Evanescent

Night is brushed aside like so much cobweb. The day is wound up and begins even before the last haunted dreams, the last of the fog, those spectral and evanescent residues, have faded away.

Gregory Maguire, After Alice

That 2017 is setting records for the coldest and wettest spring in pacific northwest history goes a long way toward explaining my confusion when I walked out our backdoor and into a scene that is expected in fall but unheard of in May. Nothing is following a normal schedule – my April blooming lilac opened yesterday, the flowering plum tree still has a few tired blooms and here we have fiery red maple leaves below a surprise spring fog in an evanescent combination of seasons and textures.

Evanescent:  tending to vanish like vapor.  merriam-webster.com

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Evanescent.

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Reading, Good Company and Reflection

 

Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him. John Locke

 

We live in a house full of books.  Stacks and shelves of printed pages line our walls, our phones and Kindles have digital titles for break time and the cars usually have an audio book ready to play.  Interestingly enough while we are all readers our preferences rarely cross and I’m pretty sure that someone who didn’t know us could tell after a quick walk around that three quite different people live here.

I prefer fiction, John enjoys design, art and architecture while Ryan has always been drawn to natural science.  He’s grown up with access to plenty of books and from the earliest days it’s been clear where his interest was.  He’ll happily listen to a great story and enjoys fiction and poetry at school but when he sits down with free time and a book of his choice it’s usually non-fiction.

His first picture books were all about animals and his early readers were filled with sea monsters, dragons and mythical beasts.  Soon books about astronomy, bones, archeology and medicine joined the stacks.

Each of these photos are from Ryan’s collection and many of them are books he’s chosen for himself at book stores and second-hand sales.  I’ve had to give up pretending I know all the answers to his constant questions about life, the universe and everything.  Now I just sit back and enjoy the discussions that come from each new chapter.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Reflecting

 

 

Wanderlust

You don’t even know where I’m going. I don’t care. I’d like to go anywhere.

John Steinbeck

While the word wanderlust brings to mind images of grand vacations and months long backpacking adventures I have the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to thank for a definition that makes sense to those of us who work more than one job and rarely have time for vacations.

strong longing for or impulse toward wandering

Merriam-Webster

I may not be on vacation but I do get the urge to wander and last week I wasn’t alone on my ramble…

My real destination was the gym for an early morning workout but after a week of rain and clouds the sun was finally out and at the last-minute I turned right instead of left.  I know I’m lucky to belong to a gym where I can see the water but there are times when the proximity tests my resolve for a good sweaty hour in the weight room.

On this particular day I had company on my ramble and this little bird followed me over the bridge and out to the pier.  We walked together to the end when it flew away and I turned my thoughts to the rest of the day.

Eventually I did make it to the gym and smiled during my warm up cycle while I scrolled through pictures of my detour ramble.

Side note – @MerriamWebster is one of my favorite twitter feeds.  If you’re not already following them take a look.  They make words fun!

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Wanderlust.

Earth Day 2017

If we do not permit the Earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. — Joseph Wood Krutch

I hope everyone took a moment today to appreciate, acknowledge and protect the earth around us.  Happy Earth Day all.

Dogs are our link to paradise…

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.

Milan Kundera

My goal for today was to write an Earth themed post for the Weekly Photo Challenge but I’m still in the previously mentioned photographic dry spell and unless I wanted to recycle another forest related image my options were limited to new product shots for our Etsy store and Finn from last weekend.  Hmm…

My next thought was to look for quotes that contained both the words “earth” and “dogs” as a way to tie my one new shot to the challenge but all I found were hundreds of dog quotes.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dog quote but what I really wanted was one perfect quote that brought these two things together in a way that made it seem like this was my plan all along.   Like I set out to take a shot of Finn lounging on the grass (earth) to illustrate my carefully prepared essay.

Now it’s posting time and I still don’t have a beautiful mother earth essay but I do have a dog photo, a quote that speaks to me and a story about Saturday afternoon on our grassy hill.

Many of you know we adopted Finn as a rescue dog.  He’d been facing doggie death row, was afraid of everything, could barely tolerate people touching him and any sudden movement or new interaction set him off into fits of barking.  Anything to keep the fearful object/person/smell/animal/car far away but the one thing he relaxed for was looking at John, Ryan and I together.  It’s been a long road for Finn as we’ve slowly introduced him to new people, a few kind dogs, several trainers and his friend and walking buddy Colleen.  Basically anything we could think of to give him a chance at a normal life and the opportunity to just be a dog.  He’s slowly become comfortable in the backyard but last weekend was the first time he successfully relaxed in the front yard.  Yay Finn!  He was with us for hours as we tried to reclaim flower beds from weed-pocalypse 2017 and dutifully followed me around and around when it was time to clean up the buckets, clippers, yard waste bins and rakes.  We were both tired, the sun was out, the grass was dry and the little hill in our backyard looked like a nice quiet place to sit and catch our breath.  For a few special minutes we were not bored, we were at peace.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Earth.

