Friday, April 21, 2017

Another Spring Walk-About




Hello, dear Friends, we have had very unsettled 
weather, here in the foothills of Washington State. 
One minute it is sunny, and the next it is raining. 
A moment after this photo was taken, the foothills
were completely obscured. 


And down came the rain. 

We have had so many rainy days that 
I have been getting a bad case of cabin fever. 

Washingtonians describe it as getting 'raingry'. Lol! 

I have managed to get outside to feed the birds
and take a little walk each day despite the rain, 
so come along with me (and my 3 loyal companions)
and we will enjoy a little stroll in between showers. 

They do say that April showers bring May flowers!.....


The dogs are always so excited when I open the gate. 


Kai will even drop his toy, which he carries everywhere :)
Once they are outside the gate, they run as fast
as they can up to the bird feeder to see what
they can scare up!


Today it was a whole flock of wild Band-Tailed pigeons! 


They wait patiently. 

These big guys (the size of a small chicken)
 are eating me out of house and home. 
Last night Ramblin' Man made me laugh...
after carrying in another heavy, 40 lb bag of bird seed, 
he said, "Wow, that just made my socks fall down!"
xoxo
But when you are outside and you hear them
contentedly cooing, there is no sweeter sound.


The sweet, gentle mourning doves wait nearby.

You can see the difference in size and coloring between the two.

The pigeon is easily 3 times the size of the dove. 


View from the feeder. 

We keep it well away from the house due to wild critters. 
You know, like bears......:)


The feeder is metal and the suet cages have clips on them
to keep raccoons from hauling off the goods! 
Every night they try to pry them open :)


Looking around, I see the wild bleeding heart is blooming. 


Every year they form large colonies here and there. 


One of my favorite woodland flowers are pink current.
This is a small, sprawling shrub.


Aren't they pretty? The hummingbirds love these.
Small, greenish currents form from the flowers.
There are never enough to make jam,
as the birds get to them first.


The Oregon grape is just starting to bloom, too.

The panicles of sweetly fragrant yellow bells
will produce small, edible purple 'grapes'.

This was an important food to our native peoples.


I love them for their drooping, fern-like evergreen foliage.
They form large colonies under evergreen trees
and are used in native plant landscaping.


Another of my favorite flowers is Salmon Berry.

These lovely, star-shaped blossoms grow on
tall, vase-shaped, thornless shrubs.
The berries are a beautiful salmon color,
hence the name. They are a favorite of birds,
especially Robins.

I've watched Robins hover like a hummingbird to
pluck the berries off slender twigs!


Wild deciduous ground-covers have also suddenly sprung
up from the forest floor around our evergreen sword ferns.


This pretty, lobed ground-cover is called Fendler's Waterleaf.
Growing alongside are the wider leaves of Fringecup.


This delicate, lime-colored ground-cover has
the mysterious name of 'Enchanter's Nightshade'.
It certainly is enchanting, especially when the
tiny, white flowers bloom.

Growing alongside are young Holly seedlings.


Big-Leaf Maple has large (4-6 inch) flower panicles.



These are a favorite food for our native Douglas Squirrel.
These are small squirrels, slightly larger than a chipmunk.


It's starting to rain again!
Droplets bead up on the leaves of Oso Berry-
 otherwise known as 'Indian Plum'.
Can you see the white flowers hanging down?
These will form miniature plums
that are a favorite of the birds.

These are small trees, generally 10-15 ft. tall
and are the first to bloom in the forest,
providing returning Rufous Hummingbirds with nectar.
Our larger Anna's Hummingbirds stay year-round.


Whitey Bear checks out a small, fallen tree
just outside the gate.
Ramblin' Man will have to deal with that
when he comes home :(
Can you see my plastic-wrapped newspaper leaning by the post?
Every afternoon the dogs and I walk up the long drive to retrieve it.

The daily newspaper is one of the small luxuries
we can't live without. No fake news :)


We pass the newly leafed-out Red Huckleberry growing
in its favorite conditions - the highly acidic soil around
a rotting stump!


The evergreen Sword Fern is unfurling new fronds
after our winter of heavy snowfall flattened its form.
Fringecup grows alongside.
These have long wands of cup-shaped blossoms
 with a little 'fringe' when they bloom.


Weenie Baby investigates a mossy stump.
This stump was here when we arrived 36 years ago,
(in our 20's) and is just now succumbing to the earth.

Nature is sometimes swift and brutal,
but most often slow and gentle.


One of Ramblin' Man's 'sculptures'.
I find little surprises from him when I venture out :)


Ramblin' Man mowed the lawn for the first time last weekend.
My gnarly old dwarf apple tree in the foreground is just starting to leaf out.


A little colony of foxglove has sprung up at the edge of the lawn.


I was surprised by these white daffodils this year.
I had planted a large bag of bulbs a few years ago
and had a great display the first couple of years, but nothing
last year. Then these little beauties presented themselves!


The hellebore keeps surprising me with its
changing hues. The flowers last for many weeks
and like shade with just a little bit of sun.


