Green over Blue in the Pacific Northwest

A Saturday and I woke up feeling kind of blue.  Needed some green for the cure and so we hit the road heading east looking for it.  After thirty minutes or so, traffic slowed and cars lined the road on the approach to Rattlesnake Lake.  Oh!  It’s a Saturday in summer and everyone is out.  Further up the road we find the Cedar River Watershed Education Center nestled on the shores of the lake.  No crowds here and we enjoy great views of Rattlesnake Ledge above, in relative quiet and safely on the ground,

rather than with the hoards of brave hikers perched precariously at the top.

A nice stop but on we go to the nearby and lesser traveled Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie where Bob knows the best places to hike and cast his fly rod into the river.

We arrive at our destination and enjoy a short walk through the woods to the footbridge.

On the other side, Bob finds a perfect spot to cast his line and has the river all to himself.

I walk the trail nearby, enjoying the beauty of the river and mountains and every green thing. Happy.

The great thing about carrying a camera is you look more closely at the world around you and see things you never noticed before; like this tiny starry plant (or is it lichen or moss?) growing everywhere on the side of the trail, so delicate yet hardy at the same time, and in various shades of green.

I must have passed it by many times over the years, but today I saw it. Touched it. Marveled at it.  A good day.

~  Susanne

A Halt to the Work at the Tiffany Park Woods

Too little too late.  The beautiful Tiffany Park Woods are nearly gone, the birds and wildlife already evicted, the native flora disappeared. Still, I was heartened to know someone is paying attention to the promises made by the developer when they obtained the permit to raze these woods and replace them with 97 houses.   According to a story in today’s Renton Reporter, “a stop work order was issued after inspectors found two protected trees were removed from the site.”  I wondered why all had gone quiet.

“In order to lift the stop order, the developers will have to meet conditions set upon by the city, including paying a fine and replacing the two removed trees with 12 other trees. The city will decide on the types and locations of the trees at a later date. In addition, if the developers remove other protected trees once the stop work order is lifted, the city will revoke their permit and cease all construction.”  ~  Renton Reporter 6/28/17

There is some justice after all.

I visited the Woods earlier this spring before the work began to document their beauty.

For the last few weeks I have also documented their destruction, which has been far more difficult to observe than I had imagined.

I watched a panicked red-headed woodpecker fly to a large Douglas Fir in my yard (to take up residence I hope) after the large trees around him came down.  And I have never seen a sadder looking deer than this one recently taking refuge in a tiny patch of remaining woods as trees were felled nearby.  I hope he made it safely to a new home.

For several years, friends of the Tiffany Park Woods fought against this project and lost.  What they won were concessions from the builder including a tree retention plan as conditions for the permit. The work stoppage may only be temporary, but if it results in the saving of a few more trees, then it is worth it.  I’m glad the developer is being held accountable for the terms that were agreed upon.

~ Susanne

Benji the Mighty Hunter

This is Benji and I am a mighty hunter.  Tiger taught me well.

First, he said, you must listen with your whole body until you sense the presence of the varmints underfoot. This I practice.

Then, he said, you will smell them.  Follow the scent. Quietly.  Patiently.

This too I practice.

Do not be quick to attack, he said.  Conserve your energy.  Wait. Watch. You will know when it is time.

When you discover their lodging, he said, but they refuse to surrender, you must dig and dig until you rout them out.

Rest if you must but do not lose heart.  If they escape today they will be there tomorrow for you to surprise.

These things I practice for I am Benji, the Mighty Hunter.

~ Benji

Well said, boy.

~ Tiger

P.S. from Susanne

Benji exercised these hunting skills for well over an hour last night, patiently watching, digging and pulling up tufts of grass but to no avail. The rodent apparently won this round but Benji was not discouraged.

Sunrise and Sunset on the Oregon Coast

I simply can’t let it go.  The Oregon Coast I mean.  Now that I’m home and unloading my pictures I see all that beauty again and so please bear with me, while I post a few more photos, this time focused on sunrise and sunset.

Sunrise first at Florence over the Siuslaw River, the only one I caught as I am not an early riser.  Maybe I should be.

Sunsets come more easily as they don’t require I get up at 5:30.  I’m actually looking forward to winter just so I can see the sun rise at a decent hour. An earlier sunset wouldn’t be bad either.

This rather mellow sunset was at Bandon.

And this one at Lincoln City.

Sigh.

And to all a good night.

~  Susanne

Postcards from the Oregon Coast

Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast: wild and rugged beaches, capes and bluffs, sea stacks where nesting birds make their homes, ancient volcanic rock with fanciful shapes and names, strewn along offshore, all preserved and available to the public thanks to Oregon’s early conservationists. Sprinkled along the way are charming towns, fishing villages, and lighthouses shining as beacons; what’s not to like?

We were happy to be able to explore the Oregon Coast this week for the umpteenth time, for we are neighbors to the north in Washington, and this is the one place Oregon has us beat.  (True. Seattle beats Portland.  Rainier beats Hood.  We share the Columbia.  Oregon wins for best coast.)

Here’s a sampling of what we enjoyed.

We headed south from Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River, which dates back to the 1805 Lewis and Clark expedition.

Further down we had lunch at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City.

We always stop and shop in the tiny town of Wheeler…

and in Old Town Florence.

We had to stop by the largest coastal sand dunes in North America, the Oregon Dunes which run from Florence to Coos Bay. (That’s not us on the bikes but we wish it was.)

We went as far south as Bandon on this trip and marveled at the rock formations offshore.  Face Rock gazes heavenward.

The wind was blowing with gale force in Bandon and we loved watching the powerful waves crash into the rocks and jetties where a lighthouse stood nearby.

Now I will leave you with the sun setting on the Pacific Ocean from the balcony at our hotel in Lincoln City, where it just so happens we stayed on our honeymoon almost 35 years ago.

Postcards from the Oregon Coast. We will be back.

Susanne

Scenes from the Oregon Coast

I woke up this morning in Florence on the Oregon Coast, arguably one of the most beautiful and accessible coastlines in America, if not the world. The past few days were overcast but the amazing sunrise over the Siuslaw River heralded a change in weather for the remaining days of our trip.

Next up were the Oregon Dunes which run from Florence to Coos Bay along the central coast.  We stopped to admire the mountains of ancient golden sand and breathe in the fresh ocean air scented with forest.

And now onward to Bandon under sunny skies.  I will share more pictures of the beautiful Pacific coast beaches in the next post.  Until then here is a picture of Cannon Beach from a few days ago just before it was swallowed up in clouds.

The dog (not ours) didn’t seem to mind.

Susanne

Still Brothers

This is Tiger and today is human Father’s Day.  Even though I don’t know where my father is, and I am not a father, still I am a big brother to Benji.  I think it is important to remember what we have instead of being sad about what we don’t have. Sometimes I complain about Benji but he is playful and full of vigor and reminds me how wonderful youth is. I am doing my best to mentor the little boy and I think he is coming along. I am pleased.

This is Benji and someday I want to be just like Tiger.  He is very smart and patient with me and even though he is bigger he doesn’t beat me up when I sometimes jump on him.  Also he has two good ears.

We are brothers.

~Tiger and Benji