Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Walk-About

Come along with me on a Spring Walk-About!

Our Camellia is blooming once again after suffering heavy damage from our ice storm in 2012. 

This is the first time she has bloomed since then. 

Nature is amazingly resilient. 

The first day of spring greeted us with gray skies. 

Then the sun came out. 

Then it hailed. 

Spring is a bit temperamental as she pushes Old Man Winter aside. 

One minute she is smiling....

And the next minute she is throwing a tantrum! 

Old Man Winter is running for the hills! 

New life is springing forth regardless of her moods. 

Here, a young Foxglove sprouts along a trail. 

It will take two years for this little sweetheart to bloom. 

She is deadly poison, but maybe not to everyone.....

Or perhaps whoever has taken a nibble, has succumbed to the fates. 

Western Bleeding Heart has sprouted in the underbrush. 

Soon, the forest floor will be carpeted with her lovely, pendant, lavender-pink blooms. 

We know that when she starts to sprout, 
it is time to stay on the paths, so as not to crush her delicate, lacy leaves. 

The lovely, lime green leaves of the Indian Plum light up the awakening forest. 

This small (6-20 ft.) under-story tree, which produces tiny purple 'plums' is a favorite food source of birds, deer, bears, coyotes, foxes and other creatures. 

It is the first nectar source for bees and other pollinating insects. 

Male and Female trees are needed for pollination. 

These are native to the Pacific Coast from Northern California to British Columbia. 

Native Americans also used it as a food source and made medicinal tea from the bark. 

Twigs were used as a mild anesthetic. 

As we walk along to the entrance of the property, this large cedar stump stands as sentry. 

When we moved here 30 years ago, this stump represented what was once an ancient forest. 

Logged at the turn of the last century, 
this massive stump is just now starting to fall into the forest. 

You can see we have propped it up as best we can. 

This section carries the scar of the logger's axes, 
where they would notch the tree to build a platform to stand on for sawing. 

I can't imagine cutting down such a magnificent tree. 

It breaks my heart....

You can also see that it is charred from an ancient forest fire. 

Here you can view it to scale with the dogs, Champ and Whitey Bear, in the foreground. 

Maple, Holly, Alder and Sword Fern grow alongside. 

It now offers shelter to small creatures and provides for woodpeckers who forage for meals. 

Its decay supplies nutrients for baby tree ferns and mosses. 

These 75-100 year old Douglas Fir look tiny by comparison, 
even though some of them are over 100 ft. tall. with trunks nearly 3 ft. in diameter. 

More signs of spring growth with this pretty ground cover, called 'Pacific Waterleaf'. 

We are blessed to have so many lovely native plants. 

But it is getting late and we should head for home. 

This is where I will be working for the next few days, planting a shade garden around my bench. 

I will start with these little beauties. 

Next will be Forget Me Not and a few other little treasures I've been growing in pots. 

A place to sit after a day spent working in the gardens. 

So while the evening sun illuminates the spring awakening hills, 

I bid you a good night. 

And Happy Spring! 

What are your plans for Spring? 


"We may see on a spring day in one place more beauty in a wood than in any garden."

William Robinson
The Garden Beautiful (1907)


  1. Yep! Your walk is just amazing! The stories that are told by those trees are beautiful...I just love those stumps covered with moss! I could not imagine cutting down these grand trees either. And your camellia is stunning! I am so happy she decided to bounce back for you because the color of her bloom is out of this world!! Enough to make my heart just sing! You need to keep us updated on your new shade garden because those hellebores are so pretty! And Karen...that last shot needs to be a painting! Beautiful!!!! Here is to a wonderful spring!!! Nicole xoxo

  2. Hi Karen, thanks for the walk in the forest today and explaining everything. It's just so pretty where you live! I love planting flowers in the spring too but it is still too cold here to plant. I love your dogs too. Have a nice spring weekend. We don't have too much planned for the weekend. Take care.

  3. the love you have for your land and everything that grows and lives in/on it is so apparent. i love it.

  4. i have totally LOVED your spring walkabout! The trees are so magnificent, and I totally agree that it is hard to imagine people cutting down these trees. They are living sentinels of the ages. Your shots are always so beautiful and I always love the love you have for the land and nature. Bet they really miss you at your writing job.

  5. Hello dear Karen,
    This early spring tour of your garden set my heart at ease. Thank you.
    P.S. I dropped off your blog list again. Happened to someone else today, too. Oh well...

  6. Hi Dear,
    oh, what a wonderful walk I had this morning (with my coffee in my hand :) on your page. You are living in a gorgeous part of this world - and the camelia is fantastic - she has a colour filled with energy
    Sunny days

  7. Hello Karen! Your knowledge of native plants is amazing. I'd never have known that the first little plant was a foxglove and I'd probably trample it if I were out walking in the woods. I wish I could have seen the old growth forests in their time. Your home is so beautiful and your walks are wonderful!

  8. Hello dear Karen,What a lovely awakening of spring! You have a beautiful garden, and so many beautiful blooms in your area, your pics are always so beautiful.. spring looks so beautiful where you are.