It's time to head back inside. The sprinkles
are turning into a rain shower.

You can see my red Camellia has put on a lovely show
next to the gate this year. This is another shade lover.


Just as lovely as a rose!
Without the thorns!
Sadly, they have no scent.


This little sweetie (Song Sparrow) has been staking out territory by
the dog kennel next to the walkway.
 (You can tell how often we use that!)
I see it everyday, scratching around the ground and
sitting on the wire.
Its song is lovely.


Come inside and take off your raincoat.

Can you see the pigeon in the tree?


Let's look a little closer.......


One lovely benefit of all the rain are rainbows
at the end of the day.


Can you see the hummingbird?

Thank you for coming along with me, dear Friends.

And thank you for your wonderful visits and kind comments.
I always love to hear from you and learn a little more about you
each time you stop by.
Getting to know you is like a beautiful painting.....
one little paint-stroke at a time.

xxoxoxx


30 comments:

  1. Karen, I feel like I got a wonderful nature lesson today! What beautiful plants you have there. I did not realize you had lived there so many years! For some reason, I thought this was a much 'newer' home to you. Aren't you lucky to have put down such deep roots in your 20s?

    We have lots of mourning doves, too. I just love them...but don't have any of the larger ones like you have there.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Karen, and that you have lots of sunshine! xo Diana

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  2. Now that's a new word to me 'raingry'. I can see why it may be popular.

    April is known for showery weather isn't it, we just have to make the best of a dry interlude and get out and enjoy our surroundings.

    Now your surroundings look gorgeous, and I have enjoyed my walk with you and your lovely dogs.

    I also liked that little sculpture Ramblin' Man left for you to notice!

    Your camellia's are a gorgeous colour.

    Enjoy the remainder of Friday and good wishes for the coming weekend.

    All the best Jan

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  3. Oh My Goodness...that was just beautiful Karen...really!!
    Love all of your Woodland plants...that wild Bleeding Heart looks amazing!!
    We have had very unsettled weather here as well...
    Stayed home from the cottage...rainfall warning...and 50 km/hr winds!!
    We will head out in the morning...
    HAve a wonderful weekend..I am sure you will be out in those pretty woods!!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  4. Karen, I'm sorry to hear that you are having so much rain. Nature is just soaking up all that water and saving it for a "need some" rainy day. Always love to see the pups. How is weenie baby doing? Thank you for sharing your nature walk with us. xo

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  5. The salmon berry is such a pretty flower. It's a smart idea to keep the feeders away from the house a bit so the raccoons or bears don't come around. Your squirrels look a bit different than ours. The ones around here are a light shade of grey with a big bushy tail. Oh my, I've never seen white daffodils before, they're so pretty. The red camellia does look a lot like the rose. And I think that hummingbird and rainbow was just for me hehehehe, as they are both special to my heart. How awesome that you got them both in one picture.

    It's very peaceful and beautiful where you live, and I never get tired of seeing all the interesting things around your neck of the woods, Karen.

    ~Sheri

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  6. The rocks on the stump looked like love. Wasn't surprised that your husband left it for you to discover. We lived in Poulsbo and Silverdale for 7 years. I do still miss all that lovely rain.

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  7. Salmon Berries! So that's what we saw out near our ponds. I love walking about with you, Karen. Thank you for sharing so much of interest and beauty around you. xx

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  8. Raingry! Perfect. Did you get sunshine today? We were so happy to have some sunshine. We even put our air conditioning on in the car today. Whoa! Your home is in a lovely setting. Enjoyed seeing those rainbows. I hear the rain is moving in AGAIN tomorrow. I hope to mow the lawn before it starts. Blessings on your weekend.

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  9. I so enjoyed your tour, from flora to fauna! You know how much I envy you, Karen, rainy days and all.

    I'm not crazy about wild animals and we have a lot of critters in the woods and ponds around the lake; coyotes, raccoons, opossum, beavers, mink...all sorts of wild things that are mostly nocturnal but still. I wonder how you manage to keep your dogs off leash. Mine are okay during the day but evenings bother me. Just picking your brain.

    Thanks for the lovely pictures and narrative.

    Jane x

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  10. Your scenery and garden look splendid whatever the weather! It's lovely to see houw your cute dogs enjoy. We got a heavy hail shower yesterday, poor Finnish spring, too :)

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  11. Once again it was a joy to visit and take a stroll with you. You certainly took us on a walk of such beauty in spite of the weather.

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  12. Your world looks cheerfully green and prettily pink. :) Can there be anything better?
    Seeing the cute dogs makes me smile every time I read your posts.
    I'm sure your vacation in Tuscany will be gorgeous. I'm already looking forward to seeing your photos! 2018? :)
    Have a happy weekend! xx

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  13. Where you live is so incredibly beautiful Karen. ;) It's like your own private fairyland in your backyard. So good you know to just take that rain in stride and it does bring the flowers....eventually. Lol!

