Nesting Birds in the Garden

Our little garden shed has become quite the bird condo with wrens in particular nesting in the birdhouses my husband built. I wasn’t sure they’d be happy so close to their neighbors but it hasn’t deterred them.

Every morning they’re out and about gathering materials to take back into their houses. Perhaps by now they are even gathering food to feed their young. I’ll keep a watch out for fledglings.

That’s all for now. 🙂

~ Susanne

Busy as a Bee on Chives

As the weather has settled down and chores have been done I stopped to watch the bees on the chives in my garden. Intent and with singleness of purpose, they go from flower to flower gathering nectar and pollen as food for themselves and their young. By carrying pollen on their bodies they also perform a critical service as pollinators, enabling plants to reproduce.

And they do it all cheerfully held aloft on tiny gossamer wings.

Isn’t it a miracle? 🙂

~ Susanne

Cute Cats Sleeping

Nothing to see here.

Just a couple of cute cats sleeping.

Happy Friday! 🙂

~ Susanne, Benji and Tiger

A Night for the Birds

First of all I’m disappointed – I didn’t get to see last night’s lunar eclipse. Not for lack of trying. I did get up a few times looking for the moon but couldn’t quite locate it among the clouds. Oh well.

To make up for it I went outside tonight to see if I might catch the hummingbirds feeding. I hid in the garden shed nearby and waited. Not long enough apparently for as soon as I went back into the house they appeared. (The little fellows were obviously watching me.)

So I did my best to shoot from a distance and managed to get a few decent shots of the Anna’s Hummingbirds. You can click on the pictures in the gallery to enlarge them.

While I still had my camera in hand, I watched a wren go in and out of two different birdhouses. Keeping his options open I guess.

And that will do for the birds.

~ Susanne

These are a Few of My Favorite Vacation Spots

I love to travel. Anywhere. Everywhere. And as the world is (finally) opening up again our travel planning has begun. So for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge, I thought I’d share some of my favorite vacation spots, starting closest to home.

Olympic National Park

I love all the national parks but Olympic National Park is one of my favorites. Fortunately we can be there in less than four hours and enjoy all of this – and do so every year.

Canadian Rockies

For the perfect road trip from Seattle there’s nothing like heading north to the Canadian Rockies to visit the best of Canada’s National Parks – Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. I can’t believe it’s been almost five years since our last trip. Clearly it’s time to go again – hopefully when the border reopens.

Hawaii

Finally, I can’t think of a better vacation spot than Hawaii. Four major islands to choose from and direct flights from Seattle. One whiff of the fragrant, warm breezes and I’m immediately on island time.

Maybe we can squeeze in a trip to Hawaii this year too. One can dream, can’t they 🙂

~ Susanne

Downtown Seattle in Black and White

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge I thought I’d take you on a tour of downtown Seattle with a little history on the way. Use the slider to view the image in both color, and black and white.

My first job downtown was next door to the tallest building in town at the time. Then called the Seafirst Bank Building it was also known as ‘the box the Space Needle came in.’ I think some folks believed it.

Later on I worked near another monolith – the Columbia Center – at 933 feet and 76 stories, still the tallest in Seattle.

But the earliest record holder for tallest Seattle skyscraper was the Smith Tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi when built in 1914. I remember taking the bus downtown when I was a kid and paying 35 cents to the bellhop to ride the elevator to the top.

It’s still the most iconic of Seattle’s skyscrapers though it’s clearly dwarfed by it neighbors in the skyline.


The Amazon spheres appeared much later downtown as the company gobbled up real estate in South Lake Union.

Their new buildings created a canyon through which to view the Space Needle in the distance.

Finally I’ll close with scenes from the Pike Place Market, opened in 1907 and a favorite of locals and tourists alike.

Mostly I prefer a Seattle in color but it was fun to experiment with black and white.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

~ Susanne

Where’s the Mountain? Behind Seattle’s Gray

The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle, sang Perry Como.

Perhaps they are – just not often enough! 😉

It turns out that Seattle is one of the cloudiest cities in the country, with over 300 cloudy days a year on average. Which means there are many days when clouds obscure that beautiful mountain to the south.

In fact, many a traveler has come to Seattle hoping to see the elusive Mt. Rainier, only to find it shrouded in clouds.

Sometimes the clouds are indistinguishable, a mass of milky gray blanketing the sky. Other times they are threatening and ominous, like when they hovered over the city on our second ever cruise.

We watched and waited as they threatened, then made good on their promise.

Fortunately for us the rain stayed south and was short lived. We left Seattle high and dry, enjoying a perfect sunset later at sea.

Still – it might be time to add a new verse to the song.

“The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle. Perhaps the grayest too.”

For Sunday Stills, Gray.

~ Susanne

Where’s Benji?

Happy Saturday from Susanne and Benji!

Sweet Smelling Azaleas!

My favorite azaleas are blooming this week filling the garden with the fragrance of honeysuckle!

Can you smell them?

For Cee’s Flower of the Day. 🙂

~ Susanne

Bicycling Along the Mighty Columbia!

Looking for someplace special to ride your bike? We were too! And we found it along the mighty Columbia River on the Apple Capital Loop Trail! Yes it did require a quick jaunt over the mountains and an overnight stay in Wenatchee – but that was half the fun!

We took a leisurely drive on Stevens Pass over the Cascades through Bigfoot Country

and the next day we were ready to roll, starting at Wenatchee Confluence Park.

The trail was a perfect 10 miles round trip with waterfront parks and sculptures dotting the west side of the river.

Under the watchful eye of a nesting Osprey!

On the east side we had solitude, lovely views of town,

and more birds, larger in number but smaller in size.

Tiny quail running across the path as fast as their feet could carry them.

As we neared the end of the loop, views of the Cascade Mountains came into focus and we were back to where we started.

That afternoon we drove back home over Blewett Pass under big sky leaving the mountains behind.

We’ll be back to take the trail further up to Rocky Reach Dam but this will do for now.

– Susanne

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