Sunday, April 27, 2008


You’re asking yourself, what on earth do these three things have in common?
The answer: they’re all things I’ve seen this month.

First, the ‘orbs’. Okay, it’s probably as hard to believe these are orbs as it was to believe it was snowing near the end of April. So I admit it, they’re not ‘orbs and would like to substitute ‘outer space’ and the theme song from Star Trek, for the ‘orbs’ part of the ‘O equation’.

Second, the osprey. One has been flying around the lake perimeter lately. The call it makes is quite different from that of the bald eagles (listen at the Audubon link listed). And their flight movement is different as well. The bald eagles fly toward the osprey and seem to chase it away whenever it maneuvers anywhere near the nest. The sight of the massive bald eagle flying in the wake of the osprey is quite a sight to behold.

Third, the Offspring (no, not the musical group). They abound everywhere now! I’m quite certain there are one or more eaglets in the nest, a mallard swims by daily with her ducklings, and the geese have visited our lawn with their goslings.

Last, the outdoors, where all gardeners are drawn, especially at this time of year. The plant sales are beginning! The master gardener plant sale in Seattle is this coming weekend and is a great place to get tomato starts, as well as just about any unique (or common) plant you desire. (
Friday and Saturday of the following weekend (Mother’s Day weekend) is the Lake Wilderness Arboretum plant sale in Maple Valley. They have some really unique plants, including many natives. (

Let the excitement of a new growing season begin!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Eagle badgered by stellar jays (left and right above eagle)

‘Eagle command central’ has been abuzz with activity lately. At least one of the eagles has been on the nest constantly the past month. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I thought I saw a furry, dark-colored, small creature squirming around next to an adult the other day. I’ve seen both parents perched together on the side of the nest, appearing to tear apart pieces of food and place them into the nest (or maybe an open mouth?).

I’ve got lots of photos to download yet, but I wanted to post this series of photos below.!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I’ve been struggling to find time to write recently. You might even say I've been taxed (!). Add to that, trying to narrow down the selections of photographs to post from the plethora (that has to be one of my favorite words in English) I’ve recently taken, and you have one tongue-tied gardener in the roost. So after taking a little photo safari in my gardens today, I’ve decided to put pen (keypad) to paper (word doc), grab up some photos to accompany the words, and get busy posting.

It’s not the nicest day of the spring, quite the contrary. It is overcast, cool, and windy. Almost everything appears as shades of gray.

For instance, these spent flower stalks from the hardy, dependable Phlomis russeliana (common name is sticky jerusalum sage) above. This perennial is one of the ‘2004 best plant picks’ for the Pacific Northwest, appropriate for USDA Zones 4-9. Read more about it at:

Among the shades of gray along the riparian area are beautiful deep red stems of the red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera), and the punchy pink of the salmonberry flowers.

The salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) blooms are perfectly timed to provide nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. They also give tiny bursts of color to nourish the interest of human passers-by.

But shades of gray explode into bold blues and popping pinks with the heady hyacinths, and a sign of warmer dreams to come.

Monday, April 7, 2008


The wild weather continues here in the PNW, which should be no surprise to any of those who have lived here for a while. Last week, for about five days straight, we had so much hail that it looked like snow piled high. The roads were crummy, the plants were covered in it, and it seemed that everything in nature took a little siesta. But last night, the thunderstorms boomed and the clouds roared by faster than driving that Beemer on the autobahn. The clouds, rain, and bit of clear sunshine resulted in a most beautiful double rainbow.

The eagle’s head was easily visible with the backdrop of dark clouds.

Eagle flying among cormorants

It seems that the storm cleared the air and made way for everything to return anew. This morning the robins were singing just as day broke, the hummingbirds are draining the feeders as fast as I can refill them, and the cormorants have returned en masse to fish in the newly stocked lake.

Yes, spring really is here—hooray!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

APRIL FOOLS' c/o Mother Nature

Yes, the calendar says April 1, 2008, but the ice and snow on the roads this morning was a reminder that Nature hasn’t finished with winter just yet. Of course there are advantages to this wild and wacky weather. For instance, the snow pack in the mountains, and the resulting water levels in reservoirs are going to be fantastic this year. Skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter sports will enjoy an extended season. And of course, there will be lots of water to generate hydroelectric power.

Despite all these great advantages, I’m ready for the real spring to please stand up. How about you?