Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Spring Walk in the Woods

Our backyard borders 120 acres of woods, in reality a typical western Washington second growth forest already 75 to 100 years in the making.  Western red cedar, western hemlock, and Douglas fir are in ascendancy while huge bigleaf maple and especially red alder are in decline.  It's spring time and the trillium and salmonberry are in bloom.

Trillium (Trillium ovatum)

  Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)

Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Salish Crossing Redevelopment Project - Edmonds, WA

The Salish Crossing redevelopment project is underway here in my little waterfront town of Edmonds, Washington.  The site is owned by and the redevelopment project is being led by a group with local ties.  For all the 22 years that I've lived in Edmonds, this shopping center has always been anchored by the Waterfront Antique Mall, housed in the former Safeway store.  The former Safeway building is in the classic Marina-style, with the broad eyebrow arch and glass-fronted facade.  This building, according to plan, will fortunately be retained.  So far demolition of the southern building has occurred and the parking lot planters and trees have been removed.

Here's a couple links to articles:

New owners of Salish Crossing plan to enhance, not replace, Antique Mall structure

Demolition work begins on Waterfront Antique Mall/Salish Crossing site

I'll try and follow progress weekly via flickr: Salish Crossing Redevelopment Project - March 30, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013


You dig a hole in the fall, drop in a dried-up looking little nugget, and then come spring it emerges as something of bright-colored delicate beauty.  Sort of the ugly duckling of the plant world.  Bulbs are so pathetically easy to grow.  It requires no skill whatsoever other than the ability to dig a shallow hole and drop in a little time capsule.  And you only have to plant them once for years of color every spring.  So here's the show from our garden, with a couple shots thrown in from elsewhere.

This was our best year for daffodils.

I salvaged this Hellebore years ago from a home garden slated for demolition.

These tulips are actually in front of the Edmonds Museum.

Early spring rotation on our front porch.

We have a huge camellia, could be more than 40 years old.

Not in our garden, but a flowering plum tree in the neighborhood.  One of the first flowering trees of spring in western Washington, now in full peak bloom across the region.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Birdbox Replacement

After over 20 years of use by generations of chestnut-backed chickadees, the birdbox on the big Douglas fir finally wore out.  Another bird, perhaps a woodpecker, had excavated a hole in the side and was in the process of stuffing it with shredded cedar bark.  I never saw the usurper.  The old birdbox had been occupied by chickadees every spring, except one year when I didn't clean it out, bumblebees took it over.

I went out to Wild Birds Unlimited and bought a brand new replacement birdbox, one constructed of fine-grained cedar with a metal-clad roof.  This one should last another 20 years.  The old birdbox was nailed to a young cedar out in front.  Maybe bumblebees will take it over again or maybe a family of wrens.

The old and the new.
A big hole in the side and smaller holes made by powder post beetles.
The new birdbox ready and waiting.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Planet Hoth

Our winter sometimes brings days of clear, cold weather when a high pressure ridge plants itself over the eastern Pacific.  Our house is in constant shade this time of the year because of tall evergreens located behind us to the south.  As a result, hoarfrost develops and accumulates on everything.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Haines Wharf 1-1-13

 I take a walk from my house to Meadowdale Beach Park every New Years Day, depending on the weather.  This year it was a clear, frosty morning, perfect for a walk.  The walk takes me past the old Haines Wharf, slowly succumbing to weather and waves.  Two Bald Eagles are perched on the far right corner of the more modern boathouse.