Posts Tagged With: beauty

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS CARDS.

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Christmas cards trend toward themes. Popular at one time are replicas of old-fashioned cards. So familiar are Currier and Ives, small snowy towns, people sledding through the snow. This one is a famous painting and charming. (Not Currier and Ives.)

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This is also a painting. The clothing shows the affluence these children enjoyed, reflecting their times.

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A famous Madonna painting. There are so many beautiful paintings of the Madonna in museums all over the world and many of them are replicated on Christmas Cards.

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What would Christmas be without an angel?

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Or thoughts of peace and good will?

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Also from a painting, these happy children playing in the snow.

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A more contemporary vision of children playing in the snow.

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Something warm and fuzzy.

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This is my favorite. It much reflects the era of my childhood. The kids of all ages, a couple of them playing on the floor, the boy reading in his socks with his feet up on a book, apples on the tree, showing your treasures to grandpa. The homey pictures on the bureau. The girls are wearing those awful long stockings I hated so much growing up in a winter clime.

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A touch of humor. Birds, animals and nature play heavily on Christmas cards.

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This one is such a sweet tickle. It also shows another tradition; we decorate and light up trees in our yards.

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Famous artists lend their skills to a Christmas card.

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A Christmas tree can be almost anything.

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I read in Smithsonian where it took a long time for Christmas trees to catch on. Now, a Christmas never goes by without a card with a Christmas tree of some kind on it.

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I liked this lovely message. Some are old worn out clichés.

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Christmas caroling is something not many people do anymore, but Christmas has its own special music, evolving year by year. But the old songs never go away.

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A popular song clings to us for years and here we see a popular song in this card, “…the partridge in a pear tree.”

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A Christmas card can be whatever you make it. And here I have to salute a local artist, Bambi Papais. She and her sister Judie are both terrific artists admired and locally renowned. So with that in mind, I hope you’ve enjoyed my rummage through my box of Christmas cards from 1992.

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Happy holidays.

Mary

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THE HOH RAIN FOREST

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Three trails take you into the depths of the Hoh Rainforest. The river trail is 17.5 miles long, the spruce trail is 1.2 miles long and the moss trail is .75 miles. We’ve seen a good bit of rainforest these days and decided on the shorter moss trail. Sixty feet into the trail and wham, this big cedar jumps out at you. I tried to take a panorama shot of it, with minimal success. It is just too big.

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And again, another panorama of a huge spruce tree…DSC05047 (Copy)

with the top showing above some other trees. I’m standing among giants.

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In a small cleared area, I was able to stand far enough back to get a smaller tree from top to bottom, except the bottom is hidden behind a rotting spar, but, you get the idea. Wow!

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And then when one giant falls across the path and another giant falls across it? How many years before they become decayed and dangerous? Twenty-five, thirty years?

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This trail is named moss and there is plenty of it. As we got deeper into the woods, we saw heavy moss like this.

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And this.

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The mosses are licorice moss and another that survives on the nutrients in the air. It can be pretty. But, some heavily covered trees look dead and ugly to me.DSC05101 (Copy)

The understory is beautiful and the woods an exciting walk through.

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A sign asked us to pace off this fallen tree. You are looking at half of it.

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I was stunned when I learned how tall they grow.

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You look at this living and dying forest, the mixture of the little things eating up the big things. This rain forest averages 155 inches of rain per year.

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If you hold still log enough, you’ll have a new hairdo.

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The fungi are relentless, and do their job and provide a bit of beauty too.

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We left the moss trail and walked part of the spruce trail. Doubtless we missed some different sites, but it was similar in many ways to what we had just seen. We packed up and went home.  Having missed lunch, we enjoyed an early dinner instead. If you have the opportunity, you should visit Hoh Rainforest.

 

 

 

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COUSIN REUNION.

