Birds and the Bees and the Flowers and the Trees

You’ll be seeing more of my backyard during these stay at home orders;  and fortunately there’s always something new with the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees!

I’m especially thankful for the hummingbirds that call my garden home. I love to watch them from the garden shed as they drop by to feed.

I like to think they don’t see me but these glances tell me otherwise.

Still, I think we trust each other. I keep the feeders full and the water flowing – they let me take their picture.

Today I watched as one darted from branch to branch of the Douglas Fir tree, enjoying the fresh new growth of the needles.  I saw the bees doing the same thing and wondered – do they think they’re flowers?

My research tells me that in fact, these tender needles are edible and full of Vitamin C – just as advertised by Euell Gibbons.  😊 ‘Ever eat a pine tree? – many parts are edible!’

I didn’t try them but am told they taste like citrus.   And I couldn’t find a definitive answer as to what the hummingbirds were after.  Moisture? Insects? Sap? Or could they possibly eat the tender tips like we can?  I don’t know and they’re not talking.

But I do know what they’re after in the stream.

A dip and a splash and a drink.

~ Susanne

Some Days Are Like That

Has quarantine got you down?

And you feel like you just can’t take it anymore?

Some days are like that.

Hang in there.

~ Susanne and Benji

Today’s Fragrance in the Garden

The clematis continues to climb high in the sky but its beauty is not in its fragrance.

For that you must look closer to the ground – to the cool colors in the herb garden

– especially the lavender.

And the sweetest scent comes from my favorite azaleas –

the fragrance of honeysuckle.

~ Susanne

Looking for Rainbows in Hawaii

We didn’t realize it then, but timing is everything.  By some fortuitous planning, we managed a trip to Hawaii in February, completely oblivious to what we’d face upon our return – pandemic, lockdown, and stay-at-home orders.

So for Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy Challenge I thought I’d go looking for rainbows in Oahu.  Here’s what I found.

Sandals!  Aren’t they fun?  We called them zories when I was a kid, without the bling of course.   Later on we called them thongs till that took on a new meaning and now we call them flip flops. At least I think we do, who can keep up?

I found rainbow colored sailboats near Ala Moana Park, with Diamond Head and the Hilton Rainbow Tower in the background.

I passed the tower on a walk to Waikiki Beach –

and found a bird in the lagoon lit up by its reflection.

As I continued my walk there was a cooling shower followed by a rainbow in the clouds.

In fact there were many other rainbows on our trip – including this one over the harbor. No wonder Hawaii calls itself the Rainbow State.

But my favorite comes from our first trip to Hawaii years ago. Taken from a dinner cruise as we celebrated our anniversary and perhaps a promise that we would return.

I’m glad we did.  But for now we stay at home enjoying the memories. Timing is everything.

~ Susanne

A Story of Tiger from the Early Days

This happened some years ago after I first came to live with Bob and Sue.

I’d just finished my bath and was relaxing on the desk under the fading light of winter sun….

when I felt a strange tingling in my neck and had the sense I was being watched.  I turned around and saw two black eyes peering at me through the window.

zoo bear raccoon saeugentier
Photo by Pixabay on

I kept my cool but Sue came unglued and began yelling and waving her arms.

“Bob! There’s a raccoon on our roof!”

So there really were raccoons.

The next thing you know Bob’s pumping up the BB gun, running outside and firing away to scare off that old bandit.

But I was left wondering – what else was out there?

You see, up till then I’d been an “indoor cat.”  I even hate the name, no offense to the rest of the kingdom. In all my previous lives, I was never allowed to go outside – not even for a short walk in a fenced yard.  Never allowed to hunt in the wild like our ancestors did or jump high in the air to catch a winged creature.  (Just for play of course.)  Instead I had to content myself with the stray spider in the house, the slow moving housefly or worse yet, the taunting of crows and squirrels through the window.

Well, I thought, this raccoon may set back my efforts to ever get outside.  Still, I determined to wear them down and day by day, I stood by the door with sad eyes and cried.  I made promises to stay inside the fence  (uh-huh) and to always come when called.  And as the days grew longer and the sun grew brighter and the squirrels began running frantically to and fro, Bob and Sue FINALLY opened the door.  And for that I will always be grateful.

~ Tiger

Flower of the Day – Clematis

Every May she wakes up in the garden, climbing, determined and exuberant, making everything beautiful in her path.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day: Clematis.

~ Susanne

Green River, Rain or Shine! And Steelhead Sighting!

Don’t get me wrong, I prefer shine.  But regardless of the weather there’s nothing like a walk along the Green River to cure what ails you!  And yesterday we were rewarded with a Steelhead sighting – Washington’s State Fish – making it a perfect hike!

It had been too long since we’d ventured out.  Perhaps the rain had gotten to us.  Or maybe it was the quarantine blues.  Whatever it was, we shook it off yesterday and headed to Flaming Geyser State Park, stopping short of the entrance but finding easy access to a river trail nearby.

Now the thing about walking in the woods is that the rain doesn’t seem to bother you.  It’s filtered by the treetops and moss before it falls gently to the ground keeping everything lush and green – at least if you live in the Evergreen State.

I could have sworn we were in the rainforest, with so many trees wearing moss and ferns

including this zombie, which I wouldn’t want to meet in the dark.

We made our way down to the river where we watched it flow in perfect solitude.


And then – after Bob mentioned what a good spot it was for fishing — we saw a giant Steelhead jump!  A first for me!

Too bad I didn’t catch him in the video but trust me, it was three feet long if it was an inch!

So I wondered – is it a Salmon or a Trout?   According to what I could find online, it’s technically a Rainbow Trout but spends much of it’s life in the ocean, returning to spawn like a Salmon.  To learn more click here.

And in case you were wondering –  Washington State Parks will be reopened again next week, complete with services and parking and fishing too – hooray!

~ Susanne

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