Sometime’s we go for a walk…

Lately Daniel and I have been going for long walks on the weekends in an effort to rebuild our stamina that we’ve both lost dealing with health issues. Here’s a few photos from various places we’ve been on the logging roads around Shelton.

Waterfalls carving a gorge out.
walk-1

Small stream running into the Skokomish river. A pair of ouzels were busy colelcting moss for their nest in that dark area mid-fall.
walk-2

Snowy trail.
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Small waterfalls line the trails.
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Mt. Rainier looking lovely on a clear day.
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Spring is here. Can’t wait to see the trees leafing out along the trails.

Catching up…

Looks like summer just refuses to end here in the PNW. We’re having a long drought along with lovely warm days in the 70’s. Fire danger is getting worse daily, and there was a brushfire on the other side of town that has stunk up the whole region. Sure wish it would rain. Plus I am tired of watering!

Anyway, it has been a long quiet summer on the blog. This year has not been a good one. A nerve impingement in my neck in January had me practically incapacitated for months and finally resulted in a spinal fusion surgery in late July. I am now back on my feet and slowly getting things under control in the garden (hah!). Slowly getting my strength back and the irises taken care of. One of the better side effects of this drought has been the nice weather to continue planting in. I am working on the last bed today. Once that is done I can concentrate on the weeding and cleanup that has not been attended to all summer. If we can have a nice long fall until after the holidays winter won’t be too bad in the garden.

Here’s a few photos I hadn’t been able to get up.
First, an allium that was very attractive to the bees. They were all over it for the entire time it bloomed.
allium-bee1

Here’s a bright little lewisia that bloomed, and bloomed, and bloomed again, and then bloomed some more. I swear it had stalks out for over 3 months! it started blooming with the early irises and was still going when the late irises had faded. Great performer.
lewisia1

Here’s a shot of my shade bed looking pretty good.
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A sisyrinchium on the drive doesn’t care that there’s been no water. It just grows and blooms anyway.
sisrinchium

Junebug celebrated his 2nd birthday in June and has really filled out beautifully. He doesn’t look so much like a kitten anymore. He is an excellent mouser and is just lightning quick. Miss Gracie steals most of his kills tho. He’s learned how to up and down the trees too, which is a relief. I was tired of rescuing cats that couldn’t get down.
junebug42

Miss Gracie is a mess. Her mats are just terrible this year, and she is as stubborn as usual in letting us deal with them. We get maybe a few off a month, but we can’t keep up. One of these days she is going to have to go to a groomers for a big shave.
gracie-47

Chewie is 16 this year. You’d never know it. While she has slowed down alot and has never loved a lap more, she still runs around the house like a crazy kitten and carries on gurbbling and chirping. As crazy as she ever was.
chewie-window

Slowly getting thru flower pics still. More irises to come over the winter to get us in the mood for spring.

What a summer!

It’s been a long, crappy summer around here. Hope yours has been better. Health issues have kept us both down and the garden is a mess. Sure wish I had some pretty flowers to share with you today. I do however have some shots of a little visitor we had recently. We got home late the other night and Daniel headed out back for something and came across this little porcupine.

porcupine3

porcupine

He was very shy and didn’t like that we were noticing him. He’s about the size of a large cat – very small for a porcupine but the wildlife folks think he is old enough to care for himself so no need to do a rescue. He was around for two evenings and hasn’t shown himself since. We had seen dead ones along the roads out here before but this is the first live one we’ve seen. So fun!

Iris seedlings!

Two years ago I made a cross of the irises Sunset Snows (TB, pink amoena) X Chanted (SDB, pink with blue beard), and this spring they finally bloomed for me. I was hoping for intermediate pink bitones with blue beards, and just maybe an amoena in the mix. I did get alot of bitones but they were mostly in pastel shades of orange or brown and the beards were mostly that odd shade of orange I always think of as Chinese red, with a few having a bright tangerine color on theirs. There was one real pink one in the mix as well as an oddball purple, that looks smashing with its beard color. 14 seedlings were planted, 12 bloomed. Each had interesting flowers, but overall only four were really worth keeping for a second season of observation. I doubt they stack up to modern IB judges standards but if they make a pretty garden plant I’ll probably keep them around for awhile and check their fertility for possible advancement. Let me know what you think in the comments.

SSxCh10A-1-12

SSxCh10A-4-12

SSxCh10B-2-12

SSxCh10C-2-12

SSxCh10D-2-12

SSxCh10D-3-12

SSxCh10E-3-12

SSxCh10E-6-12

SSxCh10F-1-12

SSxCh10F-2-12

SSxCh10G-1-12

SSxCh10G-3-12

SSxCh10G-6-12

SSxCh10I-2-12

I really liked how different they looked when the sun was on them. They were somewhat drab without it. I liked D, E & G the best and will keep the purple one too. The others had flaws that made them unsuitable even if the flowers were nice enough.