Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Country Drive with Good Fences

Can you believe that June is almost over? 
I am trying to soak in as much summer as I can, 
because I know how quickly it will pass. 

We are still in a cool and rainy pattern here
in the foothills of Washington's Cascade mountains, 
but when the sun shines, 
it is glorious! 

So come along with me and we will take
 a country drive with Good Fences
through the green fields of summer,
soaking up the sunshine. 
This foothills pasture is near to my home. 
There are several young steer hiding in the brush
while their mother's graze nearby. 

We frequently see elk here in the evening. 

Another little pasture has two llamas and some big, red steer. 

You can see the back of one steer as he is grazing alongside
a small, spring-fed pond with cattails. 

There is a little windmill here that pumps water to 
the livestock. 

As we descend to the plateau, large, fluffy clouds
line up on the horizon on their way to 
the mountains where they back up,
unable to cross, causing mountain rains. 

Eastern Washington state is a completely different
climate and topography, (high desert)
from us here in western Washington,
 due to the Cascade mountains,
which prevent precipitation from the Pacific ocean. 

A Raspberry farm sets up business in the shade of the trees. 

A handsome white rail fence corrals a view
of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade range. 

Can you see it? Mt. Rainier is covered in snow. 

Some young cows graze between 
a flower bedecked, modern farmhouse and 
some old farm buildings with wonderful patina. 
You can see the top of Mt. Rainier peeking over the 
 roof of the house. 

A hand-crafted fence highlights blue hydrangea, 
a handsome purple beech, and a rosy smoke bush 
in full bloom. 

This beautiful farm recently had a major make-over. 
It was sad and neglected, but now is a well-tended 
hay farm. 

On a clear day, it has the most amazing view of
Mt. Rainier. 

Even on a cloudy day........

Looking the other way, it has a view of the Olympic mountains
on the other side of Puget Sound - (barely visible in the clouds). 

How wonderful would that be to wake up to?

The yellow structure operates a flume gate to control or shut off
water flow into the nearby river from a dam in the mountains
built to regulate flooding. 

The flume can be directed to a large, man-made lake
that handles overflow, although the lake has been 
heavily built-up with residential homes in recent years. 

It always pays to research the surrounding topography,
industry, and public works in the area before buying a home :)

The first cutting of hay....

I am still getting used to the scene of giant marshmallows
of poly-wrapped hay
instead of  beautiful, unwrapped hay rolls. 

This little farm is a cooperative organic
vegetable farm. 

Members get a large selection of whatever is growing
that week in return for a fee and some volunteer work. 

Some farms are thriving......others are in decline. 

The circle of life.....

This horse farm has never had horses. 

Someone built a beautiful home tucked into the trees, 
then added miles of white rail fencing, horse
shelters and barns that were never used.

Perhaps a sudden life-change prevented the dream.....

We never know what might be around the corner. 

Across the lane, this older farm has been well-loved. 

A small herd of cattle roam the lush, green fields. 

Another handsome barn and fence as we enter
an area of new development. 
You can see daisies and buttercups
growing close by. 

The builders have kept a lovely, rural aesthetic. 

These are typical Northwest-style homes. 

Lots of windows to take advantage of the sometimes,
gloomy light and beautiful views. 

Time to turn around and head for home. 

The clouds are getting darker.....

Through my little Ford Ranger window, 
we see a hidden prairie meadow.
 Black Angus cattle gather
in the distance. 

Another hidden meadow. 

You can see tall Douglas Fir, conical Western Red Cedar, 
flouncy-skirted Hemlock with a few Big-Leaf Maple. 

The Douglas Fir are over 150 ft. tall and probably 200- 300 years old. 
You can see how they dwarf the rest of the forest. 

Some newly furrowed fields at the pumpkin farm. 

Rain, as we pass some contented cows. 
Normally we would see Mt. Rainier here
but it is swallowed by the weather. 

Sometimes we don't see Mt. Rainier for weeks at a time. 
We know it is a good day, when 'The Mountain' is 'out'. 

'Home Sweet Home' as we run inside, dodging the raindrops. 

Come in - make yourself comfortable. 

The sign says it all.....

Sugar and cream? 

Yes, please......
(Stevia and fat-free 'half and half' for me)

How do you take your cuppa?

The last of the sun sneaks under the clouds
as we enjoy our steaming mugs
at the end of the day. 

