Archive for January, 2011

Christmas from the Netherlands

There was a wonderful surprise in our mailbox today… two actually, but I’ll get to the second one in a minute =D The first was a slip that we had a box waiting for us at the post office. We had been expecting one for some time now. All we knew was that my sister-in-law and family had sent us something for Christmas. I, of course, was hoping for chocolate. I signed for the box… well it was a little more complicated than that, but we won’t go there. I took the box and looked for hints as to what might be inside… I must admit, my heart sank a little when there was no ‘chocolate’ listed on the green customs form… but Dutch cheese come in a close second =D I had to chuckle as I looked at the box and all its foreign postal stickers. It was sent PRIORITY on December 18th and arrived today January 31st! Gotta love postal systems! Much to my surprise, there WAS chocolate inside… the traditional initial we get each year!! She had them all wrapped!! Can’t wait to try the cheese!!

Mom knows me =D

The second surprise was an envelope from Mom. It was a nice fat one. She saw an idea in a magazine and thought of me. I love plants and I love the impressions that plant materials leave behind. Clearly she knows this about me =D I love getting little notes from Mom… knowing that she thinks of me, even though I am on the other side of the continent.


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There is a whole little world of lichen living on my fence. I love walking along to see what is new. I should really learn the names of the different kinds, but until then, I am just enjoying them.

Little Valley

There is a little dip along the fence… where a previous knot had fallen out. A little valley is growing along it. I love seeing how the “trees” are growing in the hills and valleys.

Island of Trees

I love this little cluster. Can you see the little brown caps?


Don’t they look like they have lipstick on?

Growing Grove

This little cluster actually happens to be on an old apple tree in our backyard. I wonder how big this little grove will actually get… chances of our local squirrels, Hazel, Fil and Bert, or my cat Bella knocking it down are pretty high once spring rolls around. They love to play tag on that old tree.

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Fresh As The Morning Dew

I love hellebores… the patterns and colors, but mostly because they are blooming in my garden right now. It is always a delight to see a little touch of color this time of year. This one caught my eye because of the trail droplets on its petal.


This one I call freckles. She is one of my favorite. How can you not love such a sweet little face?

Hazelnut Pollen Cone

Every winter I have a little love affair with the pollen cones on my hazelnuts. We have a whole hedge along the side of the garden. In November the cones start to form. At first they are short and tight… I think they often go unnoticed because they blend in with the twigs. If you take the time to observe, you are in for a delightful show over the next couple of months. They relax and stretch… turning a golden-yellow with kisses of pink. Right now is my favorite time…

Flowers Past and Present

I think I may actually like my Pee Gee hydrangea best when her blossoms are brown and aged. They provide such a lovely texture for my garden… I can never bring myself to cut her blooms when they are their pale green in summer or rosy-pink in the fall. Good thing I have a camera to capture all her different stages…

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On the back side of Lot F, on The Evergreen State College campus, there are paths and paths leading many different directions. It is a place enjoyed by students and locals alike. Saturday was a delightfully rain-free day… so it was very busy along the paths. A little too busy for my taste. So I opted not to head towards the water and took lesser known paths instead. It made for an interesting walk. At various points I could hear discussions, drums, dogs and singing. And sometimes… for a brief moment I could hear silence… but only for a moment. As I mentioned, it was busy. =D

Baby Pine Cone and Mushroom

I was busy enjoying the visual world around me. I had come in search of the perfect shot. It wasn’t coming to me as I had intended. I was blinded by the bare branches and decaying forest floor. There were no flowers calling for my attention… and then I noticed the beauty of structure… and little mushrooms. Oh how I love little things!!

I have been fascinated with, what I called, “baby pine cones” for years… always stopping to pick up a cluster or two. It wasn’t until last year that I learned they come from the Alder tree and not a pine tree at all. Alders are a favorite of mine… “baby pine cones” is just an added bonus. They have these wonderful trunks of grey, spackled with green from moss and lichens. And every once in a while you’ll find a colony of mushrooms on the trunk as well. Can you see the little, itty, bitty mushroom under the draping lichen? I almost missed it.

