Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mowing hay

My neighbor Jay came over and mowed my hay field for me the other day. I don't need it for anything and he can use it for his cashmere goats, for bedding.

A Garden Gate wedding

We had a lovely wedding here last night for about 50 guests. It was cool and a little too breezy for those in strappy dresses, but it couldn't have been more beautiful in the gardens. Here is a picture of the happy couple right after the ceremony, which I took from inside the B&B so as not to intrude.

Below decks on the Titanic

I had the opportunity on Monday to go on a cruise ship, to tour it, and to learn about their environmental and conservation measures. I took this same tour, too, last July since it was also offered to community leaders a year ago. This year I remembered my camera, so I got a picture of the poster that fascinated me last year. When you're below decks in the bowels of the ship, down by laundry and waste managment and the engines, there are water tight doors that would close in case of disaster, just like in the movie Titanic. That was an eery feeling. Here is the poster showing employees to stay away so they wouldn't become dismembered in case those doors were closing. Not that that happens often but still...

Anyway, it was lovely to tour the Princess Coral and learn all that they do to protect the environment. I knew from last year that they take blackwater (from the toilets) and clean it to the point that it pours clear from a tap (as well as having less coliform count than most of our city water supplies). I also learned this year that they are thinking about stewardship of the environment in places such as the spas (water usage) and even the offices (recycling the printer cartridges).

I liked seeing all the flags rolled up in their neat wooden boxes in the bridge where the captain guides the ship. They keep flags for any possible country where this ship would sail. This ship is narrow enough to go through the Panama Canal so many of the flags were Carribbean or European, not just Western Hemisphere like some of the PanaMax boats that are too wide to take through the Canal.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Height of summer

The sunflowers are not quite in bloom, but the delphiniums are almost at the peak of their beauty in the gardens--perfect for the wedding which will be here later this week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ptarmigan family

I didn't have my camera with me either time, but I saw a new ptarmigan family twice today. When I got up at 5 a.m., an adult ptarmigan was keeping watch so a smaller one could cross the open space of the lawn, over to the wild edges of the lawn. I thought it was maybe a male, then a female crossing. When I came home with groceries this afternoon, along the edge of the driveway, there was a large one, and then 3-4-5 ! smaller ones. They must be almost-grown chicks. I drove along slowly, just 3 feet from them. As usual, they cluck and twitter but then don't move away until you're right on top of them. They fluttered straight up into a tree just a few feet off the driveway. I'm glad to see this many chicks. For a couple years, I haven't seen that many ptarmigan in the woods--I was afraid that some larger critter had finished them off.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer flowers

This summer has been just gorgeous, and much warmer than average. Wildflowers, garden flowers, and the window boxes are just busting out in peak beauty.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day

It's become a tradition for me to go to Hatcher Pass on or around July 4th. It's a wonderful place to celebrate the best of what our country is, in its natural beauty. It also is timed well usually for Little Girl and I to cool down if it's been hot. This year, it has been hot! We had several days of mid-80's and I've been sweltering! Little Girl loves the rushing river at Hatcher Pass. The gurgling water is a curiosity to her-she always looks for where that sound is coming from! She cocks her head side to side and pokes into the water. It's also nice for her to cool off in the glacier-melt stream.