Tag Archives: trees

Big Four Ice Caves 06/19/2014

Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-1Day two of Blunami’s visit to my little corner of the country and I thought we would go on a hike somewhere that is unlike anything she has down in the land of beige.  So, we went to Big Four Ice Caves.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-4Even without the caves, it is a beautiful hike.  Old growth with windfalls, towering skeletons and lush growth.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-5You have to stand in awe of a storm that can rip a tree out of the ground of this size and just lay it down.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-7And to get a sense of just how big it is. . . . . .
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-11And the Road is Long, with Many a Winding Turn . . . . . . lalalalalalalala!
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-16And pretty skunk cabbages all in a row!
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-21A peek at one of the surrounding mountains.  And no, I don’t know the names of the various mountains.  That’s on my to learn list. So rest assured, there will not be a quiz at the end.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-30So, it begs the question.  If you fold it just right, could a body be stashed here???
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-46I am relatively certain that the plant on the left is wild ginger.  But, since I am not 100% certain, there will not be a quiz on this one either.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-49And you though it was all in the minds and imaginations of people like the Grimm Brothers to come up with a haunted forest populated by laughing evil trees.  Well, it actually was.  But, many of us understand that such tales are cautionary tales that have their foundation in reality.  Or at least the perception of reality that exists after a night of drinking ale and whiskey and passing out on the forest floor where you wake up to this hovering over your body.  (Makes you want to rethink that next drink, doesn’t it?)
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-54Never fear!  For just a short way down the trail is this nice tree offering a safe haven from the evil flesh rending tree that was laughing at your pitiful countenance.
 Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-56The lesson to be learned from these beautiful evil darlings is that when you see them first coming up from the ground to always check and realize they are NOT dandelions.  Though their leaves can somewhat resemble them, they are NOT.  Do NOT with your bare hands attempt to extract them from the ground.  They will embed their little prickles into you as badly as will nettles.  They will show up everywhere, even in cracks in the cement where they are especially difficult to remove. Other than that, they are just beautiful throughout their entire life cycle to photograph.  Which is probably why I have left one monster plant growing in my back yard.
I just liked the way it split three ways.Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-57
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-97One of the surrounding hills when you reach the clearing to the Ice Caves.  As opposed to a desert island, its more like a desert hilltop.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-99And here we have the Emerald Palace.  Doesn’t it just look like a castle made of trees sitting up there.  Or it could be trees imitating Meerkats looking out over the valley.
The clouds make this hike so much prettier! Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-62
And for that Timeless Look!Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-66
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-70Now, how cool is that?  A coffin shaped stone and it was even covered with some dirt.  It was a bit heavy to heft out of there, so we left it.  Who know, maybe someone would want to bury someone under it.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-74One of the fascinating things in this valley is the walls of sheer rocks with tiny waterfalls all along them.  These are also the source of the ice caves.  And the closer you get to these walls, the colder the air gets.  You might be wearing a tank top before entering the valley area, but you will be reaching for a bit more covering as you make your approach.
 Ooooh, Pretty!!!Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-77
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-84I’m thinking she was a bit fascinated.  Alas, it was a bit early in the year for the true ooh-aah of the caves.  I now understand why we always went in the fall to these.  Guess Blu will have to come back then to see how wondrous they are!
The staircase of falls!Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-88
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-91You can just feel the frigidness of the water falling down these steps
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 Just makes the breathing deeper when you look on scenes like this.  Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-165
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-168You just have to be careful of the pacific gators hiding in the waters.  They tend to particularly like the skunk cabbage.  They find it hides their scent from the prey.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-110Pretty tiny purple flowers.  Yeah, I should identify them.  Maybe later.
Wild leaf day?Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-113
Beautiful Solomon’s Seal.  They are all over this trail.Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-119
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-120
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-121The winds ONLY stripped one side of the tree?
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-126She almost looks reluctant to be heading back down the trail.  Guess she’s going to have to come back!
 Lonely little bell.Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-129
 Nature’s yo-yos!!!  Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-133
Queen’s cup, Bead LilyIce Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-135
Dance of the woodland ferns.Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-139
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-141And in every crevice, you can find life taking up residence.
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Sweating tree mushrooms.  They form the most interesting shapes. Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-149
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-154And then we have the infamous alpaca tree.  Legend has it that wild herds used to roam the hills till the white man came where they began to capture and tame them so they could sheer them of their soft piles to make socks for their tender feet.  But, they missed one, the king of the alpacas.  When they realized he had been missed, that his coat was rumored to be softer than that of any of the others, they set out on an expedition to find him.  The Spirit of the Forest felt they had taken enough and asked the Alpaca King if he wished to stay and become one with the forest.  He heartily agreed and was transformed just before they threw the net over him.  Well, they had no use for a moss-mop, so they took back their nets and he stand next to the trail to this day, mocking the passing humans for being outsmarted by an alpaca.  And once in a while, he has been known to spit on a passing human.  Though, it is generally one that doesn’t show sufficient respect for the forest.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-157Many a sacrificial victim has met its end at the maw of this ancient spirit of the forest by the little forest sylphs within.
Ice Caves with Blu 06-19-2014-161Okay, all together now – Oooohhhhh  – Aaaahhhh!!!Pretty!!
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Franklin Falls 05/24/2014

Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-1So, we decided that a single falls hike was not enough for one day, so we added a second trail to the list.  I have never been to Franklin Falls, but it was a very nice, mellow low elevation hike.  We didn’t hit the trail at the beginning of it, because after driving halfway through the park area and not finding the trailhead, we went back out and asked at the ranger station.  They told us that we could park anywhere that there was a pullout and could see the trail and start there.  So, that’s what we did.  And that’s where I got my first shot from the trail.  Combination waterfall stream and snow stream.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-3There is something deeply amusing to me that one of the first blooms in the forest is the skunk cabbage.  This plant never ceases to amaze me.  The leaves are just massive, but it seems that they don’t get so very huge until after they have bloomed.  But, the blooms are just so unique.  I am guessing it only qualifies as a single petal that forms a hammock cup that shoots out what appears to be a corncob spathe on a stalk.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-7Love the mossy covered branches!!
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-10And they take on a surreal look when you strip them of the color.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-11Seems like there may be more than one set of falls here.  This one is for the smallest of the fey creatures.  The dark crevices alongside are part of a complex network of pathways that weave through all areas of the forest for them to monitor the conditions.  Rumor has it that there are additional pathways that will spirit them to the neighboring forests and possibly all of them.  This has not been proven though.  The entrances of many of them are guarded by a particularly viscous sect of trolls whose teeth are not only barbed and sharp as razors, but also have a caustic bile in their mouths that can dissolve every known fabric.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-25Beware gifts offered by the spirits of the forests.  Especially if they are black and and the hand offering them is protruding straight up out of the ground.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-29 And for those that are wondering how they keep those little fairy outfits so clean and stain free, please observe the community washing stream.  It is equipped with old growth agitators, stone tumbling action and no need for water softeners with the patented pure glacier fed water system.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-37There were some issues between them before emerging from the ground.  Consequently, even though they were conjoined at the hip, they stubbornly stared of into other directions.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-40Tiny bells, ringing in the forest.  Tiny bells, ringing through the silence.  Tiny bells, sounding just like Yuletide.  Tiny bells, ringing wings onto fairies.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-49Rounding the corner, we find the little alcove where much panning for gold, or silver, or maybe it was agates.  Well, they didn’t have much luck till they got back into town where they opened up a store to sell off their tools to the burly men heading up to Alaska where for a small additional sum, they included a map to the homestead where it is reputed that you can see Russia from the back porch.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-62Ahhh, a quartet of skunk blossoms.  Just looking at that lovely shiny petal and cob-like center, you are certain they will work so well with any of a number of those recipes you were looking at in that new cookbook over the weekend.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-70This is what is known as a forest ruins.  All that is left is a mere shell of what was once a majestic tree.  However, unlike the ruins of humans, life still prevails in the ruins of the forest.  Look closely and you will see the dripping hills of moss, the ferns peeking from the crumbling bark.  Tiny insects make it their very own gingerbread tree house that they will live in and eat their way through.  Its a termite foodie wet dream!
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-73Nature reclaims all.  From the death and ruins of even the skeletal remains of a tree, there emerges new life.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-83And for those that were wondering what ever became of Ratatoskr?  Well, he made a wrong turn and found himself in the PNW forests where he foolishly attempted to convert the heathenish fairies that inhabit these lands.  They laughed at him and called him names, such as squirrel-zipper-nut-catcher.  Well, he couldn’t resist reacting with the anger the Norse are known for and raced up and down the trees spewing threats of calling down the anger of his gods till he ceased to be an entertainment and moved into annoyance  On his next scurry up a tree, he was caught by the sap and by the next morning had been sucked into the bark, an eternal warning to any who came upon him that one should use caution in dealings with the spirits in the trees.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-80The guardians of the forest.  They were here before you came.  They will persist after you have gone.  Just walk up to one of these Golliaths and breath in its magnitude.  Quietly waiting, being, watching.  And you cannot but be filled with their soft peace when you stand next to them and breath in the spikey green of their perfume.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-106There she is!  First glimpse which brings a swift drop in temperature.  The slick rocks from the spray serve to hold back all but the most determined of the hikers.  Alas, my son was not wearing shoes that allowed him to count himself in their numbers.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-89Stripped of color, you can almost feel the chill of her presence.  The falling locks of the Ice Queen.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-110The truth is, it was very easy to convince me to go on a double hike given they both involved waterfalls.  Its yet another of those things that my son and I share in common.  Our love of falls.  He has always been my favorite running around with buddy.  That hasn’t changed.  He still is.
Just stunning!Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-113
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-116Oh my!  There’s a lady in this falls too!  A bit heavier than the one at Boulder River.  And she might be expecting.
Yup, she’s still there!Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-118
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-124And a rather surprised little monster at the base of the rotted trunk.  Okay, I have a wild imagination, but you can see it there.  Two eyes over the gaping mouth!  He’s kinda cute, don’t you think?
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-127This IS my idea of worship.  I don’t know that I believe any of the Gods really exist, but if any of them do its not in a building you will find them. Its in “this” that they will call any earthly home.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-138And there he is!  That’s my son!  Geek to the core.  Even wears his Google goggles out on the trails.  But, at least he is mostly able to tune out the outside world and enjoy the woods.  I did really good.  He is a success in his life and doesn’t work himself into a grave doing it.  He makes sure he enjoys life.  And not waiting to do so.  I am proud.  And I still don’t know what I did to deserve such an amazing son.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-148Just cuz it was cool looking.  That’s why!
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-153Love these mushrooms!  Sometimes they can get absolutely HUGE!  Of course, the tree is generally dead that they are on.  I’m not sure if they grow on dead trees or kill the trees.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-155You can just hear the tunes from Little Shop of Horrors playing in your head as you look on it.  Maybe that’s what sucked the squirrel into the bark.
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-160Black branches stretching out from the trunk like dark lightening issuing from the depths of the tree.
Reclaiming as nature always does.  Nurse trees on a fallen mother.Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-163
Franklin Fals 05-24-2014-179And yes folks, that is indeed snow at the end of May.  We almost forgot to stop and get a few shots of that on the way out.  Luckily, we didn’t have to walk back too far when we found a place to park.
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April Island Shots

