Monday, June 28, 2010

Seattle on a Sunny June Day

Starting at the pergola in Pioneer Square for a tour of Underground Seattle. We all enjoyed the stories of Seattle's racy past. Our tour guide, Shane, was very entertaining and funny.

The tour took us through three blocks of the old streets and sidewalks that used to be the ground level. After fighting tides and rains and sewage disposal problems, the city fathers decided to move the hills into the lowlands.

Sewage flowed into the bay fine on a low tide, however, the flow reversed when the tide came in. The original solution to this problem was to publish tide tables so Seattleites could plan their bathroom visits.

By building tall stone walls around one block at a time, they could fill the roads to higher than water level.

Lots of people here to take the tour. A good time was had by all.

Heading into the underground.

Since we got an early start with our underground tour starting at 10 a.m., we had plenty of time to have a great Thai lunch in Pioneer Square and then trek up 1st Ave to Pike Street to the Pike Place Market.
Jesse was our "tip boy". Here we rewarded the banjo player at the market entrance.

Fruit, vegetables, seafood, fresh bread, spices, crafts, flowers - anything you want fresh, you can get it here!

The market pig at the market entrance with my daughter, Amy, and granddaughter, Sara, and grandson, Jesse.

Then we just had to walk the mile along the waterfront to where we parked the car. We left Amy there, as she insisted she wanted to walk another 5 blocks home. No wonder she stays so slim!

We all slept on the way home except for Ron, who had to do the driving.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Museum of Flight

We woke up to a cloudy misty day, so instead of moping, we decided to take a trip to the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

The museum is well worth the time and effort and drive to see. Who knew there were so many different types of airplanes?

Lots of interactive displays for even small children.

The history of aviation is so well covered with a collection of airplanes and aviation gear from the first flight through the space station.

We didn't find Airforce One nearly as exotic as we expected. It DID look a lot more comfortable than the Concorde SST though.

The skybridge between the main museum and the outside displays of the Concorde and Air Force One.

The museum is trying to add one of the Space Shuttles to the collection so all donations help make that happen. This truly a treasure of a museum to have in our city.

We all enjoyed the day! Sara and Jesse loved all the airplanes and the interesting decorations on the noses of WWII planes.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stevens Pass Highway

Deception Falls - Water is really rushing this year.

Beautiful day today all across the state.
When it is nice, there is nowhere nicer.

One of the bridges at Deception Falls.

The beautiful Tumwater Canyon just outside of Leavenworth.

Deception Falls - Just before the summit of Stevens Pass. The trail is great and the falls are spectacular, but the pit toilets are pretty awful.

We had such a beautiful day for a trip across the mountains to pick up Sara and Jesse for a few day visit. Finally it seems to be summer. I even swam two laps across the lake when we got home!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Sunny Day in Washington

Looking out over Tye Lake in Monroe from our deck seat at Sockeye's Restaurant.

I think the lake is man made, but there must be fish in it as we always see at least one boat with people fishing.

The inside of the restaurant is elegant but we always like to sit outside.

The lunch special is a turkey BLT on whole grain bread with a Caesar salad.

Riding back along River Road between Monroe and Snohomish. Lots of farm country with a mountain backdrop.

A mother deer with two nearly grown twins checking out our water slide and dock.

Friday, June 18, 2010


On a gardening blog that I follow, l the author posed the question: "What is a weed and what is a wildflower" because she had a friend who was being driven crazy trying to eliminate "weeds" from her life.

If you want to look at her story on weeds vs. flowers, her blog is at:

I tend to be a "live and let live" kind of gardener. In my actual garden area, I try to keep the intrusive weeds (like buttercups seen above) out. But I let them form a boundary around the garden.

I am not sure of the name of the yellow flower above - it is definitely a "volunteer" and can be intrusive, but is very pretty along the side of the trails.

This is another unknown for me - delicate pink flowers - leaves look like bleeding heart leaves.

This one I have always called "vetch"

We have both purple and white clover. Clover is a nitrogen fixer, so I even let it grow in the garden sometimes. I end up tilling it, but I am always happy it has been there.

We have a trail system throughout the property, with areas that are old growth forest, and others that are meadows and still others that are channels in the "weeds" that Ron mows. I have no doubt that if he didn't mow them for one year, we would never be able to find them again.

I think a nature walk might be fun for local 4th or 5th grade classes as a field trip to learn plants. However, I am not confident enough in my plant identification skills to propose such a thing.

Fox glove growing in the rhododendron garden at the beginning of our driveway.

Johnny Jump Ups growing on the hillside.

Bleeding hearts. Nearly done blooming for this year, but there were still a few blooms.

White daisies - definitely "volunteers" but they may not be totally wild?? I do see these in gardens that are much more well tended than mine.

Scotch Broom - beautiful but intrusive. My Mom says that when she was a child she and her sister made trails and camps in a big patch of scotch broom.

More of our trail through the woods.

Oregon grape. It has a nice evergreen foliage and pretty purple berries in late summer.

Many varieties of ferns. Not completely competent to identify different ones - I do know these are Fiddleheads.

Pretty sure these are bracken.

More ferns along the trails.

Elderberry - the only berry in our woods that isn't very edible. I think people do make wine from them, but the berries while maybe not poison, are very awful tasting.

The kids all love the red huckleberries.

The Himalaya blackberry is very intrusive, but we have banks and banks of them where I pick berries for jam every summer.

We also have the low growing blackberries that are nearly seedless so good for pies, and the Evergreen blackberries that are also good for jam.

Thimble berries - a favorite of birds and kids.

Likewise, salmon berries.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Plants in my garden in the middle of June

The blueberries are looking good and we should have a bumper crop later in the summer.

The raspberries are looking great also.

I am about ready to have Ron take the chainsaw to the Kiwi again. It is way beyond my feeble pruning efforts, but it is hard for me to get rid of anything that grows so well.

Strawberries are just starting to ripen.

The cold wet spring has been hard on the squash, pumpkin, cucumber and like crops, but a few have still survived the slugs, bunnies, deer, and galloping children.

This may be my entire cherry crop. The deer just love the cherry trees and they have pruned them good.

Thinning and thinning and thinning the apples has really helped the remaining apples grow well.

The corn is up pretty well in spite of the poor weather for corn.

I also have beans, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, carrots, and beets that are growing pretty well.

We really do need some extended days of sunshine though to make everything grow better.