January 2017

 

Yeah, she’s a little topsy-turvy, but she says it helps the blood flow in her head.  And its also a retaliation for her not being offered copious quantities of treats to be the CoverGirl of the post.
Since I have been very negligent on my blog, I am just going to run a Cliff Note version for January.  I admit that I allowed myself to get sideswiped by politics last year.  And I have come to the conclusion that if you allow yourself to get too caught up in things such as that, you forget to live and laugh and have fun.  By the end of it, I was totally burned out.  The chips will fall where they will in the aftermath.  There will either be traces of green earth or it will all be scorched.  But, I shall take a lesson that I learned a few decades ago.  The greatest revenge you can inflict on a force attempting to control you is to simply live your life.  To not let that force interfere.  To smile, to laugh, to make good art.  Because, if you do that, they ultimately lost.
 

So, the first day of the year, I began it by going on a 1st day hike.  The ranger running the group didn’t want to wait for me to use the restroom, so they all took off without me.  I decided I was fine with that and could make it a picture day and take my own sweet time stopping wherever I wanted to.  And along the trail, I found this wonderful driftwood elephant trying to grab a tree limb.

Note:  If you click on the picture, you will go to the gallery of pictures I took on the hike


I stopped at Fir Island on the way back and was treated to a number of herons playing in the vicinity.  If you go to the gallery (click on photo and it will take you there) you will see a large heron with a great beard.  He was totally indifferent to my presence.  Actually, most of them were someone unbothered by it.  I do believe they are aware that they are on protected lands there.

I saw snow banked along the side of the river driving home one day and figured I had better get some shots before it melted.  Most of our snow is on the mountains and it doesn’t often stick for long when it does come down.  The really cool thing when I got down to the river’s edge was the ice sheets floating down the river and crunching into each other.  My timing was perfect too as the sun was starting to set.  No alterations have been made to the color in the photos.  That is the color being cast by the setting sun.  Took “Golden Hour” to a new level.

Again, clicking on photo will take you to the gallery of photos I took at the river’s edge.


This, is a juvenile red tail hawk.  It was captured before a raptor class I went to.  You can’t really tell what the gender is.  Mature and in a nest with their mate, you can.  The female will be the larger of the two.  During the class, they measured, took vitals and banded the leg of the hawk.  And this was when I learned that their legs are full size at 3 weeks old.  And that is why they can band the leg of a juvenile and not worry about it.  They also said that if you find a band, you should call it in to the local bird watch.   It was an amazing class with a field trip after.

While we were out looking for more birds, they caught this merlin.  They caught it while we were distracted looking for other birds in the fields, so I didn’t get to see how they are catching these birds so easily.  But, look at the feathers on this little one!  Just gorgeous!!!

And isn’t this the cutest face you have ever seen???  And if you click on the pic, you can see all the shots from that day.


We had a wee bit of a cold spell here a couple weeks ago.  Cold enough that it managed to freeze the fountains at the Tulalip Casino.  We don’t get sustained colds around here very often, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get some shots of this.Again, click the image to see the rest of the shots.  )
 
I got distracted by the way the sun was coming through the clouds and took a turn onto one  of the back roads to try and get some pictures of it.  As you can see, it was worth the side trip.

But, there was an additional surprise when I went down the road.  The fields were full of snow geese.  And I was lucky enough that after parking the car, I got to witness them taking flight.  I couldn’t begin to guess how many were there, but it was well in the thousands.Yes, there are more pictures if you want to click on the image.
 

Just a little example of some of Seattle’s graffiti.

I know.  Its a bit glary, but I really liked this painting and had to take a picture of it.

THIS!  This is a jacket I found in a local second hand store.  I am beside myself with glee over adding this to my wardrobe.

And the back view of it.

A present.  Its a tortilla warmer.  Isn’t it awesome??

New  Watercolor Brush.  Don’t know what it will do yet.  Will play with it this weekend.

And this is a horseradish sauce guaranteed to clear your sinuses, make your eyes water and possibly give you coughing fits.  Yumm!

And it  is the year of the rooster, so the post wouldn’t be complete without an impressive cock.


