Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wisteria is blooming, with a soft, gentle scent against the blue sky. It's growing under the porch, but the parts that bloom are the branches that reach past the overhang and climb out into the sun.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Forest treasures .... a feather floating light as air, barely touching the surface of the water ... sunlight reflecting on the still surface ... the bright green of the fallen willow leaf ...
a bracken fungus adhered to a rotting tree trunk ... brilliant orange contrasting with creamy white underneath ...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The guys went out fishing again today - the tides are good for the next couple of days, then they'll be at the wrong times for more than a week. So they need to get out there when they can. And, David got a huge ling cod - just an inch under the size limit allowed! It weighed 18 1/2 pounds, but as you can see, there's a lot of head on this fish! Still, we'll get plenty of meat, and it's the best!
Today was Thursday Art day, and Carol was finishing a new quilt that she made for an auction. Some of the fabrics were provided, and she added some from her stash, too. It came out really well, and she's very happy with it - maybe she'll start a circles series.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

These amazing hues and delicate fin belong to a salt water perch. The guys finally got to take the boat out, and they did pretty well, catching a black cod, ling cod, perch and rock cod. All are excellent eating, and dinner will be wonderful tonight!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Finally feeling a bit more like summer - not all that warm, but at least it's not cold. The grasses at the edge of the field have matured, sending their seed heads towards the sun.

Monday, May 26, 2008

It rained most of the day - below is early in the morning, when the sun peaked out from behind the clouds while the rains came steadily down. By late afternoon it had finally stopped, allowing me a damp ramble in the woods. Being several days since I'd been down there, I found lots of wildflowers and shrubs blooming, and the bees happily busy.
A bee on the sticky blooms of the salal plant.
Fern fronds unfurling.
False lily-of-the-valley on the banks of the pond.
Spring beauty, rampant in a small clearing.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Another glorious day! And the weather forecast was for cloudy and rainy - it's not often that the weather is better than the forecast! Yay! I'm working on another Photo Art Journal - this one is about, yes, you guessed it, Bloom! I wanted to try some unusual views of flowers, and the sun played right into my hands today. (Actually, we had a short shower early in the morning, and you can still see raindrops on the blooms.)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

View from the ferry at dock. The sun is shining, a juvenile seagull rests on the piling in front of the port of Everett, where the pulp mills are working hard and exhausting a fragrant cloud. Thank goodness it's going up, not coming our way!

I had to go to Bellevue to have a car serviced, and the day turned out quite nice, and pretty warm. I rode with the sunroof open, and when I got to the ferry, it was backed up the hill, so I had some time to kill sitting in the line. The view across the water shows Whidbey Island.

Friday, May 23, 2008

This little bird is back - or rather, she is always around. Here she's sitting on the climbing hydrangea that grows under my porch.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Art Day! Gretchen found a lovely old wool beret, but it had moth holes in it. So she's adding felt flowers to cover the holes. She has a quite large needle case.

Audrey is making fun little stuffed monsters with button eyes and fancy fiber hair, while Jamie is painting a commission for a dog lover.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our "Shades of White" book came - another wonderful collaborative piece of artwork with the Yahoo group Photo Art Journals. Catherine made the covers with a plaster technique she just learned - they're very tactile and fun, with the gauze hanging out all around.
On the right is one of the photo pages I sent in, and below, on the left is the back of that page.
We didn't know the binding was going to be on the top for this book, so you get to turn the book around to read the back of the pages, which makes it an interactive experience. I just love these projects - it is so interesting to see how others interpret the theme, and what quotes or writings they add to the backs of their pages.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

All the flowers and bushes are blooming madly now - it seems like every day there is another plant in bloom, and each one more lovely than the last. And so lush this year! Our rhododendrons are just starting (we're always later than everyone else) and the bushes are loaded with buds eagerly drinking in the rain that we're having, now that our nice warm sunny weather has headed east.
This is my little "tch tch tch" bird! A western junco, I think she's nesting in one of the garden shrubs. She's always right there "tch tch tch"-ing at me. Well, not even at me - she just does it all the time, flitting around from tree to bush. Hopefully she'll get settled in soon.
Visited a job site today - they've got the walls up, and starting on the floor above. I just love seeing the fantastic views through the future window - this one is aimed straight up Holmes Harbor. Couldn't be better!

