Dirt Paths

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
― John Muir

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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…

Mountain wildflowers in Washington State's Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park: Colorful Mountains and Meadows Filled with Wildflowers

Mountain wildflowers in Washington State's Olympic National Park

It’s August in the PNW and that means every day we have available is spent outside enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds us.  This year our summery blue skies have been filled with a toxic mix of wildfire smoke from around the world ( Siberia, Canada, Washington, Idaho and California) but with some careful planning and a lucky stretch of wind we had a clear day to visit one of my favorite places in the Olympic National Park.

If you’re in the park I heartily recommend the drive up to Hurricane Ridge.  Views from parking lot are amazing, the lodge is filled with great information and knowledgable rangers and there are a variety of trails for all levels of hikers.  We spent our 20th anniversary hiking to the peak you see at the top of this image, whew, and this year we returned to enjoy the lower section of the trail while gazing up at the peaks, relieved we’d already climbed it so we could stop awhile and literally smell the flowers.

I’ll post more photos from the day soon but today I hope you enjoy our moment of zen in the meadow of flowers along the trail to Klahhanie Ridge.

Ascend to a Higher Development

One can ascend to a higher development only by bringing rhythm and repetition into one’s life. Rhythm holds sway in all nature.

Rudolf Steiner

August hiking in the PNW.  Pack your layers!

We can find Nature outside us only if we have first learned to know her within us. What is akin to her within us must be our guide. This marks out our path of enquiry.

Rudolf Steiner

Hiking the Klahhane Ridge Trail in Olympic National Park

What the human being sees, what is poured into his environment, becomes a force in him. In accordance with it, he forms himself.

Rudolf Steiner

Hiking the Klahhane Ridge Trail in Olympic National ParkAs the winter solstice approaches and the holiday season is in full swing John, Ryan, Finn and I wish everyone a happy and peaceful end to 2017.  Even though our December days are fuller than ever we’ve been careful to protect time for family and in the evenings we are studying hiking guides and making plans to spend more long summer hours exploring nature and marking out our own paths of enquiry.

XOXO Lisa, John, Ryan and Finn

Solitude

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.  Aristotle

 solitude

I’m certainly not a wild beast or a god but it’s nice to know we have something in common.  Solitude.

My Year In Pictures: September Weeks 3 & 4

If you’re a follower of my Instagram feed you already know I’ve moved on from summer photos to fall and we’ve all been enjoying pretty leaves, gardening and seasonal changes so I’m pushing the fast forward button here and posting the last two weeks of September together in one fell swoop.  I really don’t like to fall behind schedule, especially if it’s a self-imposed one so these two-week catch-up posts are not my favorite but after replacing my computer, being surprised by a new operating system,  working through a phone (camera) fail and finally setting up a new phone my carefully maintained photo files were a scrambled mess.  On the surface I’ve been faithfully taking and posting a new photo to social media for every day of the week but behind the scenes it’s been nothing but aggravation each time I try to write and illustrate a new post here on the blog.  My fingers crossed things are sorted out now so going forward I’m hoping for fun and easy writing to finish the year. 🙂

Most of these new photos are really a best-of highlight reel from our summer vacations and as you can see they are focused on my favorite warm weather activities:  hiking and relaxing by the water.  The last two are hints of what is to come with a view through the trees in my backyard and a creepy skull to note the first day of October.  Halloween is John’s favorite holiday and the decorating blitz has started so if you’re a fan of all things spooky I’ll have plenty more to share throughout the month.

Next week we will be back to real-time posts but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click herefor IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂

My Year In Pictures: September Week 2

It’s obvious I’m running a little behind real-time as my photo project is reaching the middle of September while the calendar says October is almost here but I’m actually liking the opportunity to stretch out summer for as long as possible.  Fall has its own beauty but summer is truly my favorite so I hope you don’t mind spending a little more time flipping through my vacation photos and a few random images from our regular life here in the Pacific Northwest.

This week you’ve got a blend of some Olympic Peninsula shots mixed with views from my days at home so we’ll start with the lovely Lake Crescent.  If it wasn’t for the brisk wind and worry about a long wait in the Ferry line we would have been in those canoes paddling around the shore… maybe next time. 🙂  Instead Ryan had some fun goofing around in an old phone booth in the main lodge and we settled for a brisk walk along the shore before getting back in the car to finish our trip home.   Once we were settled it was back to business and I started by listing a new item in our Etsy store.  The next day Finn and I enjoyed a quiet moment on the grass watching clouds and Friday evening I took the hint and decided to “stop” on my couch after a long commute and relax with a tasty gin and tonic.  Saturday afternoon Ryan and I went out to walk our local fishing pier and as luck would have it a ferry entered my shot at exactly the right moment.

