Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beautiful Washington State!!

Hi Everyone!

Here it is - 10:00 pm - and I'm just now sitting down to post a new blog!  Not the brightest thing I could be doing, so you may not see the end result until some time later.  But here goes anyway.

First of all, let me just say one thing - "I want Seattle's weather!!!!!"  Yes, I know it rains all the time!  Yes, I know it rarely ever gets really, really warm. And yes, I know that on the rare occasion it does actually get "hot", it does NOT stay that way for very long!  ALL of this is PRECISELY why I want Seattle's weather!!!  Even though I was born and raised in the South (Arkansas and Alabama to be precise), I HATE the HEAT and HUMIDITY!!!  It was such an absolute pleasure, walking outside in the evening, breathing in fresh clean unheated air!!  And the flowers and greenery were breathtaking!  So yes, although I'm a true Southerner born and bred, I'd trade our weather in a heartbeat, given half a chance to do so!!  Okay, enough about the weather.

Well, one last thing, then I'll change the subject.  Have you ever opened up a hot oven and felt the heated air hit your face, almost taking your breath away?  Well, that was exactly what it felt like on our return home through Houston, Texas!!  We left the Seattle-Tacoma airport with weather in the 50's and landed in Houston a couple of hours later at a lovely 92!!!  UGH!!!  BUT......God took pity on me and today brought rain and slightly cooler temps here in Madison, Alabama (which had a high of about 95 when we landed Sunday!)  Thank you God!!

There!  Now I'm through talking about the weather - at least for now! See what you think of these photos!

Wild Blackberry brambles!  A little too early yet, but in July there should be large plump blackberries everywhere!
This is Liz' backyard.  The path, which is almost hidden, leads directly to a paved path that encircles the river.

Lovely purple Clover!  We usually only see the white Clover around our house in Madison, Alabama, so this change was a nice surprise!
White and purple Clover here!  Everything looks so fresh and clean - not beaten down by the heat and humidity!
I think this is Cottonwood.  You can see how much fun this would be for a person with allergies.  It was everywhere!!  And this was after several substantial rainfalls!!  Liz said that when it first fell, it looked like there was snow on the ground!

This is what I called the "Entrance to Twilight Woods".  Isabel and I weren't too keen on going any further. What a funny face she was making!

Mom said this was an old-fashioned flower they always called Vetch.  Sweet!

This path goes up, then down to the river's edge.  Isabel wasn't sure what she was about to see so she paused and I snapped this photo!

The river, seen through the branches and leaves up by the paved path.  It was quite cold; this water runs off the snow-covered mountains nearby (Mt. Rainer specifically), and it moves really fast too! 

As soon as I saw this plant, it reminded me of pretty asparagus stalks growing!  Then I realized it was probably prettier than asparagus!!  As you can see, it just shoots straight up out of the ground!

Foxglove, also known as Digitalis!  It's from this plant that the heart medicine is extracted! Personally I prefer the more romantic name of Foxglove!  Lovely blossoms!!

Izzy being silly, posing for the camera!  Such a shy person!

I love it when I can snap a photo when Isabel isn't aware of what I'm doing!  This time she was too deep in thought to realize what I was up to!  Which is just the way I like it!

Sweet smelling wild flowers!!

Nothing like a real "pose" for the camera!

Another candid shot, taken down by the river's edge!  These rocks, though they look quite unassuming in this photo, were amazing!  There were speckled ones that looked just like large bird eggs; there were green ones, pink ones, purple speckled ones, and solid black ones. It's little wonder my carry-on bags weighed a T.O.N.  I didn't dare put them in suitcases for fear they'd never have made it home!  My home, that is!! 

This is one of the most interesting sights Izzy and I found on one of our walks.  It wasn't there the day before.  I remember reading that "hobos" (i.e., probably the forerunners of our homeless people today) used to mark trails a certain way to indicate to others like themselves who was friendly in a particular area and might give them food, who was unfriendly and could cause them trouble, etc.  Anyway, that's what I thought of when I first laid eyes on this little totem of rocks.  I'm just glad I had my camera!

Three trees, joined together at the base, with lovely moss growing upward, away from the elements.

A view of the far side of the river.

Another view of the river through trees and underbrush.  It was lovely, listening to the waves rushing past!

Heart Sighting!!

Another Heart Sighting!!  They're everywhere! They're everywhere!

I'd never seen so many heart shaped rocks in one area!  And no - I didn't bring them ALL home.  Just a few.

A favorite!
I think this is a close-up of an earlier shot.  What do you think?

Slightly out of sequence, but this is a tree that is indigenous to Seattle and the Northwest. 

Another indigenous tree!  I think this one is the Hemlock!  It has beautiful tiny pine cones, about half an inch long, all over it!  There's a Hemlock tree in Madison, not too far from our house; I like to gather up the baby cones in winter time and use them for decoration!

Back to the river path!

Fabulous Orange Flowers!  These were growing in the side garden of the church where Liz was married - Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, in Enumclaw.

A beautiful close-up!

Last photo - of the property next to the church.  Beautiful gardens are a very common sight in this area!  Of course, if you don't have to battle insane temperatures and humidity, as well as the Alabama State Bird (AKA: the mosquito), you can have a beautiful garden too! 

Well folks, that's it for now.  Hope you enjoyed the tour!  BTW - we must have brought home some of the Seattle weather because yesterday and today have been rainy and, believe it or not, the current temperature is a lovely and very mild 73 degrees!!  God took pity on me!!
Love and God's Blessings to All! Jan