Lake Crescent Lodge

2019 The Year of Lakeside Dreaming in January: Week 2

As I type this on Saturday afternoon the sun is shining, birds are chirping and if I close my eyes I can almost pretend I’m sitting in the lovely sun room at the Lake Crescent Lodge in the Olympic National Park.  I’ve already written a few posts about our strange, warm winter here in the PNW and it looks like the trend will continue a little while longer.  In fact Friday’s 61 degrees set a record for the warmest January 11th in Seattle history.  Wow.

Looking through my picture gallery above you might wonder why you’re seeing images from September instead of views from last week.  Well, there were two main reasons I decided to take on another 365 photo challenge, one was to finally share some of the thousands of new images hiding out in my photo roll and the other was to push myself to start writing again.  Even if it was just little, chatty updates from my week the practice would be good so here we are looking back on a warm September afternoon while I type a post in January.

As for my week it was a busy one filled with extra work hours and long afternoons trapped in rush hour slowdowns.  Audiobooks are my lifeline in the car and thanks to our local library I can usually work my way through an author’s catalog from beginning to end.  This season I’ve been listening to a lot of Christopher Moore and by friday afternoon I’d finished The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for photography although I did take a few new images for use later and when I had a free minute I thought back to this trip with Ryan when we were beginning to practice portrait photography for his Senior Pictures.

As with past year-long photo challenges I don’t plan to post here every day, I’ll save that for my Instagram and Twitter accounts, but you faithful blog readers will get one weekly recap every Sunday.

 

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Nightime at the Edmonds Fishing Pier

2019 The Year of a New Daily Photo Project: Week 1

Will 2019 be my year of living dangerously?  No that’s not it… a year of self-control, or reckoning, discovery, relaxation?  Sigh, I’m terrible with resolutions.  Honestly whenever I try to think of a theme or title for the new year all I come up with are overused movie quotes and sad memes.

In the end though while this leaves me with a descriptive problem it’s not really a feeling problem.  I always have an idea of where I want a new year to go even if part way through something turns in an unexpected direction.  Would a pre-selected 2019 theme effect any of this? Doubtful.

Why am I talking about this?  Well, if you follow me on Instagram I just posted my best 9 grid from 2018 and even though I spent the year sharing a variety of images the landscape and scenery photos were by far your favorites.  Which made me think, even though I felt overworked and tired all year-long there were plenty of beautiful days to remember.  Maybe I should look back and name the year at the end instead of trying before it’s even started…

Instagram BestNine

So I spent some time thinking about two year-long photo projects I shared in 2016 and 2017 and am now ready to give it another try.  My hope is that every week or month or season I can identify a theme among the shots to give me more of a picture of what really happened and where the year is going…  Are you up for watching my life unfold 365  images at a time?  There will be some fun times ahead, Ryan is graduating from High School and planning a gap year before diving in to college. We’re taking a family trip to Iceland and I have a big list of PNW hikes I want to explore so I know parts of the year will be pretty fun.  What else I’ll have to share, well we’ll just have to wait and see.

As with past year-long photo challenges I don’t plan to post here every day, I’ll save that for my Instagram and Twitter accounts, but you faithful blog readers will get one weekly recap every Sunday.  My week in all its glory. 🙂

After a long introduction, this weeks recap will be short and sweet.  We always start our new year on the beach and even though I had to work this year we made it to the waterfront before sunset.  There were several more early evening walks to enjoy as we continue a warmer than usual winter and my week ended with the company of a great friend and a nice glass (or two) of wine.  How was your first week of 2019?

I know my blogging has been light in the past year so many of you aren’t used to seeing much activity here but I’ve missed you all! If you feel like reconnecting and would like to follow along, or even post your own weekly images with a chatty recap feel free to share and link here.  I’ll update each post to include mention of your lovely photos.

Winter garden in the PNW

Everything is (Supposed to Be) Resting

The madness of spring is so enticing. I love it when things are opening up and emerging from the ground. I also love the middle of summer when fruit is bursting forth, but I even love the garden in the winter when everything is resting.  Ross Gay

Winter garden in the PNW

Well, everything is supposed to be resting… This has been an unusual winter in the Pacific Northwest.  We’ve had our short days, saying goodbye to sunlight by 4:20 in the afternoon, but that’s really the only thing that’s felt like normal this season.  There’s been plenty of wind but here in Edmonds we haven’t even had a hard frost yet.  Knock, knock, I just tapped my wood desk hoping we don’t see winter weather descend on us tomorrow but honestly this has been a long, gray, dry fall-like end to the year.  We’ve seen rain, wind and clouds but very little fog and the temperature hasn’t dipped below freezing.

Winter garden in the PNW

As a result my annual solstice garden clean up consisted of deadheading summer blooming pots that refuse to quit and dragging the big branches that have blown down in the windstorms into piles in our backyard for cutting up before stuffing them in the yard waste bins for green recycling.  Not exactly what I’d expected.