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From Aberdeen, Washington, Melissa and David Moore invited us to their campsite at Lake Cushman Park. My father and David’s father were brothers. We’re not sure how long its been since we met. We do know it has been over 60 years.  That black ball of fur is Toby.DSC08894 (Copy)

Our ancestry connects us, but we found we have a lot in common, love of nature and books, and pets. For instance, we both were familiar with the small house movement. David went to see one of those 124 square foot places, but that was a bit too small. He built this neat cabin where he and his wife can get out of the rain and the confines of their small trailer and sit in a leisure chair and read, enjoy a snooze like a mini living room. A small footprint in the middle of a rainforest.

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A towering alder forest behind them leads to a delightful creek.

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A fallen alder stretches across the spongy duff of mosses and dead leaves. I estimated its height at 70 feet.

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Two of them provide a bench at the side of the creek, David’s favorite spot.  The quiet, burbling water, cool temperature, a personal haven.

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Melissa has her own favored place that looks upon her private “beach”.DSC08911 (Copy)

Of course, this creek roars and rises and gushes through this woods in winter.

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They eat into every crevice.

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David pointed out to us that this property was once an old growth forest. Average rain here is 100 inches and this is known as the dry side of the Olympic Penninsula. Huge stumps are a reminder of the lust for timber. The area was clear cut years and years ago. Like the Louisiana cypress, men in their folly cut every giant tree.

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On this particular stump, he pointed out, you can see where the logger cut a crevice and inserted a shelf to stand on while sawing the tree down, something hard to contemplate. It was most likely a dangerous business to be a sawyer.

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This forest may never be the same again, but with people like Melissa and David, in private lots and ownership, it is unlikely to fall to the axe and saws again, though it is questionable if it will ever regrow those giant trees.  (I forgot to ask what they were. Possibly redwoods.) But, mother nature, if given the chance…who knows? In the meantime, we can all enjoy the beauty and appreciate nature.

 

 

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HODGEPODGE

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Jim and I walk everyday and I usually bring my camera everywhere I go. Some deep cleaning, Pledging cupboards, cleaning the window runners,  hand washing, and etc. yesterday, so today, you get hodgepodge. Our neighbor has a bird feeder and I managed to get a few good shots of a pileated woodpecker several days ago.

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He came,he ate.

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I like the way they hang on to eat. For some reason or other, the jays come and hassle the other birds, but this feeder foils them and they can’t get anything out of it.

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The finches have their own feeder and the jays can’t get their seeds either.

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The river is low, we notice a camp across the river that in past years had but a  narrow strip of gravel in front of it.

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The river has such beauty and serenity.

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I didn’t think this picture across the river would turn out. A small deer has nothing to fear to browse during day time.

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Thunderbird Thousand Trails Park has sites on the hilly side of Ben Howard road as well as  the river side of Ben Howard. We walk both. Someone planted ivy on this tree.

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It will eventually reach the top of the tree and most likely kill it. Reminds me of the strangler figs we saw in Costa Rica. The tree dies and the fig remains standing in a circular shape of the tree it killed. Of course, sometimes, the fig dies too.DSC08542 (Copy)

On the way to town, one day, I spotted a huge tree with bright red “berries”. It was huge and I could never find it again to take a photo. Several smaller ones were about.

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A close-up of the clusters and the leaves. It may be a kind of pepper tree. The huge one I saw was spectacularly beautiful.

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The day we went to the parade, we had one of the worst lunches I’ve ever paid for at the Sock Eye, a restaurant with a beautiful view of a lake, but untrained wait help, slow service, and tasteless food. I can only think of twice in my life, I wrote a note and complained to the chef and manager about the food.

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Late in the afternoon, I tried to read my book, but cheerful, fun voices floated up from the river as people enjoyed a Sunday river float. I got up and took a few pictures. Jim, with his impaired eyesight, took his pictures blindly, hoping for the best.  Thunderbird Thousand Trails on the Skykomish river, is one of my favorite spots to stay.

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One of these time, I’m going to take this trip, “….down the lazy river, come as you please…” as it says in the song.

