Friday, December 27, 2013

Birthday Girls

Joy Gustafson (on right) and her sister Mary Mann on Joy's 90th birthday. Mary's birthday is 3 days later.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fog Rising

This morning dawned clear, but very soon the fog from the valley started rising. I really enjoy these low clouds that make cloud lakes, although I will be very happy to have the fog burn off sometime today!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Sunny, Sunny Day

After a few foggy days it is a joy to be looking down on the clouds again.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cool Clouds

The sky seemed very sea-like to me this afternoon, filled with interesting patterns and life forms.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Foggy Morn with Raven

It's going to be a sunny day. This time of year sunny days are often preceded by foggy mornings. There is something special about fog - it dampens sound as well as air and sight, adds mystery to the surroundings. 

There are always ravens around, but they are very camera shy. Perhaps the fog dampened this one's awareness of the lens pointed at him as he preened his feathers and announced his presence.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Country Pumpkin

I love living in the country. On my way home from picking up hay (and a couple ducks) I stopped at a farm that had pumpkins stacked on the porch and under a gazebo. For $5 I got 6 pumpkins. I love pumpkin! I really love getting them for .50 to $1 a piece.

The farmer helped me carry them to the van. The 15 passenger van (all back seats removed) was filled with 27 bales of hay, a box of frozen meat, a cage with 2 ducks, and miscellaneous stuff between the front seats. As I made space for the pumpkins she said, "Oh, this van is really full! Ducks and all! You probably have a couple horses in the back."

Fun in the country.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Moment of Sun

Near the end of a rainy day the sun appeared to highlight the colors of the changing leaves.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Another Full Moon

Monday, September 09, 2013

Sunset Beauties

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Black and White

Livestock Guardian Dogs tend to look at life as black and white. There are good guys and bad guys, family to protect and outsiders to keep away. Nina has taken this one step further. She thinks she should also be black and white. Every day she goes into the swampy area by a spring and lays down to cover herself up to the belly in black, oozing mud. 

Or perhaps she longs to be a Landseer Newfoundland.  

Friday, August 02, 2013

Goat Genes?

Bear, a Missouri Fox Trotter, walked into the woods on a sheep path and emerged behind a patch of blackberries. The other horses were content to stand on the road side of the patch, but they all ate the leaves lustfully. Who says horses don't browse?  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Glorious Moon

The moon is so stunning.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


My ducklings have grown up! They are beautiful in feather and personality. They are very calm, friendly little birds - a joy to have around.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Job Definitions

Nina, my recently acquired Great Pyrenees, has decided it's time to rewrite her job description. She's been living in the fenced yard of my rental house watching over two ponies. Yesterday she climbed the fence and went exploring. It may be warm summer weather, but there's still no lack of mud.

The ponies spend the day under the power lines munching the plentiful grass. I took the quad up to fetch them down tonight, and was shortly followed by my big white dog. The ponies weren't where I expected, and Nina followed us up the other way as well.

Once we were all together we made a very interesting sight. Little black Lucy the Border Collie streaked out in front, followed by me on the quad going as slowly as I could manage. Quite a ways back trotted Nina. Some distance behind here were the two ponies.

At least she should sleep well tonight, and stay in the yard with the ponies. I'm not sure where to go from here. Nina seems to feel she should be coming along with Lucy and I when I take the quad out, but Pyrs aren't known for sticking around. She did today, so maybe she's an exception. It is, obviously, time to set up some more hot wire.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Bittersweet Reading

I've just finished listening to Maeve Binchy's A Week in Winter. I'm feeling sad, because Ms Binchy died last year, and there will be no new groups of people to get to know and love, no new wonderful places created by her fertile mind. At least I can go back and renew my acquaintance with her previous creations.

I very much enjoyed A Week in Winter, as I have every  one of Maeve Binchy's books. She weaves a tale of Stone House and the people connected to it into a beautiful, comforting blanket you can wrap around your shoulders while you sink into life in the west of Ireland. Sharing the lives of each of the characters, the situations and decisions that lead them to Stone House, helps me look at people with new eyes, and new appreciation.

Maeve Binchy will be sorely missed. I'm grateful she has left behind a legacy of tales.

Friday, May 24, 2013

May you live in interesting times.

Today has been an interesting and exciting day, in all senses of the words.

My keyboard has been dying one key at at time for a while, and recently I lost use of the bottom two rows. Obviously a new keyboard was in order. The Mac Store carries a very interesting one - The Virtually Indestructible Keyboard. They had to ship one from Redmond to Olympia (the closest place for Apple supplies - about 1 hour away). Today I drove up to get it.

This keyboard is very cool, but will take some getting used to. It's silicone based, flexible, and according to the tech at the store even acid spills won't harm it (he used one in a chemistry lab). No more dog hair and dust working their way under the keys.

The second exciting thing is that people in Olympia had East Indies ducklings for sale. These ducks are tiny, black,  and when they get feathers, iridescent. They are hard to get, as hatcheries won't ship ducklings due to their small size. I now have five ducklings! Adorable.

When I got home I was greeted by my Border Collie, loose. The good news was there she was waiting for me, the bad news - well, besides the need for better containment, I wasn't sure what the bad news was.

As I unloaded the groceries I bought at Costco (no trip to Olympia is complete without a Costco run), I noticed that some horses were in the wrong pasture. Exploring further, I found a gate had been opened by the hinge side. 

And then I saw the Arab stallion sitting down. Now that's just wrong, horses don't normally sit. Slipping and sliding down to him (it has rained continuously the past 3 days) I realized he was seriously stuck in the fence. I got the wire cutters and managed to cut him out. He's such a sweet guy, he just stays calm and trusts me to help him. He's a bit scratched up, but otherwise seems fine.

So now I have a gate that needs rehanging and a fence section that needs replacing. But my horses are OK, if unintentionally relocated.

I'm now back inside getting used to this new keyboard and resting up.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I've been feeling very grateful today for light winds, fluffy clouds, and gentle sunshine.

Native Berries

I love the native berries. They aren't as sweet and flavorful as imports, but they have reasonable growing habits and come into fruit throughout the spring.

Thimbleberry blooms. 

Salmonberry, ready to pick. The earliest berry, and oh so pretty.

Blooms of the native ground blackberry, which will be a small burst of intense flavor.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Native Iris

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Old Stump

Out of the sad remains of a majestic tree new life thrives.

Scotch Broom

This year the scotch broom is everywhere under the power lines. It's a noxious weed, but a beautiful one.