Up Close

Just to the left of that little mushroom, was this little colony. They are so small. The largest one was maybe the same size as the top of my thumb… maybe. Can you believe how much detail is in something so little? Do you see the little ridges between the ridges? Honestly, I didn’t really see them until I was checking my shot.

Dancing Ferns

Have I mentioned that I have fallen in love with ferns… especially the Sword Fern (top two pictures)? It is hard not to, living here in the Pacific Northwest, as I do. Their twists and turns just call to me. It is like a hand of a dancer reaching towards me, slowly curling in her fingers to cup something precious. How can I resist the call? I can’t =D I loved finding that the fern dances in death as it does in birth. When they are young, they unfurl tender green curls… and keep doing so until they can unfurl no more. Then as the green turns to brown, they begin to turn back in… stopping as they desire in a moment of grace and beauty. To be so lucky…

The Evergreen State College – Back-side of Lot F

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Bigger Picture

Bigger Picture… Seattle Public Library

Me, myself and “Ich”

There are times I find myself thinking in German. I grew up speaking both English and German. So it wasn’t surprising that I found myself right in the middle of the German books. And then I looked down and saw that I was standing over the German word for “I” it made me smile and I had to take a picture.

Love stories with “Herz”

I had fun looking around and seeing what words I could find… on the spines of the books and on the patterns on the floor. Here are two of my favorite “Liebesgeschichten” and “Herz”… love stories and heart.  Those two words just make me smile =D

Collected Works

Lately I have found great inspiration in the words of Hermann Hesse. I can only imagine the amazing words that these works contain… perhaps I will have to start delving into these books. Haven’t heard of the German author Hermann Hesse? You are missing out. Here is one of my favorite quotes:

Can you imagine someone you love speaking those words to you… confirming that your actions of love have not gone unnoticed. What a motivation for daily actions.

Seattle Public Library

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Little Finds… The Seattle Public Library

One Step at a Time

I was in love with the library as soon as I stepped past the checkout counter… and saw the stunning wood floors.  It made me stop and take a minute, and not just rush by. Have you ever seen such a thing? What a lovely idea to have a floor mimicking printing blocks surrounded by books. There are several languages represented… which is appropriate seeing as the foreign language books are housed here =D

View All Around

I loved traveling from floor to floor. Each level offering a new perspective to more and more books… and the people who read them. I was surprised by how many people were there on a late Saturday afternoon… of course we were there, but we weren’t reading =)

Diamonds in the Sky

They have created an observation deck on the tenth floor. The building is filled with lovely angles. And because it is mostly glass, it allows for constant change, as the light outside changes. We happened to be there as the sun went down… allowing the inside to reflect back to us. I loved seeing the books repeated in the windows. I will be back..

Seattle Public Library – Seattle, Washington

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Life as I See It… at Pike Place Market


One of the things that comes to mind, when heading to Pike Place, is the fruit (not a big fan of the flying fish… sorry). The colors and textures fascinate me. I can tune out all the hustle and bustle going on around me and just make mental notes of those colors and textures.


The Farmer’s Market is also known for its flowers… this time of year it is mostly dried in one form or another. I am not a lover of dried flower arrangements. They just seem like dust collectors to me. The buckets of dried flowers across from the tables of fresh seafood do provide an interesting contrast in both smell and texture though =D

Heaven in my Hand

I must confess… this is my true delight when I’m down at the Farmer’s Market. The candy apples I just like to look at. But the cheesecake truffle I am holding in my hand… now THAT is simply delightful. This one is a Mexican Chocolate Cheesecake Truffle. Inside the chocolate shell is chocolate cheesecake spiced with cinnamon and chile pepper. It is cool and hot at the same time. I eat it slow and enjoy it… no shoveling with this truffle.

Seattle’s Pike Place Market

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