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.

 

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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!

The view from Ebey's Landing on Whidbey Island, WA

Summer is the Annual Permission Slip…

Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.   Regina Brett

The view from Ebey's Landing on Whidbey Island, WA

For the second summer in a row our traditionally beautiful August has been smothered with smoke from wildfires burning across the western United States and Canada.  After weeks of air quality alerts and directions to remain indoors with closed windows the noxious smoke is starting to dissipate leaving me longing for missed hiking opportunities and lazy summer days at the beach filled with sunshine and a good book.

Whenever there was a break in the smoke we literally ran for the hills so I do have a few new mountain photos to share, stay tuned, but I had to dip into the archives for a pretty summer day at the beach…

 

Tour Guide – Olympia, WA in Black and White

Labeling this post a “tour guide” might bit of a stretch as I’ve left out all the touristy bits about landmarks, photo-ops and directions but it fits the theme of the weekly photo challenge and it’s been years since I spent time in our State’s Capital so when we took Ryan to Olympia to begin his week as a Senate Page I made sure to arrive early enough to wander around and take a few pictures.

The capital complex is a beautiful place, full of interesting history and architecture and one day I might write a more traditional post walking us through those points but today I’ll share some small snapshots of little vignettes that spoke to me.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Tour Guide

2018 – A New Year and a New Look

While I say I like to reach out and try new things, deep down I’m really a creature of habit.  Many habits.  If I find a breakfast or lunch I like I’ll eat it every day for a year or longer, I play the same albums over and over and over and I return to a few favorite authors time and again because I’m familiar with their style and can jump right into a new story without the “getting to know you” phase.

The same holds true with photo processing.  I’ve written several times about my favorite editing apps and even though I’m currently exploring a few new ones for my go-to list you can always find a few Hipstamatic shots sitting at the top of my photos folder.  Last year I spent almost all of my Hipstamatic time using the lens and film combination of Elijah + Love 81 which led to my Shades of Blue series but on New Year’s Day I took the symbolic step of activating its “shake to randomize” feature and with one quick twist of my wrist found a new favorite combination.  Say hello to these striking (mostly) black and white images courtesy of  G2 and BlacKeys B+W.

 

 

I recommend clicking within the gallery to view each image in the larger slide show format.

Don’t worry, my entire year of posts won’t be black and white but when the days get full and my head is buzzing with to-do lists there is something calming about its simplicity and a quick look around my desk would tell you I’m in need of some calming. 😉