Stretchy Benji

Hey Benji, I need my chair.   Why don’t you go into the other room where you can stretch out?


~  Susanne and Benji

Winter Walk at Coulon Park

It hardly seems fair to call it a winter day, not with temperatures in the 50’s and the sky as blue as the lake below. And though the calendar does indeed say it’s winter I put on my lighter jacket and we headed to one of our favorite walks at nearby Gene Coulon Park in Renton. With fresh air, sunshine, paved trail, lake and mountain views, there’s always something new to see. Today it was men in orange suits engaged in a training exercise; not a bad day’s work I would say.

Further on I stopped to enjoy the happy sailboats all lined up and buttoned down, waiting patiently for someone to take them out.

Mt. Rainier made an appearance in the south, which was much appreciated.

And this stream harbored birdsong sounding like a reed – what bird is that? – as it flowed into the lake.

Happy for another sunny winter walk.

~ Susanne

Discovering Chambers Bay

Chambers Bay brings to mind the US Open Golf Tournament – at least to us locally – which was played there in 2015.  I’m not much of a golfer but my husband is so we watched the TV coverage of the event.  I remember at the time some of the golfers complained about the course; that it was bumpy, and didn’t have the smooth variety of grass they were accustomed to.  (One said it was like playing on broccoli.)  I thought it was rather strange-looking myself at the time and not representative of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, nor similar to the greens I’d seen at other courses.  Even so, we finally visited Chambers Bay last weekend when we were looking for someplace new to walk and surprisingly, we loved it!

In addition to the golf course at Chambers Bay, there’s also a park with wide paved trails that wind around the course, through patches of woods and along the saltwater shoreline, with wonderful views of the mountains and Puget Sound.  There are also wide open spaces and towering old structures – relics from another era when the area was a sand and gravel quarry.  According to the Washington Post,  “For 100 years starting in 1902, sand and gravel — formed by the outwashes of prehistoric rivers flowing out of Ice Age glaciers — was loaded onto barges in Puget Sound or onto hopper rail cars on the shore and sent all over the Pacific Northwest for construction projects.”  In 2002 the abandoned quarry became a highly regarded public golf course, and was awarded the US Open.

We traveled the 45 minutes south to University Place near Tacoma under sunshine and clear skies.  Though a bit chilly, it was a perfect day for a walk.  There are a couple of different paths you can take in the park depending on how much of a hill climb you want. We decided to take the Loop Trail which included the hills, but was still an easy walk of 3.25 miles.   We started at the top overlooking the course and found the golden colors striking against the deep blue of Puget Sound.  Not the typical dark green grass you expect on a golf course, but apparently easier to maintain.   We headed down and around the golf course and through the woods toward the shoreline.

We stopped near the bottom to watch the golfers, and also to watch out for ourselves,  their high-flying golf balls overhead, just as the sign warned.

As we reached the bottom we realized what the structure was that we’d seen from the top:  an overpass to the beach, crossing over the railroad tracks. We didn’t descend the steps to the beach like many did with their children and dogs. One ‘parent’ carried his scared dog over the bridge and released him to run free on the beach below.

We walked to the end of the overpass where it jutted out over the water, and had nice views of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the north.

Further up the Trail we came across many interesting structures from the earlier quarry days – like walking through ancient Greece I thought.

We continued on the Loop Trail and back up the hill getting our exercise for the day before heading out to lunch. We’d found another new place to walk and promised ourselves we’d be back.

~  Susanne

Side by Side

This is Benji and life is good for me and Tiger.  Our day begins very early when Bob lets us outside when it’s still dark and Sue is sleeping.  We chase the small ones in the bush and watch the birds come to life as the sun slowly rises.  After we finish our business we come back in and wait for Sue to give us our breakfast; it’s her job.  She knows this so I don’t feel bad waking her.

She gives us Fancy Feast in equal portions, but whatever Tiger leaves behind I am happy to finish up.  He is slow and somewhat overweight which comes with age I guess.

After breakfast we go outside again to play until it’s too cold and we want back in – this may happen several times a day.  Sue obliges though sometimes not as quickly as we’d like.

In the afternoon we play with our toys.  We especially like the red catnip mouse.

When we get tired we take our afternoon nap.

It’s a side by side life.

~ Benji and Tiger

March comes in on a Whisper

There’s no lion today;  March has come to the Pacific Northwest with barely a whisper and blue skies.  We take advantage of the milder temperatures with a walk on the Cedar River Trail.

We see bursts of color in the trees and shrubs…

As an eagle soars overhead.

At the end of the trail logs are strewn about where the river flows into Lake Washington.

A lovely walk on a March day and hopefully the last we see of winter.

~  Susanne

Shadow Lake Bog: Out of this World

Earlier this winter we visited the nearby Shadow Lake Nature Preserve and its ancient sphagnum moss peat bog where it seemed that creatures might emerge from the swamp and prehistoric birds could soar overhead.

And so for this week’s photo challenge I bring you the bog at Shadow Lake Preserve.   It was out of this world.

Out of This World

Please turn out the lights


Thank you.

~ Benji

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