Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I found these hollyhocks growing in a little courtyard in a Langley shopping area - they're so tall you don't have to get down in the dirt to get in their faces! The petals are so papery thin, showing the translucence and the veins as they unfold toward the light!

Monday, July 30, 2007

It had been so dry, and then we had a week of rain, so the lawn is in general disrepair. The grass had died back, and is brown and crunchy, but the weeds are several inches tall, and flowering. Of course, we love the Queen Ann's Lace, and the daisies and wild mustard and hawkweed. But, it's looking like it's time to mow it all down, and let it grow again.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cloudy day at the beach, but still the boys wanted to go skim-boarding. By the time I got there, the tide was high, and there wasn't enough flat beach to board on, so they had built themselves a hut with a little fire inside to warm up.
I saw this old woody and little tear-drop trailer - just too cute!!
Here's the hut, with Double Bluff in the background.
They did quite an elaborate job, complete with decorations.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I went out to practice macro photography with the tripod. Once you start looking, possibilities are everywhere! This, again, is the scarlet runner bean plant, climbing up a support against the rusted wall. This shrub has these wonderful variegated leaves, and small white flowers.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Race Week in Oak Harbor. This is the last day, and I just happened by - all these sailboats are racing different races in Penn Cove. There are several different classes here, each with their own race. From shore, you can't tell which ones are going where, and it seems a miracle that they don't run into each other! You can just see the Olympic Mountains poking up through the clouds on the horizon at center.
A panorama - glorious day!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This poor, tattered web caught my eye when the sun glinted off the strands.

OK - so sometimes Buzz can look pretty silly!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Today is our 31st Anniversary, or 35, if you count the years we lived together before marriage. David didn't want to have his picture taken, but I'll get a nice one of us pretty soon. It has been a long time together, ups and downs, but still best friends. We had a nice dinner out at the Bush Point Restaurant, which is right on the water.
More of the Spirit Stones we drew while at our Retreat.
Robin watches while Cathi carefully hides the last letterbox of the Deception Pass series, #5. Below are the rubber stamps from the letterboxes we found, and the names of them. I had forgotten to bring a notebook, as this was my first time, so I stamped on the back of the pages of directions. I'll paste them into my notebook before I go find any more letterboxes. We ended up watching the sunset from the rocks very close to box #5!
This is the stamp that I carved from an eraser - it's the owl from the Spirit Stones. He stands for "seeing through deception", which seemed to fit the theme in more ways than one!
This is the "gnarly tree", close to box #4. It is an amazing testament to tenaciousness - it is said that it's several hundred years old, clinging to the dunes.
Here, the seagulls are having their morning bath in Cranberry Lake.

Karen, Cathi, Robin and Madelyn enjoy the sunset with the Deception Pass bridge in the background.
The moon over Whidbey Naval Air Station from the beach.
We collected rocks from the beach, and drew spirit animals on them. They helped hold down the note we left, just in case some other Bookwomen showed up.

TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2007
Our book club, the Book Women, go on a Retreat every summer, and this year we're going camping! We went to Deception Pass State Park. Below, you can see Karen, me, Robin and Madelyn in front of the bridge. Well, it's actually about 3/4 mile away, but you can still see it! We decided to go letterboxing, which is kind of like a treasure hunt. People hide a waterproof box with a notebook and a rubber stamp in it, and you carry your own notebook and rubber stamp (preferably hand-carved). You can find directions to all the letterboxes on the website, so you follow them to find the box. It's usually buried under leaves and branches or the forest litter. Then you get to stamp your stamp in the notebook, along with the date and any comments. You use their stamp in your notebook.

There is a series of five in the Park, and here they're lookingat the book for #2.
Everyone is searching for box #4, and the photo at the top is Madelyn proudly bearing her prize out for us to look into. It proved to be the hardest to find, except for #3, which we never did find. But the clues for it mentioned that it had been reported missing, so it wasn't our fault we couldn't find it!

Here we all are on a observation deck overlooking a large marshy area near Cranberry Lake. Cathi, Karen, Robin, Madelyn and me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm going on an overnight camping trip with my book club - it's our annual Retreat! For the potluck dinner David helped me make sushi. We don't use the raw fish - we cooked the salmon he caught on his fishing trip and used some of that. We also made some with all vegetables - the futamaki. And, we also made some with fruit - the two on the right, above, which we call fruitamaki.