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When driving along the freeway, what to my wandering eyes should appear but a yard of rusty trucks and cars and trailers and such.  This little beauty here, well, it used to be a rum runner taking the back roads from the wharves to the seamstress’ quarters in the university.
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All you need is close your eyes for a moment and think of the Speakeasy, flappers, gangsters (the real ones with the Tommy guns and Zoot suits and fedoras with yet more flapper girls hanging off their arms) then open your eyes.  Or, maybe little Dorothy Parker would have liked to drive around in this looking for the latest poetic inspiration.
April 2014 Camano Island-17Want to protect your interest in these pristine relics?  Have no fear!  There is a squad of ancient warrior trees that will watch over them for a nominal fee.  Don’t let the rumors about the blood sacrifice deter you.  It really doesn’t need to be a friend or family member.  Then again, that may just be the answer to one of those prayers you are afraid to voice.  And not to worry these talented trees show their appreciation by absorbing all of the offering, leaving no trace that could ever point back to you!
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You know?  I could be Bonnie and Clyde’s car.  But, it isn’t because its lacking that unique embellishment of all those bullet holes.  Of course, it could be their spare car!
 April 2014 Camano Island-22And here we have one of those lovely guardian trees showing its appreciation for an offering it received by doing the solar dance of freedom.  The supplicants are hiding in the little shack, as it has been rumored that these dances can bring about the dropping and flinging of branches and pine cones of most unusual size.  Injuries and death have been known to result to unprotected supplicants and it has been proposed that there might be an intentional component in this as it would provide additional sacrifices to these ravenous creatures.
 April 2014 Camano Island-24And as I drive onto the island, I take a turn on one of the side streets that I have been eyeballing for quite some time.  It was a beautiful long stretch of road that ended at the coastline on the other side.  I’ll save that area for another day.  But, I had to stop for the clouds.  And this one just looked like a storm God baring in for an assault on the ground below!!
 April 2014 Camano Island-25Or maybe its a momma cloud Goddess chasing after its runaway offspring.  Poor little thing!  Oh Wait!  No!  Its dancing and chanting, “naner, naner, naner!  Can’t catch me!”  Ah, but we all know that mom will win this battle.  And that light misty rain that followed?  The little one with the paddled bottom!
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Just looks more ominous with the hues changed, don’t you think?  You almost expect a tornado to rear its body off in the distance!
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Okay, all I have to say here is:  Breathtaking, isn’t it?
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I was seriously considering going over and knocking on their door to see if they would give me the ritual they used to summon their own cloud above them.
 April 2014 Camano Island-39Ah yes, and we step again into that wayback machine to a simpler time, a time of Laura Ingalls and John Wayne and no electricity and not internet . . . . Yeah, maybe not.
 I do love the broken down, dilapidated structures!!!April 2014 Camano Island-43
 April 2014 Camano Island-45Looks like they have more than plenty of room for guest here.  And don’t have to worry about them being underfoot!  And its nice there are windows so they can look out, or be watched!
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And right close to the barn too!  They won’t have far to walk to milk those cows on the way in for breakfast,
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And one of my favorite trees on the island.  Yes, you know its Spring as its getting in is lovely foliage!
 April 2014 Camano Island-52And this was the last picture I got before my beloved camera got sick.  Its now at the camera hospital and though I do have the point and shoot to keep me somewhat occupied, life will not be the same till my baby comes home.
Oh, and do note that I am now adding a slide show at the bottom of the posts where you can look at all the pictures, some of which are not shown above.  Feel free to leave comments and there is a subscribe button if you want to see new posts as I write them.  Thank you for stopping by!
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First Spring in the Garden – 2

