Monday, June 30, 2008

Cory and his friend Tom were over, and needed to do some work on Tom's car. He has a 1975 Lincoln Continental, with a gigantic 460 V-8, and he just loves it. He recently put a 4-barrel carb and new manifold on it, but that was too tall, so he had to cut a hole in the hood. Now he had a scoop to put on, so needed a bigger hole, which is where this photo comes in - David is using the cutting torch to blast a hole in the hood. The operation was a success, although they didn't finish until I was in bed so I didn't get to see the final product!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hot and sunny today! I watered the garden early, and got some flower pics. I'm examining the Feverfew - a self-seeding cheery little flower that has scattered itself all over my garden.
Another self-seeder is Borage - love the deep blue color, and the fuzzy stems and pods.
And the tri-color sage is such fun with it's nubby leaves, and it keeps it's leaves all year, adding color during the winter, too.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Today is my b-i-l Jonathan's birthday, and friend Mary Anne Radmacher's, as well. Mary Anne and her husband David are staying with Jonathan and Suze, so they celebrated together. I joined them for an exercise of naming their qualities. We took turns going around a circle, thinking of a word or phrase that described that person, and Suze wrote them each on their own card. They'll keep their cards in a box, and draw one every morning to reaffirm themselves. It was amazing to end up with over a hundred words, each true, but some unexpected. I was honored to be invited to join them.
FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008
We had a little scare today - Cory was taken to the emergency room with chest pains and numb arm. After 8 hours and several tests, heart problems were ruled out, and the likely suspect is esophageal inflammation, or heartburn. I had always heard that the symptoms were very like a heart attack, but the doctor explained why, and it makes sense. So he'll go to a regular doctor and follow up to be sure, but he'll also change his eating habits, which should help, too. While we were waiting for one of the tests, I left to get some dinner, and went down to Ebey's Landing Park.
We're finally enjoying summer weather, and the views were tremendous. Above, the sun is setting far to the north, casting a luminous glare along the bluffs.
Looking to the south, Mt. Rainier towers above the Cascade Range, which isn't even visible in this view. The buildings and lighthouse in the center are Fort Casey State Park.
Why, you may ask, didn't they put the marker on the site of the killing? Good question - I can only assume that it is in the middle of a farm field, so they kept the marker off to the side. It had been freshly unearthed - the roadside weeds were more than 10 feet tall, and someone had hacked the trail through them. I didn't know what the trail was for, so it was a fun surprise to find this marker.
But the birds enjoyed the weeds - this sparrow landed quite close to me as I stood there. It had a beak full of green wormy things, so was on it's way to feed young ones.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The TwinFlowers, Linnaea borealis, are blooming again, carpeting the forest floor. They like the open shade, under the tall trees where there is no undergrowth. Here they are growing on a mossy floor. I looked back at last year, remembering when I found them, and it was on June 10, so they are a bit late this year.
Mixed in among them are some Gaultheria, an unusual flower. It's one of the wintergreens. These buds are just about ready to pop open.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunny day!! Double Bluff Beach, at a very low tide. With the bluff in the background.
Mount Rainier in the backgroud, floating on it's bed of clouds. A random jogger at the beach.
Someone made a cute little house out of shells and sticks and stones.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You wander outside on a seemingly normal sunny morning, looking for a photo, and you never know what you'll see! This morning the sun was out early, and I found a yard full of snakes warming themselves - it's been a cool spring for them, too.
I saw 7 or 8, but I know there's many more than that hanging out in my gardens. Usually you just hear the faint "shhhsss" of the snake's passage through the grass as you walk by.
These are the harmless Garter Snakes - they have a bit of variety in their coloring, but seldom get more than 3 or 4 feet long. And they eat lots of pests!
MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2008
I continue to delight in the flowers in my front garden - it is at it's peak right now. It's usually a spring garden, but it has been so cool and rainy this year that everything is delayed, but when they do bloom, they last much longer than normal. Anyway, Coral Bells contrast nicely against the Lady's Mantle.
This is a deep blue annual - love the color!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Barb and I went on the Whidbey Island Garden Tour today.

Above is garden #1, Island Memories. I loved the teal color of the water contrasting with the koi and the canoe. They had music playing from speakers hidden in the gardens.