    I love that Ramblin Man leaves little sculptures like that. Gave me a smile. ;) Hope you all stay cozy and dry and have a very blessed weekend ahead! xoxo

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  14. Karen, I would love all that rain, but my husband would not, so ... Love these photos. My father was very fond of mourning doves and their song. We used to have a birdfeeder in our back garden, but my husband took it out when it became impossible. The bluejay who completely took over the place would chase off all the daintily-eating small birds and eat it all himself!

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  15. Karen, I would love all that rain, but my husband would not, so ... Love these photos. My father was very fond of mourning doves and their song. We used to have a birdfeeder in our back garden, but my husband took it out when it became impossible. The bluejay who completely took over the place would chase off all the daintily-eating small birds and eat it all himself!

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  16. Such a lovely walk, as usual! I love how all that we see on the walk have names, which give it so much more meaning. We have similar ferns in our yard like the sword ferns but they are pointy at the top and fill out...we call them Christmas Tree Ferns. I just love how they fill in and add texture to my gardens.

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  17. WOW, WOW, WOW!!! What a fantastic walk. The icing on the cake was that last photo with the rainbow and the hummer.

    Thank you so much for sharing the beauty you enjoy every day. I could sure use some of your rain down here. It is predicted for tonight and tomorrow morning, time will tell.

    Have a lovely Sunday and a great upcoming week.

    Love and hugs to you and your Ramblin' Man.

    FlowerLady

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  18. I love comparing your part of the world to ours. Flowering currant the same but ours is well and truly finished. Lovely hellebores too. Love the lengths you go to protect the bird feeders from raccoons and bears. Such a different life. Lovely photos as always. Love the misty mountains at the beginning. Hope you have a sunny Sunday. B x

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  19. Those first two pics were almost depressing for this time of year but the last two made up for them! Love the brick walkway! Adorable little fur babies! Thanks for sharing.

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  20. So cool that you caught the rainbow and hummingbird together!!!! I have things blooming in my gardens and love it.

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  21. That first shot is stunning Karen! So full of atmosphere. Such a beautiful walk in your woods! You sure know your wild flowers. I love that shot of the ancient redwood stumps and the ferns and ground cover. It's like a painting! You have so many pretty flowers blooming on the forest floor. What a paradise! And the last shot of the hummingbird and rainbow?! What an exquisite shot. Thanks for the tour ... give the pups a tummy rub for me ;)
    Wendy

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  22. Your neck of the woods is so lovely, and we've been having similar weather here in the east too. Hard to know what to expect from one day to the next!

    I'm always so impressed with your knowledge of flowers Karen. It's clear you have a passion for gardening.

    (Your fur baby is gorgeous!)

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  23. I enjoyed my walk with you Karen, your property is so beautiful. I love hearing about all your wild critters. Although there is the odd bear around here (from what I hear), my bird feeder is intact so they haven't wandered this way lol. I'm sure you'd have lots over your way. I enjoyed Ramblin' Man's sculpture. That must be enjoyable for you when you across his surprises. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  24. So lovely -- I'm glad you can get out even with all that rain. That last picture with the rainbow and the hummingbird is beautiful!! And how sweet of your Ramblin' Man to leave little sculptures for you. I have had to tie my suet feeders shut or bring them in at night because of those pesky raccoons! xo Deborah

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  25. I have never heard the term raingry but I can imagine how you would get that name after many days of rain :) We also have a problem with the raccoons getting into our suet, I love how you have found a way to keep them out, we have a suet house and a suet cage that I bring in every night so that the raccoon can get it, it would be nice to be able to just leave them out all night.
    So interesting to read about all the different plants and what animals enjoy them! I bet your furbabies enjoy getting out with you :) Love the gate with all the plants growing around it, just beautiful!

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  26. How gorgeous and made all the more special for that break in the clouds. I am wondering how many days you get to read a soggy newspaper?! In Australia the post Guy flings the newspaper from a moving car and it's bingo if it makes the porch! I guess in your world, your postie would need to be an Olympic javelin thrower to get anywhere near your house!!! Love your Douglas squirrel or Douglas the Squirrel :) Fancy that taking a walk to find Ramblin' Man's sculptures!
    Have a great week!
    Wren x

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  27. You are an excellent guide to the forest. The bulbs seem whimsical but never forget the arrival of spring.
    Thanks for visiting my post.

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  28. Thank you for the tour! That first shot looks pretty scary. Thank goodness spring is here, at last!

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  29. Such lovely photos of Spring in your corner of the world. I really enjoyed seeing that picture of the Big-Leaf Maple's large flower panicles. The squirrel was pretty cute too.

    Wishing you a beautiful rest of the day...
    Brenda
    xox

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  30. Wonderful photos Karen and I loved the tour! Your garden is certainly bursting into bloom. Griffin Sheltie's favourite pastime is to chase the big pigeons!!
    I think your rain may be heading in this direction. We have had a lovely warm Spring with virtually no rain. My water butts are empty.
    Ramblin Man has many skills and patience to create such a sculpture.
    Your squirrel is very cute indeed and yes a beautiful capture of the humming bird!
    Have a wonderful week Karen ♥

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

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