I discovered the view of Mirror Pond long before My wife, Dr. Debbie Putnam and I ever moved to Bend, Oregon.  I remember the moment well.  It was 20 years ago and I was surfing the internet, which at the time was a collection of long strings and dixie cups!  I was looking for a new hometown.  Friends, Max ands Chris Reitz recommended we investigate Bend, Oregon.  A slow search led me to the city of Bend’s website and the view of Mirror Pond, and Drake Park with Middle Sister and North Sister in the background.  I was smitten. Below is recent photo that I captured of Mirror Pond at sunrise.  Bend’s signature view, with Drake Park, Mirror Pond, Middle and North Sisters, fall color, the residential area surrounding the park and beautiful sunrise color, all in the heart of Downtown Bend.

Bend Oregon Mirror Pond

Bend, Oregon Mirror Pond

Mirror Pond and Drake Park are beautiful any time of year but Autumn is my favorite.  It is amazing to have one of the west’s great rivers( Mirror Pond is formed by the Deschutes River being dammed up) glaciated volcanoes, footbridges, old growth trees all visible from the middle of Bend’s urban core.  Astonishing!  Years ago, when I had just started my professional photography career, the first place I displayed my work was the now defunct Mirror Pond Gallery which was operated by Arts Central. The former Mirror Pond Gallery was housed in the Goodwillie-Allen Rademacher House  that is located about 50 feet from where I captured the photograph of Mirror Pond you see above.  I fondly recall the sense of legitimacy I felt when I sold my very first fine art photograph at the Mirror Pond Gallery.  The gallery was formative in my photography career and I was thrilled to be part of it.  The beautiful photo you see above can be purchased here, Mirror Pond, Bend Oregon

Goodwillie-Allen-Rademacher House

The Goodwillie-Allen-Rademacher house was constructed in 1904 by Arthur L. Goodwillie who would become the city of Bend’s first mayor.  It is one of the oldest Craftsman-bungalow style homes in the state of Oregon.  Goodwillie lived in the house until 1908, when Herbert E. Allen, an executive with the Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company occupied the home.  Dr. Clyde J. Rademacher, founder of Bend Memorial Clinic resided in the house from 1937-1983.  The house was nearly demolished in the early 1990’s but with great civic effort, it was saved, moved 50 feet to the south, to it’s current location and eventually preserved.  In 2007, the Goodwill-Allen-Rademacher house was added to the National Register of Historic places.

Crow's Feet Commons

Crow’s Feet Commons

Mirror Pond, Then and Now

After preservation, the Goodwill-Allen-Rademacher House(Goodwillie House) was utilized as the Mirror Pond Gallery and operated by Arts Central of Bend.  Although esteemed, the gallery suffered tax problems and social issues.  I had repeated experiences where my family felt intimidated by unseemly characters who frequently loitered around the gallery and intimidated its staff.  The Gallery closed in 2008 and has thankfully been re-incarnated as Crow’s Feet Commons.  Located at 875 NW Brooks Street, Crow’s Feet is a cafe and community gathering spot.  Owned by David Marchi, Crow’s Feet Commons serves coffee and a wide variety of craft beer,( plenty of non- alcoholic beverages as well) and operates as a bike and ski shop.  It is a conglomeration of what many Bend residents are passionate about.  The Staff at Crow’s feet is personable and accommodating and they have done an amazing job of cleaning up the the adjacent plaza and making it a beautiful, safe, community gathering spot.  The Goodwillie House deserves a tennant like Crow’s Feet Commons and the residents of Bend deserve the Mirror Pond Plaza to be the safe and beautiful place it has become since the foundation of Crow’s Feet. In addition to the civilized amenities available at Crow’s Feet commons and Mirror Pond Plaza, there are natural ones as well.  For an urban corridor, Mirror Pond is laden with wildlife.  Canada Geese, and mallards are almost always visible and on occasion, visitors with a trained eye can spot bald eagles, osprey and even River Otters!

Bend Oregon-River-Otter. Mirror Pond

Bend Oregon-River-Otter. Mirror Pond

I captured the above image of a river otter with a recently caught fish on the same autumn morning that I captured the lead image of Bend’s Mirror Pond.

Crow’s Feet Commons photography exhibit

I recently hung some of my fine art landscape photography at Crow’s Feet Commons( thanks to David and the staff for the wall space) and I couldn’t be happier.  The Goodwillie House has wonderful character, Crow’s Feet Commons is about 3 blocks from my home, the lighting is good and the view of Mirror Pond and the Oregon Cascades from the adjacent Plaza are sublime.  I am thrilled to have my work at Crow’s Feet which has quickly become a social hub for the city of Bend.  Please Visit the Crow’s Feet Commons website for more information about the upcoming events they will be hosting and… better yet, stop in, order a tasty beverage, enjoy my landscape photographs and soak in the view of Mirror Pond from Bend’s best gathering spot.  I plan to periodically rotate the work I have hanging at Crow’s Feet but below are a couple of the landscape photographs I currently have hanging there.

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area

Oregon’s Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area

“Deschutes River in Autumn”

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wondrous flow patterns enhance the autumn beauty of the Deschutes River, near Bend, Oregon

“Sparks Lake Sunrise”

sparks lake, oregon lake,landscape photo,bend oregon,central,fine art photography

Sparks Lake Sunrise, near Bend, Oregon.

Oneonta Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Oneonta Falls

Oneonta Falls, located in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge

Tamolitch Pool.

tamolitch pool,blue pool,mckenzie river, oregon water

The amazing Tamolitch Pool( aka, the Blue Pool) on Oregon’s McKenzie River

My Landscape photography looks beautiful at Crows Feet, which is a special place.  Please stop by there frequently and tell them I sent you!

Thanks for Visiting,

Mike Putnam