Friday, August 31, 2007

Another strange summer day - nice in the morning, but rain in the afternoon, and quite cool! Sitting in the car with the raindrops on the windshield, I focused on the drops, with the shape of the shop in the background. You can also see the paint spots on the windshield - I couldn't see them with my eyes, but could hear the wipers moving over them, and the close-up lens of the camera shows them all too clearly. I'll wait until we're ALL done painting before I figure out how to remove them.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

These snakes were investigating a trash bag that was left on the ground, and, below, at first they were all lined up with their heads in the bag, twining around each other. One of them is peeking out at me, then they suddenly all crawled under the bag, which now was twitching and moving, looking very creepy. I asked David to slowly lift it off, and got the photo above, just before they streaked off in every direction. Strange snake day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Aahhhh, one of those perfect summer days. I love the bright chartruse of the hops vines against the blue of the sky. The vines are producing hops - lots and lots! They are actually the flowers, and after they've dried on the vine, that's what is harvested for the hops.
I had to meet someone at the ferry dock, and it was so pretty with the water reflecting the blue of the sky, and Mount Baker looming over Camano Island.

This brass sculpture is in the new park at the ferry dock, and as I was sitting on a bench, I saw the mountain between the figures and thought - Aha! a photo op!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The lunar eclipse was to occur on the 28th, and I was thinking of the evening of the 28th, but, no, it was the early morning (very early)! Luckily it was mentioned on the evening news, so I woke up around 2:15 and watched for about an hour, trying to photograph. I didn't have much luck during the partial beginning phase, but did get a good one of the (almost) totality. I didn't wait much longer, so didn't see the partial ending phase. It was in totality for almost an hour, and the partial phases also took about an hour.

Monday, August 27, 2007

You may remember that I have been trying to take moon shots, and I finally did some research and found out all the things I was doing wrong. Now I actually have something that looks like the moon! And what a glorious moon it is. Tomorrow is the full, and it's also a full lunar eclipse. I may stay up late and try for some shots of that, too. It begins around 1:30 am here, and lasts for 3 hours or so. Here's a link to some info:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Seafood tonight - David is making fish stew, or cioppano. We have clams (storebought) and two-spot prawns that David caught this spring.
And salmon caught on the beach today, and in the tubs behind it, on the left, crab caught last week and on the right, shrimp (storebought). Not pictured is the ling cod, also caught last spring. Should be very yummy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Today was Basket Day for the Northwest Basketweavers Guild. My sister-in-law Suze came with me, and we took a gourd class, learning how to carve them and paint them. We still have to decorate them - that's the hard part, trying to decide what to do next! But it was fun, and something I had wanted to learn for a long time. Turns out it's not that hard after all! Of course, I need another craft like I need a hole in my head!

Suze with her new I-phone taking photos of her (red) and my (blue) gourds.

Dede sports her mask, making sure it will be handy when she needs it. Sally's in the background drawing her design.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The moon is about 3/4 full, hiding behind the clouds.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2007Today we hiked up the road in the other direction, still not finding many berries. We stayed close to camp, while Ginnie went back to the lake and picked her way around it. She found a fair amount of berries, then Sue and I went up to look for her. The sun was out, and the dragonflies were very active.
Up the road from camp, looking back toward the south, we could see our campsite, and also the clearing at the end of the road where we took photos yesterday. The camp is a white blob just right of center, and the road end is behind the middle clump of trees.

