Hood Canal, Dosewallips, and Eagles!

A few days away does wonders for the soul and so it was we found ourselves on Hood Canal last week.

We stopped at Dosewallips State Park in Brinnon, next door to where my mom lived for many years. Indeed, all of this scenery was in her own backyard.

We went for a walk along the Dosewallips River, and noticed the nest in the tree high above us.

And a female bald eagle perched in its branches.

We continued on the trail where the Dosewallips River flows into Hood Canal

and on our way back saw another eagle soaring high above, this one, a male.

When we returned, we saw he was now minding the nest.

Yes, it was a rather overcast day.

But this pair of bald eagles more than made up for it.

~ Susanne

Now Where Did I File That Cat?

B is for Benji! Happy Caturday! 🙂

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Oh that’s right! “B” for Benji! 🙂

~ Happy Saturday from Susanne and Benji

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Pelicans and the Wreck of the Peter Iredale

Somewhere on a beach in Oregon

pelicans

and the wreck of the Peter Iredale.

For Wordless Wednesday.

~ Susanne

Silence – On Hood Canal

When life is hectic and I’m looking for quiet I remember Hood Canal.

Where clouds like memories rest low on the mountains and mingle with smoke from wood stoves.

Where forests are fresh and damp,

and oysters cover the beaches.

I close my eyes and feel the silence.

Sharing for Sunday Stills.

~ Susanne

Benji’s Kitty Paws

Every morning after I wake up and feed the cats, I make my coffee and retreat to my office.

And every morning, when he’s done eating, Benji joins me on my lap.

While I muse, he sleeps.

Unaware that I’m admiring his kitty paws.

Sharing with CFFC Photo Challenge.

~ Susanne

Gulls in Gray and White – at Coulon Park

For this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge, I thought of ‘seagulls’ and went to look for them yesterday at Coulon Park. It’s one of their favorite places – mine too – and it was a beautiful day for a walk.

They were out in great numbers – congregating on log booms –

or perching alone, like this one, on top of the Lifeguard station.

I believe they’re Herring Gulls or Western Gulls though it’s their secret and they’re not talking.

According to The Wildlife Trusts website

Gulls are members of a large, widespread family of seabirds. Often known as seagulls (though no species is actually called a seagull, and many are found far from the sea), they sometimes get a bad reputation for stealing chips. But gulls are intelligent, adaptable and often beautiful birds. 

However, they’re notoriously difficult to identify. Entire books have been dedicated to telling one gull from another, but even these barely scratch the surface. Their plumage changes as they age and there’s a great deal of variation within species.”

This handsome boy seemed like a different species altogether though he’s likely just a youngster.

I watched him a while and he seemed to watch me back, happy I’d taken note of him.

Regardless of the species I love to watch them fly, a bit envious of a superpower they take for granted.

And that will do for Gulls.

~ Susanne

The Professor – A True Tale from My College Days Long, Long Ago

“Do you know how many times you’ve said ‘okay’ in the last minute?” she blurted out.

(Twenty times by my reckoning. She was not the only one counting.)

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

He stopped. Public speaking was not his forte, though economics may have been.

“Twenty-three times!” she announced.

“Sorry,’ he said. “Didn’t know I was doing it.”

The rest of us knew and thanked her. We were on edge waiting for the next ‘okay’ and winced when it came. No sentence was immune.

“I’ll work on it, okay?” he promised. “But when it’s quiet you’ll know what I’m thinking, okay?”

Okaaaay!’ we shouted.

~ Susanne

One Spring Day in Winter – New Feeders, Happy Birds

One day earlier this week, the wind and rain had finally stopped, temperatures were in the 50’s and the sun was shining. Inside the house, our carpets were being cleaned so to stay out of the way I sat in the backyard to watch the birds.

I’d put up new feeders recently, with seeds and nuts, to help my little birds over the cold spell.

I could hear the nuthatches and chickadees talking.

“Sue, come look! No food left!”

I did, and there wasn’t. I quickly refilled the feeder and the nuthatch appeared first to eat.

The chickadees were next.

Then, more chatter.

“Hey, Sue! You forgot the suet!”

Indeed, I had.

