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

Rainy Day Workout with Benji

We are having another record breaking rainy start to the year in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t mean to complain as the rest of the country has been hammered with snow. Still, the rain is dreary and keeps us all pent up in the house. One member of the household can be particularly troublesome under these circumstances – you know the one.

Benji and I hangout out in the office every morning, a place that is boobytrapped with all manner of temptations, especially the cords that dangle everywhere. It’s too much for him to refrain from grabbing, chewing and wrapping himself up in them and I get tired of yelling at him to stop – BENJI NO!

But I’ve finally found the best way to deal with it and it is by way of distraction – enter the measuring tape.

Obviously he’s the one getting the workout – unless flinging the tape with one hand while juggling the camera in the other counts as a workout.

Hmmm, maybe it does!

~ From the office of Susanne and Benji

Tiger the (teenage) Senior Cat

A reblog from 2017.  Though Tiger’s going on 13 now not much has changed.  He’s still young at heart!   🙂

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

This is Tiger and as you know I am the senior cat in residence.

I shall turn 9 this spring in human years (not to be confused with the 9 lives of which I am on # 3) which makes me eligible for cat discounts. The point is, I’m starting to realize I am no longer young and this is increasingly apparent as I watch the junior cat on the premises, aka, Benji.  I can’t fail to notice how fast he is, how instantly he appears by my side when nanoseconds before he was across the yard in the bush.

I have observed his frantic chasing of the squirrels, yea, his tumbling round and round with them, until they escape and scramble up the tree.  (I have never attempted such a feat, though I have been known to give chase.)

The boy is limber to be sure.  I fear my back would break if I attempted to sleep in…

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Incredible Landscape of the Canadian Rockies

It’s hard to find as much beauty mile for mile – or should I say kilometer for kilometer – as you will find in the Canadian Rockies.

Indeed the travel bug has hit again and assuming Covid is contained and we no longer are – and the border reopens – this will be one of our destinations in 2021.

So as a kind of mental preparation for the trip – and in response to Sunday Still’s Favorite Landscapes – I thought I’d share pictures from our last trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, Canada.

I’ll start with Banff where we camped at Tunnel Mountain and found wonderful views of Mt. Rundle with the Bow River winding in front.

We got another view of the mountain on a walk at Vermillion Lakes just before sunset where all was peaceful and serene.

On our way to Lake Louise we stopped for a hike at Johnston Canyon where a kind gentleman took our picture. We rarely get pictures of us together (I’m no good at selfies) so I was happy to get this one.

Later that day we arrived at the Queen of the Rockies – the lovely Miss Lake Louise. Depending on the time of year and from what angle you view her, you will find her waters milky green or turquoise. Or perhaps white if you arrive when she’s covered with snow as we did on one of our earlier trips!

If this lake isn’t enough for you there’s serious competition nearby at Moraine Lake and either one will make your jaw drop. Trust me.

To get from Lake Louise to Jasper we took the Icefields Parkway, one of the most beautiful drives in the world!

“The Parkway is dotted with more than 100 ancient glaciers, cascading waterfalls, dramatic rock spires, and emerald lakes set in sweeping valleys of thick pine and larch forests” according to the Icefields Parkway website.

Click on and scroll through the pictures below to enlarge them.

As if the mountains and the glaciers weren’t enough there are several must-see lakes to stop at along the way including these two: Peyto Lake

and Bow Lake.

We also stopped at roadside waterfalls like this giant,

before we arrived at Jasper National Park where we were surrounded by more of the Rockies and pristine lakes like the one below, Medicine Lake.

And with that I’m ready to go!

~ Susanne

Tiger’s Corner – It’s me again.

A few words from Tiger on a lazy Friday.

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

It’s me again.  Tiger.  The handsome one who lives here.  Oh, I don’t mean to be vain, but you know how it is, when you’ve heard it your entire life.

“Oh, isn’t he beautiful!”   or   “He has the most penetrating green eyes.”

Yeah, I get that a lot.  Always the eyes.

Of course that’s not all I heard.  “Not exactly the smartest one in the litter,” they said.  Yes.  I heard that too.  They thought I couldn’t understand but I could.  Cats have feelings too you know.   So I set out to prove them wrong. I think I have. And now I don’t care.

