5/14/11

Thursday's Walk 2.0

The sky is gray today, and rain is moving in for the rest of the weekend.  I took the morning to clean up my culinary herb garden.  I had to cut out all but just a few sticks from my two sage plants.  They always die back over the winter.  I've neglected them badly, and now they are looking pretty sad .  But, they are still alive, and that's what counts.  I kept telling myself that if I neglected my own appearance as much as I had neglected theirs, I'd be looking pretty bad too.  I expect they'll fill in as the season progresses.  I had to replace my rosemary, which always dies off in the winter.  I planted new parsley and basil, which I do every year.  And I planted some more chives.  My chives come back from year to year, but they're always so scrawny that I feel compelled to supplement them each new season.


As I said in an earlier post, I walked with George on Thursday.  I took my macro lens along and tried to get closer to some of the things I've been looking at thus far this year.  After walking, I came in and spent an hour or so uploading pictures and telling you about our walk.  That was about the time Blogger went down, and I lost the whole post.  I kept getting messages that my post wasn't getting saved, but I ignored them.  Never again.  Anyway . . . all that out of doors activity this morning has me feeling up to rewriting my post and showing you the new treasures that George and I found.  So here goes:.

I thought you might enjoy seeing a satellite image of our place.  You can get the lay of the land that way.  The structure you see in the NE corner is our closest neighbor.  The row of trees along the driveway obstructs our view of their home (and theirs of ours).  There used to be a couple of big trees near the fence, which you can barely see near the top in the middle.  As much as we hate cutting down trees, we did take those out so they wouldn't block our view of the mountains.  As you can see, there are still plenty of trees.


The row of trees on the bottom and on the east side are our property lines.  The trees on the west are the woods were George and I walk.  The structure with two roofs in the southwest corner is our house and garage and the white dash-like line you see near the center is our RV.  Then to the right of that is Mike's shop--one of those aluminum pole barns.  Then if you look to the right of that, you'll see a tiny dot of a structure.  That's our pump house.  The faint diagonal line you see to the right and below the shop is the structural support for the wind turbine.  The field looks a little brown in this image, but it's ordinarily green with grass and weeds.  Everything in rainy Portland is green, even if it isn't grass.  The patios are green, the patio furniture is green, our roofs are green.  We are often fighting back the green.  It gets between our toes too.  (Actually not.  I made that part up.)


Can you see pitiful little George in this image?  He has to cross that vast expanse called "Coyote Land" in order to get from the house to the woods.  Sometimes, he just won't do it.  Thursday was one of those mornings.  I always trust his judgment when it comes to coyotes, and so I gave in (just this once) and carried him down to the woods.  Oh joy and happy day!



Walking in the woods is George's absolute favorite thing in the world.  We have a grand crop of moss and lichens after all the rain we've had this year (see discussion of green above).



The trilliums have all gone to purple now.


But just when I think there are no white ones left, I find one.



Some things in the woods appear as if they would be flowers, but I've never seen them open.  These look like they should.


And so do these.  I'm not sure if these are flowers, or just some kind of seed pod.



These, of course, are little seed cones.  They are about the size of a thimble.  I think they would be cute to add a 3-D effect to a quilt or some other craft item.



The sword ferns are coming up in big enthusiastic groups now.  They love the rain.



We have many varieties of ferns.  These are so delicate.



At different times of the year, I see different things growing in the woods, depending on the time of year, the recent average temperature, the recent rain fall, and many other factors.  However in nine years, I've never seen these before.  They are tiny . . . about half the size of my thumb.



The yellow violets are ubiquitous and they grow and bloom all season long.


These red guys are only with us for a short time.



We always walk around the yard after our walks.  George keeps his eyes on the birds and mice.  The cherry tree has finally fully bloomed, but I didn't see a single bee.  That doesn't bode well for the fruit, sadly.  We usually have tons of bees, especially bumble bees.  I wonder where they all are.  It's probably still too cold for them.



The tulips are looking good . . . the ones that haven't been eaten by the deer, that is.



And these very nearly have their best spring clothes on.  Soon they'll be covered with showy red leaves.



This is the artichoke plant that Erik and Mae gave me for my birthday/Mother's Day.  They have a couple of plants in their yard, and they dug this one up for me, along with a stray strawberry.



So that's it from me.  My EQ7 class has been posted on Quilt University, so that's next on my list.  Then . . . what else?  Sewing!  I'm hoping to get started on my little Italian house today.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

George’s instincts are probably pretty good after all and I am pleased to know that you trust his judgment. He’s a mighty handsome cat with his regal head glowing in the sun.

WoolenSails said...

Some kitties know home is safe and know when to come home. I have my son's who will play all day, but comes home before dark. Moki is happy he has a home, for now he no plans to go back out and Dora is stupid, I would never let her outside.

Debbie

otterdaughter said...

I can identify some of your wildflowers for you. My grandpa was a forester and naturalist and he used to take me for walks in the woods all the time.

The first little white dots on the zig-zag stem above the alder cones are smilacina, or False Solomon's Seal. Those really are flower buds! The flowers are tiny (5mm) and only last a day or two.

The white tassel flowers are Fairy Lanterns. They'll have bright orange berries in the fall.

The red guys are Red Flowering Currant. They're a major attractant for hummingbirds.

All three of those are natives to the pacific northwest. :)

Regards,
Karen in Port Orchard
aka Fun & Comfort Quilts

Kate said...

Great photos! Thanks for sharing your walk!

Bayside Gal said...

What a nice walk! Love the pics, and your kitty is so smart...

Kelsey said...

I'm so glad you took the time to re-write the post. I love hearing about your walks and especially George. :)

Snoodles said...

Thanks for re-doing your post. I always enjoy your photos (my daughter is a macromeister, too, but not me!) because they are so colorful and so detailed. Just beautiful. Interesting that the comment above has identified some of your lovelies. I'd never seen them before....but I guess we have some here, that would be new to ya'll!
George looks handsome in the sunshine!
Jacque in SC
quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for re-writing about your walk with George! You know I am a big fan of your walks!!! lol

I just love all the macros & thanks to Karen for identifing some of them for us. Sometimes I surprise myself, knowing what a certain tree or plant is...but usually I am happy to enjoy their beauty!