Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday at Carol's again! Today Margaret and Gretchen were working on hooked rugs - they have so much fun working with the colors! They look for used wool clothing at garage sales and thrift stores, and that's part of the fun.

And Carol is piecing a triangle quilt with her hand-dyed fabrics - again, beautiful colors. And beautiful work.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Very hot today - mid 80's. I had to go to Coupeville, and it was very windy across the prairie. I've been having fun with getting down to grass level and looking up with the camera. And, I tried to catch the wind in the fields, moving across them like waves. It's not the greatest shot, but does show some movement.
The prairie here at Coupeville was natural, and was the first area to be settled by white folks. It's still being farmed today, although it's about the last area with large-scale farms left on the Island. This view is across the prairie to Ebey's Landing, which is below the level of the fields. You can see the Port Townsend-Keystone ferry making the crossing. The wind blows most of the time, and the trees show it's ravages.
And, it's the night of the full moon, so I dug out the tripod and tried some more shots. This is a longer exposure - I'm not sure why the moon has such a glow, but I'm assuming it's the lens on my camera. At least with the tripod I can try different exposures, so I'll keep at it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We're in for some beautiful weather for the next week, and today was great! Supposed to get close to 80, but not sure how warm it got. David took me to the landscaping job that he had been doing the sprinkler system on, and this is the view from the house, overlooking the ferry, and with Everett and the Cascade mountains in view. And what a view!!!

This is David and the homeowner adjusting a sprinkler head, and you can see their house and the view. And the last photo is the other side of their house - and the amazing rockery retaining walls that the landscaping crew built. Amazing!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

A sunny day playing in the meadow - the shasta daisies are scattered across it, and the tall grasses are blooming. I lie down and let the plants tower over me.
I visited the ponds - in the sun, the tadpoles gather at the surface where it is warm, but disappear in a flash at my movement. Down in the woods, the tannin-colored pond glows with shafts of sunlight, and reflects the ferns and cedar branches.
And it's been a while since Buzz has appeared here! Please, please, please throw my ball! I want to run through the meadow as fast as I can! Yes - that disgusting glob of gook is actually his tennis ball. It has been through rather a lot, as you can see!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I love showing both directions of a sunset. Looking east, there's a cool half-moon (or, as it's more commonly called - a Waxing Gibbous moon) peeking through the clouds, and the trees are awash with the setting sunlight. Turn around, and look to the west - squinting at the glare. OK, walk to the left and hide the sun behind the trees. It has been raining, but the clouds are starting to break up. Oddly enough, by the time the sun went down, they were all gone, and Venus is bright in the west.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The rhododendrons and azaleas are incredibly full this year - all the different colors and sizes. And, right now the wild ones are blooming along the highway and in the woods - pale pink, leggy cousins to our domesticated ones. This one is in my garden, and so lovely and intricate. The petals are almost translucent with the light behind them.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I am fascinated with this spider, which has been on the chive plant for several days now. So I did a little web research - which was very creepy! But I found out that it is a very common spider - a crab spider, also called a flower spider. It lives it's life in flowers, and waits for insects to wander perilously close, then, snab! It grabs them with it's long front legs, and proceeds to eat. It can change it's color to camouflage itself - hence the purple stripes. Most common is the white or yellow, but it can have stripes or blobs of any color.

Amy appears befuddled by the shadow - who is that other cat???

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday Art Day at Carol's again! Her lavendars and yellow iris are blooming, and she has some great color combinations in her yard. Lots of bees, too!

We did some more with the metal and wire again today - Gretchen found a brass cat face at the thrift store, and is using it to make a piece that will hang outside in her garden. I started another woven piece - maybe it's getting time to finish a few of them! I really enjoy working with the metals and wires - just need to follow through and complete them. More ideas than time, usually!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wow - I found this cool white spider doing unspeakable things to a bee in my pot of chives. It is almost pure white - very unusual.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Look closely -that's a clam squirting! It was such a lovely day, I couldn't resist stopping at the beach after running my errands. The tide was waaaay out, and there were clams and who knows what else squirting everywhere I looked! It was fun to try and catch the stream - it happens very quickly, and you can't tell where the next one will be. But I got lucky!

At the water's edge, all the little critters were scurrying around in the shallows. It was about 2-3 inches deep, and very clear. There were lots of teeny crabs of all different colors - look closely at the last photo -there are at least 9 crabs there - some blending perfectly with the sand. They investigated holes in the sand, and under shells and seaweed - very busy little guys. Little power struggles occured when two crabs met!

I had to approach slowly, so as not to alarm them, and I settled down to wait for them to return. As I was taking the photos, those pesky clams continued to squirt - I wondered why my backside suddenly felt wet!
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2007
My wisteria is finally blooming - more than a week behind others in the area. Usually it blooms before the leaves come out, but not this year. It may be the way I pruned it - I don't really know if I'm doing it the right way. In any event, it's pretty!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I had forgotten to post a photo of the book I was part of with the Yahoo group Photo Art Journals. The theme was "Shades of Black and White", and 23 members of the group signed up for this book. We each made 23 copies of our own photo, sent them to the Group Mom, who then bound them into books and sent one to each of us. It's a beautiful book of black and white photos, with a poem or quote on the back, along with the artist's name. We have another deadline coming up: "Windows on the World."
We went to an Eagle Scout Court of Honor today, for the son of one of David's friends, Sam. That's him on the left, ling cod fishing with David last year. He, and two others, recieved their Eagle Scout pins today - quite an accomplishment! It was a moving ceremony, with bigwigs from the Boy Scout council, and scout masters, and many other Eagle Scouts of all ages. They even recieved letters from the President and Al Gore. They had a great slide show of all three boys' lives.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

We're doing some spring cleaning - planning a garage sale in a few weeks. Phew!! I just had to get out into the fresh air for a while and let the dust settle. I found the blue huckleberries blooming - not very flashy, but quite sweet. The berries are like smaller, harder blueberries, and won't ripen until late in the fall.
I also love to take photos of the flowers in my entry garden as they come into bloom. I just love the candy-stripes on this cranesbill geranium, and it's pebbley leaves. They're soft and fuzzy, too. The original plant didn't make it, but it had self-started in several places in the garden, so I know they're happy.
I love the color of this one - can't think of the name right now, but it always makes me smile. I think it's a type of mullen - the nurseryman said it would be invasive, but it is very well behaved for me.