IMG_2347Cassie decided since this is about her home; granted, she is housebound and not allowed in the yard to play because I am certain she is too much of a charm school ditz to notice a eagle swoomping down on her floofy little body to carry back to it nest for a snack for the baby raptors, but the yard, she should still be the first sight you see when you open the post.  And since she did clean the drool off her ruff a bit better than the last time, I allowed her the privilege.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-7I took a tour of all the blooming things in my yard and enjoyed the small sun breaks to give me the best lighting for the shots.  We’ve been a bit short on the sunshine department this year, but it seems there has been plenty to bring the lovelies out to bask in its glow.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-9I am going to have to do some research on some of these plants.  I have no idea what these blue beauties are, though I am sure my neighbors would snicker at me for the ignorance.  I’ll just look for them the next time I am in the garden department.
Update:  I have just been told that these are grape hyacinth.  So, there is one flower mystery solved.  Yay!!
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-12I must say that there is something so very appropriate about there being bleeding hearts growing in my garden.  I have always found them to be such an intriguing flower.  I know, they’re pink, but pink is okay on a bloom.  Just not so much on my body.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-13Another one that will need defining.And this one has a probable identification of sakura.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-17Its one of the most recognized flowers and its name should fall off of my tongue every time I set eyes on it, but I have to admit that for some unknown reason I continuously go blank on the name when I see daffodils.  I do have to agree with my next door neighbor on them, they do make you smile whenever you set eyes on them.  Much like sunflowers but its far too early in the year for them.  I did plant some in the front garden.  I just need to hope that the birds didn’t steal my seeds.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-18Their beauty just takes on an otherworldly stark beauty when you strip them of the colors and are left with
just the lights and shadow of them.  I think flowers may be much like people in that respect.  The color shows their dressing.  The black and white shows their souls.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-21I love the way the cluster of spiky petals just shoots out.  Its like an offering from the plant.  You can almost hear it say “Look what I made for you”.  So you pluck it loose and stick it in your hair while you continue your meandering through the garden.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-22Oh lookie!!!  Steampunk blooms.  I imagine the color is from the rust that has accumulated from all the rain.  They were probably a nice brass or copper or something before the weather set into their stalks.
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Cassie is just checking in to see if you are enjoying the tour.  She would also like to request that you go in to the drawer next to her and get her a treat.  She says you should pay no mind to the human telling you that I don’t need them.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-24Yup!  Its yet another species that I will have to identify.  But they do look like some alien life form or maybe something out of Little Shop of Horrors.  I guess that could make them a nice set of wards to use.
ell this is what it looks like before it decides to rise and shine and show its happy face to the world.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-28I suppose I shall have to look into if I really need to remove this lovely little branch.  Then again, maybe I’ll just leave it and see what it does.  I think its quite charming springing up in the eye of the split trunk.  I figure anything that wants attention so badly that it chooses such a prominent place to make its entrance probably deserves to keep that place.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-29
And at the far corner of the property is this old tree trunk with some large bushy thing growing alongside it.  Yeah, yeah, I am sure the “master gardeners” will be grinding their teeth at my lack of knowledge at this point.  But, I will learn and the important thing is that I appreciate the beauty even if I don’t know the name.  At any rate, I cut it back considerably when I realized there was another garden plot that it had grown over.  Of course, with the size and shape of it, it could very well be a grave.  Probably not, but definitely food for future consideration.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-30Trying to decide which I like more, the shot with or the shot without color.  Again, I think we are back to the difference between showing the dressing and showing the soul.  Both have their place and are good.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-31I am thinking these might be hellebore like what I have on the front porch.  If I am correct that means I am beginning to learn some of these plants.  So if you are a garden snob and have been laughing at my lack of knowledge up until this point, and I am right on this, then all I have to say is “plllltttzzzzhhh”  I’m learning!