TigerCuteness (2) I don’t care

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Up in a Redwood Tree

Earlier this month on a very rainy day we went to Lincoln Park for a walk.

We took the trail up to the top of the bluff

and found shelter in a grove of Redwood trees.

So did this little fella.

Shared with Becky’s Squares Up!

~ Susanne

Morning Crazies in the Office

“What gets into you Benji?”

“What do you mean Sue?”

“In the morning I mean. You become a different animal. Like a wild cat.”

“Pent up energy. Just like you Sue.”

“Huh?”

“You were a wild woman this morning. The way you turned this office upside down. It was pure chaos. I was concerned.”

“That’s different Benji. The chaos was only temporary. It had a purpose.”

“Huh?”

“Better feng shui. Can’t you feel it?”

“Sure Sue. Whatever you say. Now if you don’t mind, all that whirlwind activity made me sleepy. Could you turn out the lights on your way out?”

“Sure Benji. Glad you like the new office.”

~ from the office of Susanne and Benji

Only the Best Clouds in Seattle

Did you know that Seattle is the cloudiest city in the country? Not the rainiest city no, but often ranked #1 for days with heavy cloud cover.

Suffice it to say, I’ve seen a lot of cloudy days in my life.

And many of those days are dull and gray, skies covered with a wet milky blanket leaking rain like today. But there are other days – when oh! – the skies are filled with billowy bulbous magical clouds! When you look carefully and see a giant’s head, a teddy bear, or monster in a spaceship, cartoon shapes floating above like a Macy’s parade!

See here now a team of horses flying above the rest – and a horned ram’s head trailing below.

A poofy ball spins across the sky laughing at its imaginary pursuer, a wisp of a cloud a fraction of its size.

Here you see the hand of a child stamping cotton ball clouds on construction paper sky and green sprigs pressed as trees.

Sometimes a tree holds up a cloud as this one did below – a fluffy ball supported by a twiggy stem to be plucked up and used by any giant nearby.

Yes you can see I love the clouds as long as a trace of blue remains. And there is always blue somewhere and sunshine too if you go high enough to find it.

As back in the day when we flew on planes taking travel for granted

always happy to be greeted by the mountain and even the clouds on our return.

Inspired to share my love of clouds by this week’s Sunday Still’s Photo Challenge.

~ Susanne

Upside Down at Nolte

Today we took advantage of a mild winter day and went for a walk at Nolte State Park where the trees reflected perfectly in Deep Lake.

So perfectly in fact I thought they looked even better upside down.

How about you?

For Becky’s SquareUp Photo Challenge.

~ Susanne

Jurassic Hawaii

I’m feeling a bit of Covid wanderlust on this cool January day so I thought I’d take you WAY back in time to Hawaii – all the way back to Jurassic Park.

You probably already know that Jurassic Park was filmed in Hawaii and most of it on Kauai, the Garden Isle.

I was fortunate to visit Kauai a few years ago and got a look at the Na Pali cliffs which were featured in the Jurassic movies. Though the best views of the cliffs are from the coast by sea or air, we got a decent look at them from the Kalalau Overlook.

The prominent waterfalls in the movie (Manawaiopuna) were only accessible by helicopter so I didn’t get to see them – I’m helicopter averse. But I did see Wailua Falls which you could easily drive to.

Jurassic Park was in production on Kauai in 1992 when the most powerful hurricane in Hawaii’s recorded history, Hurricane Iniki, hit. So the final scenes had to be moved to Oahu and they became some of the most iconic in the movie.

We toured the beautiful Ka’a’awa Valley at Kualoa Ranch last year, where a herd of dinosaurs were chased by T-Rex, and Grant and the kids took cover behind a fallen log.

Many other movies were filmed here as well going back to Mr. Roberts in 1955, and more recently Jumanji, and Kong: Skull Island. It’s a fun area and well worth a visit.

But let’s move on to Maui, where we came across this view of Keopuka Rock at the Garden of Eden, which featured in Jurassic Park.

The nearby waterfall didn’t but it’s pretty so it made it into my story anyway. 🙂

Finally, I’ll wrap up the Jurassic tour of Hawaii with the Big Island. Even though I don’t think it featured in the Jurassic movies, it certainly could have, don’t you think?

That’s enough of Jurassic Hawaii for now.

Till next time.

~ Susanne

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