I read a report about happy people, and it stated that "happiness and an appreciation for the small stuff are related... Happy people enjoy simple things like a sunny day or lunch with friend... People who take note of the positive things in their lives feel more overall satisfaction, more connection with others, and greater optimism than those who focus on their burdens." They recommended that you should "consciously savor the moment - pause to appreciate the positive components, large and small, of your life." I think that is wonderful advice, and it's something that I have been trying to do with my photography. It felt good, and now I know why!

Friday, May 18, 2007

It was sunny and warm this morning, and the birds and flowers were out! I was taking pictures of one of the cranesbill geraniums, when I spotted this spider hatch. There were lots and lots of the teeny tiny critters everywhere, just about the size of a pin head. They're fun to watch - not so much fun to walk into! And it rained all afternoon, leaving me to ponder where they might go.
This barn swallow was out enjoying the sun, too, perched on top of one of the arches. It is one of those nesting in the shop, and carried on an extensive and quite loud one-sided conversation with me. It did allow me to get pretty close before it headed back to the nest.
Today is the 27th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St Helens. We'll always remember that day - we were fishing near Ellensburg. Of course we were aware of the imminent eruption as it had been big news for months, but you never really expect it. So when the sky grew dark with ash, we knew what it was, but didn't know what to expect next - giant bolders falling from the sky?
By the time we got back to our truck, it was so dark we couldn't see the lines painted on the road. We finally got back to town, and ended up stuck there for 2 days before they opened the roads for traffic.
We have since visited the park several times to see the changes. The photo shows the same view 2 years afterwards, and 27 years after. I flew to Ohio on the 19th, and the lower photo was taken on the 20th. I could see the little plume from the airplane as we went by. The crater still is active, building domes and venting steam and ash. Below is an update from the USGS website.

Current Volcanic- Alert Level WATCH ; Aviation Color Code ORANGE : Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of Mount St. Helens continues, accompanied by low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases, and minor production of ash. During such eruptions, changes in the level of activity can occur over days to months. The eruption could intensify suddenly or with little warning and produce explosions that cause hazardous conditions within several miles of the crater and farther downwind. Small lahars could suddenly descend the Toutle River if triggered by heavy rain or by interaction of hot rocks with snow and ice. These lahars pose a negligible hazard below the Sediment Retention Structure (SRS) but could pose a hazard along the river channel upstream.
Potential ash hazards: Wind forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coupled with eruption models, show that any ash clouds rising above the crater rim today would drift northeastward.
Potential ash hazards to aviation: Under current eruptive conditions, small, short-lived explosions may produce ash clouds that exceed 30,000 feet in altitude. Ash from such events can travel 100 miles or more downwind.
Recent observations: The 27th anniversary of the 1980 eruption finds clear views into the crater from Johnston Ridge Observatory. The mountain continues to rebuild itself with steady growth of the lava dome accompanied by occasional micro earthquakes and rockfalls.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday art day! We had a grand time making metal objects - it's so much fun to see how different everyone's pieces are. Clockwise from top left: Margaret, Jamie, Robin, Gretchen, mine and Carol's. Most are not quite finished, and we're going to do more next week.

We sure can collect lots of supplies and tools. But that's part of the fun - finding things to use in our art, and finding new uses for our tools. It's also what makes the group so wonderful - everyone contributes their stuff, and it's always different from your stuff! So then we all have lots and lots of stuff to work with.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I keep forgetting to post a photo of the metal project I did with my sister! I'm still not quite done - these are the covers for a book, and I have yet to do the pages. It is from a book by Mary Hettmansperger called Fabulous Woven Jewelry, and we had a great time. We used the techniques in the book for working with metal and wire, and I had a few of these chinese coins that I wanted to use in some way. It was fun to do - I'm going to play with these materials again tomorrow at Thursday art day - we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Went to Langley for lunch with Bonnie - we had a great time catching up! We ate at a restaurant above the Star Store, where they have an outdoor seating area. The weather was gorgeous, and we had a beautiful view of Saratoga Passage and the mountains. The food was unusual and very good, although a tad pricey. It's so hard to find time for my friends, unless I make a point of putting it on my calendar. I'm really glad when I do, and it inspires me to do it more often!

We walked down to the library to see the Bead Nuts display, which had many good pieces. It was a challenge - we all had the same beads, and had to use them all, but could use any additional materials. There was a lot of variety, and some beautiful work!

A huge wisteria in full bloom reached out over the sidewalk. The smell was heavenly as we walked under it, and we just had to take some pictures.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Madrona trees are sprouting their new leaves, too. They're considered evergreen, but they do tend to drop a lot of leaves at one time. The bark is very different - smooth and greenish under the rough, peeling reddish layer. They'll have a bloom later, which then drips sticky sap, so they aren't the friendliest of trees. But they're unusal and beautiful from a distance!