long. That would totally feel like Russian Roulette… But your view – well that would be nothing short of spectacular… Please let me know should you ever start those viewing parties up again. I’d bring a fire extinguisher and binoculars! 😀

  7. linda says:

    Love your photos ! But I really hate the noise and the dogs go bonkers with every boom! And those awful , ugly firework tents everywhere …yuk !

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Linda! Yeah, I feel for all pets and wildlife when this madness ensues… Our cat spent the entire night with my oldest, and wisely refused to go outside.

  8. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette – A Moveable Garden

  9. mmwm says:

    I don’t understand the appeal of fireworks, though I have heard that there are a kind of fireworks with only the visual and not the sound component, which would be so much better for dogs, wildlife, waterfowl (in our state, with so many lakes, fireworks are often detonated from barges in the lake, , scaring loons and others) while still prompting “oohs” and “aaahs” as your photos do.

    Mine is here:

    • annamadeit says:

      Interesting – I had never heard of those… That would indeed make the experience much more pleasant! I wonder how they manage to “edit out” the sound…? Very cool…

  10. Tina says:

    Great photos! I’m sorta with you though, I’m not really a fan of the big, loud bangs–our last one was at 4:10 this morning–truly obscene. My most favorite fireworks memory is from about 8 years ago, in Yamhill County, sitting on a deck of a farm b-n-b, watch the silent fireworks sparkling in zig-zag pattern along the Willamette Valley.

  11. annamadeit says:

    Thanks, Tina! You are the second person commenting about the silent fireworks. I’m totally intrigued! The fire risk would still wig me out a bit, though… How nice that you have such nice memories of Oregon! 🙂

  12. hb says:

    Not a fan of amateur fireworks–scares the pets into abject terror. They are mostly illegal in our area due to the fire danger but there are always a few sad people who have to have them. Kid nearby blew his own hand off. Free-dumb!

    I worked in Anaheim at one time, and we’d come out of work at close-down 9 pm. The parking lot had a view of the Disneyland fireworks. That was a fun send off for getting out of work on a summer night.

    Couch still there?

    • annamadeit says:

      Fires and blown off limbs are so sad and so unnecessary… Indeed better to leave it to the pros… The Disney fireworks are amazing – what a post work treat!!!

      The couch IS still there. I hope it finds a new home before the neighborhood cats start fighting (and spraying) all over it. For now, it seems to have escaped that fate. I go outside and lounge in it at night – it’s much cooler than the interior of our house. No matter such comforts – my kids just think I’m plain weird. Oh well – one day they will understand…

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