In light of the recent disaster here in Washington State, I thought I would share with you some information.
This is a photo from the Tacoma News Tribune.
You can find more photos and information here
This is such a horrific disaster and our hearts and prayers go out to all the families affected by this tragedy.
Here is a split map to give you some perspective.
The tiny town of Oso is approx. 55 miles Northeast of Seattle.
We are located directly south as the crow flies, in between Seattle and Olympia about 100 miles away.
Washington State is larger than some countries.
With a heavy heart I ventured outside in the warm spring sunshine yesterday
to work on my 'bench garden'.
I had some help pulling a large root from Champ.
I found Champ on the Border Collie Rescue site. His foster care-giver was ready to give up placing him.
He was given up for adoption for bad behaviors due to excessive teasing, (a family with two teenage boys) which led to him being locked inside a garage due to his subsequent aggressive behavior.
Teasing a dog is abusive behavior.
It leads to aggression and frustration, especially with an extremely intelligent dog like a Border Collie.
He was highly reactive to many things, including loud noises, machinery,
other dogs and people, and even shadows.
He was starved, and gulped food and treats so fast,
it caused blockages in his intestines for which he needed two surgeries.
But fate intervened and he was found by his loving foster care-giver, 'Joy'
who trained him to be more patient and less reactive.
Still, he was a handful. She was ready to give up placing him and keep him herself.
If we had not come along, who knows what would have happened because a few months after adopting Champ, Joy died in an avalanche.
A tragic end to a dear, loving soul.
We have had him nearly two years now and with gentle coaxing and sympathetic understanding, he has grown to trust us and for the most part, his bad behaviors have abated.
But he has one behavior that has lingered. When he is frustrated, usually by loud noises, such as gunshots or power tools, he rips out grass and chews up sticks, sometimes still attached to their bushes.
Our lawn and plantings have suffered, but over time we have shown him a 'safe zone' where he can rip to his heart's content, and we have also trained him to 'get his ball' when he is frustrated.
He loves to fetch the ball!
And now I am using some of his 'talents' to help me in the garden!
If I have a stubborn weed or clump of grass that I can't budge, I ask Champ to do it!
It is a 'win-win' situation.
He is also an excellent watch dog and protector for me when my Ramblin' Man is off traveling for work.
So with Champ's help, I planted two pots of Lenten Rose.
I also planted some Black Mondo Grass, Forget Me Nots that I dug from the lawn, and some unidentified ground cover I received from a friend.
I already had several clumps of daffodils that were planted many years ago,
and native Holly, Thimble Berry and Indian Plum growing alongside.
Two large Alder trees will shade this area soon,
but the late afternoon sunshine sends lovely light through the trees.
It will be a peaceful place to rest after a busy day in the garden.
I will continue to add to it over time.
This is the view.
I planted wildflower seeds in the rock garden and also in front of the Mr.'s tool shed.
I also planted some Rock Cress and Creeping Phlox in the rock garden.
Soon the Forget me Not and Wild Geranium (Herb Robert) will be blooming alongside.
And the yellow blossoms of Creeping Buttercup, which is invasive and which I can't completely eradicate from my gardens. At least it is pretty!
And now I hear that the North East is preparing for another snow storm!
I grew up in New England and I am familiar with those long winters.
Every area has their challenges for the gardener!
Here the challenges are relentless gray skies and rain.
This has been the 3rd wettest March on record here in WA State.
With more rain forecast for the rest of the week, we may break the record.
I'm sure this contributed to the recent disaster.
Everything is covered in moss! This little mossy tree trunk has been taken over by the fairies.
Can you see the doorway?
The rare sunshine casts a shadow of my hand holding the camera.
And turns newly emerging leaves into tiny, dancing lights.
Nature's seasons remind us of the delicate balance we all dance to as we live our lives.
We never know when the winds of change might blow our way.
Nothing lasts forever, life is always moving, changing, growing, and transforming.
Each moment never the same as the last.
As we live out these precious moments,
we must remember that we decide what is written on the eternal slate of who we are.
To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.
-Mary Roberts Rinehart-
Happiness is to be found along the way,
not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it is too late.
-Robert R. Updegraff-
Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.