Friday, March 18, 2022

Signs of Spring

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are seeing signs of 
spring as we hopefully say goodby to Old Man Winter. 
He has a habit of sticking around long past his welcome,
 here in the foothills of the beautiful Cascade Mts 
of Washington state.

It has been cool and wet, but what do you expect 
when you live near Seattle? 
We have a reputation to uphold! 

Seriously, though, we are seeing subtle signs of spring, 
which lifts my spirits after a long, dreary winter. 

The daffodils are almost ready to bloom in the front yard. 
wild holly and fern line the edges. 

The grass is starting to green up, too. 
I finally trimmed the dead blooms off the hydrangea 
in front of the house. It took me all afternoon
and I filled a big tarp. 
There is always something to do this time of year! 

New buds on hydrangea. 

Indian plum or Oso berry,
 are the first to leaf out in spring. 
They produce tiny, edible 'plums' that 
the birds love. 
These are small, slender trees, about 10-20 feet
growing anywhere there is a bit of sunlight in the forest. 

The tiny pendant flowers are sustenance for returning 
rufous and annas hummingbirds. 
Annas hummingbirds will also stay year-round. 
They feed off the drippings of our red-breasted sapsucker. 
Nature works together. 
I help out by keeping my hummingbird feeders 
filled year round. 

Male annas. 
In sunlight, the dark feathers on his head and chin turn 
iridescent scarlet. 

What are you looking at? 
This little guy is defending his territory, 
chasing away all intruders, except females. 
They make an angry clicking sound. 

Wild plum produces very sweet, small plums 
that the wildlife love. They grow everywhere
and are just starting to bloom. 
Some have pink blossoms. 

Wild band-tailed pigeons. 
These are large birds, about 14-15 inches,
the size of a small chicken. 
They travel in nomadic flocks this time of year, 
before pairing up in scattered groups for nesting season. 

This group is joined by a little friend. 

We live in deer country. I can't grow anything 
they consider edible. Especially roses, although 
I can grow rugosa roses because they have formidable thorns. 
I have found that they don't like forget-me-not, wild geranium, 
tansy, most herbs, daffodils and foxglove, to name a few. 
We have black-tailed deer here. 

Oh, and they don't like forsythia! 
I grew this tangle (which is about 8ft. wide), 
from 1 little cutting I rooted years ago. 

It seems to like this sunny spot right below the deck. 

A sure sign of spring is when the robins return. 

Spring is a time for pairing up, too. 
These are bald eagles. 

A clearer view of the white tail. 

One morning I was watching the sun rise over the mountains
and two eagles came into view. 
Soon they were accompanied by two ravens, 
then two red-tailed hawks. 
They all soared the skies together before drifting out of view. 
Maybe hunting together? 

It's always a thrill to see them. 

The alder catkins are another sign of spring. 

Here they dangle over a wild plum just starting to bloom. 
You can still see snow in the mountains. 

This time of year, the elk move through on their way towards higher elevations.
It's hard to tell how large these are, but they are the size of 
small horses.  

This photo was taken from my vehicle. You can see a reflection 
of something on the dashboard! 
No, it's not a UFO. 

Our native Douglas squirrel finds last fall's 
maple wingnuts stuck in between the deck boards.

These are tiny squirrels, a little larger than a chipmunk. 

A raven keeps watch. We have a nesting pair. 
This is not a good thing for the songbirds, 
as they raid their nests mercilessly. 

The nest. 
This sits about 60 feet up in a very large maple tree, 
overlooking the field next door. 
It can only be seen in winter and early spring, and even then, 
only from one strategic spot. 

I was walking down my driveway one day and happened to 
see it from a narrow space between the trees. 
I had to zoom in to take the photo. 

Close to where I spied the nest. 

Beautiful Kai at the top of the driveway. 
The fallen tree is caught up on another
making it difficult to take down. 
It also hangs over the fence-line, so that 
will need repairing, too. 

You can see a neighbor's house across the road. 

Tiny flower buds on the bright green branches 
of red huckleberry along the driveway. 

A rolling stone gathers no moss. 

Tree fern growing in the crook of a big-leaf maple. 
These are enormous trees with leaves the size 
of a dinner plate or larger. 

These ferns seem to prefer maples 
and will grow in the crooks between the trunk
and branches all the way up the tree. 

There is plenty of mist this time of year. 

And lovely sunrises. 

And of course, lots of clouds. 

Which makes us appreciate the sunshine
that much more! 

I hope that you are finding a few signs of spring, too, 
Dear Friends. 

Won't you join the fun? 

Friday, March 11, 2022

Erin go Bragh - Ireland Forever!


Hello, Dear Friends! 

I hope you are being kind to yourselves 

as we look forward to spring in just a few more days. 

I've always admired the pluck of the Irish, 

and being part Irish myself, I thought 

I would try to add some cheer to a gloomy world

by sharing the wit and wisdom of Irish proverbs

along with some lovely vintage cards.


Every eye forms its own fancy. 

He who loses money, loses much; he who loses

a friend, loses more; he who loses faith, loses all. 

Better to be fortunate than rich. 

A good retreat is better than a bad stand.

The work praises the man. 

Continual cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom.

The light heart lives long. 

Bricks and mortar make a house, but the laughter
of children make a home. 

Slow is every foot on an unknown path. 

A friend's eye is a good mirror. 

He is bad that will not take advice, but he is a thousand
times worse that takes every advice. 

Everything is revealed by time. 

People live in each other's shelter. 

Good sense is as important as good food. 

Not every flatterer is a friend. 

Better to be a man of character than a man of means. 

Say a little and say it well. 

Who gossips with you will gossip of you. 

Always remember that hindsight is the best insight to foresight. 

The friend that can be bought is not worth buying. 

Hope is the physician of each misery. 

Character is better than wealth. 

The seekin' for one thing will find another. 

Need teaches a plan. 

May the enemies of Ireland never meet a friend. 


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