Winter garden mess in the PNW

Usually by this time our summer annuals have given up in the cold and my outdoor pots are filled with evergreen branches and white lights illuminating the long nights and filling space until spring. This year I didn’t want to throw away perfectly good plants that were still blooming so as a result we still have pots full of geraniums, fuchsias and even some pretty yellow begonias shining brightly by my back door.  Surprise!

Winter garden in the PNW

Now I’m wondering if they’ll last until February when primroses and pansies arrive in their spring blooming abundance.  If so do I dig them out to replace with fresh plants or stay with these hardy few for another summer of flowers…

A Tree, A Search for Quotes and Chief Seattle

All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man… the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.  Ted Perry

Raise your hand if you’ve read this quote before.  It’s typically attributed to a speech given by Chief Seattle, See-ahth in the Lushootseed language, in 1854 however it was actually written by screenwriter Ted Perry for Home, a 1972 film about ecology.

I came across it today looking for quotes about trees and air since I had a photo I wanted to post but was having a hard time settling on what to write.  I often use quotes as a writing prompt and I thought the sentiment was a good representation of my thoughts but one of my personal rules about using quotes is to never feature one without reading about the author first.  Using a quote out of context can be tricky and while the few short sentences might work to illustrate my photo I never want to misrepresent someone’s work.  This particular search led me down a long, winding trail of PNW history and in the end I decided I still wanted to use the words but couldn’t do so without explaining a bit of the story behind them.  A writing prompt at it’s best.

In truth Chief Seattle (c. 1786-1866) lived a remarkable life leading his people through a period of tumultuous change and was widely recognized as a great speaker, diplomat and warrior however the extensive quotes and texts of speeches and letters you see in books were all written by someone else many years after his death.  Some famous passages attributed to Chief Seattle were in fact the words of men who recorded their memories of a speech 30 years after the event  and many are no more than fiction, referencing events and inventions that occurred long after his death.

If you’d like to read more about Chief Seattle, this period in history and the story of an undocumented speech follow the links below.  If you continue your search and find more interesting documentation please share in the comments below!

Thus Spoke Chief Seattle:  The Story of An Undocumented Speech

Featured Article About Chief Seattle From History Net Magazines

 

 

Happy Halloween 2018

Many of you know Halloween is John’s favorite holiday and the planning, preparation and decorating for this year’s display started months ago.  A close look might reveal some familiar elements from previous years but somehow he managed to out do himself and present a completely new environment for this spookiest day of the year.

 

Autumn Color in the PNW

The Reds and Greens of Autumn

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.Unknown

Autumn Color in the PNW

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”– L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Autumn Color in the PNW

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”– Stanley Horowitz

Autumn Color in the PNW

“A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.”– Unknown

Autumn Color in the PNW

The Last Few Days of Summer

There is a time in the last few days of summer when the ripeness of autumn fills the air. Rudolfo Anaya

Even though the calendar says we’ve passed from summer to autumn the few weeks between September 21st and the middle of October always feel like an extended summer in the PNW with subtle shifts in light and leaf color our only cues that change is indeed on the way.  Mornings are darker, the sun sits lower on the horizon and colors move from all encompassing green to warmer reds and oranges while daytime temperatures rival the best our summer had to offer.

We’re in one of these perfect periods now and I’m trying to ignore the fact that it will soon come to an end so I can simply relax, live in the moment and enjoy the best of both seasons.

We Will Welcome Summer’s Ghost

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost. Henry Rollins

Sigh, “summer’s wreckage” is a pretty fair description of my yard and garden today.  The peak heat of August has passed leaving a tangled mess of overgrown branches, dry, burned leaves and wilted flowers in its wake.  Even the forests look like they need a rest from the hustle and bustle of summer.  Early September is always busy here with back to school activities and new routines take precedence over yard work so inevitably the mess outside lasts until a crisp October weekend when I tackle it all and try to prepare for winter.

If the flowers are still blooming it’s not really time to pull them, right?  That’s what I’m telling myself this afternoon looking at the ghosts of flower pots past hoping I can stretch them out a few more weeks…

The Scent of a Lake in the Mountains

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains. Diane Ackerman

My favorite childhood summer scents all conjure up memories of water.  Fresh, salty and earthy they all say summer to me. Lake water mixed with mountain air brings back hiking and camping trips and salty air places me immediately on an Orcas Island beach building driftwood forts while listening to gentle waves rolling across tiny pebbles.

A third water based scent memory is also one of my favorite new words, petrichor.

  Definition: “A pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions.” (Oxford English Dictionary)

Even though the Pacific Northwest is known for its wet weather the truth is we rarely see rain in the summer so I most associate petrichor with the scent of sprinkler water bouncing off hot earth under a bright summer sun.  To this day Petrichor still means fun, splashing, and if we are lucky, popsicles and ice cream.

Do you have any favorite summer scents?  If so please share below!