And her little Princess Cassie Flooferpants says it is time to go for now.  She says she will need at least 4 treats, no, 6 treats for waiting for me to finish.

 

 

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

 


I listened to this book as an audible.  It was narrated by Cassandra Campbell.  I think I should probably start designating whether I “read” a book or “listen”.  Listening to books while I drive makes the drive so much more endurable.  Cassandra did an excellent job on the narration, even in simulating the male voices.

Wow!  Wow!  And Seriously, Wow!  “Everything I Never Told You” has to be one of the best and most profound books I can remember reading.  The book begins Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. . . . 

Lydia’s body is found in the local lake.  The story is told through the voices of Lydia, her family and Jack, the neighbor boy.  Its told through many time shifts, from when her Chinese father met and married her American mother.  The isolation and rejection her father faced as a Chinese man in the US at that time.  Her mother, raised by a Home Ec teacher who tried to make her daughter into the perfect domestic partner for her future husband, but would up with one that excelled in the sciences.  Who vowed she was going to be a doctor, not a wife.  That is, until she met James.  And when she has Lydia, she pours herself into trying to make her into the doctor she couldn’t be.

Jack, the one outsider in the story, is at a time, suspected of foul play with the drowning of Lydia.  Or at the very least, corrupting her in some way that led to her death.  Though he doesn’t have his own voice in the story, you learn about him through the eyes of everyone else, and each of them see him from a different perspective.

What makes this book so profound is not the story itself, but the way it is told and the beauty of the prose in its pages.  Celeste takes you deep into the hearts and minds of each of the family members and you see a trace of the unspoken reality of who they really are, so very different from whom they are perceived to be.  She lays bare how people so misunderstand each other, how all seem to mirror their own fears and biases into interpreting the motives and personalities of others.  You walk away reevaluating your perception of the people in your life, how often are you guilty of those very same misconceptions?

She had me in tears as the book neared its end.  Not for Lydia, but for the people and family she left behind who had been exposed to their barest bones by the time she was done.  We are all of us somewhere in those pages, in at least one, if not more of the characters.  The tears are for the lack of sympathy we had because we didn’t see the real truth, but only the surface or a single face of another.  And the tears are for knowing that others look at us with the same blindness, seeing our motives, our deeds through the colored glasses of their experience.  The tears are from realizing how little we know each other, even the ones we claim to know the best.

I was stunned when I realized this was Celeste’s first book!  If this is any indicator, I will be waiting with bated breath for any and every new book she follows with.  Read her, breathe in her words, let them settle in deep.  Her words are a tonic for the soul and the heart.

 

Sephi PiderWitch
January 31, 2017

Sipping Nectar in the Garden

 

New Painting – Sipping Nectar in the Garden
Watercolor – 2017

Frozen In Time – Weekly Photo Project – Week 03 – Wet/Dry

 

Frozen In Time – Weekly Photo Project –  Week 03 – Wet/Dry
Its such a stunning sight to see a fountain frozen in midstream. Even more when it is as impressive of a fountain as the one at the Tulalip Casino. I figured this covers the week’s theme at just about every angle. Wet and dry, liquid and solid, flowing and stationary. Oh, and crystal clear and cloudy. Oh, and not to mention, Really Purdy!!! Yup! Definitely worth backtracking to get some shots of!

At The River’s Edge – Wk 2 – Symmetry

 

I pulled down to the side road by the river because I saw the snow buildup on the banks (lingering snow is unusual around here, so I didn’t want to miss it) The sun was setting and there were sheets of ice floating down the river crunching into each other. It was amazing to sit there (Okay, stand. Too cold and wet to sit) and listen to that ice and the singing of the eagles in the trees. The scene gave the “Golden Hour” a whole new level for me that day.

Hiking With Elephants – Wk 1 – Holidays

 

Had to think about this. I spent my New Year’s on a two hikes in low 30 degree weather. We each have to define what a holiday is. I think walking a beautiful trail and seeing a driftwood elephant in the process (who I have since named Fee Fee, and yes there is more to that one) made it a wonderful holiday. I also saw hawks and herons and eagles and little brown birds playing peekaboo from the bushes. So, this is my first offering for the year.

Winter Blue

 

Sephi

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