Tried some fire shots - it worked amazingly well!
In camp the next morning - you can see our wonderful tarp job! It worked quite well, thank you!
The Noble Fir cones sat upright on the branches - at first glance you thought they might be birds!
After breakfast, we walked up to the end of the forest service road. It ended on a knob with a panoramic view - Sue and Ginnie are taking it in.
To the south we could see a long waterfall - couldn't quite figure out if it has a name or not.
To the north, we could see the road we came up on, and just below it, in the center of the photo, you can just make out a white blob which is our tent. Our campsite is on a knob, too, which must have been a staging area for the loggers. It juts out into the valley, and has views on three sides.
Then we drove further up another road to the top of Mt. Sobieski, where we picked black huckleberries. We were early this time - not too many were ripe yet, and someone else had been there picking before us. But we got a fair amount, and the sun did come out occasionally. Sue is right on the edge of an almost vertical hillside - why do the biggest berries grow just out of reach?
At the very top of the mountain is a tower, disappearing into the mist.
On the way back down, we stopped at a couple of places to see if there were any more berries (not many!), and found this area deep in the woods, where the winter storms had knocked down a bunch of huge fir trees. They were lying on top of each other like pick-up sticks. And just in that one area. Rather odd.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Started our camping trip today - Sue and I met at Ginnie's, and we traveled out Hwy 2 past Skykomish, then headed up the Foss River Valley and up the side of the ridge to Evans Lake. We camp at the start of the lake trail, which is about 1/2 mile or so through the woods. It's such a pretty lake,
and Prince (formerly known as . . .) just couldn't wait to jump in and chase sticks. He has long, thick fur, and got it soaked through. He was pretty cold later that evening, but after we put him in the car for the night, he was fine.
Of course, it rained most of the day, but stopped long enough for us to hike to the lake and do some bushwhacking. The huckleberry leaves held the raindrops.
We found a yellow cedar log that had been blasted (lightening or wind?) out of the top of the tree, and were able to peel the bark, which was unusual this time of year. Ginnie and Sue salvaged as much as they could, and later we peeled and cleaned it around our campfire.
Here's our little camp, complete with tarp. We even built the fire under the cover, as it started raining pretty hard while we were preparing dinner. Finally it stopped, tho, and we did see some stars after it got dark. Still mostly cloudy and foggy, and couldn't really see the mountain views around us.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The garter snakes come out to find the sun and warm themselves, and there were several out today. I chased a couple around, but couldn't get a good shot. Then, suddenly there was one right at my feet, and it wasn't trying to get away from me like the others. I was able to take it's picture. But it was acting strangely, thrusting it's head around this way and that. What's going on? Oh - could it be that the giant is standing on it's poor little tail? I guess I'm really torturing the wildlife now!
And then, after I lifted my foot off it's tail, I turned around and saw this discarded skin just lying in the grass. I love the patterns in the skin, and enjoy collecting them when I find them a little newer than this one.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm getting some fun close-ups - this is one of the scarlet runner bean blossoms, after the rain.

We went to the Bush Point Restaurant tonight with Woody, and Suze and Jonathan joined us. It looked like it would be a spectacular sunset, but after this view of the kayaker crossing the sun's path, the sun just settled into the clouds and fizzled out. We had a great time, anyway.

And here is Woody and David.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Our friend Woody from Florida is visiting us, and he and David have been crabbing, fishing, and looking for squid off the dock at night. They're having a blast. He is originally from Wisconsin, and is a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers, being personally acquainted with some of the players, and the famous quarterback, Bret Favre. As luck would have it, our team, the Seahawks, played a pre-season game against the Packers, so of course we had to watch it on TV. Sadly, the Seahawks got pounded, the score was something like 13-48, and it was just sad to watch. But Woody had a great time!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Yesterday I took photos of the sunset, and today I took some of the sunrise. Actually, it was a while past sunrise, but it was still behind the trees in places, so it was interesting to walk around (in my bathrobe and slippers) and see where the sun peeked through the trees. It was a beautiful, mild morning, with a light breeze, which turned a bit gusty during the day, only to die down later in the afternoon. The swallows were out there with me, catching their breakfast.

The sun came through this plastic wall, casting shadows and creating colors.

The clouds were so unusual and beautiful, moving swiftly through the morning.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The last vestige of the sun, quietly lighting the clouds from below. It was cloudy most of the day, but cleared up a bit toward evening. Not a colorful sunset.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This is the second batch of barn swallow babies for this nest built on top of the fluourescent light fixture in David's shop. They're ready to fledge, but still dependant upon Mom to feed them. There are at least 8 nests in there, and some are already starting on the third family. At this stage, they often fall out of the nests, and flop around on the floor until they learn to fly. At least our one remaining cat hasn't figured it out yet, so the babies are safe enough.
Here they're waiting for Mom or Dad - and make it snappy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I had fun torturing the wildlife today! As it gets closer to fall, the spiders have started making more webs in the garden and woods (you have to wave a stick around in front of you as you walk down the path!). But in order for them to show up in photos, they need to be wet. It's been too dry for dew in the mornings, so I get out the hose and mist them, causing the poor little spiders to rush around their webs to see what's going on! These are little guys - the big garden spiders will be around in a few more weeks.
The scarlet runner beans are getting ready to start blooming - these fat buds are just ready to burst!
I love seeing the light come through the leaves of the bean plants, showing all the veins.
Our swallows have been very busy this year - the second hatch is fledging, and some couples are getting ready to lay again! But with all the babies out and flying around, we sure have a great flock. In the early morning, they like to warm their toes on our steel roof, chattering to each other.

Monday, August 13, 2007

David had a commision to build a rectangular firepit for a fellow in Maryland, but it had to be made so that it could come apart for shipping, so it took some noodling! But here it is, and it's a beauty!
And here it is all apart, ready to be packed up and shipped out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Well, the days are noticably shorter, and the sunsets are moving back toward the south . . . but we had a beautiful day today, although not as warm as normal in August. Hopefully the next few weeks will be a bit more normal summer weather. This weekend is the quiet before the storm - we'll be having visitors and taking some short trips, so busy!