It's been hot and dry here in our little corner of the world.
It's been two months since any measurable rain has fallen.
Forest Fires have been raging just East of the Mountains, filling the sky with a smoky haze.
There are warnings of unhealthy air quality West of the Mountains, and hazardous air quality East, where fires have been raging for weeks.
I never thought I would pray for rain here, where we usually get more than our fair share.
By midday, Mt. Rainier is lost in the haze. The smell of smoke fills the air.
I am glad that I am finally done staining the deck. I finished the outside rails yesterday.
I venture out only to water my flowers. This has taken on prime importance and I spend most of my free time trying to keep my plantings alive in a time of no rain.
Because we have to rely on our well water, I must make sure that I ration my water use. So I have to water one area at a time.
I do this several times a day.
There is only a very slight breeze, leaving my wind chimes quiet and still, but drawing the smoke further down into the canyons of the foothills and the valleys below.
Maggie finds a cool spot to sleep away the hot afternoon.
My birdbaths are popular places these last few weeks and I make sure to keep them filled. I also leave out shallow buckets of water near the bird feeders, as we have more than birds that come to feast.
Squirrels, chipmunks, mice, raccoons, possums and even skunks.
All are welcome.
They are all God's creatures.
These, I have added to my nature journal.
I use colored pencil to add subtle hues.
The feather makes a fine brush to sweep away erasing's without smudging my artwork.
Golden Crowned Kinglet
Northern Flying Squirrel
Added in Spring were Trillium and Buttercup.
Once I have filled all of my sketchbook pages, I will create a hand bound album.
But I have many pages to go.
These warm hazy days are also good for herb and flower drying. Here I have roses, oregano, sage, rosemary, basil, thyme, and hydrangea.
Once the herbs are dry I will make some little packets to drop in soups and stews.
The flowers will be used for potpourri.
I will be sure to post recipes as I prepare them.
And one last thing.....Today my youngest son turns 30!
Here he is in the middle between his older brother and sister (the eldest not pictured here)
He has filled our lives with love and laughter for 30 years.
Where did the time go?
I am truly blessed.
Wishing you all blessings and love.