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CritterPainter's BlogVarious ramblings of a country gal
ran away from my garden
Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:16 pm
Been doing that a bit, lately. Running away from home, I mean. More fun than scraping paint off the house (which I really need to get after). DH had a trade-off day yesterday so we ran away to one of our local beaches, at Tolmie park. Good heavens, the name actually made it into Wikipedia. Do some folks just have too much time on their hands or how does that work? Anyway...
It was supposed to be blazing hot, and when we got home the news said it was. But not at this little bit of seashore (It actually faces onto Puget sound). A soft overcast kept a gauzy screen overhead, creating a filtered and comparatively cool sunshine.
We started out with a hike, only a couple of miles or so. The thick, fern-studded woods were laced with tiny-wild-blackberry vines. My hands were perfectly purple before long, as were DD's chin and one cheek. We don't want her to get the idea that it's ok to pick and eat things in the wild, so I fill my hands with whatever is good and let her choose what she wants from there. Saves quite a bit of worry! The berries that lie in pools of sunshine were fat and sweet. The ones in the shade, well, not so much. But they were all good. The wild huckleberries are ripe too, but we left them for the chipmunks. DH and DD were sitting on a bench while I raided a patch of vines when my back was literally brushed by birdwing, and a pileated woodpecker landed on a stump directly behind my D's! DH scrambled to get the camera setup (our point-and-click is hopelessly broken, and neither of us is very fast yet with the SLR camera). The woodpecker headed off into the trees, alas. But it did make me look up, and realize that some of the trees we were passing were actually Madrona, evidenced by the orange wood exposed up where the sun hit and peeled the outer bark.
At the end of our hike we had a picnic on the beach then spent the rest of the afternoon sketching and playing in the water. This beach is Loaded with sand dollars- they are actually purple and fuzzy when they are still alive. Lots of little crabs, too, little fish, and at one point DH spooked up a tiny flounder that proceeded to smack right into my leg, poor little guy! Added a few shells to my stash on the back porch, waiting for me to sketch them. Well it's jolly hot in here so I'll go do that!
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August- no month for this gardener
Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:28 pm
It's August, when this woman's fancy turns to thoughts of moving to a more garden-friendly locale. In August, I find out that the noxious dormant spray that I spread around in the fall has done nothing. August reveals blight on my lilacs, disease on my plum, weird red lumps covering my maples. Huge areas of blank, unwelcoming bareness stare at me from where the optimistic blooms of Spring have faded, gone to seed, and retreated into slumber. Instead of reveling in new things blooming, I spend my time in the garden deadheading old, withered blooms. The cheery birds are sticking to friendlier terraine, replaced by cranky, incessant yellowjackets, with their all-too-ready poison-filled stingers try to take up residence anywhere there is bare wood; the even more vicious bald hornets have build their underground vaults, a base from which to swarm over anyone who tries to mow near them. Biting red ants try to fill my painting studio.
All the wildflowers are done blooming, and the fields must be mowed or they will be overrun by invasive, persistent Scotch Broom. It's all about patching now. Trying to keep things alive in an environment unfriendly to life; the prairie wants to rest and be dormant. I insist on my small patches of greenness and life-the things that want to be green are invasive weeds.
At least this year I'm not too worried about drought. DH and some buddies went hiking up in the Olympics on Saturday, and there was a pretty good snow pack even at their relatively low elevation. Here's where he went http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic/recreation-nu/trails/MtEllinor.pdf
and here's a website that will show why there are so many hikers (and artists, photographers & bicyclists) in Washington http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/171068/olympic-range-wa.html
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