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-33Though all her siblings gazed upward to bath in the warmth of the sun, she alone allowed her gaze to travel downward to watch the flow of life below.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-37She was alone with only the promise of company in the small area she had found to emerge.  Sadness wrapped her and weighed on her causing her to slightly droop her head.  But wait!  Whispers from behind of another promising to soon join at her side.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-38Its actually a whirly-gig to go on a fairy’s cap.  They grow them in the shady places of gardens and slip in during the dark of the night to collect them and then weave them into the caps while sitting on the branches of the trees where they can toss pine cones onto the heads of unsuspecting humans as they walk underneath.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-39And this is just one of those take your breath away symbols of Spring.  Its as if the opening leaves of the branch are standing sentry over the delicate bud that is their charge.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-40This lovely bush is right outside my bedroom window.  Its almost like this charming little forest trail along the side of the yard which ends in this bush.  I can’t wait for the temps to go up just a little bit more so I can begin to open the windows and breath in the fragrance of the nature at night and have the owls sing me to sleep.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-41Again, not sure what these lovely lavender flowers are.  I am still trying to figure out which side of the property line is that they are on.  I suppose I will know the answer to that when the hag puts up her fence.  Which will be none too soon for my liking.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-42I am so glad the former owner thought to put Trilliums in the garden.  They are such a truly lovely little plant.  and I understand that they are one of the first flowers to come out and bloom.  However, it does appear that they seem to be a tasty morsel for some island critter because a couple of hours after I took this picture, about half of them had been eaten.  Maybe it was the same doe that was snacking at the bird feeder.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-43Okay I am looking at both of the pictures and the color shot makes me say “oooooooh”  and the grayscale elicits an “Ahhhhhh”
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-45And the little fairies dashed through the garden and dropped little splashes of color into the centers of some of the flowers to bring some dabs of sunshine from the earth to beckon to the heavens for it to send its own golden rays.
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Sparkles of light seemed to play upon the flowers on this tree when the sun peeked out.  It was but a tease by the sun because by the time I grabbed my camera to get a shot of it, most of it had gone away.  But, even without the illumination, it really is a most lovely little tree.
 March 2014 Garden & Around Town-46Driftwood sentinel in my front trail.  Need to figure out the proper way to decorate this one.
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Oh lookie!!!  Rubber band!!!!!

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Woops!  Hi again!  Well, looks like we are done for this time.  Hope you had fun.  Leave a few treats on the way out if you don’t mind.

 

Deception Bay

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Seattle Japanese Garden 06/07/2013

Japanese Garden20130607_0003 I went with a new friend to wander the Japanese Gardens which is located in the Arboretum there.  To be honest, I thought we were going to the Kuboto Gardens, but I learned that is a different Japanese Garden in the Seattle ares, so it will have to be another trip at another time.
Japanese Garden20130607_0004Just past the entrance we were greeted with stunning maples 
extending out their crooked branches and fiery leaves like fingers reaching to touch and brush your skin as you pass.
Japanese Garden20130607_0008Snowy white Irises with a feather brush of purple dotted the edge of the walkways and along the ponds rim.
Japanese Garden20130607_0011A small stream trickled of to the left, its sound striking within to create the sense of peace to carry you through the rest of your tour.
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A Private Place

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