Garden Art

I’m so glad that spring is here and I’ll be spending more time in my garden; not an ordinary garden but one full of treasures most of them installed by my creative husband.  Though we do have a wood burning stove, the logs below are part of the garden art and a place for the ivy to roam.

Inspired by Sunday Stills, ‘Something Green.’

~ Susanne

A Saturday in the Garden

The weather has turned at long last and spring is finally here.   And there’s nothing more I’d rather do on a Saturday then spend such a day in the garden with the boys.  The pretense is gardening and I will do some of that yes I will. But I’m really outside to enjoy the stream, breathe warm, fragrant air, listen to the birds sing, and enjoy the kitties rambling about the yard.

There is of course plenty to do.   Cleaning out the bird baths. Weeding and transplanting.  Discarding the unwelcome – and sometimes – uninvited guests (Mr. Spearmint you know who you are.) And there was plenty of help in the doing of it too.

And when the garden work was done for the day

the rest of the time was given to play.

and to watching the birds.

It was a wonderful day spent in the garden with many more to come.  Now before I go, I’ll give you the latest behind us where the woods were razed. The posts are in so the next time I show you this view it will include a cedar fence.

No, it’s not the woods.

But it will do.

~ Susanne

Things are Looking Up

Right, Benji?

~ Susanne

Shiny

Cannon at Fort Casey,  Whidbey Island

Firebird sculpture at Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, NC

Winter sunset over the Skagit River

All are Shiny.  For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

~ Susanne

Raindrop Jewels

We’re cold and rainy for a few days here in the Pacific Northwest so I curbed my plans for today’s outdoor activities.  Even so, I found the raindrops on our maple tree to be exquisite and wanted to share them with you.

~ Susanne

A Walk through St. Augustine and Castillo de San Marcos

On our drive from Charlotte to Orlando last fall we were welcomed into the sunshine state with very little sunshine.

But rainy or not we were determined to stop by St. Augustine, founded in 1565 and the oldest city in America.

More precisely, according to the Visitor’s Center:  “St. Augustine is the first permanent and oldest, continuously occupied European settlement in the continental United States. The city was founded 42 years before Jamestown and 55 years before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.”

It was a city that would change hands numerous times in its long history:  from Spanish – to British – to Spanish – to the United States – to the Confederacy – and back to the United States again after the Civil War.

We set out to explore it.

Through the City Gates

Constructed in 1808, the city gates open onto the north end of St. George’s street into the heart of historic St. Augustine.

St. George’s Street

We walked down the narrow, pedestrian only street,  and came across the oldest wood schoolhouse in the USA.

The street was also lined with restaurants and shops and I’m quite sure it would have been jammed if the weather had been better. We stopped for lunch,  then browsed the shops and I somehow managed to abstain from buying anything (save ice cream.)

Take a closer look at the structure above, made of coquina, a Spanish word that means ‘little cockleshell.’ Coquina is a semi-rare form of limestone composed mostly of shells and a little sand and is the same material used to build the city gates and historic Castillo de San Marcos, which was our next stop.

Castillo de San Marcos 

The large Spanish stone fortress was built between 1672 and 1695, to protect St. Augustine against pirates and defend Spain’s claims in the New World.  It’s the oldest masonry fort in the continental USA, complete with drawbridge and moat, and is a prime example of the “bastion system” of fortification.

Now a National Monument, we met this soldier at the entrance dressed in the uniform of the earliest Spanish period.

We crossed the draw bridge and explored the castle-like fort and its historic artifacts,

including this Spanish coat of Arms from the 16oo’s, which originally hung outside at the ravelin.

We almost didn’t make it up top over fear of lightning strikes, but when the coast was clear we were allowed upstairs, happy to have brought umbrellas with us.

Not exactly the best day for a walk but I’m glad we stopped to see the historic city and its castle/fort.  Now if we’d only had time to stop at the Fountain of Youth – but alas we were out of time.   I guess I’ll just continue aging gracefully.

My entry for Jo’s Monday Walk

~  Susanne

Dream House at Tiffany Park

There once was a forest in Tiffany Park.  The trees were worn and tangled yet full of life; native plants and mosses provided splashes of color.

Deer and raccoon, owls and woodpeckers, all called it home.

Dogs and their walkers visited daily and there boys built their forts.

The woods were the stuff of childhood but I was not here then.

I came later when the Tiffany Park Woods became the backdrop to my dream house.

Until one day the woods were sold and the loggers rolled in.

They ripped out the trees where they were firmly planted for generations.

‘So violent,’  we said. ‘We didn’t expect it.’

Time went by and streets were paved and lampposts added.

And finally there was a house – a model house – like a luxury hotel at luxury prices.

With ninety more like it to come.

I won’t be buying one but that’s okay – I already have my dream house.

It still remains on the other side.

~

Inspired by life and Lorna’s prompt, ‘Dream House.’

~ Susanne

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