Happy Caturday from Benji!

You may have seen this one before but it’s one of my favorites.

Happy Caturday from Benji! 🙂

~ Susanne

The Ultimate Road Trip – Down the Oregon Coast

My dear hubby and traveling companion mentioned recently that he’d like to take a trip down the Oregon Coast.

“It’s been a while,” he said.

I laughed.

Actually, it hasn’t. We went twice last year; and every year before as long as I can remember.

My reply: “How about this fall?”

Why not, it’s a classic!

Just cross the bridge from Washington over the Columbia River and you’re in Astoria, ready to take the scenic route on 101 for the next 364 miles!

The hard part will be deciding where to stop and for how long. You’ll be tempted by every beach and small town you see and there’s an endless supply of both.

Click on pictures in the galleries to enlarge

Don’t forget the lighthouses, unique and beautiful. You have 11 to choose from – here’s a few.

And what’s a trip to the coast without stopping at the Oregon Dunes, “one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world,” according to the U.S. Forest Service website. Enjoy the views from the overlooks, take a hike or two, or if you prefer, rent a dune buggy!

And while you’re making your way through paradise don’t forget to enjoy the sunsets over the Pacific.

I can hardly wait.

Sharing with Sunday Stills.

~ Susanne

Busy Bees and Elusive Butterflies

We finally got the heat wave the rest of the country has been experiencing. Yesterday it was a blazing hot 97 degrees and we’re still expecting temperatures in the mid-nineties the rest of the week. It’s been too hot in my office to blog.

But today I was up early with the windows open and cool air coming in so I thought I’d bring you some pictures while I can.

It may be too hot for me, but the bees seem to be thriving.

And I’ve been tracking the elusive butterfly for several weeks now.

I’ve seen one or more swallowtails fluttering around in the garden high among the trees, teasing me it seems. I have lots of pictures like this. 😉

Still, I’ve been persistent and finally saw one land and stay still long enough for me to get some pictures.

When it did, I noticed its tail seemed a bit ragged.

Do these beautiful creatures fight? Did a bird take a bite?

Apparently, it’s not uncommon for them to have some damage on their wings and continue to fly and function.

Hopefully I’ll get more photos of them whole, but this will do for now.

~ Susanne

Outside at Last – A Reminiscence from Tiger

A true cat tale from the Tiger archives.

* * * *

This was some years ago when I”d been rescued from the cat jail and was settling into my new home.

I was relaxing on Sue’s desk when I felt a strange tingling on my neck and knew I was being watched.

I turned around and saw black eyes peering at me through the window.

zoo bear raccoon saeugentier
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was not afraid, no not I, but Sue came unglued and started yelling, “Bob!  There’s a raccoon on our roof!”

The next thing you know Bob’s pumping up the BB gun, running outside to scare off the old bandit. It took me a while to settle down after all the commotion but settle down I did and pondered – there really are raccoons! 

What else was out there?  Up till then I’d been an “indoor cat” – I even hate the name, no offense to the rest of the kingdom. In my previous lives, I wasn’t allowed to go outside – not even a short walk in a fenced yard. Never got to hunt in the wild like my ancestors did or jump in the air to grab a flying creature.  Instead, I had to content myself with a stray spider in the house, a slow-moving housefly or worse yet, chittering at crows and squirrels through the window.

Well, I thought, this raccoon may set back any efforts to go outside.  Still, I vowed to continue working on it so day by day, I stood by the sliding glass door, crying pitifully, with sad eyes.  I promised I would stay inside the fence and always come in at night when called.  (Uh-huh.)  And as the days grew longer and the sun grew brighter and the squirrels began running frantically to and fro, begging me to come out and play, Bob and Sue FINALLY opened the door! 

And for that I will always be grateful.

~ Tiger

Scenes from Hood Canal – Dosewallips, Bald Eagles, and Camp Parsons

Hood Canal is one of my favorite places in Washington, wild and beautiful and chocked full of memories. But Hood Canal is not a canal at all but a fjord, a long and narrow inlet of Puget Sound. Originally called Hood’s Channel by Royal Navy Capt. George Vancouver in 1792, it ended up on his charts as Hood’s Canal, and finally became Hood Canal in 1932.

I spent many summers at my grandparents’ place on Hood Canal at Pleasant Harbor, in Brinnon,

and later at my mom’s after she moved there too. I also spent a few days every summer at Camp Parsons not as a camper but as a counselor for summer camp.

Despite my familiarity with the area there’s always something new to discover as we found out on our recent trip to Port Angeles, when we took the scenic route home around the canal. Ha! It’s all scenic!

We found a new hike at Dosewallips State Park and what a hike it was! Over the river and through the woods! Well, over a creek, and through the woods, with the river in the distance.

“Dosewallips State Park is a 1,064-acre, year-round camping park with 5 miles of shoreline on Hood Canal and the Dosewallips River.

“The park’s moss-carpeted forest and glacial river slope down to a shell-strewn delta on Hood Canal, a delight for clam-diggers, anglers, boaters, birders and beach explorers.

Guests may share space with the local elk herds that wander through camp. (Stay back 100 feet, and never offer food.) Bald eagles have been seen on the beach and great blue herons flock to the river.”

Washington State Parks website

We didn’t see elk this time but we’ve seen them before. Or should I say, they saw us?

We did see bald eagles and great blue herons as we continued on around the canal.

By then we were past Camp Parsons but I have pictures to show you of that beautiful place from an earlier trip.

One of the oldest Boy Scout camps in America, Camp Parsons has been in operation since 1919. For many years our church rented it for a few days every summer for Bible Camp and Bob and I went to serve as counselors.