  9. Dearest Karen,
    Your green grass is the same as in The Netherlands, indicating that there is enough moisture to sustain it through winter and also enough nutrients in the soil. That was so striking for me this visit because here in Georgia, our sentipede grass dies completely back in winter. Leaving a brown, dreary mass... Your area is so pleasantly awakening and the soil is full of leaves like a blanket for winter where young life gets sheltered from wind and cold till it's time to peak outside.
    That huge old trunk is a shame in fact and it hurts the heart thinking about the massive logging that once took place with barely a redwood left. So sad as they have witnessed life for ages and now they had to go.
    Enjoy the beginning of spring and we are keeping our fingers crossed that on Monday our tile man can really start laying the tiles. We're eager to place our pots on them and also for taking some nice spring photos. Hope they finish up not too late for that otherwise we have to wait yet another year, like your camellias for posing once more.

  10. Dear Karen
    Nature has a great power, whether positive or negative. Even through the snow it create some flowers get through. Pity about the many beautiful trees that need to die. You live in a fantastically beautiful place, everything looks like originally. Beautifully.
    I wish you a nice weekend.

  11. Hi Karen,
    I really enjoyed my Walk-about! I always learn a lot from you, like about the Indian Plum, (it's name and it's tiny blooms!). It must be a amazing to watch a place for 30 years and see the slow changes!
    Happy Spring (it hailed here too)

  12. ✿⊱°•¸
    Passei para uma visita.
    Amei seu blog, suas fotos são maravilhosas.

    Bom fim de semana!

  13. You are so blessed to be surrounded with eye-catching beauty of nature. An endless space to saunter. I enjoyed my visit. Hope you have a good week Karen.

    God bless

  14. I love the shot of the foxglove. And how awesome that the Camellia is blooming for the first time in two years! You're right, nature is incredibly resilient.

  15. What a beautiful place you live in! I love all those native plants you have. We have many pretty ones here in Indiana, but they are mostly in the woods and we only see them when we go to a state park. My favorite is wild columbine.
    Have a great weekend, Karen!

  16. I enjoyed seeing the camellia, daffodil and hellebore. I so miss flowers. There are no signs of Spring here yet, and it's still cold and gray. You're so blessed to have such a beautiful garden. Enjoy :)

  17. Oh my, the evening sun on the mountains is stunning. Your spring images are lovely! Old man winter isn't running away here, yet - as I sit here watching the snow fall...

  18. Beautiful images and glorious tribute to our own PNW Spring. I did a Spring thing too only around the home not out in our woods. Love the evening sun on the hills. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. The light on your last photo's looks amazing Karen! I enjoyed seeing spring awake in your beautiful forest and garden!

    Wishing you a lovely Sunday! Hope the weather will be a bit milder :-)

    Madelief xox

  20. So much beauty! Our camellia is just about to blossom, and our hellebores are happy too. Enjoy your springtime garden, Karen!

  21. Lovely walk, everything is coming to life, I love the old tree stumps.

  22. Love the last two pictures. Beautiful! It looks like your native plants are springing to life ahead of ours.

  23. I have been very busy lately. Sorry that I didn't visit your blog as much as I would like to do. I enjoyed reading your posts Karen. And I will try to be her more often in the future!! :-)

    Greetings from the Netherlands! ;-)
    Gert Jan Hermus

  24. Hi Karen, I loved our walk around your fabulous garden, full of wonderful beauty...Spring has Sprung at last...Gorgeous photo's....Hugs May x x x

  25. Thank you so much Karen for taking us along on your walk through your beautiful neck in the woods. Happy spring to you too!!

  26. Hi Karen,
    Such a delight to be able to "garden" with you! Living in a flat, we have no garden, so it is such a pleasure to me to peek into yours, and follow the season from spring to autumn!
    In the beginning you described so vividly the sudden changes in weather in the spring time ... from sun to hail ... I hope your pretty flowers do remain entact even if the gail would return.
    And your company, those two adorable furry dogs ... It must be a pleasure going for a walk, and gardening, having them around :)

  27. Hola Beatrice que lindo jardín con vista a la montaña y bienvenida primavera ,, que tenga una bendecida semana

  28. Lovely walk in the woods. My daughter and I were outside Friday with sweatshirts on since it was still nippy in spite of the sunshine. My tulips and crocus are coming up. I was thinking of what to do about the derelict garden area. I need to put in some beans again and lettuce, cilantro...they all seemed to do well.

  29. I am just checking in on you and making sure that this awful mudslide in Washington has nothing to do with your are. Thought of you as soon as I saw the news this morning. Hoping this is a long way away from you. What a tragic thing to happen.

  30. Hello Karen,
    Very nice shots!! Great the different flowers.
    But what a wonderful place to be with nature and the fantastic view (shot 4 and 22) over the landscape. Wonderful!!

    Best regards,

  31. Oh nice to see all the evidence around your lovely world. We are far from that point, but it will come!!

  32. HHi Karen, what beautiful photos! Nature is magic, the trees are so gorgeous, and I agree it is hard to imagine people cutting down trees. They are protective. I share this feeling with you too.
    Here in Brazil we enter the autumn season is for me to thank and reap the rewards, preparing for winter is a time of gathering. Here the seasons are not well defined as in America, Europe and I miss this definition of nature, lived in Italy a long time and got used to experience each season. A happy spring, full of color and joy. A big kiss!

  33. Hi Karen,
    I certainly enjoyed my walk with you in your property to see the emerging signs of Spring! You have so much beauty unfolding and it's a pleasure to see theough your photos. xo

  34. thrilled to see flowers and all that beautiful GREEN -- 14 is my favorite photo today and also the VERY last photo wow weeeeeeeeee beautiful!..
    Have a super duper day...


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

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