Watching and Waiting

I really didn’t want to be there with so many dogs coming and going. Dogs looking bewildered, people looking troubled. Mostly I saw big heads leaning on big paws – the dogs not the people.  The people sat still and glum and stuck to themselves.  Not Sue. She was talking to a lady with worn hands and blue jeans. She had a farm with lots of animals and she let run them around the place freely, except for the cattle which is only right.

“I never thought I’d have a pocket dog,” she told Sue. “I found him by the side of the road and he wouldn’t have made it if I hadn’t brought him home three years ago. Some things are meant to be.”

I knew exactly what she meant. I was rescued too.

She held a dog on her lap named Tom who was even smaller than me. Tom got bit but the lady didn’t blame the other dog.

“They usually get along, play together all the time. Something must have startled him. I’m not mad, that’s what I told the owner. Things happen. I took care of the wound already. Just came in for antibiotics.”

Sue thought that’s what I needed too, though she didn’t know why or what happened. I let her know I wasn’t feeling my best by hiding under the chair, but couldn’t tell her about the other cat. Maybe she wouldn’t blame him either.

“I feel bad telling people I let my cats go outside,” Sue was saying. “I’ve had cats my whole life and they’ve always been indoor-outdoor. They love it.  I don’t know how I could change that now.”

I hoped she wouldn’t. It’s paradise really.  Fresh grass.  Flowing fountain. Birds and  bees to chase not to mention those pesky moles.  I can hold my own.  Usually.

The lady said no, she understood. “It’s part of nature for animals to be free like mine on the farm. Animals in nature don’t live in houses do they?”

They laughed together.

“So many dogs here,” Sue continued. “I wonder why.”

The farm lady laughed.  “Cats are smarter than dogs,” she said and Sue agreed.  So did I.

They were quiet then and Sue knelt down and peered into my box.

“Benji, sweet boy, I love you boy. It’s going to be okay.”

I knew that.  I wish I could let her know.  The most I could do was be still while watching and waiting.

Tom finally got to go back to the farm and we said goodbye.   I finally got to see the doctor and I was brave while they poked and prodded. I don’t remember much after that until Sue came and got me.  It’s good to be home again.  And it’s a good thing it’s raining so I won’t miss going outside for a while. At least that’s what Sue says.

~ Benji

P.S.  This is Susanne and Benji is doing fine. This post was inspired by real events and Lorna’s prompt – People Watching – over at Gin & Lemonade

Tomato Family Portraits

~  🙂   Susanne

Walking into Fall at Coulon Park

September has been slow to relinquish summer and that’s fine with me.  I’m enjoying the lingering sun and slow transformation of the leaves even as the days grow shorter.

A slow walk into Fall at Coulon Park.

~ Susanne

After Yellowstone and a Trip Downtown

Back from vacation for a week now and I’m still trying to get into the groove.  It’s a slow go.  I’m plowing through pictures I took in that most beautiful National Park and enjoying them too but honestly, what shall I do with all of them? Yes, a scrapbook, thank you.  That I will. But how many more posts of the place?  I don’t know – that will sort itself out soon enough.  In the meantime, I thought I’d take a break from Yellowstone, and share with you some things closer to home.

Fall rolled in full of fury and it was cold and rainy for a few days. Benji had the right idea and we all likewise hunkered down and rested up.

Then today came along and was everything you want a Fall day to be – all sunny and glorious.  The timing was right too as I’d planned to meet an old friend for lunch in downtown Seattle. I purposely arrived early enough to accrue lots of steps on my fitbit and visit some of my favorite places at the same time. My first destination was the Pike Place Market, which is to me, the soul of Seattle.  My great-grandfather O.T. Frasch might have thought so too when he took this picture in 1909.

Here are my pictures 109 years later and near the same spot I think, less crowded and in color.

The Pike Place Market consists of a few sprawling blocks of old buildings, fresh produce and flying fish. All the tourists love it. So do I.

From the Market you can see the Waterfront and that’s where I headed next.

I love the Waterfront – it’s always fresh and invigorating –

though somewhat marred by the crumbling Alaskan Way Viaduct, the elevated highway that runs in front.

But not for long. The eyesore will soon be demolished, replaced with an underground tunnel, and waterfront park.   I can’t wait for that.

~ Susanne

P.S.  Lunch was great too.

Garden Fossils Revisited

Tiger and Benji and I visited Katzenworld this morning for a time in the garden. Here it is in case you missed it. 😊

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2018/09/24/garden-fossils/

Yellowstone Lake and West Thumb at Sunset

It took us five trips to Yellowstone to finally make it to West Thumb Geyser Basin.  We weren’t purposely neglecting it.  It’s just that Yellowstone is such an enormous park, with thousands of hydrothermal features spread about in so many geyser basins, you can’t do it all and somehow we missed this one.  Or maybe we saved the best for last.