Back in the last century we had boundless stores of energy. We rose up early, hiked all over the grounds from cabins to dining hall to craft lodge to campfire and back to cabins again for (hopefully) a good night’s sleep, surrounded by happy kids.

We slept in rustic open air cabins, fished off the dock, sang around the campfire, listened to the Word and made many lasting friendships.

It was wonderful; I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

And that’s enough for Hood Canal.

Till next time.

~ Susanne

Backyard Lavender Festival

I didn’t make it to the Lavender Festival this year, but I do have several varieties of lavender in my garden, so I decided to have my own.

I picked a small bouquet but left most intact for the bees to enjoy.

We were both happy.

Still, there’s nothing quite like seeing fields of lavender so here are a few pictures from last year’s festival in Sequim.

That will do for now,

~ Susanne

The Other Side of the Mountain- Sunrise and Silver Falls at Mt Rainier

It was only two weeks ago that I took you to Paradise on the south side of Mt. Rainier National Park – here – if you missed it.

But that didn’t stop us from returning again, this time to Sunrise, on the east side of the mountain.

From the National Park Service website

On the way up we stopped by Sunrise Point for a full panoramic view of the Cascade Mountains, including Mt. Adams, Rainier’s smaller lookalike in the distance. (Click on the pictures in the gallery to enlarge.)

We arrived at the Visitor Center, at 6,400 ft. the highest point you can drive to in the park, and found snow still covered most of the trails.

Even so, we found some picnic tables and shared a snack with the chipmunks; they brought their own food.

Where snow had melted in the meadows, wildflowers were blooming, including the delicate but hardy glacier lilies.

After our snack Bob asked if I was still up for a hike; there was one he’d always wanted to take to Silver Falls. Yes, indeed! We drove the 25 minutes down to the trailhead and entered the solitude of old growth forest.

It wasn’t long until we heard the thunderous waters of the Ohanapecosh River as it rushed toward Silver Falls. We stopped at the Overlook and felt the power of the river and the spray from the falls on our faces.

You can see its massive scale below where hikers ventured out onto the boulders, despite the warning sign and danger. (Please don’t try this at home!)

We crossed the bridge over the river and enjoyed wonderful views in all directions. We’d actually taken a hike to the falls once before, from the campground on the other side. Today’s hike was just as beautiful and much easier at only a mile round trip.

It was the highlight of the day.

And then it was time to head back down for dinner, but not without stopping for a final look at the mountain.

Goodbye till next time.

~ Susanne

Home Again and Back on the Blog – the Kitties are Happy

It was our first flight of the Covid era and thankfully everything went smoothly.

We enjoyed our time in Southern California and returned safely home again. What more could you ask for?

Less spam, perhaps?

When I logged back onto my blog there were 699 spam comments to be deleted and a dozen or so new fake followers which were promptly removed. Yes indeed – generic names, similar prefixes with sequentially numbered addresses, no site info, and no blog. Goodbye, I said, see ya later; actually, hope not.

The cats survived our absence but haven’t quite forgiven us yet. They follow me everywhere meowing and vying for attention.

Tiger is satisfied being near me in my office and loves a good brushing.

Benji is happiest outside, and on my lap.

It was a nice break but it’s good to be back.

There’s no place like home.

~ Susanne

Favorite Beaches in Washington? Rialto and Long Beach!

For this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge I considered the beaches in Washington and decided to share two of them with you – Rialto and Long Beach. I don’t know if you could find two beaches on the same coast as different as these two!

Rialto Beach

On Washington’s wild and rugged north coast, I only discovered it a few years ago and was so enchanted, have returned many times since. A true wilderness, it has ghost trees, giant drift logs, sea stacks and miles of solitude.

But for pure fun, head south to –

Long Beach

The longest in the world? Who really knows! But according to Wikipedia, “The Long Beach Peninsula is known for its continuous sand beach 28 miles (45 km) in extent on the Pacific Ocean side, claimed to be the longest beach in the United States.”

Longest or not, I love visiting this gorgeous beach to walk, ride, and bicycle on its shore. You can even bring a vehicle if you want to drive in for sunset! There’s room for all!

It’s even got a kitschy town where you can have fresh donuts in the morning and licorice ice cream in the afternoon, my favorite!

So there you have it – a study in opposites! And with that, I’m taking a week off from the blog. Hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

~ Susanne

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – At Mt. Rainier National Park

Yesterday we headed south to one of our favorite local attractions – Mt. Rainier National Park. It was perfect hiking weather as we started our adventure at Longmire on the Trail of the Shadows.

Afterwards we took the scenic road to Paradise, stopping at the many overlooks and waterfalls.

Christine Falls was first,

but Narada Falls was the best, from Paradise River, cascading and fanning out over the rocks below.

We’ve seen Narada many times from above but rarely from below; the short trail to the bottom is often under snow.

It was still a little bit muddy yesterday but passable. I’m SO glad we went down to feel the spray on our face and the rainbow in the mist! No wonder this one’s a favorite of visitors!

Of course, the main attraction in the park is the mountain and there are views of Mt. Rainier around every corner. That’s by design.

According to the National Park Service, the road to Paradise was planned as a “pleasure road” for park visitors, taking advantage of the glorious views and providing access to some of the most spectacular glaciers and waterfalls.”

We arrived at the Paradise Visitor Center at the base of the mountain and enjoyed a short movie and a snack.

We left the playing in the snow to others.

Then we continued to possibly my favorite view of the mountain at Reflection Lakes, which was covered in ice and snow but still managed to do a bit of reflecting.

On our return to Longmire, we passed by a mountain lake

and saw a cute marmot by the side of the road.

What more do you want? It was a perfect day. 🙂

~ Susanne

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