Monday, May 31, 2010

SUNDAY, MAY 30, 2010
Rain all day, and by evening I finally had to get out in the woods anyway. It was very wet, everything was dripping, and light rain. At the edge of the swamp, handheld in low light, drops in the water slowly spread out.

In the tannin-colored pond, with the flash, more rain drops.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Raining again today: fun with the foxglove buds. Above, the reflections show the forklift in the driveway. Below, if you look close, you can see more of the foxglove buds and stalks. Don't forget that you can click on the photos to see the full-sized version.
FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010
OK - you know me by now - if there's rain, I'll shoot raindrop photos! Strange brown Iris, above, and bud below:

Vine maple leaves and seeds.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Rain Garden at Freeland Park is doing it's job. It was created to filter the runoff water from the roads and parking lot; there is a lot of fill under the plants that will absorb all the nasty stuff, so clean water drains into the earth. The garden is dry most of the time, but we've been having lots of rain, so it has filled up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A strange day in Holmes Harbor - the red bloom appeared. It is usually associated with warm weather, so I'm not sure why it has occurred, since it's pretty cold and wet this week.
Here you can see the lowering clouds above the trees, and rain dimpling the water. The crows were gathering. . .

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No photo today - we went to the Hospital for an appointment with the Speech and Swallowing therapist. She was very pleased with David's progress in both areas, and gave him some exercises for his tongue and mouth, and instructions to practice enunciating the sounds of the alphabet. She also encouraged him to continue experimenting with different foods to see what he can chew and swallow, which was great news. We were so excited, we found a buffet-style restaurant where he could get small amounts of all kinds of food, and had a great time experimenting. He has been having a hard time thinking of enough foods to have variety in his menu, so this was wonderful. We had a lot of fun, and ate way too much!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My strange brown Iris bud opened up today - the petals shine with an unearthly iridescence.
It has several more buds on the stalk, but the other stalks don't have any buds on them. At least the deer didn't eat it this year!
Talk about unearthly - a close-up of the inside of the flower looks like a fiery monster!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No new photos today - I still have some I want to share from yesterday at the Penn Cove Water Festival. Above, the sun was surrounded by a sun-dog, caused, of course, by water! Below, the start of the 11-woman canoe race.

One of the women's canoes, and another below.

One of the artists, Russell Morton, was working on an incredible beaded tapestry which is over 10 feet long, depicting and titled "Four Seasons of Water", or 4H2O. He estimates about 10 years, and he is about halfway along. The finished piece will be mounted on a drum 5' tall, and 5' in diameter - a small model can be seen on the tapestry. It is entirely created with tiny seed beads sewn onto a heavy cotton fabric. His website is

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Coupeville had it's annual Penn Cove Water Festival today, and we went to see the dancers and canoe races, as well as several booths with Native American crafts and art. It was a great day, and the Tsimshian Haayuuk Dancers put on a wonderful performance; here is their description of the dances:
"Each dance reflects a Tsimshiam interpretation of common themes such as fishing, hunting, first contact with non-Indians, family history and our relationship with the spirit world. Unique highlights of the group are:
* Theatrical and choreographed dances
* The use of wood box drums unique to the Tsimshian tribe
* Handmade dance regalia consisting of button robes, masks, and headpieces."

Of course, I loved seeing their hats woven from Red Cedar bark. The carved wooden masks were incredible: some were inlaid with mother-of-pearl from shells. Above and below are dancers representing the Eagle Clan.
The Tsimshian Tribe is from northern British Columbia along the coast north to Alaska, but many of the members live in the Seattle area now.
The little boy is only 2 years old, but loved being on the stage with his family, and would sometimes drum or dance along. He was adorable!

Friday, May 21, 2010

More iris blooming - these are my favorites, because I brought them from my mother's garden in Ohio.
I love the dusty rose color of this mallow, and the fuzzy pistols & stamens. Not quite sure which is which, but the fluorescent orange and green are very cool.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I have one truly bizarre iris in my garden - it will bloom a peculiar brown color. But the bud is very striking - we'll see if the deer will leave it alone long enough to open up!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rain today! Lots of it. These are dripping off of the metal roof of our shed.

And a caterpillar clings to the wisteria branch under the eaves to keep dry.
30 years ago today, Mt St Helens erupted. We visited there in 2002, and this is the view from Johnston Ridge visitor center. Also, check out my blog entry from last year, showing photos of the ash in Eastern Washington, where we were fishing when it erupted.
Mom, Dad and me on a trail.
Below is the view from the trail, which shows where the mudflow went down the valley. The growing areas were blasted by the hot wind and ash, and are coming back strong, but the mudflow was so deep, it will take a lot longer!
Dad, Mom, Uncle Gary and Barb - we all went down there in my little motorhome!
Dad and Mom on the trail.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My front garden is beginning to be full of blooms - one of my favorites is this sweet blue Veronica.
And I had better luck with the bee today, busy on the cranesbill geraniums.
Another sweet little bloom on one of my heucheras.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lots of wildlife when you look closely: a couple of spider balls hatched, although the one below seemed reluctant to disperse. The larger one above, when I gently blew on it, sent tiny spiders in all directions: then they hurried back to the main group. Maybe tomorrow they'll venture off on their own.
The bees were busy in the thyme - so busy I had a hard time catching one of them! Nearby, one of our native Northwestern Alligator lizards sunned on the block wall. There were a couple scooting for cover when I approached, but this one is a neonate, meaning recently born, and was slow enough that I was able to get a shot of it. These lizards bear live young, and get to about 4" long. Cory and Cody used to capture them every summer and keep them in tanks. They're usually pretty sluggish, so the boys would wear them on their shoulders. Until they escaped, which was inevitable! The cats would try to get them, but their tales are designed to come off when they're stressed, so the cats would end up with a wiggling tale, and I still find dried up lizard bodies behind furniture!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I planted 5 different cherry tomatoes in my pots yesterday. We'll see which ones we like best, if they even ripen. I haven't had much luck with them, and this year, without a dog or cat, will have to watch out for the deer and rabbits. Sigh . . . above are some furry little buds getting ready to blossom.
Here are some of the pots of tomatoes, along with the chives and thyme, with sage behind it.
Couldn't pass up a chive bloom!

Friday, May 14, 2010

 One of the rhododendrons growing near the driveway, brilliant in the sun! Glorious day. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

David came home from hospital today - the  sun is shining, the feeding tube is out of his nose and throat - he can eat!!! And breath better, and talk better. Every little bit helps, and he is thrilled to be able to eat solid food after 3 weeks of liquids. It is amazing to remember what it was like 3 weeks ago - he has come so far! He'll have a reprieve to finish healing for a few more weeks, then the radiation will likely lay him low again. But, after that, it will all be over.
On the ferry home, we were parked next to the bikes. Saw a shiny new red Kawasaki Vulcan 900.