Archive for April, 2011

It was sunny again today… so I decided to go back to the park and see if I could find my camera. It had to be there. I have retraced my steps, in my mind, a hundred times. It simply had to be there. My mind continually took me back the place pictured above. It was the last place I did some serious pulling of ivy…

As I approached the chosen spot, I thought “this is CRAZY!” How was I going to find a brown camera in all this… but I also reminded myself I really had nothing to lose. There was a clear path showing where we had been working. The ferns were matted down where we had walked. So I started there. I lifted section after section of the matted ferns with my foot. A couple of times my heart skipped a beat as I saw something brown glisten in the sunlight… they turned out to be old beer bottles. I was really about ready to give up… and then I saw a little flash of silver. I just stood there for a moment… stunned. I had found my camera!! The red target is where I found it. It was slightly tucked under the log and under some fern leaves. As I brushed away the leaves and twigs my excitement turned to worry. The camera was dirty and wet – it has been raining most of the week. Was there any hope that it still worked?

I turned it on and the screen lit up! I could see the images I had taken a week ago through the foggy screen. But then an error message flashed across the screen… the shutter was having difficulties. I started to worry about the cost of the repair… but then I stopped myself. I had found my camera and I had my images. I was going to take this one step at a time. I pulled out the battery and the memory card. Both were damp with condensation… just like the screen and lens. I dried them and placed them in a zipped pocket – I have learned my lesson =D I decided to let everything dry out. I was hoping I was worrying for no reason… as of 3 hours ago, that seems to be true.The camera is functional. The shutter opens, the lens focuses and the image is captured!! There is still some condensation on the screen… and I am sure in other places I can’t see. So I have removed the battery and card again and have left open the door, to allow for air flow. I am going to let it lie on a shelf in the warmest room of the house for a few days. I am hopeful all is well!!

Here are the images I had been so excited about… I must confess, they were better in my mind’s eye… but I like them just the same!

Priest Point Park – Olympia, WA


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It amazes me that something so fragile seems to have no fear. She pushes up through the soil and detritus of the forest floor, in spite of the danger that surrounds her… passing feet of woodland creatures and the occasional hiker, falling pine-cones and twigs, and even the rain. And let’s not forget the insects that pass by and take a nibble =D

I find myself wondering if I am that brave. Do I stand my ground when I am surrounded by “dangers”… the judgement and opinions of others, my own doubt, wanting to do things perfectly or not at all, distractions of modern technology… I fear she is braver than I. But I take comfort in knowing that I can face those dangers, if I so choose.

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Look Up

It has been a week of sunshine, blue skies and fluffy white clouds. I spent a lot of time looking up. No complaints whatsoever. Saturday was a dream. I met with fellow REI employees and headed to Priest Point Park for our service project… freeing the trees from the invasive ivy. I decided to not take my Nikon D90, but my point and shoot camera instead (Nikon Coolpix – what can I say, I’m a Nikon girl =D). I wanted to be able to really dig in to the ivy removal and be ready to capture what caught my eye, without worrying about damaging my camera. I must say I snapped some fantastic shots.

We were working at the end of the trail, so we were down by the water. I took a break and walked down to the beach. The beach was scattered with shells, the water with sailboats, the Olympic Mountains with snow and the blue sky with white clouds. It was breath-taking. I snapped probably 15 pictures, tucked my camera in my pocket and went back to work…

An hour later, as we were packing up, I suddenly realized that my pocket was empty. I patted down every pocket several times. Checked my backpack pockets again and again. I stood there stunned… frantically trying to remember when I had last felt the camera in my pocket. I could not remember. I retraced my steps from the beach… scanning everywhere for my chocolate-brown camera. I went back to every tree where I had been removing ivy. Have you ever tried looking for something small and brown in the detritus (love that word!) of the woods?

Sadly it was not found. I am upset that I lost my camera. I am really upset that I do not have those images. I am telling you, they were stunning. I was planning on coming home and posting an extra post, because I was so thrilled with what I saw. Now they will just have to remain in my mind’s eye…

And now the rain has returned… but with it also came a rainbow =D

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There was a Luminary Procession tonight in downtown Olympia. I missed it last year. I heard a few people talking about it during the Procession of the Species last year… so I planned to attend this year. I’ve got to say it was not as I had hoped… I am simply not a fan of crowds.

The owl was one of my favorites. I liked the way it moved in the dark… and it seemed appropriate for the night… unlike the pea pod that seemed just a little out-of-place.

