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Photo Friday on Saturday

Dandelion in seed

Dandelion in seed

Out gallivanting and missed my deadline to post photos on Friday. Have fallen far behind on posting them on my photo site, but hope to catch up this coming week, when I’m done gallivanting. I love that word!

I had a unpacking some old boxes, installing cupboard, gardening, crafting and repairing frenzy Thursday night and Friday morn. Finally got in my truck to head to Leslee’s near Olympia for a visit. She is still pretty frail from her stomach surgery and broken shoulder. Leslee doesn’t let anything stop her for long.

We had a wonderful visit and I took her some irises, then planted them and a few other plants that needed my help. Two big tomato plants, a bleeding heart, a phlox, the irises, along with a few stray bulbs? maybe daffodils or tulips? She sent me home with all sorts of home and garden goodies.This is an iris that I finally got planted in the secret garden. They got tugged out of the earth in late fall and spent all winter and spring on the lawn in a black bag. The one in the photo has 3 blooms! The ones I planted in Greg’s yard and our shared front garden are purple and blooming away. Hopefully, Leslee’s fares as well.

irises

I had to call her on my way there, because I kept stopping to take pictures.

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I hope you enjoy. I’m off to more gallivanting and visiting family and friends for the rest of the weekend.

Patti


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Rain Coats and Fairy Slippers In The Forest

vanilla leaf vase

Vase of vanilla leaf.  PHALL PHOTO 201

 

ONE NIGHT THIS WEEK: Kevin is in the kitchen making one of his irresistible pizzas, while I work

vanilla leaf in forest

Rain drops on vanilla leaf in forest.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

in the office space he set up for me. The wild back yard here is carpeted with large, thin Vanilla Leaf plants and Kevin brought me a bouquet of them for my desk one morning.

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Leaf, achlys triphylla, also known as Deer’s Foot and Sweet After Death. That last name is in reference to the vanilla smell of the dried leaf. Both dried, and fresh leaves, are said to repel flies and mosquitoes.

Carpet of Vanilla Leaf

Carpet of Vanilla Leaf

When I got here to Kevin’s house in Packwood, WA last Friday, we set straight to unloading the gardening goodies that I brought. The seeds that we started in March, along with those Kevin has planted since then, are all ready to be transplanted to their own pots. Just before I arrived, Kevin got a small box in the mail from my mom. She sent us some yellow fragrant day lilies from her Alaska garden!

We’ve been rained-in since then. One day, I kept looking at the vanilla leaf bouquet and thinking about all the amazing understory plants that were coming up in the nearby forest. There is a very distracting book shelf next to my “new” desk and I just couldn’t help myself…I found a favorite, which I also have at home, Northwest Foraging by Doug Benoliel (1974). Each plant has line drawings by Mark Orsen that are almost as good as color photos, especially when coupled with the perfectly detailed plant descriptions.

Then I came across the 1984 edition of Plants and Animals of the Pacific Northwest by Eugene N. Kozloff. There are 3 sections with very good color photos of the trees, plants, moss, fungus, snails, slugs and a few common bugs in our woods and fields. That’s it, I proposed a walk!

pierisKevin and I pulled on our rain coats and our rainy walk began with the colorful Mountain Fire, pieris japonica, shrub in his front yard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flowering tree

Next, a bright pink flowering fruit? tree in a neighbor’s yard. I’m still using the camera in my phone and downloading to email, then to photo file on my hard drive is a tedious, slow process. Kevin brought his camera, but had battery issues. I don’t care. I am maddeningly determined to show you our woodland discoveries!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

??????????????????????Entering the forest trail, the first plants are the Vanilla Leaf, Oregon Grape, and the delicate and mysterious Fairy Slipper, calypso bulbosa. She’s a pretty one, but aside from several dozen at the beginning, we (Kevin) only saw one more all the way to the falls and back.

 

 

 

 

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20140504_143728Another of my favorites is the Smooth Violet, viola glabella, with its tiny yellow flower and heart-shaped leaves. We saw trillium ovatums, but well past their flowering stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hugging the ground in sunny spots, were the white little wild strawberry flowers. The Indian Plum/Oso Berry, oemleria cerasiformis rose from waist high, to above our heads. They were still dripping with flowers and bright green new leaves, which smell like cucumber when crushed. These small trees will yield the first ripe berries in the woods, but the birds eat them so quickly, humans rarely get to see them.

20140504_151158_resizedThere were ferns, chickweed, mosses, fungus, and a lot of Trail Plants, adenocaulon bicolor, which we always called Pathfinder Plants, because the backs of the leaves are silvery and easily show where someone has walked through them. There were plenty of Cleavers, galium aparine and Avens, geum macrophyllum.

