Sunny and Blue at Seward Park

After a snowy weekend we enjoyed the crisp and cold but sunny weather yesterday;  a perfect time to bundle up and walk through Seattle’s Seward Park on Lake Washington.   We started out under brilliant blue skies, with this view of Mt. Rainier partially hidden by cloud cover.

We walked the path through the center of the park’s old growth forest,

enjoying the blossoms heralding spring.

On the other side we found the Seattle skyline standing tall above the lake.

Sometimes the bluest skies you’ve ever seen really are in Seattle.  And the bluest lakes too.

~ Susanne

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweet Benji

Time is running out for this week’s photo challenge and after mulling it over I can think of no better example of sweetness than Benji.

So why not?

Sweet

A Week of Winter Gardening

Cold – wind – rain – snow – sunshine –  we saw everything this week.  But when the rain stopped I headed outside to tend to the garden. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time;  time that is therapeutic to the garden and also to the gardener.

My first task was to prune and relocate the roses.  I’d planted them a few years ago in the front of the house and my husband (the weeder in chief) complained they reached out and grabbed him when he tried to do his work. I agreed they weren’t in the best location and would move them.  But where?  So this opened up the next set of chores: to find space in the garden beds in back. Gardening is like that – one thing leads to another. .

I’d start with the herb bed which was wild and overcrowded.  I’d remove the woody plants and send them to the recycle heap but save and transplant the best – the lavender, rosemary and mint. The vegetables would take their old spot and I’d plant the roses where the vegetables had been.  (Isn’t that what a real gardener does?  Just keep moving the same plants around and around year after year?)

Benji supervised the action and helped himself to some of the mint too.

Here is my new bed of roses with rosemary and lavender planted between – I hope they’re all happy together.

I finished up just in time. Today we got our first snow of the year as large, fluffy, wet, flakes blanketed the trees and garden.

Fortunately it didn’t last.  An hour later blue skies and sunshine returned and everything looked washed and manicured.

There’s still much more to do of course. We’ll add compost to the vegetable bed. Carrots, lettuce, squash and beans will be planted at the proper time.  Tomatoes and potatoes will be planted later in whisky barrels.  The strawberry bed in front needs care and thinning out.  But there’s plenty of time for all that.

Looking forward to spring!

~  Susanne

Office Cats

For many years I worked in an office. I had a desk. And a computer. And a window with a view.  But something was missing.

I’m home now and I still have an office. And a desk. And a computer. And a window with a view.  But now I have something more.

“I’m here to help Sue. Just say the word,” says Tiger.

“Anything he can do, I can do better,” says Benji.

They’re Tiger and Benji,  Office Cats.

~ Susanne

Road Trip to the Columbia River Gorge

We were promised two days of sunshine earlier this week, and so to celebrate we drove south for a night at the Columbia River Gorge. Our plan was to take in the waterfalls on the Oregon side; then spend the night at Skamania Lodge on the Washington side, a place we’d never been before.

Our first stop was at the Crown Point Vista House where skies were blue and the wind icy as we gazed on the mighty Columbia.

Next up we visited our first waterfall, the 249 ft. Latourell Falls.

Continuing east we learned the Historic Scenic Highway was closed due to damage from the wildfire in September.  So our tour of the waterfalls was cut short and it was time to cross the river to Skamania Lodge.  Wow!  How did we miss this place all these years?  Opened in 1993, the Lodge sits on 175 acres of forested land overlooking the Columbia and is complete with restaurants, spa,  golf course and hiking trails.  The building of the lodge was the result of the Act that created the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in 1986; which called for a conference center on the Washington side.  The winter rates made it very affordable and the views of the river and sunset were perfect.  We will be back.

The next day we continued the drive east, enjoying views of Mt. Hood along the way and watching as the landscape turned from forest to farmland and desert.

Near the Columbia Hills, we came across this sign and could indeed see all four of the famous mountains from that spot.

But it was Mt. Adams that was front and center, finally getting the attention – at least from me – that it deserves.

As we traveled north towards Yakima to complete our loop trip we noticed the clouds amassing in the sky,  and the sun beginning to set in Ellensburg.

Our two rain free days were almost over and shortly after we returned home so did the rain, just as promised.

~ Susanne

I Like Sculptures

I don’t know much about art, but I like sculptures the best, especially the quirky ones that dot the landscape of our cities. Here are a few favorites from some of my recent travels across the USA.

I found this humble Iron, my favorite piece from Monopoly, on the streets of Philadelphia.

I stopped to chat with the roly poly people in Washington DC’s sculpture garden, (officially known as the Last Conversation Piece.)

The giant cupid’s arrow looked magnificent in San Francisco, ready to do its work on Valentine’s day.

Ped, along the banks of the Columbia River in Wenatchee, reminds me to keep on truckin’.

This rusty band played on near Mt Rainier in a garden of sculpture art.

While closer to home these faithful stony walkers cheer me on at Coulon Park in Renton.

~ Susanne

Who can resist that face?

Not me.

Happy Saturday.

~ Susanne and Benji

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