Spring is progressing despite the damp and drizzly weather we are having here in the Pacific Northwest. It has been unusually gray this year and even though we are used to rain here, people are starting to complain about it. But being the hardy and optimistic people that we are, there is always light at the end of the rainbow, and after every complaint comes the typical hopeful remark that goes something like this, 'Oh well, that is what makes everything so green and beautiful here'. I love that sense of optimism and gratitude and that is what makes this place so wonderful. I was not born here, and spent my childhood in New England, and it did take some getting used to the gray skies. But now that I have been here most of my adult life, I can't imagine another place that is more beautiful or peaceful. Nature is all around us here, whether it is the water, the mountains, or even the high dessert, just a short drive across the mountains. There is even snow all year round if you climb high enough. I would say it is as close to Paradise as you can get. And in fact, that is the name of the beautiful lodge at the base of Mt. Rainier. When the wildflowers are in bloom there is no other place on earth you would rather be.
Speaking of wildflowers, I took a little walk-about the other day and snapped these pictures. The native pink bleeding heart are in bloom now and I have a little woodland glade along the driveway that is carpeted with them. There is a trail running through them from the wild critters passing through. No matter how many times hubby tries to block the hole they dig under the fence, they always dig another. We suspect it is raccoons, but we have seen coyote and possum, even porcupine. Anyway, it is lovely there and the dogs and I always like to take a little walk through the glade. At the beginning of the trail, there is an ancient stump. You can still see the ax marks where the loggers stood to cut it down. This must have been a very old cedar tree, as it is still enormous after almost 100 years since being cut. I try to imagine what that ancient forest must have looked like and I feel sad that it is all gone now.
The Red Elderberry bushes are also in bloom now with their pungent smelling cone shaped clusters of white blossoms. Later, there will be red berries that the birds love to eat. We have a pair of nesting Western Tanagers that come back every year, just as the berries are ripening. The first time I saw one, I thought it was an escaped parrot! They are amazingly colorful and beautiful. Maybe I will get lucky and get a picture this year.
The Trillium have started to fade, and turn from white to pink just before the petals drop off, one last show of beauty until next year.
My columbine are also starting to come into full bloom, just as the daffodils are fading away.