After a lovely birthday dinner at the Lake Hotel, we stopped by West Thumb Geyser Basin on our way back to Grant Village,  just in time for sunset.  It was perfect.

Yellowstone Lake, at 7,733 feet above sea level, with a surface area of 136 square miles, is the largest high elevation freshwater lake in North America.  It sits in the southeast portion of the Yellowstone Caldera, an ancient crater created by the eruption of a supervolcano  640,000 years ago.

West Thumb Geyser Basin is located on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, a crater within a crater, and holds lakeshore geysers, hot springs and bubbling paint pots, heated by magma chambers less than 2 miles under the earth’s surface.  It’s smaller and more concentrated than the other basins but the setting may be more beautiful.  It was also the first feature in Yellowstone described in print, when a trapper wrote a letter to his brother about the area and it was published in 1827.

We walked the boardwalk to the lake, stopping to admire the hot springs along the way.

There was Bluebell Pool

and Black Pool,

and Abyss Pool, one of the deepest in the park at 53 feet.

Geysers were bubbling at the shore, out of cones submerged under water part of the year.

O the Joy as the sunset lit up the Basin!

The perfect end to a happy birthday at Yellowstone National Park.

~ Susanne

Buffalo, Hot Springs, and Geysers O My!

We just returned from Yellowstone National Park where we spent five days (our longest stint yet) on our fifth trip to the Park.  How shall I convey to you the magnificence of that place?

Shall I start with its history?  And tell you it became the world’s first National Park in 1872, when the U.S. Congress set aside 2.2 million acres of forest, grassland and water to be preserved “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” where “timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders” would be kept “in their natural condition.”

Or I could show you the buffalo, North America’s largest land mammal, roaming freely in Yellowstone’s valleys, as they have since prehistoric times;

sometimes up close and personal.

But why stop there when I can impress you with the deepest and bluest hot springs, bubbling up from the depths of the earth, superheated by the magma chambers miles below.

And the geysers! – no doubt you’ve heard of them – the largest concentration in the world are in Yellowstone – geysers that erupt when pressure builds and the earth’s plumbing can no longer contain the heated water, like Riverside Geyser below.

Yes.  I will share all of that with you and more –  but not now – for I need time to unpack the memories and sift through the (hundreds of) photos to show you the beauty that is Yellowstone National Park.

I’ll break it down in coming posts the way the Park does by region, and share the magic of Yellowstone Lake and West Thumb Geyser Basin,  Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin,  Hayden Valley, Mammoth Hot Springs, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and much, much more!

So put on your walking shoes and come along for the Tour as I guide you through Yellowstone National Park!

~  Susanne

Holding Down the Fort

September is the best time to travel so why not hit the road? That’s what we said and set our sights and our wheels toward our favorite national park, Yellowstone. I’ll have lots of stories and pictures to share later, but in the meantime I asked the boys to hold down the fort.

They obliged.

-Susanne

A story – Wisdom from Cats in the Garden

I did a Guest Post on Katzenworld yesterday. Some of you may have already seen it but here it is in case you missed it. 🙂

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2018/09/11/wisdom-from-cats-in-the-garden/

Happy Wednesday!

Susanne

Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

The smoky skies made for some interesting sunrises,

sunsets,

and moonrises too.

But after a long, dry, summer in the Pacific Northwest, it’s good to be back to normal:

Cloudy with a chance of rain.

Remind me in November.

– Susanne

Reflections on Fall

It starts with September my favorite month.

I close my eyes and see the school, as sturdy as the last century.

It’s 4th grade again and Miss Warner is young.  Her face and hair and dress all a golden tan; her hair short and tightly coiled. The heels she wears are black like the piano she plays – upright – the music that encouraged me forever. I hope she knows this.

I breathe in deeply and smell the leaves, green and anxious to change their color.  But September moves slowly, able to hold two seasons at arm’s length – giving summer her fling of sunshine and long afternoons – letting fall have the mornings, cool and fragrant.

September finally relents and October marches in boldly in yellow and orange, red and gold.

The leaves adorn the trails we walk, and give fish their burial color.

Till November brings the first snow, a tease of winter to come.

A reminder that fall too shall pass.

This post was inspired by the prompt – Sepia Fall Memories – from Gin and Lemonade

~ Susanne

Sunset at Coulon

We decided to go for a walk at Coulon Park last night just as the sun was beginning to set.   The crowds from Labor Day weekend were mostly gone – the picnickers and swimmers soaking up the last of summer –  leaving the park quiet except for a few fishermen, boaters, walkers, and romantics there to watch the sunset.  Perhaps we fit the last two categories.

Enjoying the waning days of summer.

~ Susanne

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