Thursday, June 30, 2011

Staying power and the hand out, an art form

Patience, patience
Easy...easy. You don't need to eat that whole chip, pop.

Piece of cake

Small price to pay

After getting a clean bill of health from pet opthomologist Dr. Terri McCalla this month after a bout with pannus almost a year ago, Casey still has to put up with a daily application in each eye of a topical ointment called tacrolimus.

It's become a morning ritual, protecting our guy from possible dry eye irritation.

You'd think after a year that Casey would let us know that enough is enough, but he's still a good sport about it.

The show he puts on between each application is just a crackup - smiling, shaking hands, sitting up. He pulls out all the stops.

And we know Casey'd rather be doing anything else, but he lets us get away with this every single day. A small price to pay really for saving his eyesight and maybe he knows. He is a smart guy after all. 

Or maybe he's just a good boy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stella stakeout

A kitchen window stakeout has been part of Stella's everyday routine for some time now. In fact this ledge has been her perch for viewing the far reaches of her world each day, spotting both the sublime and the trivial from - as far as she knows - relative safety.

Squirrels, rabbits, deer, babies in strollers, moths, you name it, they all become  cat-alogued. And oddily enough the wonder never wears off, remaining just as mesmerizing to Stella during their repeat performances.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Front yard birding

From the intensity and concentration on display here, clearly there must be a circling red-tailed hawk nearby scoping out a rabbit or an unwary neighborhood cat, maybe even a bald eagle catching a thermal. After all, these winged raptors are common sights on the ridge.

Psst, Casey.
You're missing out.

Or maybe not.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Early evening visuals, near and far

Mt Baker (far left) and Twin Sisters Mountain (right)

At the end of day the clouds lifted enough over the north Cascades to allow the 7,000 foot high Twin Sisters to peek out long enough for us to get a look at their summits, just a half hour window of opportunity before sunset. In the foreground is the north end of Samish Ridge and our neighborhood.

On the drive home a black-tailed deer seemed to be not the least bit perturbed with our pause to gawk at him chomping down.  Local gardeners might be a little less infatuated with this guy's snack habit.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fence flower

This morning we were pleasantly surprised when this red peony finally came out of her shell and showed off her luster. After all she's been hanging around for four long years and chose to stay under wraps, so we'd pretty much given up on her.

But check her out.

Isn't she a blushing beauty?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lonnnng overdue apology

A month ago the mayor of Bellingham, Dan Pike, formally issued a long overdue apology to the Chinese community for the expulsion it suffered from towns in the Northwest over 125 years ago. Locals and civic leaders supported this atrocity in the Puget Sound area when the new immigrants were thought to be threatening the jobs of white people.

Commemorative plaque in Fairhaven

The commemorative plaque above is in plain sight on Harris Avenue near what had been referred to as the deadline after thousands of Chinese citizens were banished in 1885 and 1886. The apology and related events this month in Bellingham are part of a year-long Chinese Expulsion Remembrance Project. Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Mount Vernon are also taking part. Good for you, Dan. And in an election year too.

But,'s about time.

Now if we can just get Pike to support the Bring Our War Dollars Home campaign. But we're working on him.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Ceanothus thyrsiflorus for Vic

We didn't have a lot to go on with this transplanted shrub, except that a former neighbor referred to it as a Victoria lilac.

As expected, Vic went for that cultivar right away, and right now the blues seem to peaking with the first days of summer.
In the meantime Casey didn't seem to be that impressed with the genus or species.  With the winds kicking up and potential afternoon showers moving in, he just wanted to get in a run, somewhere.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's gettin' real in the Whole Foods parking lot

This video spoof of Whole Foods probably says way too much about the hybrid of big-time US free-range crass commercialism and organic marketing for "the haves" - but it is a spoof and it is really funny.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sole survivor

It's nice to see that our surviving clematis is thriving.

While not as vibrant as the climber that was carelessly whacked on June 6th, this baby is showing some real promise. We know the weed whacker won't strike twice.