Next week will be a return to some vacation out-takes and if you’re curious about where we’ve been this month I’ve been keeping up with my daily share project on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to clickhere for IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂

 

My Year In Pictures: September Week 1

As soon as our first hike to Second Beach ended two years ago a return trip has been at the top of my vacation wish list.  Our first visit was such a lovely surprise with a quiet beach, warm temperatures, and wide open vistas  we couldn’t help but remember the area as always being bathed in sunshine but this year we were pleasantly surprised with a complete change in circumstances.  After days of record-breaking heat the winds shifted during our hike through the forest and brought this amazing fog just in time for sunset.  I’ll admit we were hoping to watch a summer sky filled with orange and pink but instead I think we were treated to something even more magical.  This week’s post is one more break from my typical weekly recap style but I took too many pictures to only share one from the day so I hope you enjoy this series of seven. 🙂

Next week will be a return to more real-time photos and recaps so if you’re curious about where we’ve been this month I’ve been keeping up with my daily share project on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click here for IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂

My Year In Pictures August Week 5

Keeping with the style from my last post this final August catch-up will also be a simple combination of location notes and lots of pretty pictures.  If anyone wonders why we love living in the Pacific Northwest this series of Olympic National Park photos really illustrates the best of what we enjoy on a daily basis.  It’s not all rain and fog around here. 🙂  In a typical year this part of the state is a little cooler and wetter than where we live along Puget Sound but this year has been anything but typical and we managed to visit during some of the hottest days ever recorded in the park.  These seven photos cover one full Saturday beginning on Ruby Beach followed by a steamy hike through the Hoh Rainforest and a visit to the Hoh River for some cool mountain water.  We had dinner in La Push before starting our final hike out to Second Beach hoping to catch the sunset.  More from the beach next week…

I’ve been keeping up with my daily share project on Instagram and Facebook so If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click here for IG and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂

 

 

 

My Year In Pictures: August Weeks 3 & 4

It’s Labor Day Weekend here marking the end of summer and the window above my desk is filled with fog, rain and maple leaves that are starting to turn.  Here on the blog however we’re still in the middle of sunshine and summer days as I haven’t posted an update since August 18th!  Today is the start of two catching-up posts and since I have so many great photos to share I’m making a slight change to my typical posting style.  Instead of a day by day breakdown of our activities I’ll share a few general details, then let the photos speak for themselves.  I have been keeping up with my daily share project on Instagram and Facebook though so If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click here for IG and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome. 🙂

I shared a photo of John’s poor Subaru after his accident in July so this set of images starts with a shot from inside his new car.  This time we decided to try a hybrid and so far the Prius has been a great addition to the family.  I spent a few days taking late summer shots from our garden then we packed the car and left for a whirlwind trip to the Peninsula and three days in Olympic National Park.  There’s a reason this is one of the most visited national parks in the country and it’s so close we can see the tips of the Olympic Mountains from our front door.  A quick ferry trip and 2 hour drive is all it takes to start hiking in the mountains, exploring beautiful beaches and walking through a rainforest.

I’ve got a great set of new photos from the end of August and beginning of September and if you’d like to follow along in real-time don’t forget I post my daily photos on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.  If a once-a-week (or two) blog read is more your speed my weekly recaps will continue here along with caption notes containing editing information for each photo.

Weekly Photo Challenge: On The Way To Klahhane Ridge

“In-between moments can be just as memorable as grand finales. This week, share a photo you took on the way to something else.” – Michelle W. The Daily Post

On The Way

Last August John, Ryan and I spent four days exploring The Olympic National Park and even though I was recovering from a summer cold we thought a hike along Klahhane Ridge would be a great way to celebrate our 20th anniversary.  I really felt the effects of being sick but we kept moving and by the end of the day my Fitbit logged over 11 miles and the equivalent of 264 flights of stairs!  The final 1.4 miles and 1400 foot elevation gain was a killer but I’m happy to report we made it to the day hiker turnaround in plenty of time for a picnic lunch and a big bag of Peanut M&M’s.

This photo is from one of many rest points along the way and posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion (Sounds of the Hoh River)

“A stream is music and motion:  smooth glides, fast, turbulent riffles and deep pools, each posing a special challenge.”

Nelson Bryant

Motion

We could hear music from the Hoh River long before we reached this rocky beach in the Olympic National Park.  The water literally sang as it rushed over the flat stones and around large boulders and dead trees blocking it’s path.  Up and down the river the sounds evolved in a natural progression leading from the mountains to the ocean.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Motion.