Saturday, April 30, 2011

 Wow - two days in a row with sunshine - - - be still, my heart! The maidenhair fern is unfurling against the rocks in the morning sun.
 Apollo poses for me in the early morning, keeping an eye on the goings-on in the garden.

Friday, April 29, 2011

 Carol's magnolia tree is blooming - lovely against the blue sky and fluffy clouds.
 Her kitty Abbey likes the tree, too!
On the way home I drove past this pasture with new foals and their moms. Now that I know they are there, I'll have to go that way more often!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yesterday, it was again cold, and the wind blew, and the rain fell sideways. Today we had some sun off and on, then suddenly it started to hail. Then the sun came out again. Ah, spring!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mmmmmm, ham souffle! All that golden cheesy goodness! Perfecting the art.

Monday, April 25, 2011

 The flowering cherry is finally fully open. Last year, it was like this on March 25th, so we're a full month behind.  I had hoped to get pictures in the sun, but we're back to more cold and rain. It is now official: this April is the coldest on record. We also have more rain than normal, but I haven't heard if that has broken the record yet, or not. The way it's going, it's likely.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tiny pansy self-seeded itself into this crack in the sidewalk. It has been blooming for a couple of weeks, long before any other pansies are blooming. It must like the warmth of the concrete around it, although with our cold April, there is not much warmth to be had! Survivior!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

 Well, now we know spring is here for sure! The swallows are back - this is actually a pair of Violet-Greenbacked swallows scouting out the best nesting sites around David's shop. Welcome!
 And such a sunny morning, dew on the Lady's Mantle,
 and primroses,
and one of the few tulips the deer didn't eat!

Friday, April 22, 2011

 Sunny and almost warm by late afternoon. In the swamp, the bright sunlight created sharp reflections of mossy logs and highlighted the bright yellow-green of the new leaves. I love the tangled branches and trees that create spots of light and shadows.

And I forgot to add these photos yesterday - this poor robin spent most of the day attacking the sliding glass door. I finally had enough, and went to wake up the cat. He was sleepy and grumpy until he caught sight of the bird, then he got down to business! His very presence was enough to finally convince the robin that this wasn't such a great idea. Thankfully he hasn't come back yet! They can get quite territorial in the spring.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kitty caught 2 critters today - first a little wren, then later the tiniest shrew I have ever seen! The shrew apparently didn't smell good, since he brought it in then left it. But the bird, oh boy! Up and down he tossed it, feathers flying. He had the best time. When I cleaned it all up later, I took the opportunity to get some macro feather photos.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

 Hah! Couldn't think of anything to take a picture of, when Greg started up the lawnmower. I liked the patterns in the grass. It was late in the afternoon, without much light, so while shooting at a slow speed, he appears to be zooming along!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

 A couple of years ago they planted this amazing row of daffodils along the highway - it's probably about a 1/4 mile long. They're in full bloom right now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

 MY beach!!
Nasty weather comin' our way!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

 I got out today in the SUNSHINE (!!!!) and did some planting and cleanup, and came across these remains. They're actually very tiny, so maybe a little mousey or something.
 The sky was full of fluffy clouds, showcasing the chartruese of the new alder leaves.
I took a panorama of our house from the edge of the woods. Lookit all that blue sky!
Cold and rainy most of the day, so I stayed cozy and warm inside. Checking the sky before bed, the clouds were thinning and the moon was shining through. The wind was moving the clouds swiftly across the face of the moon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

 Some friends came to visit and go birding at the Earth Sanctuary today. We managed to find a time when it wasn't actually raining, although it was pretty chilly. But we saw loads of birds, including a pair of osprey at their nest, above - you can just see one of them approaching to land on the back side.
 Sharon, Karen and Miriam at the Fen Pond. Lots of different ducks: mallard, ringneck, bufflehead, wood ducks, and hooded merganser, among others. Miriam knows a lot of the bird songs, and is adept at spotting little birds flitting through the trees.
 An  inunnguaq, a cairn representing a human figure, historically made by the Arctic native peoples. The owner of the Earth Sanctuary is very spiritual, and has all kind of standing stones, cairns, prayer flags, meditation areas, dolmen, a labyrinth, and even a stone circle. It's very cool to come across these things along the trails.
A weeping willow reflecting in one of the ponds.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

 The crows and raven kept up the racket all morning long. What in the world? I finally had to go take a look - and saw a pair of eagles in the dead fir tree, not 20 yards from the deck. They were nonchalantly ignoring all the clamour most of the time, but occasionally would fluff up and chee-chee-chee back at the crows. Eventually, my movements on the deck spooked them, and they flew down to the ground under the trees. Sitting on some brush, one of them peered quizzically at me through the branches. Silly critters! We often see them soaring far overhead, so I'm not sure why they chose to hang out here for most of the morning.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Northwest Basket Weavers Guild meeting tonight. Jan Hopkins gave a show about her use of unusual materials in her art. Below, she sits next to Massy as part of the group watches. Above is one of the examples she brought to show us - it's a driftwood stick that she created a new 'bark' covering for. She used ostrich egg shell beads, and yellow cedar bark in a variation of a netting stitch. This is less than an inch in diameter, so very tiny work. As always, her work is fascinating, and it's such a pleasure to listen to her.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

 Driving back from Oak Harbor, I saw something unusual in the sky. It was a bit hazy with some light clouds in areas. There was a jet flying by, trailing it's white contrail. Somehow, the contrail cast a shadow on the clouds. It was so weird. But by the time I found a place to pull over and try to photograph it, the moment had passed, the contrail was dispersing and the shadow was fading, too. In the photo below, you can almost make out what is left of the shadow at the very tip. Before, it was longer and much more obvious. While I was trying to get the shot, which meant shooting into the sun so I couldn't see my viewfinder, I caught a flock of birds wheeling around. I never even saw them when I was there! Sometimes you get a good surprise when you see the photo on the computer!

Monday, April 11, 2011

One of the eagles that frequent the Freeland Park perching in a tree against the brief sun break, after the downpour earlier. Oh, did I mention it's a bit windy up there?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

 Yes, that's the sun shining and the rain coming down. Ah, the joys of northwest springs! Well, at least all of the rain keeps things green,
and now new leaves are springing open on the alder trees in a bright green mist against the darker fir trees.

Friday, April 8, 2011

 Sun + warmth = signs of spring. 
Leafing out in the swamp
 first salmonberry blossoms
 lichen-covered twigs in the swamp
 fern fiddleheads
 lichen and new leaflets
sun and shade on the mossy swamp trees