Zen Mountain is located in the Oregon Cascade Mountain range . As a matter of fact ; We are the Eastern Edge with a gorge at our feet. You can look for it on a map but you can’t find it that way. There are some city folk that will point it out and many more whose eyes will will just glaze over.
The name started as just a grin when a friend used the phrase ” Let’s just head up to Zen’s mountain to see what he is up to” ..”Zen” being a nickname I went by in the day. The name stuck, spread and is now simply referred to as Zen Mountain.
Zen it’s self has less than a dozen families running around the summit .This is the second ” you can’t get there from here. ” place I have lived , I have been up here way over a quarter of a century now . Zen is ever changing with new little obstacles to toss at us , not the least of which being an average wind of 30-40 mph and prolonged winds reaching above 75 mph that can last for hours or days.
As you sit in our front room , you watch eagles, hawks, falcon , ravens ,crows and carrion birds fly in front of or below you .
From the porch it is not uncommon to have coyotes , deer and wild turkey in the yard or elk , bear , bobcat or cougar lurking about the edges of our property . On occasion you even get to see the wolf pass through . Most “families” from flocks to herds and packs have been with us for generations . There are always those that feel like our own family whether it is ” Stewy” the Buck or “Limpy” the Alpha Coyote. ” Dumbear” a somewhat frazzled black bear that has turned into a Monster sized Boar . “Quail Boy” who set up an apartment in a juniper through one of our worst winter storms ever up here or the Patriarch of Zen ” Hummie” our male Anna who between him and his Mrs have raised many young . His distinctive attitude makes him easy to pick out of a crowd . The little guy only leaves in the worst winter storms and comes back to check on us if the weather breaks , only to head back down into the valley just long enough for the storm to subside . Each morning when he hears the storm door open , he’ll fly in , in the predawn, to visit with Ma and I until the three of us head off for other tasks. If there is one of the Zen denizens that makes ” Zen Mountain” : ” Zen” it would be ” Hummie”. My plan is to one of these days actually attempt to put together a story book on the little guy and hope to get it published. It seems that all of the characters up here , he is the most popular with readers as well…. How can you not love the smallest bird that has no fear of Dumbear or Wolffie sending them off on their merry way if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. He also has no problem chewing me out if one of his feeders gets low or gets bugs in it , pulling a Lassie’s ; “ Timmy has fallen in the well and can’t get out. ”
We have a deer path of a road leading to another primitive road , which , in turn , leads to another , and is actually the paved back road that you follow down to a town of 400…eventually.
Summer spells drought . Our soil is either clay or rock , any thing we add to that , the wind carries off if we don’t keep it moist . Between the two basic problems there , as well as short growing seasons , we keep only a small garden though it keeps us going during the growing months as well as canning pasta sauces, apple goodies , drying herbs and peppers, freezing other veggies and fruits.
So, with all of that in mind , I sit here at my comp , on Sundays , and write my stories and ” isms” with a slightly different view. Sometimes , you just have to un-focus your eye to see what is right in front of you.
I hope you stop by off and on and see what is new on Zen Mountain
and with that ,
Take a deep breath , relax for a moment,take a look around and have a jolly day ,