Blossoms and Time

The creative process is not like a situation where you get struck by a single lightning bolt. You have ongoing discoveries, and there’s ongoing creative revelations. Yes, it’s really helpful to be marching toward a specific destination, but, along the way, you must allow yourself room for your ideas to blossom, take root, and grow.
Carlton Cuse

I’m looking at a calendar tonight and am shocked to admit it’s been one month since my last post… wow.  I can honestly say it’s not for lack of desire, I miss everyone here, and I’m really tempted to say it’s because I’ve been allowing myself room for ideas to blossom which is partly true but really the biggest obstacle has been time limitations.  I have plenty of new ideas and future post topics are scribbled on notes all over my office but in reality I’ve been buried in work and family obligations and after three years of illustrated posts it’s actually happened – I’ve run out of pictures.  Yikes!

Now that our days are longer and our weather is (a little) drier I have a healthy list of places I want to visit and photograph so things should improve soon but in the interim I hope you enjoy this pretty view of cherry blossoms snapped quickly last night while Finn pulled and tugged on his leash trying to chase every single bird in the neighborhood. 🙂

 

Moss On Stone

“There is an ancient conversation going on between mosses and rocks, poetry to be sure. About light and shadow and the drift of continents. This is what has been called the “dialect of moss on stone – an interface of immensity and minute ness, of past and present, softness and hardness, stillness and vibrancy, yin and yan.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

From our hike to Mason Lake via the Ira Spring Trail in the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest.  Preserving places like this is one more reason why we must protect our National Parks and Forests.

The Road Taken

The parks do not belong to one state or to one section…. The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, and of Arizona.”

“Who will gainsay that the parks contain the highest potentialities of national pride, national contentment, and national health? A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness…. He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the privilege of living here who has toured the national parks. Stephen T. Mather, NPS Director, 1917-1929 

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On March 2nd, 1899 President William McKinley signed legislation creating Mount Rainier National Park.  This week marks the 118th birthday of our fifth National Park and though I’m fortunate enough to see the lovely mountain almost every day from a car this photo was taken during my first visit inside the park in 2008.

Some my happiest days have been spent in our National Parks but while most of us have grown up with an awareness of the National Park Service we can’t take its existence for granted.  The political road our country has taken is placing these pristine treasures directly in harm’s way with a new bill introduced in Congress that encourages drilling in National Parks as well as orders to roll back the Waters of the U.S. rule protecting wetlands and headwaters and effecting 60% of the water bodies in our country.  Combined with dramatic budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, relaxing limits on greenhouse gas emissions and lifting the moratorium on federal coal leasing across 570 million publicly owned acres means the direction of our land management and the health of  our natural public treasures will be forever changed.

I’ve been posting a series of my favorite National Park photos on the NW Frame of Mind Instagram account and on my personal Twitter account using the hashtags #ProtectOurParks and #NationalParks. If you’d like to see more Parks photos please feel free to follow along and then post yours on your favorite social media platform.  Let me know if you do so I can see and share your work!  Together we can make a difference.

The American way of life consists of something that goes greatly beyond the mere obtaining of the necessities of existence. If it means anything, it means that America presents to its citizens an opportunity to grow mentally and spiritually, as well as physically. The National Park System and the work of the National Park Service constitute one of the Federal Government’s important contributions to that opportunity. Together they make it possible for all Americans–millions of them at first-hand–to enjoy unspoiled the great scenic places of the Nation…. The National Park System also provides, through areas that are significant in history and prehistory, a physical as well as spiritual linking of present-day Americans with the past of their country.  Newton B. Drury, NPS Director, 1940-1951

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  The Road Taken.

A Good Match

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…

John Muir

a-good-match

So many interpretations of a good match are running through my mind tonight – father and son, mountain hiking and stress relief, nature and escape, family time and growth.  You name it and I’ll find a way to match it with a quote and a shot of the Pacific Northwest.

This weeks image is a look back to our 2008 day at Artist Point in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and one of my favorite shots of John and Ryan together.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  A Good Match.

Against the Odds

I had always enjoyed the title of Commander-in-Chief until I was informed … that the only forces that cannot be transferred from Washington without my express permission are the members of the Marine Corps Band. Those are the only forces I have. I want it announced that we propose to hold the White House against all odds at least for some time to come.

John F. Kennedy

 

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As we celebrate Presidents Day Weekend I found this quote from our 35th, John F. Kennedy, about holding the White House “against all odds” with the help of the Marine Corps Band.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Against the Odds.