Garden #2, Serenity Gardens. They allowed us to stand on the deck of the house to see the view over the garden and out to Useless Bay. Mt. Rainier would be visible on a clear day, framed by the taller trees.
There was a very picturesque pool and fountain in the center.
Garden #3, the Jangaarden, sits atop a ridge, with expansive views across a rolling lawn toward Useless Bay. All we could think about was the amount of mowing involved! Lovely beds with Nepeta blooming profusely. They also had a wonderful koi pond, and some nice woodland trails.
At garden #4, RainShadow, Barb inspects one of many bamboo groves - this is the green Vivax variety, Phyllostachys vivax . There was also a golden Vivax, equally impressive.
The owner also had a lot of Japanese maples, and bonsai. I liked the Ginko grove! The day was not too sunny, and not too hot - just perfect for a garden tour.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Solstice!

Wow - the nestlings fledged today - seems like they just hatched a few days ago! This baby doesn't look nearly ready! Love the fluffy ear feathers.

Here it is, just hopping out of the nest, before it sat on the branch.
And the funny thing is, I thought there was something a little bit different about one of them, and once they were out where I could see them, it was obvious that a grackle laid her egg in this junco nest and has forced the junco parents to unknowingly raise her grackle baby. I guess we're lucky to only have one grackle, and that one of the junco babies survived. You can see how the grackle baby is much larger.
Mom and Dad feed the impostor - it's bigger than they are, too.
As I was driving past this field, a buck and doe were grazing unconcerned by the cars on the road. He did watch me carefully, and I'm sure that if I had gotten out of the car, he would have disappeared in a flash.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Junco babies eagerly awaiting dinner, but with me standing on a chair, I'm too close for Mom and Dad to venture in with their offerings. So I backed up a few feet, and that was all it took for them to muster up their courage and fly past me. Obviously, these babies (see the smaller one down on the left?) aren't starving!
Solstice Moon! This is a composite photo - ahhh, the digital age! - showing moonrise behind the trees, and some time later as it rose higher in the night sky. It was supposed to appear much larger than normal, but I couldn't see it until later, as it rose further to the south over a ridge.
And, today is Thursday Art Day! Amazingly, everyone made it - the past few weeks have been pretty spotty! From left: Audrey, Gretchen, Carol, Janet, Suze and Andy. Jamie came a little later, just in time for lunch.

Carol working on her latest quilt, and Gretchen's fabric collage quilt, using bits and pieces and fibers.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This hawk was disturbed from her nest, both by me stopping the car in the driveway, and David on the lawn mower. I can't quite decide if she is a Sharp-Shinned or Cooper's - I looked up the info, and will have to pay more attention next time I see her - then I'll know what identifying marks to look for! She sat in the top of the tree and scolded me, then
swooped down right at me! So quickly, in fact, that I barely got her in the photo! She's nesting very close, but I couldn't spot the nest today. This may call for some further investigation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The sun peaked through the clouds briefly, and I had been waiting for just such a chance to get some pics of this rhododendron bush along the driveway.
The blooms are a luscious candy pink, piled high on the ends of the branches.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I acquired a new piece of art - an Art Quilt by Diane Reardon. She hand dyes her fabric, and further embellishes it with wax, paint, embroidery and applique. I did some consulting with her and traded my time for her art.
I like the way the colors work with each other. Here's a close-up look at the machine embroidery and some of the layers of colors and wax.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We had a nice Father's Day Fish Fry, and Cory did his hair for us. He had done it last night for the concert, but after a few rounds in the mosh pit, and then sleeping on it, it needed to be done again. He had a good time at the concert - it started in the afternoon, and was outdoors, and the weather was perfect! It's beautiful again today, and the big guys are out in the boat for the last day of the Lind Cod season. But, never fear, crabbing season opens next week, so they'll be out there pretty regularly.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cory stopped by today - he was going to a concert tonight and wanted to sport a mohawk, so he got his dad to cut off the hair on the sides of his head. Above is the "before".
And this is the "after". The hair is long enough to fall over the sides and hide the shaved part. He's going to goop it all up and make it stand up in spikes. Maybe dye it green . . . .

Friday, June 13, 2008

Aahhh, more Ling Cod for the freezer. We'll be in good shape this winter, and eat as much as we can right now, while it's fresh. The guys went out and everyone got their one-fish limit - they got some big ones, too! You aren't allowed to keep anything longer than 40", and these beauties are just within a couple of inches of that. There's a couple of rock cod, too.
The Ling Cod don't have the distinct scales like most fish, but they have interesting coloration, and pretty eyes.