Thursday, September 28, 2017

Picking Flowers

I have a lot of serious things on my mind these days, but I'm not ready to post about them yet, so I'll talk about my garden. That's safe enough. 

I picked flowers today. No, not asters or zinnias or marigolds or sunflowers, but these flowers.
 I needed a warm, sunny day to wash all of our glass flowers and get them ready to store away for the winter. It seems early, but today it was 87, and tomorrow it will be in the 60's with showers, so I made hay while the sun shines. 
They are now all stored away in the attic.

Raccoon update: The midnight marauders continue to wreck havoc with our lawn, so our latest attempt to deter them was with moth balls. 

It seems to have slowed them down for a couple of nights, but last night there was a lot of damage again. They may be getting used to the odor. I sure noticed it working outside washing the glass flowers when the moth balls got heated up this afternoon. 

The garden is slumping toward autumn. The wind and rain earlier, and the squirrels, have beat down the sunflowers and the dahlias.
But there are still asters and marigolds and zinnias and dahlias for picking. 
I picked longer lasting late summer hydrangeas for the family room. They'll last all winter. 
We have a few fall bloomers in the garden, besides lots of hardy fuchsias. The sedums and kaffir lilies ( Schizostylis) add color.

A delphinium is re-blooming. 
 And the monk's hood caps are opening. 
Today was too warm. Tomorrow and the next run of days will be more fall like. I think I'll like that. We're putting summer away. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Watching the Summer Sun Sink

Today, Friday, September 22, 2017, was the autumnal equinox.  Here in Seattle the day was pretty equal between summer and autumn, the celestial curtain falling on summer at 1:02 PM.  Morning clouds gave way to a sunny afternoon.

Yesterday, Thursday, the last full day of summer, we hurried over to the Des Moines marina after dinner to catch the last sunset of the season.  As you will see, Summer left us in dramatic fashion. 

 Clouds behind us, to the east, were lit up too. 

Goodbye, summer. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Stormy Weather

When I scheduled our trip to the cabin at Rockaway Beach, I pictured sunny, warm days, lazy beach walks, and prowling along in small coastal towns. 

But abruptly that long, hot, dry summer ended on the Sunday we were scheduled to go. We picked up the first rain squall in Longview, on the Columbia River.  From then on, we would go from squall to squall as we worked our way west to Astoria and then down the coast to Rockaway Beach. There was no view from Neahkahnie Mountain overlook. It was socked in.

We arrived at the cabin about 3:00 Sunday afternoon, watched the end of the Seahawks game on the little cabin TV, and then it was dry enough for a short beach walk. 

Monday morning looked pretty good so we headed out for a walk. 

 But then this squall appeared and was moving our way. 
We got back to the cabin just in time to escape a drenching. That afternoon we drove to Wheeler on Nehalem Bay to shop at the antique mall. 
 Our view from the porch of the cabin gave us a watch on the changing weather. 
Tuesday morning looked very unsettled. We drove into Tillamook to do some shopping for things the cabin needed. Then we stopped at the north jetty of Tillamook Bay. The tide was high and the storm surge had rough water piling up in the channel and surf pounding on the jetties. 

 Looking across the roiling water in the channel we could see storm action over Cape Meares. 
 Several water spouts had been spotted near here on Monday, and it looked like we might get another one. But no. 
 It was so odd standing here on the jetty, with dark water on one side and sun lit water on the other and no wind at all, but with the surf pounding. 
 The gulls were hunkered down. 

 Tuesday afternoon, during a calm period, I got out for a walk and Tom worked on cabin projects. 

 The beach changes after each storm, and bank erosion continues. 
 We had planned to stay until Thursday, but with the limitations caused by the weather, we decided Tuesday evening that we would go home on Wednesday. We were missing the comforts of home: our king size bed, our cable TV, and Internet.  Yep. We're spoiled. 

Of course Wednesday morning looked pretty good. 
The Bayfront Bakery in Garibaldi opens for business Wednesday through Saturday, so of course we had to go there before we could go home. We cleaned up the cabin, packed up, and were on our way. My apple fritter was wonderful, so fresh!
 We stopped back at the jetty to watch the surging surf again. The Coast Guard was practicing rescue operations out in the channel. 

 Again, it was calm on the jetty, and with no squalls to threaten us, we took our time enjoying the powerful force of the waves and the colors of sky and sea. 
 Breakers crashing on the south jetty across the channel. 

 Surf pounding the beach to the north. 

 Dark sky to the north.
 Clouds mimicking water spraying over rocks.  

 So many colors in the sea. 

And then we tore ourselves away, and headed north, right through that squall that awaited us. 
But we came out the other side with views from Neahkahnie Mountain!

We stopped in Astoria at the mouth of the mighty Columbia for lunch at the Wet Dog Brew Pub and a check of a few antique shops. 

Then it was east and north and back to Seattle, where we were all unpacked and settled in by 7:00. 

It rained a little last night, but I think that is the end of the rain for now. Sunny skies are predicted for the weekend and into next week. We are back into our routine, with a walk this morning and a little yard work repairing raccoon damage. I picked and arranged new flowers for the house and staked up some blown over sunflowers. 

Now my photos are culled and edited and my post is done. Here in Seattle Friday is half summer, half autumn, with the equinox at about 1:00 PM.  Happy transition, everyone!