Monday, June 30, 2008

Mammals, Mammals Everywhere

It has been a cooler June here in the north. Our temperatures have been mostly at or below average. The skies have been grey and damp, some wind. I have not been walking or birding much. My life has been busy with kid activities, work, extra stuff (like a building remodel at work), doctor's appointments, and car trouble. Yuck!

However, in the last two weeks the bigger mammals have been coming around. We have had several moose visiting.

This young male has been frequently our house in the mornings. He looks like this might be his first year on his own. Many moose have liked to hang out around the swing set. One bull a few years ago liked to walk between the swings and get them moving with his antlers. He would walk through and then turn around and watch them move. When the swings slowed down, he would do it again.

This bigger, older bull has been a visitor in the evenings.

And just in the last week have we had a fury black friend attempt to get into our new garbage can. So far the new and improved bear-proof garbage can is holding.

On a more serious note, a friend and team-mate of Zoey was attacked by a grizzly bear on Sunday morning. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Northern Sunset

I know I post a good many sunset shots. It is one of the best benefits of living where I do. I love watching the sky and it's changes. After a day spent in a grey, dusty, contentious warehouse during fish season I need to see the sky change.

Last night after work, the sky put on a real show. Watch how the sun plays with the sky. Being passed the solstice the sun will begin to see a wee bit farther south every evening. Nothing stops the inexorable march to the winter solstice. Right now the sun is still setting to the west northwest.

In this last shot you can see the shape of Mt. Foraker in the shadow on the clouds as the sun sets behind the second highest peak in the Alaska range.

Thanks for the great show, Mother Nature, I sure needed it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What to do when summer is chilly

My friend, Kristy, needs some serious knitting help. She is going to an orphanage in Ukraine and wants to take a hat for each child. Since our spring has been chilly, I have had the time to knit ten hats. I used Patons SWS. It has a lovely feel and sheen, with a great deal of color choices. It is a blend of wool and soy, it can felt and holds up nicely.

My kids have been the testers and models for the hats. Through their input, I decided to line these with a little fleece. Now, they are extra warm and comfy. I think this will be a good hat for the Ukrainian winters.

I also got to use my long dormant Russian language skills to make a nifty tag for each hat. Now, I just have to get them in the mail to Kristy. If anyone else out there has the time or inclination, I would happily supply an easy, easy pattern.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.

A Midsummer's Night Dream Act II William Shakespeare

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Damn Fine Dad

I like when you take me skiing
And I like when you bring home cherries to eat
I hug you a lot
Because you are so sweet

by Vivi

Happy Father's Day to all the dads I know. I am so impressed with the fathers in my life. Tom is fantastic with his girls and his ski team kids. He is such a good role model, parent, mentor. He spends so much time with his girls, he loves them so much. He is teaching them to be good kids, women, stewards of nature, citizens, athletes. Wow! And he learned it all from his dad, Pepere. Thank you for giving me my beautiful girls.

Isn't this the sweetest picture of a daddy with his girl. That is a baby Zoey, my Moon Faced Girl.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Pilgrimage, Of Sorts

One afternoon this winter Zoey's Godmother, Sarah, innocently asked Zoey if she had read any of the Twilight books. That was the beginning of an obsessive reading jag. I had to buy two books still in hard cover! For a tween! Zoey cannot stop talking about these books and she has read them each three or four times.

My week of vacation came and we had no plans. Tom and I looked at weather all up and down the west coast. It seemed to be uniformly 50 to 60F with clouds and rain. So, we headed to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington since it is always 55F and rainy. We treated Zoey to a pilgrimage of the Twilight settings. This is the story of a vampire, a werewolf and the human girl they both love. It is definite chick lit. I have to put away my inner lit crit so I do not dampen Zoey's enjoyment.

Our first stop for the Twilight tour was Port Angeles. We dined where the characters Edward and Bella dined. Having had scads of mediocre Italian food in my life, I was skeptical, but game to eat at Bella Italia in Port Angeles. Boy, was I surprised! There was a decent kids menu which Vivi enjoyed. We had the calamari as an appetizer and it was so tender and sublime. Yum! Their wine list was extensive and varied. Tom highly recommends the Camaraderie Cellars merlot he had. It was divine on the palate.

Then it was off to Forks. It is the main setting for the novels. It is a typical logging town, surrounding by amazing scenery. Small, friendly, damp, damp, damp. We saw many houses that could have been Bella's. This was the one that stuck in my mind.

Forks is a small, easily navigable town. We had no problem finding the high school. It is ambling and varied in it's paint and architecture. There seemed to be at least three main entrances.

Zoey got a real kick out of walking where these fictional characters once walked. She enjoyed gaining new insights into the landscape. She was putting together how landscape can influence plot. I think she learned a great deal. She has some girlfriends who are now quite envious. All for a trip to Forks.

We even spotted a Forks Police Department patrol car.

Next we went to the Hoh Rain Forest in the Olympic National Park. What a spectacular place. Again, Zoey gathered valuable information. She remarked on how this forest matched her conception of place in the books. Stephenie Meyer choose this area for its cloud cover and its rain. Her vampires could easily hide here as there are very few sunny days.

There were monsters for everyone. Vivi got to hang a bit with Bigfoot. She has been fascinated with the idea of Bigfoot for over a year now, so seeing a chainsaw sculpture along the way was thrilling.

We ended our pilgrimage with a walk on First Beach in La Push. Bella cements her friendship with Jacob, the werewolf, here. In the second book Bella also dives off one of these haystacks into the ocean. Bella spends many hours contemplating her life among the monsters here.

We all enjoyed our visit to the Olympic Peninsula. Tom wants to go back and base us out of the Sol Duc Hot Springs. Then have he and Zoey hike over to the Hoh Rainforest. I think that would be pretty nifty. Although, I think I need a trip to sunny Oregon first.