Perspective – Under a Western Red Cedar

After bemoaning our lack of summer in the Pacific Northwest, a day showed up to prove me wrong. Cool yes, but fresh and bright with sunshine, the only clouds in the sky showcasing the brilliant blue behind.

To enjoy the day we went to Lincoln Park, one of our favorite parks in Seattle.

Seeking shade we walked through a grove of trees and one giant specimen stood out, tall and rich in bark. I believe it’s a Western Red Cedar though it’s hard to tell for sure from this perspective, looking up.

Shared with Becky’s Squares and Sunday Still’s Perspective.

~ Susanne

Benji in Training

Perhaps this is wishful thinking so let me explain.

Benji and I share an office.

I have my chair.

He has his perch.

Every morning after I feed him I retreat to my office to enjoy my coffee.

Every morning Benji joins me.

I welcome him on my lap but I don’t allow him to to sharpen his claws on my chair – we discuss this daily.

To assist with our discussion I have enlisted the support of a squirt bottle but with moderate success. So I brought in a scratching post – ‘use this’ I said – but he was reluctant to oblige.

Until I sprayed it with catnip.

Wild boy that Benji.

Still I remain hopeful.

~ Susanne

Cloudy Skies and The Summer that Wasn’t

While the rest of the country is burning up, here in the Pacific Northwest we continue to have cool temperatures. And wind. And rain. And always cloudy skies. Perhaps we’ll have no summer at all.

Earlier this week I walked along the Cedar River where sky and lake ran together in milky gray.

A later sunset walk at Coulon proved to be more interesting, especially when I played with my camera settings. We do what we can.

~ Susanne

Tiger the therapy cat

Before there was Benji, Tiger was the star of this blog and this is what he had to say a few years ago.

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Hey there.  It’s me. Tiger, the handsome tabby and therapy cat.  What’s that, you say? Therapy Cat??  Okay, so maybe I’m not officially “certified”  (yes there is such a thing.) I don’t visit nursing homes like some of my cousins. Or hospitals. Or prisons.  (Well, I have been to jail but that’s a different story!)

Certified or not, I can make you feel better!  Watch me sleep and hear me purr and you will instantly relax.  Pet me and lower your blood pressure.

Utter relaxation ~ that's what I'm talkin about Utter relaxation ~ that’s what I’m talkin’ about

More importantly, I will listen to you.  Yes, you heard right.

I am a great listener.

We cats hear it all and keep it to ourselves. The words you say when you think you’re alone. The words you don’t say.  We can read you with our “feline sense.”

Yes, it’s true. Give me a minute here and  I’ll show…

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Today’s Chickadees in the Garden

Before the hummingbirds won my heart the chickadees had it already. Tiny, cheerful, and talkative they call to one another while feasting among the evergreen trees.

Today as I sat with my camera – waiting for the hummingbirds to come and drink from freshly filled feeders – the chickadees caught my attention overhead.

‘Look at me-me-me’ they seemed to say so I did.

I’ll save the hummingbirds for another day.

~ Susanne

Bison – Wild Symbol of the American West

Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where Bison – commonly called American Buffalo – have lived continuously since prehistoric times.

They once covered the Great Plains of North America in numbers estimated as high as 60 million, but were nearly driven to extinction by slaughter in the 19th Century. There are now close to 5,000 Bison living in Yellowstone National Park, one of the best reasons to visit.

The largest land-dwelling animal in North America, males weigh up to 2,000 pounds, females up to 1,100 pounds. Visitors must be alert at all times and keep a safe distance away as posted signs warn. Unfortunately many people are injured by the animals each year by approaching too closely. All of my pictures were taken safely from a distance, sometimes from inside my vehicle where I always gave them the right-of-way.

For Photo a Week Challenge.

~ Susanne

Come along for a Drive on the Chinook Scenic Byway

I have to admit we live in a beautiful part of the country. So even though our travel has been limited by the pandemic we’re still able to visit many scenic destinations nearby.

Recently that meant a drive on the Chinook Scenic Byway. They call it a ‘scenic byway’ for a reason.

Starting south in Enumclaw the road follows the White River, continues inside the northeast corner of Mt. Rainier National Park, crosses Chinook Pass to the east side of the Cascade Mountains and ends at Naches.

There were many photo ops along the way including our first – a stop next to the White River for a look at Skookum Falls.

The White River owes its milky color to its source – nearby Emmons Glacier – the largest glacier on Mt. Rainier.

Across the river, 250 foot Skookum Falls can be seen in the distance.

A nice view and no hike required.

Next was Silver Springs Campground which we were surprised to find mostly full. It didn’t matter as we only stopped to use the facilities and view the bubbling springs that appeared from nowhere out of the ground.

Continuing upward we stopped for a walk around Tipsoo Lake – or so we thought – it was completely snowed in.

Still, we managed to get some nice views of the Mountain next door;

before crossing over to the east side where all was sunny and dry as expected. By then we were hungry so we headed to Gold Creek for their world famous Fish & Chips. Oh yes, they delivered on their promise!

After lunch, while Bob practiced fly fishing,

I wandered around with my camera, taking pictures of the trees and flowers,

and wishing I’d paid more attention in Geology class.

Then it was home again, home again, jiggety jig.

Till next time.

~ Susanne


Thy name is Benji.

~ Happy Monday from Susanne and Benji

Focus on a DayLily

I don’t have any daylilies growing in my garden but perhaps I should. Though each individual blossom only lasts for a day, one established clump will provide many beautiful flowers for weeks.

Daylilies are perennials but not a true lily and come in many colors – the orange ones are my favorite.

I took these pictures at Soos Creek Botanical Garden yesterday on my first visit of the year, and yes, while wearing a mask.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day.

~ Susanne

Garden Update and Hummingbird Dance

Good morning and welcome to my garden where life is growing and hummingbirds are courting!

Here’s the view of the garden beds from above.

Herbs and flowers are at their peak and edibles are in various stages of growth. Bush beans are flourishing and tomatoes are adjusting. I forgot to plant potatoes this year but no matter, they are sprouting up wherever they please.

Heavy rainfall has passed so watering is now a necessity. Benji sees to that.

Tiger does his part in the garden too by guarding the compost bin – here he is sleeping on the job.

An entire bed is devoted to strawberries though this may be the last year. Many have been plundered by insects or tiny slugs perhaps. I managed to salvage a few and will be on watch as they continue to ripen. Here are two of the best from today surrounded by new raspberries and thimbleberries. Aren’t they pretty?

On the other side of the fence the apple trees are heavy with young blushing apples. I hope it is more than a tease and they continue to grow and stick around till fall. I have yet to get a good crop.

Meanwhile in the shady backside of the yard hummingbirds can be seen courting.

It usually starts around the feeder where two stop by for a drink.

Afterwards the chase is on until the male perches high above to preen and fluff and flitter, flashing his head this way and that turning it a brilliant red.

The female seems unimpressed so far – perhaps she is already spoken for or playing hard to get.

At least for now.

~ Susanne

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