Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unassuming bloomer

We just had to catch our neighborhood Hawthorn tree at the height of its bloom today. In spite of cloudy skies and even afternoon thunderstorms, our cul de sac berry bloomer was the standout.

Our unsung corner attraction usually goes unnoticed the rest of the year, but today...wow. And so far this sturdy beauty has been a magnet for everything from bees to robins to hummingbirds.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A day of remembrance

A Memorial Day Statement by Michael T. McPhearson

Former Executive Director of Veterans For Peace

Practically every city, town and village across the nation has at least one memorial to fallen soldiers. Many have many more than one. In the South, the deaths most honored are from the Civil War. This may hold true in the North as well. I respect and honor those who fell in battle as well as the veterans who survived war, but whom time has taken from us. It’s good to have obelisks and statues to remind us that people die in war, while acting on behalf of the United States.

Those who sacrifice and lose the most have the least to gain from war, and those who benefit the most almost always sacrifice and lose nothing. No matter my beliefs about the morality of war, the service members who died lost their lives for something bigger than themselves – whether they became soldiers to take care of their families or protect their buddies, or because they were drafted or believed in their country and the mission. We must honor that.

Spending the whole day eating and shopping is a desecration and honoring with monuments and words is not enough. To truly honor fallen soldiers requires self-reflection, questions and action. We must reflect on our part in their deaths. Are we allowing the blood of soldiers and civilians to be spilled in war because we are not willing to do the hard work of peace making? Hard work that may mean we must change our lifestyles, consume less and learn more about the world around us. Are we prepared to take any responsibility for our nation’s relationships with other countries? Are we willing to question our government's foreign policies and demand a change from domination to collaboration? Are we willing to take action to change ourselves so that our personal behavior and attitude reflects peace making rather than acceptance of war?

I believe the best way to honor those who have died in war, both combatants and civilians, is to work to abolish war. We must end the killing and suffering caused by war. This sounds idealistic because it is.

Idealism is one if the traits of humanity that sets us apart from the beast of nature. Striving for a higher purpose and looking to a higher calling brings out the best in us. If we truly want to honor those who died we must step up in an effort to ensure their death is not simply because we are too scared and selfish to take up the challenge to be better people.

This Memorial Day, after you eat, catch a sale, honor the dead at a memorial or leave flowers for a fallen solider; please take some time to reflect on what you can do to make the world more peaceful at home and abroad. Then go out and be the peace you want to see in the world.

Ice cream sandwiches that could kill

Today we developed an addiction to the best ice cream in the Northwest - in just one stop at Molly Moon's. If we lived in Seattle we'd be well on our way to joining the ranks of the disgustingly obese, and no one could blame us.

The handmade ice cream, particularly the sandwiches at this newly opened shop in the Madronna District, is well beyond reasonable abstinence.


In one block in Seattle, the best espresso - Verite's - and now the tastiest dairy treat in town.

The only thing missing...will-power.

Casey with hesitant new friend


Saturday, May 28, 2011

In your dreams, indoor kitty

In her other life Stella might have been chasing gazelles on the plains of Serengeti. This time around she's an indoor kitty or she's hawk or eagle bait - those are the options.
We actually think she's OK though with having the rule of the house.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Berry prospects looking up

Blackberries, black raspberries, marionberries, whatever the  bramble bush harvesters want to call them, things are looking up this year. 

The promise of a bumper crop of blackberries this summer lines most interurban trails as far as you can see, with hikers soon competing with Stellars and crows and deer...you name it.

We'll also be out there competing for our fair share. Those clumps hanging a foot or two off the ground though, leave 'em to the fauna. 

The trouble with Harry

So who's Harry? And is he really trouble?

Not really. Harry is just someone Casey probably would have liked to get to know but never really got the chance today at the train depot.

Harry the sea gull, better known as Hungry Harry by the staff at the railroad station, is a regular that stops by often for a handout.

