Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winter Walkabout

After a long stretch of sunny, but cold weather, clouds started moving in. 

Whenever we transition from calm to stormy weather, large lenticular clouds form around Mt. Rainier, foretelling the future. 

We can always expect rain within 24 hours whenever we see these strange and beautiful cloud formations.

I watched all morning as the skies turned moody and dark, swallowing up the mountains. 

Every now and then, bright beams of sunlight broke through the rapidly moving clouds. 

Eventually we were engulfed in the fog. 

These are not black and white photos! 

I love to take walks in the fog, so come along with me and we will take a little winter walkabout. 

Champ waits for us at the end of the walkway. 

It is very still and quiet as we walk along, our footsteps keeping time with the dripping trees. 

We pass vine covered cedar growing near the children's former play house, now a home for the dogs when kenneled (only when we have large gatherings or truck deliveries).

We fill the bird feeders and watch the nearly tame native Douglas squirrels take up residence after we leave. 

All are welcome! 

Oh -oh! Watch out! We are entering dangerous territory! 

The coast is clear, so let's take a look around. 

Plenty of evidence that men have been here.....

Some woodcutter's sculpture.

A guy's collection of 'precious stones'. 

We leave this manly place and follow the loud, prehistoric call of the Northern Flicker. 


There he is, and he spies me, too. 

The flicker is the only woodpecker to regularly feed on the ground, preferring ants and beetles. 

I have a nesting pair that resides here year round. 

All this mist and fog makes the moss very happy. 

We live in a temperate rain forest, here in Western Washington. 

Our winters are very wet and we frequently get heavy rain and wind. 

This causes flooding and mudslides in our heavily mountainous and hilly terrain. 

Our 'wind storms' would be classified as hurricanes elsewhere. 

This weekend we are expecting heavy rain and winds from 40-60 mph. 

With many 100 ft. and taller trees,
 this can cause power outages and dangerous conditions from falling limbs and trees. 

But because our climate is mild (zone 7), we have flowers nearly year round. 

Here, a hellebore blooms in a pot on my deck. It has been blooming all winter. 

We do get snow, but not regularly, 

and our relentless gray skies can be quite depressing. 

When the sun does shine, 

everyone comes outside to enjoy it, even in the cold.

It's not unusual to see people in shorts year round in our temperate climate. 

North-westerner's are a hardy bunch! 

To see some local Pemco Insurance commercials poking fun at our quirks, Look Here

Guaranteed to make you laugh.

'Sandals and Socks Guy' is the iconic North-westerner.

My Mr. is 'Flawless Firewood Stacker'. 

I am '4-Way Stop, You Go, No You Go'. 

And we used to be 'Blue Tarp Campers' when the children were young. 

So while the Stella Jays keep watch over the foggy hills, 

We brace for the impending storm. 

Thinking of all my Dear Friends who have suffered through the storms of winter this week, 

I leave you with this Irish Blessing. 

May God give you ... For every storm a rainbow,
for every tear a smile,
for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
a faithful friend to share,
for every sigh a sweet song 
and an answer for each prayer. 


Thank you, Dear Friends for your sweet visits and friendship. 



  1. What a great post; I learned so much about your area....I would have thought it was very cold and lots of snow and I had no idea about all the wind and rain....Our walk was wonderful and it was great to be able to see the places you walk.....Happy New Year.....

  2. lovely area, even in the fog. i hope the storms this weekend will be kind to you.

  3. Beautiful shots! Love the storm clouds coming in and the lenticular cloud. We have seen those so many times when flying our plane, and always stear very clear of them. Have done many shots of these out of the windows. Love your little flowers in the pot in the winter. What a wonderful area you live in. Blessings to you!

  4. Oh and had to laugh at that blue tarp.... I believe I have camped under that same tarp. Bringing your own blue skies though... had not thought of that one. Cute

  5. I always feel so good when I leave your blog! Seriously! You are so wonderful! Your views are ever changing with the sky and clouds...I could sit and watch that all day! And to have green and bits of blooms throughout these months is such a sweet blessing. I try to look for the blessings of the snow...though the minus 44 degrees made it a bit hard at times! And as for the metal tubs for plantings...I sooo have been looking for some as well!!!! Your moss shots above are so pretty and I always like seeing chopped wood! It reminds me of family and sitting with hot chocolate by the fireplace! So much beauty here Karen! Thank you for taking us along and I hope that you stay safe and warm from your storms as well! Nicole xoxo

  6. i recognized Rainier right away from the 2 years I lived in the Seattle area back in the early 80's. Having grown up on the ocean and seeing the changes in it every day I used to look for the changes on Rainier instead. Lovely post. I just love seeing the area you live in.

