Winter Walk into Spring at Lake Wilderness

The snow has come and gone, replaced by wind and rain. But yesterday there was a break in the weather and we headed to Lake Wilderness starting out at the Arboretum where bulbs were blooming and trees were budding.

We took a path through the woods to a nearby trail –

the Cedar River to Green River Trail which passes by Lake Wilderness. It extends for miles in each direction and will be great for bicycling in the spring. We walked it a while before returning to the lake where we saw these hearty paddlers.

We also found a stream flowing out of the lake where all was serene save for the chatter of the birds.

You’d think spring was on the way.

~ Susanne

My favorite Little Backyard Birds

I love birds, all kinds of birds, especially those that visit my garden.

The little chickadees live in the evergreens surrounding my home and I’m continually charmed as I listen to their call – chicka-dee-dee-dee. I don’t feed them as they seem to be very good at finding bugs in the trees, but I do provide water year-around.

The even smaller nuthatches call my garden home and also appreciate the birdbath.

I used to feed the chickadees and nuthatches sunflower seeds and suet but I had to stop. The seed would scatter on the ground as would chunks of suet and the little birds would drop down to get it making them subject to this boy.


Who me?

I do feed the tiniest birds of all to frequent my garden – the Anna’s hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds not only drink nectar from flowers (and sugar water from my feeders) they also eat sap and tiny insects. In fact, they consume half their weight in food each day so be wary if someone tells you that you eat like a bird! 🙂

Inspired by Sunday Stills Photo Challenge, Feeding those Birds.

~ Susanne

Me and My Sony at Point Defiance!

I told you last week of my camera woes, when the zoom and controls on my Sony RX10 froze up. I thought it was the end of my favorite camera but after I replaced the battery and SD card, and restored initial settings, it’s back in service! Hooray!

To celebrate I took it on our drive to Point Defiance and snapped a few pictures of the grounds, gardens and wildlife.

First up is the Visitors Center, built in 1898 as a home for the Park Superintendent. I might have applied for the job myself if it meant living here.

Across the way is the Rose Garden but since it’s still asleep, I’ll show you the daffodils and hellebores coming up everywhere, a sure sign spring is on the way.

Ducks swam in the pond nearby

dwarfed by the giant Sequoia tree that stood next to it. The trees below look like miniatures

as does my husband.

Next we took the 5 mile drive through the forest and saw deer and raccoon hoping for a handout.

Who could resist that face?

Despite the sign, the raccoons managed to find some popcorn – not from us.

Point Defiance has everything including multiple gardens, forest, zoo, aquarium, waterfront, and even a fort! I’ve shared about our visits before including this blast from the past at the Rose Garden.

I’m so happy to have my camera back and it was a perfect day in the park, with the best weather we’ve had since last weekend’s snowstorm.

We’ll be back for more.

~ Susanne

Whatcha Doin’ Up There, Benji?

“Nothing much Sue. Just hangin’ out on the fridge.”

~ Susanne and Benji

Rosy Red Flowers

Outside a light rain is falling and the beautiful white covering we enjoyed the past few days is drip, drip, dripping away and will soon be gone. So I had to reach deep into my archives to find rosy red flowers for this week’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge. Here’s what I found.

A flowering currant – looking quite like a lilac don’t you think? – I love that both the flowers and stems are rosy red. I think I’ll get one for my garden.

I love fucshias and you can find them in all shades of pink and red – the hummingbirds love them too.

They also love rhododendrons – our Washington state flower – as I discovered one day at Soos Creek Botanical Garden. Scroll through the pictures below and see the Anna’s hummingbird feeding.

Finally, I’ll close with the dahlias that were a gift from my mom – transplanted from her garden to mine and coming up reliably every summer since.

Yesterday was Valentines Day – it came and went without much fanfare as we’re still in a pandemic and also snowed in. I told my husband I’d take a rain check (correction ‘snow check’) for a steak dinner with a view, sometime this spring.

~ Susanne

The Promised Snow Has Finally Arrived

It started with a fury overnight – tiny flakes of ice blown sideways.

It’s falling still – larger and softer – more gently but determined – blanketing everything in white.

The hummingbirds waited patiently while I brought them fresh nectar; I’d forgotten to bring in the feeders last night and the contents were frozen.

I won’t forget tonight.

~ Susanne

Of Camera Woes and Cats and Birds

My favorite camera – the Sony RX10 my husband bought me almost 4 years ago – bit the dust. I can turn it on but after that everything is stuck – none of the controls work.

It happened a few days ago when we were on a walk and the zoom wouldn’t work. I’ve tried whatever I could think of to jolt it back to life – turning it off and on – removing the battery – replacing the SD card. After standing on my head (okay not literally) I got the Menu to return for a short visit and I tried to do a reset. Froze up again soon thereafter. I googled online looking for others who might have had similar problems – not much there. Last thing I’ll do is replace the battery – new one is in the mail – I doubt it will make a difference. Sigh.

Some of my best pictures of Benji and Tiger were taken with my RX10.

Not to mention the hummingbirds.

I’ll replace the battery and if that doesn’t help I’ll check in with repair shops. Maybe contact Sony. The latest version of the same camera costs double what we paid 4 years ago so there won’t be any cheap solutions. In the meantime I still have my compact Sony RX100 which takes good pictures too but without the zoom and other nifty features.

Big snow still in the forecast for tonight.

We’ll see.

_~ Susanne

Blue Skies and Eagles before the Snow

Snow is in the forecast – promises promises. It only arrives when it’s unexpected.

When I worked downtown this was always the case. The snow would begin to fall in the afternoon leaving the city surprised. We left work early and roads would be snarled with snow and traffic. We told our stories later of being trapped on buses, leaving them to trudge home on foot, becoming part of Seattle folklore.

I once sat on a snow covered freeway for 10 hours – completely stopped by a rollover truck miles ahead – I finally made it home at 2 in the morning. A memorial to Seattle!

Even so, I still love the snow and winter just isn’t the same without it. And so we wait as the arrival date is pushed out. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Could they be wrong again?

Yesterday I went for a walk at Coulon Park and found children in the playground, boats in the lake and eagles against the clear blue sky.

The calm before the storm? We shall see!

~ Susanne

Nature’s Fallen at Rialto Beach

For this week’s Sunday Still’s Photo Challenge I remembered the fallen at Rialto Beach.

We first discovered Rialto Beach on a trip to Olympic National Park in 2017 and it instantly became my favorite. Wild and remote, it’s littered with fallen trees and logs.

And ghost trees stand precariously, ready to fall during the next storm.

A mile up the beach is Hole-in-the-Wall, a sea arch passable when the tide is out.

I walked to Hole-in-the-Wall on our last visit to Rialto Beach, passing giant sea stacks, including the slabs of one fallen.

The 50 ft. sea stack known as ‘Cold Water,’ was toppled by a powerful storm sometime in the winter of 2015/2016, after standing on the beach for hundreds of years.

Sea stacks are formed when wave action erodes headlands. They often start as a sea cave, that when broken through forms a sea arch. When the arch collapses a sea stack remains and can last for hundreds or thousands of years. I was too late to see this one.

~ Susanne

Flower of the Day: Debutante Camelia

There never was a more fitting name for a flower than ‘debutante,’ one of the earliest camelias to bloom. I found her waiting next to a bench at Flower World and was enchanted by her pale pink ruffles and pearls.

I should have brought her home and may yet go back and get her.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day.

~ Susanne

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