Monday, May 19, 2008

My flame azalea is stunning this year! The peachy-orange blossoms are tinged with yellow, and
the bush is full of blooms. From a distance, you can't miss it - it just glows.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The apple trees are blooming - the faintest blush of pink on each petal. And the heavenly scent! Oh, my....
The old apple tree that was here when we moved onto the property is completely covered in blossoms this year. There wasn't much last year - this is so beautiful! But it probably means way too many small and deformed apples, way too high up into the tree to pick!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

As spring progresses, the tulips slowly drop their petals, channeling energy back into their bulbs buried beneath the earth, already preparing for the bloom next spring.
Petals floating in the birdbath.
Another hot sunny day - the high pressure area has cleared the sky, creating the deep, deep blue. With it has come wind - bright gusts and gentle breezes, helping to offset the heat of the day. The atmosphere holds enough moisture to really show off the jet contrail, and the swallows are everywhere, joyously snatching all those newly-hatched flying insects.

Friday, May 16, 2008

In keeping with the continuing bizarre weather patterns across our country (and indeed the world), today is predicted to break the high temperature record. As it is only a month until the summer solstice, the sun rose way before I did, so by the time I had my shower, it had warmed the spring air. Now, a word of warning, dear gentle readers - don't allow your imaginations to run wild when you read about what I did next! I decided to savour this beautiful morning au naturale. Greeting the welcoming sun's light, it felt good to say good-bye to our long, cold spring. All my senses rejoiced - I felt the warmth on my skin, and the gentle breeze playing over me. I saw the brilliant blue of the sky, the greens of grass and leaves, the pale pinks of the apple blossoms. I smelled the sweet scent of the cut grass, and the freshness of the dew. I heard the swallows chatting as they swooped and scooped their breakfast, a myriad of other birds noisily beginning their day, the occasional buzzing as a bee bumbled by. I know it will soon be much hotter than I like, but I'll remember my morning.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The weather is building toward a record high heat tomorrow, and was warm and sunny this afternoon, after a cloudy morning. The flame azalea is blooming - such a gorgeous color.
And the swallows are everywhere, chattering and swooping and in general carrying-on. They perch in pairs - this pair is on the gutter of our porch roof, enjoying some of the sun, before they start that nest- and family- building.

At least, that's what I think they're doing! This pair got all tangled up and fell to the ground, and flapped around there for a while before finally flying away. Amy couldn't figure out what to do - she went over to them and watched avidly, but didn't make her move until too late.

So she's a little miffed now, but resigned to relax in the sun.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On my way to my monthly Guild meeting, the ferry ride was quietly surrounded by a fog that settled low over the water. It was eerie, because the fog was only there - once you drove up the hill from the ferry landing, it was clear.
And by the time I got to the meeting in Shoreline, the day was getting warmer and warmer. The garden at the museum where we meet is spectacular at this time of year - the color combinations are awesome, as evidenced by this grouping of tulips and huerchera.

At the meeting, Melinda West gave a talk about her background and projects. She is very involved with teaching children about nature - "Bird Nests and Backyard Baskets - Weaving Lessons from the Earth with Children" is the name of her talk. She is a fantastic artist, working with natural and recycled materials, and as you can see in the photo, she has developed a lot of fun projects for children of all ages to experience natural basket weaving. She feels that "basket weaving engages all the senses, with textures, rhythm of patterns, gentle earth tones, and the fragrance of materials once alive and growing. It is gratifying to know that the life of the plants I use, and some of the stories they hold, can continue to live in my basketry and in my students."

She also brought with her one of the Guild's founding members, Ed Carriere, an elder of the Suquamish Tribe. They both live on the Olympic Peninsula, so traveled here together. He is her, as well as many others', mentor, and still practices many First People's traditional methods of harvesting and working with cedar and other natural materials. He's wearing a cedar headband in this photo with Karen Samdahl.