December 31, 2010

Water Under the Bridge

On this Eve of 2011, I send you wishes for a wonderful New Year. Goodness and light ahead, where ever and when ever possible. As for those things that may have weighted you down in 2010, may they be water under the bridge, dissolving on their journey down stream or out to sea, reforming as gained understandings and growth

The photo above was taken at Deception Pass in WA. 

December 30, 2010

This Passing Year

Sending you a reflection; a moment from this passing year.

December 26, 2010

It Has Been A Treat

It has been a treat to have time to post more frequently this past week, thanks to a bit of vacation time. Now it's back to work. Hope you enjoy the week ahead. In case you didn't catch it the first time, here is a little Chris Smither to go with that light. Not the best video, but hey, it is live after all. With our work days still beginning and ending in the dark, this song comes to mind often. 

Up Close

Leaf. Bird. Leaf. Bird. 
That's what it did to me from a distance.
Then, up close, the truth was revealed.
Aging vision can be a fun thing.
Keeps the imagination cooking.

December 24, 2010

PEACE

Sending you all wishes for a Peace filled season 
of love, laughter and the things that bring your spirit joy. 
And 
many, many thanks 
for all your visits, comments and kindnesses. 
They have been more important this year 
than you will ever know. 
With warm hugs to you and yours, 
Chris

December 23, 2010

The Day of Rich Colors

We are creeping up on the day of rich colors 
and twinkling lights at break-neck speed. 
Be sure to stop and take a look around when you can, 
it's lovely out. If instead, you are dealing with things 
of more import and difficulty than holiday lights, 
please know you are in our thoughts.

December 22, 2010

Head Straight to the Jellyfish

If you are near the Monterey Aquarium this Holiday Season, head straight to the jellyfish and have a look-see for me. Not first on your list of "Holiday Adventures"?  Well, you might want to consider it. Pure ballet at half the price. And though I haven't had the fun of being there at this time of year... I truly would if I were in the neighborhood. Ethereal costuming, tranquil dancing and lots of color. Just thinking about them ALMOST makes me want to go for a swim. 

Sorry for the slight blur, but dancers rarely hold still.

December 20, 2010

Thanks Albertson's

I love the thoughtful Albertson's Grocery in Port Orchard. During the season of color, they take the cake with changing trees all through the parking lot and around the building. Planting evergreens would be simple and less costly. Thankfully they choose to light up dark days with splashes of color everywhere. If I knew who to hug for it, I think I would. Plus they have a great produce section. Thanks Albertson's.

December 19, 2010

Country Roads Take Me Home...

During those all to rare occasions that I am able to return to my home place, invariably John Denver rings in my head the minute crop rows and country roads come into focus. Flying above the clouds is really something, but flying low over the familiar has its own unique charm. Calendars begin their backward turn, while the voices and characters that shaped my past come to life once more. As the plane touches down they become most vivid in memory, and my age a yo-yo of six to sixty. Being able to look into the eyes of my dear Aunts and Cousins and see glimpses of my mother, father, grandparents and beyond, firms the ground beneath my feet. Genetic patterning is a comfort; like aerial crop rows, the familiarity is palpable. 

On Christmas Day this year I hope to have worked through the details necessary to talk with and SEE the family through Skype. No low flying involved. The opportunities for communication today were unimaginable to that child of six. We'll see if the decades older version can get the wiring and software hooked up. Should you hear me humming "Country Roads Take Me Home" this week, you'll know I found the on-ramp to the Skype highway. 

December 18, 2010

Mirth

Seasonal mirth expressed in a vintage scarf.
Or at least it seemed so to me as I passed it recently. 
I love it when "they" happen, 
those smile making unexpected encounters.

December 17, 2010

In the Pink

I hope this day finds you in the pink!

December 12, 2010

Sunset on Henderson Bay

There are times when it is impossible not to be "in the moment". This was one of those times. On my list of most calming spots, this one ranks right near the top and close to number one for the most frequently viewed, as I pass it daily while commuting. As some of you know, it tends to grab my camera on a regular basis. It also serves to heighten senses while calming nerves. Of course there are those times, with heavy wind, waves and rain, that driving the stretch of highway across it provides more sense heightening than calming.

Today is undoubtedly one of those. We are gathering some inches of rain and area ditches, streams and rivers are over topping. The power is still on so... I'm choosing to remember this early November sunset on Henderson Bay and not think over much about the branches and beyond-heavy rain I hear pounding the roof. 


