Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Raccoons, flowers and other yard news

On Tuesday night, at dusk, I stuck Coal on the leash and headed down the driveway. Coal had been in the yard but apparently he hadn't noticed the raccoons. I'm not sure which of us was more surprised, but the raccoons headed up trees. My neighbor told me he'd just chased a family of raccoons out of his yard. I held the leash firmly and then dashed back in and got the camera. It was fun, until about 3 am. Then Coal kept waking me up. My timid and old and deaf dog knew the raccoons were out there and he really wanted to join the fun. I wanted to sleep. Coal is an amazing mutt. Back when I lived in Steilacoom, there was a time when he was regularly waking me up at about 2:30 am. Finally I realized something strange was going on. I didn't appreciate being woken but I was also curious. So I decided I'd let Coal out one last time so I could figure it out. He dashed to the fence and I watched in the porch light as he and a raccoon sniffed each other through the fence. There was no aggression on either side. They just seemed curious and relaxed! While Coal may have been lucky in his raccoon relationship once, I am not giving it a second chance. The next day, while sharing about my raccoons and lack of sleep, I was told there was a black bear about 2 blocks away last week. Certainly I'm being reminded that I live on the edge of wilderness.

I enjoyed seeing the raccoons. However, I've been a bit disappointed about the bumble bees. Activity has died down and now it seems there aren't any bees left in the nest. It's a bit hard for me to know for sure, since going up and poking the nest seems like a bad idea. I have been watching closely the past few days though. I hope this is some natural cycle and they didn't all die off.

My yard is certainly full of bees, life and flowers. It was taken over last year by "stinky bob". The actual name of the weed is Herb Robert, I guess I'm a local now since I just think of it as Bob. It has a strong odor if stepped on or weeded. This year I've been in a battle with Bob. This year other plants have had a chance to grow and I have a bunch of oxalis (also called sorrel). I think they are oxalis. I'm a bit confused. They have leaves just like oxalis, but they are tall and I'm not sure what species they are. Anyway, the battle against Bob is being won and my yard is filled with beautiful, white flowers. They seem to thrive in the shade (thus, I haven't got any good pictures) but I am thoroughly enjoying them.

Oxalis, or whatever it is, growing in my yard

The last bit of happy news isn't about my yard but I had to share. I got a new camera! It's a Canon Powershot and I'm still learning how to use it. Since I've had the last few days off I've had some good times wandering around taking pictures. Here's a few from my yard and a few from my walks with Coal. Enjoy.

My first picture
I have lots of ferns in my yard

My yard is mostly shaded, but I get some sunset light

It's been hot, Coal need to cool off
This guy was at the start of my walk yesterday
With my new camera I could zoom in a bit

I love the way light dances on the water


Blogger Eliza said...

So much fun news!
Glad you've been out 'n about & enjoying your new camera.
I hope the bumble bees aren't gone either.

3:27 PM  

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