I hope you enjoyed coming along, Dear Friends! 


Today I am linking with:
Run-A-Round Ranch - Good Fences

Won't you join the fun?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Busy Weekend, a Daughter's Cottage, and The Garden

Hello, Friends, we finally had some sunshine
over the weekend and Monday, 

but this is the view this morning.  

They call it a 'marine layer'- low, misty clouds
that have come in from the Pacific ocean. 

They say it will burn off......

I had a busy weekend.
 Friday evening, Ramblin' Man and I attended 
a charming wedding of a friend's daughter. 

No photos, because, well, brides generally don't
take kindly to someone posting photos 
before they do! 

Farmland near wedding 
The setting was pure country bliss - a beautiful 
and rustic hall (think 'Fixer Upper' - prairie style)
in the middle of farmland. 

The bride and groom were such a sweet couple. 
They did something I have not seen before - 
each had a jar of different colored sand and they 
poured a little at a time, taking turns, into
a glass sided frame, forming a lovely pattern 
of their spoken hopes and dreams, 
through the sands of time. 

Love that. 

The ceremony was outside and skies were threatening

but there was no rain and it all turned out lovely. 

On Saturday I traveled to my daughter Jennie's little cottage
to plan a very special party. It is a surprise - so I can't tell 
you more, but I will be explaining soon......

On the way, I traveled this back road alongside 
the railroad tracks, where thousands of poppies 
were blooming the whole length of the road. 

The skies had cleared and we had a lovely day for party planning. 

Arriving at her sweet little cottage, 
you can see her hydrangeas are blooming. 

It has been a year since she bought her 
little 'doll house'- all on her own. 

Some front porch scenes :) 

Two pretty chairs on either side of the front door. 

Let's go inside, shall we? 

Her living room. 

She has a soft, beachy theme. 

She loves white, soft blues and greens, with silver accents. 

Some cute vignettes.

Setting the table for lunch....
There were four of us, 
daughter Jennie, daughter's in law, 
Erica and Jen, and me. 

Fettuccine, salad and mimosas. 

After our delicious lunch, we retreated to the patio
for some serious party planning. 

Erica looks on. 

A sweet sitting area.

The Burlap and Ticking Pillow
I made for her birthday is on the right. 

Erica has discovered the most wonderful bakery
and has treated us to some delicious desserts
lately. This was the cake she brought for Father's Day.

She brought miniature ones for our brunch. 

Weenie Baby patrols the back yard. 

Peanut stays by the food - in case of crumbs.....:)

If you have followed my blog for a while, 
you know that Peanut and Weenie Baby 
are frequent house-guests for sleep-overs 
when Jennie travels. 

Here they are all being 'good' while waiting for a treat. 

With party-planning over for now, I head for home
under blue skies. 

The daisies are blooming and Mt. Rainier 
emerges from the clouds as I leave the valley
and travel back to my foothills home. 

Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day, so Ramblin' Man
and I spent the day tidying up the gardens. 

He took a photo of me tending to the tool-shed garden. 

Sweet William is blooming, with Tansy starting to set buds. 

A few stray buttercup are involved, and some yellow
birds-foot trefoil. 

And the hydrangeas are blooming, too.....

The recent rains have caused them to flop, 
so Ramblin' Man cut arched fence sections to 
prop them up. You can see them if you look 
closely. I still need to set them in place. 

They really like where they are planted. There is a 
picket fence in behind that has been smothered by them. 

The blossoms emerge greenish blue, then turn pure blue
as time goes on.
These are mop-head hydrangeas - Nikko Blue

I will cut some for bouquets on the next sunny day.

The St. John's Wort is blooming, too. 
This is 'out back' along the edge of the woodlands.
You can see the end of the deck with the canopy peeking above. 

I like large drifts of singular species.

Individual flowers get lost in a large landscape. 

The bumblebees love these. 

On Sunday evening we watched these two crows 
snuggling as the sun set on the mountain. 

They eventually flew away to roost for the night
in the quiet hills. 

After all that, Monday was house-cleaning day. 
I washed linens, rugs, the floors, caught up with laundry, 
and scrubbed bathrooms. 

I also did some fairy gardening, which I will show you
later in the week, but today is reserved for visiting
all of you, Dear Friends. 

What did you do over the weekend? 


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