Also keeping my co-workers in my thoughts as they muster forces to address flooding needs. The folks who put themselves at risk to keep us all safe have my admiration, including the death defying acts I see power line workers perform during wind storms here in the Northwest. Unbelievable what they accomplish. Thanks to each of you emergency responders for your efforts, expertise and willingness to take action.


Happy and Safe Sunday all!

December 5, 2010

Puyallup Valley

 In the remaining farm lands along the Puyallup Valley,

 I went in search of a pumpkin patch as October began to fade,

 The late afternoon light found me on the seasons 
closing day at Duris Cucumber Farm,

Where all manner of local goodness tempted those of us passing by.

Fall may be a theme for awhile as so many photos were taken then, with little opportunity to get them posted here. Though they may be out of sync with the our winter days, hopefully their colors will be welcome reminders of Autumn's kind gifts.

December 1, 2010

The Shenandoah

 Just imagine how many months were spent at sea,

 And how many more were spent waiting to return,

 And how many hands tended to her care,

Until she could run no more.

Then by the grace of timing and kindness,
Her final resting place was found,
At the local museum.

A lucky lady, 
The Shenandoah

November 28, 2010

Children in a Family

"Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet: 
there's always one determined to face in an opposite direction
 from the way the arranger desires."
Marcelene Cox

I suspect in this case the florist was pleased
 but the wedding organizer would have preferred 
all eyes directed to the bride and groom at the alter. 
Mine included.

November 26, 2010

First Wedding

This little one landed in front of my camera, in silhouette, at a recent wedding reception. She was precious in her little raw silk dress with eyes wide open, in awe of the festivities. Nothing quite like attending your first wedding!

Our power is back on and the low, low temps fled today. We forget how much we enjoy Pumpkin Pie until Thanksgiving rolls around each year. That is probably a good thing as it could be habit forming. I gave thanks for your visits and hope your holiday, if you celebrated one, was lovely.

November 21, 2010

Give Bees a Chance


These are little homes of honey bee hope. At least that is how I think of hives in this time of honey bee fragility. As the seasons first snow begins to fall outside my window I'm thinking of the beekeepers I know in different areas of Western WA and hoping the predicted temperatures, in the mid to low teens for some of the nights this week, do no harm. Each has struggled with the challenges bee health has seen in the last few years.

These hives in the countryside near Chehalis, WA provide honey, wax and pollination to the nearby gardens; fashioned in plantings commonly found in the 1800's. What magical little soft bodied, winged workers bees are. The Egyptians held bees in godly stead. Considering how critical bees are to tree, ground and bush crops, they may not have been too far off the mark. On this snowy evening, I'm just thinking...give bees a chance!

November 7, 2010

Mercurial Birds

One of my favorite installations continues to be the low flying mercury glass birds, in a pond behind the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Do stop there if you are ever in the neighborhood. Short on time, just walk the outer grounds. 

November 6, 2010

November 5, 2010

Splashed Across the Region

Fall colors are splashed across the region this week 
like rich juicy paints on canvas. 

November 4, 2010

Paying Respect

I was visiting one of my old friends, the Paper Birch tree at Wright Park, on my lunch break recently.  She is big and tall with some calloused damage in her largest branches, proving her determination to live.  

By the time I can get to the park from where I now work, there is little time to spend there, but the journey is worth it. The dance of the Paper Birch is not to be missed. Of course the fall leaves are a draw, but on this visit I spent most of my time paying respect to one of the park's finest.

November 2, 2010

Where Donkey Creek enters Gig Harbor Bay

This is the point where Donkey Creek enters Gig Harbor Bay. The harbor is a lovely place, sunrise to sunset, but I often wonder, would it be as enchanting without the grace of Mt Rainier in the distance? She seems to me, the candlelight that changes a beautiful supper into a night to remember.

October 30, 2010

Thanks for the Fun Mr. Poe!


I have been having a great time with Halloween this season. It is a wonderful opportunity for pushing all the imagination buttons, though I don't think I've really pushed mine for thirty or so years. Out in the country we don't see trick or treaters. 

However, this year the contageous Halloween spirit filtered through the fun folks at my workplace and into the cubicles. Before I knew it, my habit of paper cutting odd birds took a turn, thanks to a suggestion from my husband. By the end of the week my cubicle was a goofy combination of ravens (sort of), Poe's words, eyes, witches, black roses and other nutty things. I had fun and other folks in the building did as well. I missed seeing all the cubicle transitions. A friend in the space across from me put together a great mad scientist's lab. It's amazing what can be accomplished in a short bit of time before and after work. 