  7. Love your landscape. Really amazing and beautiful


  8. I love those cloud shots! I have always found that cloudy skies hold more beauty than sunny skies. There is a myriad of artistic formations when clouds are involved :)

  9. Yes, we are expecting a rain storm this evening as well. We haven't had many this winter yet.

  10. Beautiful pics of the storm clouds! I would enjoy walking in that fog also. I envy you all that green - I love moss!
    I haven't looked at the video yet. I have to go to another computer, but my husband would be the socks with sandals guy:)
    Have a great weekend, Karen. Hugs, Cindy

  11. I am preparing for the storm too, just because I don't want to have to take my kids out shopping in a storm this weekend. That is not my idea of a good time. I can't tell if we are supposed to get the wind here or not. Usually, the coast takes the brunt of our storms. Your walk looks so peaceful and I can tell you are comfortable in your surroundings. My inlaws live close to mt jefferson and they have a similar property but I would never go out for a walk because the chance is good that I'd run into a mountain lion. That is not my idea of a good time! I enjoyed seeing your hellebore too! Have a safe weekend!

  12. Dearest Karen,
    That was indeed a lovely walk with always something to watch. Your squirrels look very cute and I know that each region has its own species here in the USA.
    Those Epyphites growing on the tree branches show that it is a very humid area and that makes the climate mild enough for plants to thrive in. Here the very harsh extremes from high humidity to very low, make the bark crack open from shrubs and smaller trees and that kills them by drought when it freezes for one or two nights. We have had such extremes this week from 5°F to 70s... that is too much for any plant or shrub to absorb. Living near the coast always does have a mild influence and mountains provide another buffer.
    Hope the storm did not get that fierce.
    Your husband is quite a worker and he could move to Switzerland or Austria where they stack the very same way for winter time. Even my Dad has done this all his life and still does at age 93. They burn wood all the time!
    Enjoy your walks in the stillness of nature with your dogs.

  13. Thank you I enjoyed our walk through your beautiful Garden...The photos are Fabulous the storm clouds look amazing...I hope the expected storms are gentle ones for you & your family....Hugs May x x x

  14. Hi Karen, I love your new profile picture hugging the tree! And the "danger men" sign made me smile. How nice that you have hellebores blooming all year. We only see them here in early Spring. I especially like the first photo--the clouds painted what looks like abstract art! Stay warm xx

  15. That is a lot of fog! Wow. The cloud formations are so unique and beautiful. I always enjoy seeing your shots of the mountain! I would love to go on a walkabout with you :)

  16. Hi Karen, its good to see your beautiful side of the world, despite the thickness of fog and the threatening formation of the storm. It's good to hear your not that affected by the polar vortex. So sad about the loss of lives. I have lots of catching up to do as I have been away for a while. I haven't seen any of my blog friends Christmas posts. It's better late than never I guess. I enjoyed my walk with you and I love your little squirrel friend.

    Take care,


  17. Thanks for showing a glimpse of your world..I would love to see the mountains every day outside my window! Have a great weekend!

  18. Your mountain looks so inspirational, I would be mesmerized by it every day! Keep safe and warm in this awful weather xx

  19. Wow, Karen -those cloud formations are mesmerizing.
    I inadvertently wrote a poem on my blog. Come see?

  20. I love our winter weather here on the coast. The drizzle that never gets you wet, the fog that turns the yard into a mysterious landscape, the driving rain that says 'stay in and light a fire'. We are a hardy bunch, indeed!

  21. I think I like your winter -- flowers - animals and birds making noises -- not to sure about driving in frog - never have lie it even when we lived in central California, but to see animals and birds and having green around -- and what a sight to view of your mountain Rainier.. no place is perfect but I think you area is awfully close.. blessed place.. It's cool to see all that wood nicely put in place -- I think of all the doing so...I love to see order...All beautifull photos.


  22. What a beautiful post and always. I don't think I've ever seen a wood pile that large, and I can definitely see why you need it all. Stay warm this weekend.

  23. Another beautiful post. Thank you for taking us along on this walk. So soothing! The commercials are very funny, too. I recognise some of the "types". But can you explain renting goats?

    1. Thanks, Christine! Oh, renting goats - that is an environmentally friendly way of clearing brush along the highways and in parks! The goats will eat just about anything and the goat herd just sits and watches them do all the work. Then crew can come in and clip away the rest. No heavy equipment needed! It is very popular here for clearing brush in inaccessible places. Thanks for visiting today! xo

  24. What a sweet prayer - the gift of friendship is one of the greatest gifts, isn't it? I'm so happy to have taken a walk with you and Champ today. <3

  25. Beautiful!! The fog in the forrest looks stunning!! :-)

    Enjoy your week! ;-)
    Gert Jan Hermus

  26. Beautiful photos, as always. Did you lose power during the storm? Ours went out a little after 11 pm Friday night and came back on sometime after 1am on Sunday morning. It was quite the windstorm!! We didn't lose any trees and are extremely grateful for that!!

  27. Beautiful photos! The hellebore reminds me of a book my Mom had when I was a child that contained small photos of wildflowers. I used to pore over those pictures by the hour! :-) Loved the wood sculpture and collection of stones. Makes me think if I had a forest walk I would love to make some whimsies that were Irish tree gods and natural things.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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