My other favorite was the hummingbird with the heart on her chest. She just seemed the picture of delight… she seemed to soar with her heart all aglow. And of course there were lots of stars and a couple of moons.

I think what I missed was the little kids. There were a few out, but most were home and in bed (it started at 9:30pm). Their excitement and enthusiasm is contagious… and it was missing. Instead there were foul-mouthed teenagers… I don’t think I will go again.

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Spring is definitely bursting forth in my garden. I spent a large portion of the day in the veggie garden getting it ready for some serious planting in a few weeks (after the last frost – May 15th). I was weeding and turning under the green manure I planted last fall… giving it time to breakdown before I plant. The slugs have been busy and have eaten all my salad seedlings… good thing I have more under lights in the basement. In a few weeks I will be able to transplant them out into the garden… as well as tomatoes, cilantro, broccoli, dill, tomatillos, chard… until then, I will enjoy all the flowers that are braving the cold.

  1. Tiarella – ‘Iron Cross’… if I remember correctly – the flowers are very delicate and light when they open
  2. Forget-Me-Knots – considered by many here to be a weed, but not me!
  3. Red-Flowering Currant – native to the Cascades
  4. Muscari Latifolium – this is the one that had the green hood earlier =D
  5. ‘Snow-drift’ Crabapple – am curious as to why the bud is pink… new to the garden
  6. Fern-leaf lavender – have to keep her in a pot and protect her from cold winters
  1. Thalia Daffodils… all white and three blossoms to a head
  2. Fawn Lily – also known as Trout Lily – because of the pattern on her leaves –  so excited to see that she is back… just added her last summer. She is in my Cascade-native garden!
  3. Asian Pear
  4. Patient Gnome is IN the garden!! Right now he is in the herb garden next to Salad Burnet and Germander – bees LOVE this one!!
  5. Stella Cherry
  6. ‘Apple Blossom’ Clematis… nearing the end – she has been in bloom for WEEKS!
  7. Alpine Strawberries… already forming some berries!!
The garden has definitely noticed that the sun has been out for the last several days!!
How does your garden grow?

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the stars

I did it! I crossed one of the things off my list. My kitchen cabinets and pantry are now purged and reorganized. And to be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. There was a lot to be purged. There was whole wheat pasta from ’05 and sweetened condensed milk from ’07. Needless to say, a lot of things just got tossed. There were other things that I had lost interest in, or couldn’t remember why in the world I had bought them in the first place. Those all went into a box for the food bank.

My cookbooks are grouped by subjects. My pickled green beans are on a shelf where I can see them (they have been in a box, in the basement, since this summer). There are various herbs and roots macerating in apple cider vinegar for future tinctures. My grains, pasta and legumes our in jars so I can visualize my choices. Oils and vinegars are organized for easy access. And then there is the Wassail spice-blend for Christmas cider… the spices I use year-round in warmed fruit juice, tea and hot chocolate… in a jar, on the shelf along side my teas and drinking chocolate. All in all, a very heart-pleasing site! Should have done this a long time ago =D

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spring rain

There is something about spring rain that makes me feel the urge/need to get everything in order inside, so I can enjoy my time outside. You know, on those days when the sun breaks through for hours or even days at a time, and all things inside are forgotten about? My list of things to do inside is growing…

Here is the dilemma I always face… being overwhelmed by the size of the list. You see I have a few ongoing projects that just never seem to ever get finished. Mostly because I overestimated our combined skill level… or my motivation. These unfinished projects are always in the back of my mind when I begin dreaming about new projects… and cause me to wonder if I should really go forward with my idea.

I have learned that I have to set a goal with a reward attached. My reward this time? A bunny… a living, breathing bunny! And not just because Easter is around the corner. I’ve wanted to add one to my backyard-animals for some time now. Why?

  1. they are soft, cuddly and adorable
  2. they are quiet
  3. their manure makes AWESOME fertilizer for the garden

So that is what I am motivating myself with… my husband doesn’t know this, but he will as soon as he reads this post =D He does know I am a sucker for little animals, so it won’t come as a surprise. Here is what I need to accomplish before the bunny can join our family:

  1. reorganize/purge kitchen cabinets completed 4/15
  2. sew pantry curtains
  3. sew bedroom curtains
  4. install curtain rods in sun-room
  5. sew sun-room curtains
  6. slipcover for window-seat

… there are probably a few more I should add, like paint the kitchen, paint the hutch, finish laying the bamboo floor in the basement and purge the back building (once again), but I don’t want to wait that long for my bunny ;-}

feeding great grandpa’s bunnies

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