On Friday some folks arrived in really creative costumes. No decision has been made about whether to remove the faux feathered raven from the top of my black straw hat. After all, it might need to be ready for next year. It was worn alone, but was originally going to accompany the mask above. One five minute test drive at home let me know, NOT. Very uncomfortable. Instead a head shape was covered with draped black fabric, eyes painted and placed in the sockets, masked, and the whole thing rode atop my upper shelf. It gave me a scare more than once, when rising and coming face to face with it. Everything else in there was pretty tame.  

I took a few photos (big surprise) around the office and caught one of the masked raven. I just couldn't resist scaring myself one more time, so today I married it to another photo taken earlier this month, of a vintage umbrella. Let's hope the mania ends here or... Nevermore.

Thanks for the fun Mr. Poe! 

October 24, 2010

Landing, Landing, Landing

As some of you already know, one of my favorite places to observe birds is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. This shot was taken last fall as geese touched down around me in what seemed a snowstorm of feathers and honks. It was a wonderful half hour or so that I can still hear when senses are willing.

When reviewing photos of that day, I am reminded of another landing twenty or so years ago. While returning to Seattle from California, on a large jet for which I have no number or name, my seat mate and I nervously stretched the limits of our collective dark humor. It was winter and our pilot was attempting to land in a harsh storm, which carried heavy wind gusts and enough lightening bolts to rival a Fourth of July celebration designed by Zeus. As we laughed and kidded about our impending demise the plane rocked and rolled through the sky, as if in sync with a hard rocking tune from the sixties. The lightening flashing about our wings fit right in with the theme. We circled the airport for a LONG time, not able to land because of the line up of rockers ahead of us.

When we finally began our decent, the plane (read pilot) defied odds by keeping the tilting to more of a crowd wave; wing to wing. Back and forth we drifted, tipping wings and bumping up and down. Every few seconds the lightening would flash allowing us to see our speeding "progress". One final lightening flash outside our window and we were bouncing and bucking our way down the runway. Just as we were completing our final few bounces, the female Attendant announced; "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are landing...landing...landing...in Seattle and we want to thank you for joining us on this exciting ride." Following a rousing round of applause from the passengers we departed, many stopping to vigorously shake the hand of the pilot.

Humor. It really can make all the difference. Beyond being grateful for our safe arrival that night, to this day, I remain equally grateful that serendipity placed the right fellow beside me for the ride. Someone else who saw the humor in their fear. As we headed our separate ways following our departure, we were both still laughing. Each time I look at this photo, along with the wings and honks, I hear "we are landing, landing, landing..."

October 18, 2010

Wrong Turns

Wrong turns can yield such fun surprises. 

Firsts and Lasts

Seasonal shifts. Always interesting...where and how the shifting signs appear. On a misty spring morning in Sandpoint, Idaho (above) the change seemed represented by firsts and lasts. The first boat to dock at the marina and the last goose out. 

Seasonal shifts. Fine prompters of appreciation, causing us to stop and take notice. Reminding us to breath deeply of the now crisp air. We were greeted with a temp of 34 degrees this morning. Soon the deep breaths will flow more freely indoors while outdoors takes a rest.

Transitions. Markers. Seasonal shifts.

October 13, 2010

Handmade Papers


Inside the home of colorful pots (see earlier image) lives, among other things, an ever changing selection of handmade papers. Imagination ticklers, these. It could be interesting, following the travels of one sheet, beginning to end. Of course that would mean picking one to follow first. Now there is the hard bit. Hmmm.

October 10, 2010

Nothing Feels More Welcoming


Must do projects fill the morning, 
but my mind is filled
with old doors and favorite places.

Nothing feels more welcoming to me than
going through doors worn by time 
and crossing the thresholds thousands of
feet have crossed before mine.

Certainly this threshold has seen far fewer
entrants, but that door.
Oh yeah, that door. 

October 8, 2010

A Warm Summer Stroll

It "seems" schedules are calming and I may have a chance to bring Sea Mist and Sunsets back into my circle of activities. Unfortunately, that sounds like a repetition of phrases uttered here a good deal this year. I'm not sure about the rest of you but, when I am swamped the creative side of my brain slows to a grinding halt. This seems a good time to oil my mental gears and get things moving again. Slowly at first. No doubt I'll gain momentum. Who can resist falls dance through the Northwest and soft camera callings.