I rolled them up for overnight, and I'll slice them tomorrow for dinner (and desert). Except that I'm also bringing stuff for s'mores! We're going to Deception Pass State Park, which is spectacular, with the beach, a lake, lots of trails, tide pools, rock cliffs, a beautiful bridge, woods, you name it - it's in this park. Looking forward to it!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's been another week, and boy, do these beans grow fast! It's fun to watch them.
This is a picture David took while he was on his fishing trip. It's the Makah Indians out in full regalia in their carved canoes. Although it's a spectacular sight, they only go out there to harass the white fishermen. He had the old camera, and couldn't get any closer. Motor boats have to stay 100 yards away from the canoes, and the canoes can go where ever they want. So they go out and scatter the fishermen away from their fishing spots. As you can imagine, tempers get high over these issues.
The canoes have tender boats that follow them around and keep the other boats away, and they have a large processing boat with them, as well. They are allowed to hunt whales from their canoes, but then they use the processor to haul them in and deal with them. It's supposed to be their ancestral rights to hunt whales, but I'm not sure that's quite how the ancestors did it. But this area is not where the whales are, so there doesn't seem to be a good reason for them to be out there. And it's certainly not a pleasant day - you can see the raindrops on the water, and the fog.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

David and Russ got home last night after 5 days camping and fishing at Seiku, on the Olympic Peninsula. Sadly, it rained and was foggy for 3 days, making it hard to get the boat out, and the fish weren't there yet, either! This was all they came back with - a nice silver, which David is filleting, and a little humpie. David stuffed it with lemons and baked it tonight for dinner - YUM!!
I've been reading books by Susan Wittig Albert, and found this wonderful quote in The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood, the third book in the collection of The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries.

She believed (or wanted to believe, which came to the same thing) that real fairies lived amongst the real creatures of the real forests and fields, and that even though she might not have been lucky enough to see them on her last visit to the garden or the woods, she was bound to see them the next time, or the next, or the next. If she believed, there was always hope.

Grown up at last and required to live all day long in the real world, it now seemed to Beatrix that imaginary fairies were of a great deal more use than real ones. And I think we must agree with her on that score.

It is undeniably true that the imagination is far more powerful than knowledge, and that it is much more important to believe in something than to know it! There is, after all, a limit to the things we can know (even if we are fortunate enough to be geniuses), but no limit whatsoever to the things we might imagine. And if we cannot imagine, we will never know what we have yet to learn, for imagination shows us what is possible before knowledge leads us to what is true.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What a fun box - what could it be? It's another wonderful surprise from my Photo Art Journals Yahoo group. This project was called "A-Photo-Bet", and the object was to find letters of the alphabet hidden in the world around us, and take photos. We didn't know how Catherine, who started the group and creates the books, was going to make them into a book, and this is her elegant solution.
We can continue to find letters and add them to our "book" as an on-going project. It's really fun to try and "see" letters - you'd be amazed at what pops out to your eye.
Here are some examples from the book - I'm looking forward to completing the alphabet eventually, and find numbers, too.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A "big sky" day today - it began rather cloudy and dull, but the wind picked up and began blowing clouds around. On the horizon at left, that boiling roil of clouds is masking the Olympic Mtns., as a front moves to the north. A quick flash at sunset, and then it was over.
I bought these beads in April, and have finally put together the earrings I planned. The large beads are stained glass - I think it's two pieces with a wrap of solder around them. They appealed to me.
Since Thursday Art Day is on hiatus for the summer, I went to Suze's studio, where Suze, Brenda and Leslie and I worked hard on beads and knitting.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rained most of the day - a solid, steady straight-down-pour. You could just hear the thirsty plants soaking it in. Round about 4:00 it let up, and the sky even cleared a little, with some blue peeking out. I went down into the woods to dry off some of the underbrush, with the idea of finding water drops on leaves. It was too dark in there, and I hadn't my tripod, so it wasn't until I came out into the lawn that I got some good photos of raindrops on the tall grasses. Although the tempurature was cool, it felt very humid and muggy, which caused my glasses to fog up, making it difficult to focus! We don't get the high humidity here very often, thankfully!
I turned the photo upside down, and zoomed in on the drops so you can see the reflections. The sky is the white (clouds), and the green trees below that, with sprays of dried grass arching across.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This little guy was on my window this morning - the light shines right through him. The sun sets so late, we don't usually have any outdoor lights on, so we don't see many moths. We found an Io Moth on the floor of the shop, but he was already dead. They can get pretty big - this one was medium-sized.

This is my white lavendar plant. It's planted near a tree, so it leans out toward the light.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Went over to Suze and Jonathan's for dinner - yesterday was their first anniversary. We ate out on the deck with this view - I just had to have a picture of it.
Continuing to try and capture the swallows in flight - I like this one, because the clouds are so interesting, the swallow creates a beautiful silhouette, and the trees ground and frame the photo.
We planted scarlet runner beans - this is one week after being planted, so you just know they're going to climb tall. And that's what we want to see!