 

 

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MOUNT BAKER, CASCADE RANGE

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Friday was chosen as the day to visit Mount Baker, because the crowds and traffic are considerably less than weekends during the summer. Winter, too, for that matter since Mount Baker is a ski area.

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The drive up presented some beautiful scenery and tantalizing glimpses of the mountain. Mt. Baker is over 10,000 feet in elevation, but the road brings you to just over 5,000 feet.DSC07858 (Copy)

We stopped at a little alpine lake and took pictures of the crystal clear water reflecting the backdrop of trees and mountain behind it.

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The roadside was flush with wild flowers everywhere as we drove up.

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A prolific mountain plant, this pink blooming flower stands in tall clusters.

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Beneath the higher bushes, plain red clover produces huge blossoms in Washington.

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The road is curvy, hairpins and I got a glimpse of what is to come.

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Suddenly, you are in the parking lot, with a huge cloud misted mountain in clear view.

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Trails beckon, and the weather was perfect for a hike. A bit overcast, best for picture taking, and cool. The air unbelievably fresh.

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We kept climbing and watched as the now more stunted alpine flowers and trees put on their show.

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Low to the ground, l would expect their name to be tiny pink alpine bells.

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And every time you look up and pause, you can’t resist taking another picture of the mountain as you drink in its beauty, the cloud cover changes, the terrain changes.

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To the right of this peak was a beautiful valley opening up.

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The mountain side was colorful with bright green growth.

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We finally reached what we called “the top of the world”, with our mountain still visible,  even more beautiful. It was about here that a friendly hiker, an older and wiser man then we, said, or what I heard was “… ole’ shookshank is really clear today.”  Professional pictures I’ve seen of Mt. Baker show it as a perfect snowy, sharp peak. Of course, this isn’t Mt. Baker, but it is part of the Mt. Baker range in the cascades.

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As we hiked out, and I stood  oohing and ahhing about this gorgeous view another hiker asked me if I wanted my picture taken in front of Mt. Baker. I agreed.

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And, I took another picture of it, and, if you notice that sharp sharks tooth peak?

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Here is a close up of it.  It is a part of Mt. Baker, the peak is nearly always hidden behind that dark cloud and you don’t actually get to see Mt. Baker, unless you are in an airplane. In fact the pilot pointed it out to us as we passed over it but I wasn’t in a window seat and took no pictures from the plane. So, I actually did see Mt. Baker on my way here.

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Were we disappointed?  Not a bit. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful mountain,  and I’ll post more pictures tomorrow. Jim’s eyes are bothering him enough that he tries to stay in areas he knows well. We don’t venture out as much. His cataract surgery isn’t until sometime in October.

 

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PEACE ARCH PARK GARDENS.

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The Peace Arch is a meaning filled place, the gardens expansive and of great beauty. Both the Canadian and U.S. side have a flag in flowers. The maple leaf flag is very showy.

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The gardens are spectacular and expansive.  Our little cameras, without the height to get the beauty and drama cannot do them justice.

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Jim is hiding on the bridge. You have to enlarge the photo to see him.

 

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Giant rhubarb, a plant new to me. So tropical looking and not edible. One stalk could make ten pies.

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You have to be good to get a piece of your sculpture in the garden. Entrants came from all over the world, and locally,too, of course.  Oakland California, Washington, Hong Kong to name a few.

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reminded me of M.C. Escher

Looking like origami birds, the artist put them together in a similar way as an M.C. Escher drawing.

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It was hard to pick a favorite, but this overhead arch entrance to a garden was high on my list.

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I really loved this form, but you couldn’t take a picture without getting reflections. Jim enjoyed trying to get certain reflections from it.

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I love benches and this one, though partly made from plants, fascinates me. It is a permanent part of the garden and was here when we visited in 2009,

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Washington has rainforest type moisture and grows what I might consider indoor plants- outside. None of these can take a hard freeze.

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I haven’t seen a fuchsia in thirty years.  In my neck of the woods you won’t even see them in the nurseries.  The parks complex covers about 40 acres. It was really fun for me to spend a couple of hours enjoying a grand garden.

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