Garden shed at Jello Mold Farm

Garden shed at Jello Mold Farm

Here are some more photos from my June visit to Jello Mold Farm.  Lots of gorgeous flowers in bloom.  I never tire of the beauty held in these fertile acres.

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

Poppies

Poppies

Dahlias (I put my hand in the picture to give you some idea of the size of these giants)

Dahlias (I put my hand in the picture to give you some idea of the size of these giants)

IMG_8323

IMG_8324

Greenhouses

Greenhouses

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

Another view

Another view

Love-in-a-mist

Love-in-a-mist

Lupine

Lupine

Inside a greenhouse

Inside a greenhouse

 

 

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Approaching Ebey's Landing trailhead

Approaching Ebey’s Landing trailhead

“I leave this notice
on my door
For each accustomed
visitor:
I am gone into the fields
To take what this sweet hour yields.”
— Percy Bysshe Shelley

I take most of my out-of-town guests to Whidbey Island for hiking at Ebey’s Landing.  The journey itself is half the fun as it involves a ferry ride and a drive along country roads with old barns.

Old barn, Whidbey Island

Old barn, Whidbey Island

Another old barn

Another old barn

Ferry viewed from the bluff at Ebey's Landing

Ferry viewed from the bluff at Ebey’s Landing

The hike itself is pretty spectacular no matter which season I take guests there. The trail is a pleasant loop, up a bluff, and then along the beach on the way back.  This past weekend the landscape was as green as I’ve ever seen it.

Stairs at the start of the hike

Stairs at the start of the hike

Notice the hikers (like ants) on the bluff and on the shore

Notice the hikers (like ants) on the bluff and on the shore

The initial uphill stretch.  The path soon levels off at the top of the bluff.

The initial uphill stretch. The path soon levels off at the top of the bluff.

View of farmland from the bluff; so green

View of farmland from the bluff; so green

View from Ebey's Landing

View from Ebey’s Landing

Lupine

Lupine

Steep slope

Steep slope

Tree sculpted like bonsai

Tree sculpted like bonsai

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Driftwood along the beach

Driftwood along the beach

The homeward stretch along the shore

The homeward stretch along the shore

Seaweed

Seaweed

Seaweed and rocks

Seaweed and rocks

Beach sculpture

Beach sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Earth Laughs

July 30, 2012

“The Earth laughs in Flowers.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wildflowers on the hillside, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

Lupine and other wildflowers

Bird (robin?) on a tree at the Olympic Sculpture Park

 

The hillside at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle is a delight of blooming wildflowers.  The groundskeepers there have mowed paths so that you can stroll on the tilted terrain overlooking Elliott Bay.  I can’t decide which I like better, the natural view or the impressive sculptures.

Flower vendor at Seattle’s Pike Place Market

It’s always a treat to play tourist in my home town, and yesterday I wandered through the Pike Place Market with my niece and her kids.  The Pike Place Market is open year round, but it is especially colorful right now with so many cut flowers vying for your attention.  The vendors were busy assembling gigantic bouquets for sale at just $10 to $15.

Flower vendor and bucket of peonies

This bouquet was selling for $15

Another vendor’s fresh bouquets

Buckets of lupine and irises

Vendor putting together a bouquet behind an array of glorious poppies

Kerchief camouflaged among the flowers

Flower stall through plastic window

Pike Place Market flower vendors

Fallen sweet peas by the vendors’ stalls

“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity . . . with Nature herself.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Finding Nature in cut flowers: lupine at the Phinney Farmers' Market

What a blessing to wake up cheerful!  Although I almost always wake up looking forward to the start of a new day, I wish I would awaken with Nature on my mind.  Perhaps this is easier if you live in a little house in the woods.  Too often I wake thinking about all the things I need to accomplish in the next 12 hours.  And when you live in a city, like I do, it’s all too easy to spend all day indoors, at home or at work or in a store or in the car.  (Gene Logsdon, the Contrary Farmer, recently wrote a blog post about this very problem.  You can link to his comments here:  http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/skywatchers/)

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”
— E. B. White

I usually find my Nature-fix in small doses — noticing a flower in my neighbor’s garden, sampling a bite of fresh produce at the farmers’ market, listening to the cawing of crows . . .  But I think I could do better.  I do think it is restorative and important to spend more time in Nature.  I will take a lesson from Thoreau and make it a daily priority.

“Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of nature’s varied forms.”
— George Washington  Carver

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
— John Muir

“I thank you God for this amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”
— e. e. cummings

Hiking Amidst Wildflowers

September 1, 2010

The Naches Peak Loop trail edged by wildflowers

My husband and I revisited another of my favorite hikes, the Naches Peak Loop trail by Chinook Pass in the Cascade Mountains.  The last time I hiked here, a few years ago, it was a sunny day and we were treated to awesome views of neighboring Mount Rainier.  This year, it was clear when we left Seattle, but the clouds were rolling in by the time we got to the trailhead.  We hiked in the clouds and couldn’t see Mount Rainier from the trail.  But the wildflowers were in bloom, and they made this hike worthwhile.

View of Mount Rainier from Hwy 410, as we drive to the trailhead.

The clouds were already rolling in on the slopes of Mount Rainier.

Signpost on the Naches Peak Loop trail near Chinook Pass

One of the tiny lakes just off the trail

Another small mountain lake along the Naches Peak Loop trail

Small stream cuts through a valley along the trail

Silhouette of my husband on the trail

The clouds roll in as we loop around Naches Peak.

The trees trap the moisture from the air.

Wildflowers along the trail

Crimson columbine

Paintbrush

Western anemone

Lupine

Wildflower

Wildflowers by Tipsoo Lake