Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February Snow!

Just a few days ago, I had Nim out on a walk and actually had to take his jacket off when he got too hot.
02/02/19 - Near some old growth stumps, just before I took off the jacket.

By Sunday afternoon it was snowing, and by Monday morning we were buried. Even living in a part of the state that usually get some snow each year, this was an impressive amount. I haven't had a storm like this in a few years. 

 Nim was thrilled as usual.

This has also been a very cold storm. Thankfully nothing like that mid-west and eastern side of the country, but cold all the same. As this is our first winter heating without the pellet stove, the cats have found new ways to a steady source of heat. Such as my lap.

Or Nim's head.

Today it was icy cold. No more snowing, but also nothing melting. A friend of mine with a younger dog was trying to burn off his energy by throwing treats in the snow. I had forgot that game. Nim was thrilled.

There was the tiniest amount of sun for him to dig and hunt for cookies while I shoveled to try and open some area up. Especially the area by the front door becomes a nightmare in deep snow.

We didn't last long in the cold. :)

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Sunday Lake Area - After the Fire

In the summer of 2017 there was a forest fire near the Sunday Lake area of the north fork. Finally in October 2017, I was able to get back there and see some of the changes and the damage. All photos in this post were taken October, 27, 2017.

The fire was human caused. Most likely in a shooting quarry. What was of interest to me was that they used the abandoned road that starts the Sunday Lake trail as the fire line. These two photos with Nim closer to the trees is actually closer to the site of the fire at the quarry. The quarry is just before you go over the bridge towards forest service road 57. 

After we explored the initial fire site, went drove back to the Sunday Lake trail head and really started exploring. I was impressed at how they managed to get equipment through the swamp and wetlands that start the trail. It was obvious they had used vehicles with tracks as opposed to tires (at least as well as I could see). I think this was probably the best solution for getting through the notorious deep swamp.  

Even in the heat of summer, the tracks would have done the least damage and allowed the sensitive area to rebound.

The entire walk down the Sunday Lake trail, the area smelled of smoke. We were having an unusually warm day for October. One of the impacts of this fire is that it ended up re-opening a very overgrown area and there was a lot more beating sun.

 One of my most favorite area of the Sunday Lake area is right before you have to cross the river. The rock faces simply tower beside you. With all the recent bulldozing and clearing, the rock faces are now considerably more open.

They are regrettably very hard to capture in a photo. But that didn't stop me from trying. I have never had this much visual access to them.  

 We didn't try and get across the river in this trip. I had started late and with the bulldozing, the last section of trail down to the river was dramatically change. On a much later trip, I would cross the river and find the next section of trail unbelievably changed. Sunday Lake is bound by an active logging operation, and change seems inevitable.

 I will enjoy seeing how this area grows back. The fire changed it in ways that were unexpected, especially given this is a pretty mature section of second growth.

 This last photo is exiting the beginning swamp area. Fire aside, I have watched this swamp change since I first started hiking the area with Odin. This view and angle never gets old.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Last Day of January

Nim, January 19, 2019, North Fork

 Happy last day of January 2019! Compared to a lot of the country, this area is enjoying a mild winter (at least so far).

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Another Quilt Finished - With a Fantasy Back

Happy Memorial Day weekend. In this area we have gone from the lingering winter straight to summer. It has been pretty darn warm. Thankfully it is still cooling off at night.

With weather in the 80s, I hadn't anticipated quilting this weekend. Like a lot of people in this area, I do not have AC and quilting in the heat can be miserable. However, I got going early in the morning and finished the final quilting pattern and the binding.

Nim silently suffered that we were still in the house when the sun was out and made sure to lay in locations that I couldn't possibly miss him. Leela let him into some of her sun spot to make him feel better.  

The full photos give this more of a pastel colored look than it really is. I took a close up of each block again. It shows the more true red, and the fun detailed patterns.

It is nice to have this one off the machine. The cats were making tents in it, despite my best efforts.

These little hedgehogs have been so fun.

Even with most of the fabric not coming from the same line, the little animals were all working.

This darker badger and bunny fabric is actually in the same line as the backing. The backing is SO amazing. I could hardly do it justice taking photos of it.

The fantasy and detail of animals is just beautiful. You could easily turn the quilt over and enjoy a completely different blanket.

I have another top ready to be pinned and put on the machine. I have to laugh that these past 3 quilts were all supposed to be done by Christmas. :)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hiking Seabrook, WA

On May 12th Jack and Nim arrived at the Sandpiper on Pacific Beach to celebrate their birthdays! It was a brutal traffic day and rained so heavy at times I questioned if we would be outside at all during the weekend. I got caught in 2 heavy accumulation hail storms on the way to the beach. I was so happy for the getaway I just didn't care. I remembered my knitting this time!

Nim turned 7 on May 12th, and Jack turned 5 on May 15th. The Sandpiper is where we had stayed last year and it never disappoints. We added a third night to this trip, and similar to last year, it still wasn't enough time away. It was nice to see just how comfortable the dogs are at the Sandpiper. They know the drill, and we rented the same 2 units as before.

Imagine our surprise when we woke up Saturday morning to sun. We had been prepared for Saturday to be the heavy rain day. With the skies clear, we decided to drive up to Seabrook and look into some potential trails in the area.