Now we just have to look out for the leg-lifters...Casey?!

Stress management

Casey's favorite baby-sitter Marsha offered to watch the boy while we were at a birthday party for our youngest grandson in Seattle. Since three-year-olds tend to have marauding bands of pre-schoolers in attendance to cut the cake, we thought we'd take her up on it. We were hoping though that our guy wouldn't be too stressed out after we dropped him off.

Apparently Casey managed the separation anxiety quite well. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Well worth the wait

It was sort of exciting yesterday and today when the peonies finally blossomed. We didn't know what to expect this year without an ant assist.

Normally these double blossom reddish buds are nudged to this impressive stage by a steady stream of black ants drawn to the plants by a nectar produced to attract the ant stimulation...or whatever it is they do. But this year these lush blossoms were ushered in with the help of bees - honey bees, bumble bees, and maybe even an occasional wasp. Not a single ant.

After a while the worker bees all began to look alike, but each of these showy blooms...memorable.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Double dose of pooped

Daytime tired
Nighttime lights out

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The lure of the chase

The chase is everything whenever a bunny crosses Casey's path, and make no mistake, he often comes close...but always pulling up short. 

(He's in here somewhere...and just why am I chasing rabbits anyway?)

It's just as likely Casey will then get side-tracked on the trail by the enticing scents of buttercups, or just about anything else.

But he's really a Ferdinand the Bull kinda guy when it come's right down to it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The color purple

From the looks of things today it seems local gardeners are on to something about bees being attracted to the color purple. From an entomological standpoint it seems far-fetched -- but not this afternoon. And if you google pollination you'll find references to colored petals being a big part of the equation, particularly for bees, wasps, and ants.

No doubt it works for front yard sage.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rhodies' last hurrah

The rhodies are still hanging in there, doused by a rainshower. And the bees are still hanging around in droves to forage. Sometimes I get a little carried away getting too up close and personal, but no stings yet.  You couldn't blame them actually.

Several years ago I was stung several times on an arm while reaching over a colony of bumble bees as I was trimming some shrubs. They had taken up residence in an abandoned wasp nest concealed deep in a hedge. That was a pain that lingered!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Red letter day with a green mower

Today was a great day for the planet, and all it took was for us to take a step back to the '50s, before we knew how enviro-conscious we were in so many ways - actually walking to the store or library, reading books, eating in, fishing, playing ball...and pushing a lawn mower.

Human power over fossil fuel. What a concept.

So today I bought Victoria a green reel push mower...because that's the kind of guy I am. Never in our wildest dreams would either of us opted for pushing a lawn mower over a power mower way back when, but today is different. And reel mowers are so clean, quiet, so eco-friendly.  

Besides, we're trying to save the planet, right?  Right. But making the little woman happy is really the important thing. And Casey loves tagging along. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pretty in pink

Look who's got a birthday bike - or Strider - and most of the neighborhood's attention this afternoon. In spite of Casey's prodding and nosing around our next door neighbors Jenn and Jason, it's their little girl Lucy's big day.

All decked out in pink, a new riding helmet and her best coaxed smile, the cul de sac's favorite two-year-old is well on her way to heading out on her own someday. OK, she's going to have to master pedals and parallel parking the meantime she'll be around a long time upstaging even attention-grabbing Border Collies on centerstage. And especially on her special day.

Happy birthday, Lucy  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Camera shy

A ruckus took place over the cul de sac today. The adversaries, a red-tailed hawk, perched defiantly on the apex of a cedar tree, and a fearless, harassing crow. And the only thing we've got to show for all the squawking is the hawk. No crow in sight.

So no luck at all at digitizing both of these winged raptors.

A couple of weeks ago a pair of bald eagles were doing figure eights overhead...until I went inside to grab a camera, which was their cue to fly out of camera range.

These guys just don't seem to like neighborhood papa razzi.