 

 

 

 

 

20140504_145442 20140504_145851 When we walked this trail to the waterfall in March, it was pretty quiet. Today the air was filled with the trilling birds serenading us all along the path. I recognized the American Robins, round from a plentiful diet of worms, and chickadees flitted everywhere and nowhere, never landing long enough, or close enough, for us to catch sight of them.

 

 

 

 

Some spiders had a busy spring weaving webs in interesting places.

spider web

This sturdy web is weaved on the root of a fallen tree, with a ray of sun shining through a hole in the back.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20140504_144839Last, but not least, was a beautiful (to me) snail, Monadenia fidelis, and a couple of slimy Army-green slugs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been many years since I walked the woods, then came home and learned about the flora and fauna with my children. Much of it comes back, as I wander through these woods with Kevin, and reacquaint myself with my old green friends. In the past, I have made salads, and medicinal oils, tinctures and salves from wild things in the forest. For now, I’m satisfied photographing and sharing them with Kevin and you.

I apologize about all the spaces in this post.

Also see Jill Swenson’s recent post here about spring surprises on the east side of the country.

I hope you enjoy this back woods tour,

Patti


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Daily Prompt: The Power of Touch

Wynochee 173 Wynochee 175

It looked like a miracle. The contrast of bright green new growth, caught in winter’s first shock of frozen air, thrilled the nature lover and the photographer in me. The plants were only a few feet apart, but the frost dealt with them very differently. I so wanted to touch the velvety layer of frost on the first plant, as well as the plant with all its leaves meticulously outlined in crystal spikes. Of course, I didn’t.  I took these photos 2 days ago near the Wynoochee River in the Olympic National Forest in Western Washington.

The prompt, “Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you?Photographers, artists, poets: show us TEXTURE.” http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/daily-prompt-textures/

When I first read this prompt, funny bittersweet memories about touch and texture came to mind. My late husband had the most wonderful sense of play. It was quite a surprise for us to learn that we both loved to touch things while shopping…you know; soft blankets on the store shelves, throw pillows with soft fuzzy covers, and smooth satin or furry slippers.

At first, a person with this inclination does their feeling on the sly; what will people think if they see you rubbing the corner of a comforter on your cheek? It wasn’t long before we discovered our mutual secret, and made almost a game out of it. Who can find the softest material on an otherwise boring shopping errand? Even if we were just running in to get some paint or something for the office, one of us (usually me) would make a bee-line to a display of a potentially soft item.

We were quite discerning too, not just any soft thing would do, and we booed when something looked really soft, but just didn’t meet our standards. If it was good we’d pass it to the other one, “Oh, feel this one, it’s softer than that red one…” That usually started us on a roll of comparing softness, from one department to another. What did we come in for?

I admit, my addiction was worse than his, but we both loved all the new textures coming out. We’d still try to do our feeling on the sly, and sometimes pretend shock when we saw the other one sinking their fingers into a plush throw pillow. “Weirdo,” he or I would whisper. That would cause a round of laughter between us. Shopping was always fun with Paul, because we made it fun. Together, we had a knack for that.

After losing Paul to leukemia 4 years ago, it’s nice to be able to share some stories of our strange fun with others. And I see you rolling your eyes, but I bet you have some strange couple-only habits. Right? Go ahead, we’d love to hear them (the PG ones!).

Peace Out,

Patti

For more photos from my Wynoochee trip, visit my photo blog here http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-7o


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Winter Ready, In Thoughts and Photos

Fall taps Winter on the shoulder, "My colors can't get much boulder, it's time for crisp winter white, long dark day, to cold, cold night."

Fall taps Winter on the shoulder,
“My colors can’t get much bolder,
it’s time for crisp winter white,
long dark day, to cold, cold night.”

The red-headed Green Man fully agrees, "Leafs, yellow and brown are up to my knees, I've talked to the creatures; they say they're ready, They've packed their homes, slow and steady."

The red-headed Green Man fully agrees,
“Leafs, yellow and brown are up to my knees,
I’ve talked to the creatures; they say they’re ready,
They’ve packed their homes, slow and steady.”

Seed pods stand strong, ready for the cold, ready to winter-dream of being green and bold.

Seed pods stand strong, ready for the cold,
ready to winter-dream of being green and bold.

Strong winds will sail them far and wide, A blanket of snow will give them places to hide.

Strong winds will sail them far and wide,
A blanket of snow will give them places to hide.

Patti Hall 2013

PHALL PHOTOS 2013