“I’ll get right on it!”

The chickadees were grateful.

Today, we’re back to rain and cold and dreary skies.

But at least we had one day of spring this week.

~ Susanne

Celebrating The Holidays – At The White House! Here’s Our White House Holiday Party Tour!

Last fall, I enjoyed a trip to DC, especially the monuments, museums, and art galleries. One place I didn’t make it to – the White House. Unlike my brother and his wife who enjoyed this year’s White House Holiday Party! Check out his post chocked full of pictures and video, in case you never make it there yourself! 🙂

johnrieber

Yes, my wife Alex and I attended the White House holiday party on December 21 – an incredible “once in a lifetime” night – so how did this happen?

Here’s the story!

It all began when my Alex received this email:

That’s right: Alex was invited to the holiday party, and I was her “+1!”

So we changed some plans and headed to DC!

On the morning of the event, we did the standard tourist stuff, and then we received an update from The White House, moving the party back an hour…here’s why:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy secretly flew into the US for a private meeting and press conference with President Biden!

We either got a shot of him arriving or military helicopters clearing his way….either way, we used the extra time to see a few seasonal sights before the party began!

As the sun was beginning to set, we…

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Washington DC – A Treasure Trove of Art and Museums!

I’m back with the museums and art of Washington D.C. from our trip last fall. It’s taken awhile to put it together because there are thousands (maybe millions??) of treasures to be found in the free museums of the Smithsonian and National Gallery of Art, on the National Mall.

I’ll do my best to give you a taste.

The first gallery includes artifacts from both the American History Museum and Natural History Museum. President Lincoln’s top hat, worn that terrible night at Ford Theatre, and Mary Lincoln’s dress. Julia Child’s kitchen and the original star-spangled banner from 1812. The 45 carat Hope diamond, one of the most valuable in the world. The turquoise and diamond Diadem given by Napolean to his second wife, Empress Marie Louise, in 1810. An astronaut out for a walk at the Air and Space Museum, and a pair of striking ruby shoes. No not Dorothy’s slippers, they were under wraps. I found these beauties by Jamie Okuma, at the American Indian Museum. (Click on pictures in the gallery to enlarge them.)

So many museums full of America’s treasures!

But I must move on to the National Gallery of Art, where I traveled through space and time and entered fantastic landscapes like these:

View of Medinet El-Fayoum – Jean-Leon Gerome – 1868/1870

Autumn – On the Hudson River – Jasper Francis Cropsey 1860

Green River Cliffs, Wyoming, Thomas Moran 1881

And joined festivities like these – The Concert, Gerrit Van Honthorst,1623 –

and the Concert at the Casino of Deauville, Eugene Boudin, 1865.

I traveled to Venice to see bold Renaissance art, through the special exhibit on Vittorio Carpaccio. Here’s the narrative from the National Gallery of Art.

“A leading figure in the art of Renaissance Venice, Vittorio Carpaccio (c. 1460/1466–1525/1526) is best known for his large, spectacular narrative paintings that brought sacred history to life. Although for centuries he has been loved and celebrated in his native city for his observant eye, fertile imagination, and storytelling prowess, this exhibition marks the first retrospective of the artist ever held outside Italy.”

The Virgin Reading
Young Knight
Saint Augustine in His Study
St. George and the Dragon

I loved all of these vivid windows into the past!

Finally, I’ll close with some portraits of ladies, as different as can be!

The first is Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria, painted in 1606 by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, being admired by my husband.

The Woman with a Parasol by Claude Monet is a portrait of his wife and son, from 1875.

The Green Marilyn was painted by Andy Warhol in 1962.

And my favorite – Ginerva de Benci. If she looks a bit insolent, perhaps it’s because she’s a teenager, and at 16 about to be married.

This classic was painted by Leonardo daVinci in 1474 and is the only one of his paintings found in the Americas.

She’s behind glass so there’s glare, but I brought her home as a souvenir magnet and here she is closer-up.

A real beauty, don’t you think? I like her much better than the other DaVinci, you know the one. But maybe I should go to Paris for a look at the Mona Lisa before I decide for sure.

I hope there’s such a trip in my future.

~ Susanne

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