The image above was taken during a warm summer stroll in Sequim, WA with a dear friend. Sequim is the home of the lavender fields shown in earlier posts. 

September 8, 2010

Green Chili Chasing


It has been cold/flu time at our Casa for awhile now. After trying to go back to work yesterday, my hacking cough gave everyone there the willies, so I headed to the doc and then back to said Casa. As I was driving up to the mail box I was thinking; what I need is a good spicy meal (or ten) in New Mexico to show these germs the door. Based on my previous research, it works. So, as I was mulling over some of my favorite NM haunts for restorative meals, what do you think tumbled out of our mailbox? A beautiful post card from NM sent by dear friends who are midway through a vacation there. 

They are on a green chili mission and knew we would appreciate hearing about it. Well, they are visiting the land and people they love as well, but Oh that chili! Green chili chasing is not to be taken lightly. It may not be as difficult as the pilgrimages made to El Santuario de Chimayo each Easter but...it is a journey of devotion. Of course our friends couldn't know how perfect their postcard's arrival time would be, nor did we know of their NM journey. I love serendipity.

For the record, the selection of ground chilies found at the store in Chimayo in the fall are excellent. Wonderfully flavorful. From a germ chasing perspective, chili isn't the ONLY NM elixir. For instance, if I were sitting in Taos at the Apple Tree restaurant right now, having a bowl of their Fall Pumpkin Soup, I'm fairly certain I would be well by morning. 

The photo above was taken on one of the "skirt around the center of town traffic" roads in Taos. In the fall. Probably on our way to eat something green or red.

September 3, 2010

Grace In Motion


There are things in life that seem to exemplify grace in motion to me. You have yours as well, I have no doubt. In the marvelous and magical animal kingdom, my favorites dwell. Their carriage often defying their shapes and loads. Swans, giraffes, horses, elk and big cats have much to teach of pace and patience. Observing their slow flowing passage rests the heart...and fills it as well.

August 13, 2010

Hats Off Manette!


80 year old Manette Bridge in Bremerton, WA is being replaced. Each year that passes it becomes harder and harder to make a case for restoring rather than replacing things with special character. The cost and safety case that is. I get it, but still. Residents in the city of Tacoma, WA really dug their heels in to try and save the Murray Morgan bridge of the same vintage. They had a good deal of sentimental support in their court, as it carried the name of a wonderful local author and historian who died a few years ago. Still, no luck. Sad.

Well, hats off Manette, I'll miss your face.

August 7, 2010

Horseshoe Lake Marsh Area

In keeping with the reflective theme, but jumping seasons, here is a marsh area in an off channel of Horseshoe Lake. An image made last fall. It's a nice quiet area. Years and years ago a family of beavers dwelled near here. No more. When bigger homes began to develop around the lake the beavers either picked up stakes and headed for a better neighborhood, or...  I've always hoped the answer is the former and not the latter. 

August 6, 2010

Port Orchard Marina


This is part of the marina in the town of Port Orchard, another favorite place to take the camera out for a water stroll. I've posted images of many places along the Port Orchard shoreline over time. There are more areas of accessible still water woven throughout their marinas. Always a fun place to catch reflections and activity. And another Happy Friday to you!

August 5, 2010

Gig Harbor Peeks

Whether "watching" folks paddling out at early evening 

Or enjoying a morning peek

Gig Harbor bay provides me with some fun eye rest when visiting.
Have a great day!

July 29, 2010

I Understand, Just Can't Stop

If my postings of the sites from the Northern and 
Southern kitty-corners of WA start to bore you at this point, 
well, I understand, just can't stop. 
This is the time of year for oohing and aaahing. 

Letting summer sights imprint to retrieve in deepest winter

Appreciating deeply established roots

Finding the patterns that mingle

And following the light along it's chosen path 

July 26, 2010

Ever So Slowly the Seasons Go Round

Many of my favorite sights in Sequim 
are those that may vanish before I return. 
This old up hill shed on the grounds at the herb farm for one. 
Like humans, buildings seem to share the ability, 
though weathered, to show a stable face when needed. 
What we can't see is that the building 
now relies on it's face for that stability. 
Turned around, it's boards are taking leave.

Inside the shed another fleeting beauty rests. 
Made with love and care, it does it's job well. 
But it will grow weary from exposure and erode. 

Rust will track time here and the metals, 
once extracted from the earth, will return to it.

While ever so slowly the seasons go round, 
bringing the sights and colors that make each passing a pure delight. 
I woke this morning with THIS song playing over and over in my head.
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