I just don't know what to say about Seabrook. The development is unapologetically loud, and the growth since last year is overwhelming. Seabrook has changed both the hillside and the ocean bluffs in that area dramatically. However, this town seems to have their vision, and the shop owners have never been anything short of helpful and nice. We walked into Buck's Bikes and were given a map of the area trails, and some great information regarding the trails.

We started by walking north on the 109 towards the trail head for the Narnia trail. Narnia is very pretty. As you can tell from the photos, there is some obvious logging roads with some decent second growth trees. There were many old stumps from old growth long ago logged.

From Narnia we took a little side trail and hit some service roads. These service roads are probably on their way to development roads at some point. But on our sunny Saturday hike, we had the roads to ourselves. We reached a point on the map in which we should have cut through town again, but instead took this straight trail down to the 109 again. There were fairy houses all along the trail.

I have no idea what Nim is saying to Jack in that photo, but I am sure it was important. This bridge is at the end of the fairy trail and right before you hit 109 south of Seabrook. There is a little shell to collect a "toll." I wished I had had some change.

After a short walk south on the 109 we ended up on another service road and I made an executive decision that we were going to hike up the Downhill mountain bike route. This was probably not the right decision given the day had been hotter than planned but it was pretty and it was mercifully short. Technically we were supposed to actually stay on the service road and hit the Mike-O-Rama loop from the road.

The Mike-O-Rama loop is a fun cut that gives fantastic ocean views from a vantage point above 109. I would have loved to have had a little picnic up there.

We completed the Mike-O-Rama loop, went out the service road, up the 109, and back up the fairy trail to finally get back into town. While Courtney and I took turns getting food, the pups rested up from their adventure.

I would like to pack better and do this hike again. I would probably explore more of the service roads. With the development coming to Seabrook, I am hoping that more forest trails will be added. With an active mountain bike community, this is very likely to happen.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Quilt Finished

Hello Tuesday! With my machine back, I have started clearing some of the quilt top clog I have going on.

Nim took a break from his busy chewing schedule to pose with this latest quilt. Our time is precious right now because basically there are two current weather options in North Bend: pouring rain or not raining. The "not raining" times are very short still.

I am extra motivated to get these tops moving because I am kind of in an art quilt mood. This will be a new direction for me. I saw this workshop I would have loved to take that was all about making art work in quilting and a friend of mine makes these amazing works of art based on her travels to Africa. I am ready to see what I can do.

This Japanese Maple has held so many quilts for photos. What a good little tree.

The back was a basic pink flannel. I have decided to feature each block on its own as well so you can see the cute fabric.

I saw this quilt on Instagram that reminded me perhaps I should try and develop my free motion quilting styles. I always default to the same thing.

It works. :)

These little monkeys...

My other two tops got their borders this weekend. One needs a back, but both should be on the machine soon. Then I can try and clean up the fabric mess.

I have now expanded to 3 fabric bins. :| This is a bit of a crisis with the size of my living space. Time to stick to stash busting for a while.

In other important news, I will leave you with 2 vital pieces of information:
  1. The X-Files will be returning (again).
  2. The Giraffe Cam is back! And it looks like they will have it up every Tuesday.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Port Gamble, Port Ludlow, and Easter Sunday

Hello and late Happy Easter! Also, in my case, Happy-end-of-tax-season!

Last weekend because it was the Easter holiday and the last weekend before the tax deadline I decided to get out of town. Ha! My friend's family has a little beach house in the Port Ludlow area. It is dog friendly, spotty internet access, and peaceful. It was perfect.

We originally were going to go to some workshop but it had been an very expensive month for me in car repairs, and really, we just want to be outside with the dogs so we dropped the workshop and opted to hang out.

Nim was thrilled in the ferry line as you can see. The day before I had left him alone for 12 hours to deal with the car, and he had an accident in the house. Once he saw me packing he wore himself out following me around the house such was his concern about being left again. Little did he know he was coming.

I had recently made some slime and promised my sister a ferry photo with it.

First stop off the ferry was at the Port Gamble General Store and Cafe. Not only did we make it for happy hour, but they had some truly amazing food there. I would highly recommend.

After eating a large amount we rolled into the beach house on Port Ludlow and immediately back out for a hike with the dogs. The hike turned into a night hike and it wasn't a short one. It was lovely. It also helped me digest a large dinner and the dogs had a great time.

The next morning we explored the shoreline and tried to figure out which Port Ludlow trail we were going to hike for the day.

Jack is far in the distance. Getting a shot of the two of them that morning was impossible.

Since we had hiked the night before, we opted to skip the hiking and get out on the water! This was a great idea. I used to kayak a lot more, and I really do miss it. These were more of an open kayak/raft, but the operation was basically the same.

In the distance you can see a dragon. Actually one of the more stunning photos of this dragon I found online and it was from 1999! So clearly this guy has been around for awhile. Check out this post and scroll down to the see the dragon in the water - it really is a cool picture.

At the Dragon's Head we basically got out and had a picnic. I spent a lot of time turning rocks and enjoying the birds and sea life. I think I could have lived out there if not for the tide.

As we headed out again we stayed much closer to shore to try and see more sea life. There is a particularly ugly crab in the water to the right of the starfish. Too spider-like for my taste.

We had to leave Port Ludlow Saturday afternoon, but what a great little break. It was that perfect change of pace that helps get you through a hectic week.

Easter Sunday Nim got a little walk in a lot of high wind. He was thrilled.

Then a couple of sisters came over so we could eat, paint eggs, and decorate Nim. Look at those glutes!