He's usually up close and personal with all the patrons, but whenever Casey tried to go window pane to window pane with him - fuhgeddaboudit.


Oh well, maybe next time through. At least we've broken the ice.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stella stalk

"The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an ax-murderer."                                                                         

A sure Stella obsession can be any winged creation that comes into view. During daylight hours, a hummingbird near a window pane is a party.

Nighttime fixations can be any moth that moves an air molecule or brushes a lampshade, then nothing else matters when Stella's stalking.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Fairhaven Horse Chestnut

This impressive specimen has made our A list of trees in Bellingham - a Horse Chestnut near Taylor Dock in Fairhaven.  Over 75 feet high, this big boy, or whatever, rivals any of the chestnut trees in Victoria BC, famous for its avenues lined with this variety.

Dock of the bay

A perfect day for a Sunday stroll on Taylor Dock over Bellingham Bay, so why not take advantage of this break in the weather.

Victoria and the kid "taking a load off"

Centenial pile

At low tide near the Fairhaven waterfront, this remnant of a 1907 cannery fire remains on full display. This pile of tin and solder slid out the back of what was left after the destruction and it looks like it will be around for at least another 100 years or so. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend wrap-up

Well, so much for the cherry blossoms. Just a few hangers-on left, with the weather taking a turn for the worse today as well.

Cloudy skies and a few showers off and on, after a week of fantastic weather...and no Armageddon or Rapture to ruin the weekend. No complaints here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mystery wildflower, or baby's breath anyone?

More wildflowers have been debuting along our interurban trails than we can possibly  count with this week's shot of sunny and clear.
This paricular variety resemble hyacinths, but we're sure that's an incorrect SWAG ( scientific wild a_ _ guess).

But they are without a doubt eyecatching in their abundance.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Power nap

The concept of a 20 minute power nap is lost on Stella, particularly when her goal is stacking Zs for 18 or more hours a day. And the noon day sun is just the incentive she needs to get territorial with the sunroom rocking chair. 
It just doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nothing but blue skies

Blue skies, smiling at me...hard not to muse lyrical on a day like this. After a mostly rain-drenched spring, things are looking up weatherwise for Bellingham. A stretch of clear and sunny days lie ahead, with temperatures pushing 70 - maybe...a real summer tease.

With our driest days of the year being May through August, basking or just falling on your face on somebody's new mowed lawn are going to be a long overdue routines for Casey for awhile.

And don't let the word get out, but the months ahead are the reason Bellinghamsters don't stray very far from home this time of year.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Has it really been a year?

April 2010

One of our favorite desktop background shots of Casey, taken just over a year ago - amidst the remnants of a pink blizzard of cherry blossoms.

May 2011

And this year, all grown up, our "anchor" caught in a pose, just before another northeaster.

Has it really been a whole year already?
Dealing with wind hazards are all a part of the game, I guess.
Right Casey?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shopping trip

After a trip to the market this look says everything - "You know what, grocery shopping sucks...we going home now?"

You'd think Casey'd been waiting all afternoon...how about 20 minutes, tops.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Trail of blooms

This is the time in spring when you have to be careful not to take the arrays of new growth for granted.

High and low, they're everywhere - you just have to pay attention.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The theme is green

They say the grass is always greener in other pastures, but that hardly applies in our neighborhood, today.

And it won't be long before this nearby variety is way over Casey's head.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stopping by June's

Casey's social skills were put to a test today when he met June, a miniature Yorkie that just seemed head over heals infatuated with the big guy.

Of course they're all "big guys" to this little girl.

And it's obvious that Casey is more clumsy than ever around women that come on too strong. 

But it looks like all June really wanted was a hug.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A new spring palette for Mom's Day

The cul de sac green belt is filling in nicely thanks to our stately matriarchal alder and her bevy of offspring and subordinant conifers.

And intermittent choruses of flickers, starlings, Stellars and more make for a lush seasonal score to accentuate the visual and usher in another Mother's Day for the old girl.