Can you believe that July is almost over?
Sometimes I wish these beautiful summer days could go on forever.
It's been quiet here in the forest.
The birds are done nesting
and defending their territories with beautiful songs.
On my morning walk, the rat-a-tat-tat of the Pileated Woodpecker
is the only thing that breaks the silence.
It has been very hot the last few days.
The petunias and herbs are loving it.
They are so deliciously scented!
They attract the Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.
These large butterflies are common here.
The caterpillars feed on Alder trees,
(among others) of which we have plenty.
While sitting at my deck table admiring the butterfly
I felt a thump on my head!
It was this little guy.
He might have been trying to make a pass
at the butterfly from some high place
and thought my head would make a great landing pad.
I was a little startled!
I had to protect him from the cats who were very interested......
He is safely ensconced in the strawberry pot now.
This is where I hang out on hot summer days.
My sweet Mr. assembled the canopy
and this deck furniture on his week off.
I spend as much time as possible here.
We've had the canopy for years, but haven't put it up in a few.
I bought the furniture on clearance last fall,
The stone fountain was a gift from my son.
I just love the sound of the tinkling water.
Can you see Ling Ling?
The cats think we did this all for them!
They spend the hot summer days sleeping here.
The deck sits on the South side of the house
and is very hot in the summer.
This little oasis keeps things cool.
Lanterns and a candle chandelier light up the evenings.
A tiny Zen Garden with striped rocks collected over time
is fun to arrange and rearrange.
I grow succulents on the 'hot' side of the deck.
I've had these plants for many years.
Despite our very wet winters, they seem to thrive.
Good drainage and tucking them under the eaves helps.
They bloom and multiply every year.
These warm summer evenings end with Mt. Rainier reflecting the sunsets.
If we zoom in a little closer we can see the glaciers outlined
by the rosy light.
They seem to hold on to the flanks of the mountain rather precariously!
Can you see the cracks above this glacier?
If one of these fell, it would be a disaster
called a Lahar.
Lahars can travel great distances
following the river valleys below.
It is estimated that a wall of mud and debris 40 feet thick
would swallow up a nearby town.
There are Lahar warning systems in place,
much like tornado warning systems.
School children have drills regularly and there are road signs
directing people to higher ground.
I am glad that I live on higher ground!
Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes
in the world due to the high density populations surrounding it.
We all live with danger and uncertainty
no matter where we live.
Some have tornadoes, some have hurricanes,
some have drought and wildfires,
some have extremes in temperatures.
We have volcanoes and earthquakes!
Life is uncertain at best,
we never know how many precious days we have here.
I try to keep this in mind,
to remind me to always be kind.
Thank you Dear Friends for all of your kindness.
It means so much to me.
'Recompense injury with justice,
and recompense kindness with kindness'
'What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?'
-Jean Jacques Rousseau-
'The best portion of a good man's life.
His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.'