3/31/13

Sunny Saturday


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We had such a lovely day yesterday.  Mike had to drive out toward Seaside to help a friend out, but he was home early in the afternoon.  We spent the rest of the day puttering around and relaxing.  While he was gone,  the kitties and I filled the bird feeders and checked out the yard.

Here's Gracie getting ready to make a deposit on the rug.


The daffodils are blooming to beat the band now in great gobs all over the yard.


And the first of these lovelies are opening.  I can never remember what these are, but they are among my favorite blooming shrubs.  These are at the tippy top of the bush.  I had to stand on the deck to photograph them.


We put the tomatoes out in the greenhouse.  I'll need to repot a few, and it reminded me that it's getting to be time to plant my lettuce now.  I'll need more potting soil.  It is ever thus.  Smitty came into the greenhouse with me.  Last summer when I took him out there, he was very nervous.  He was just a tiny kitten then.  Today, he was very comfortable, which is good.  Gracie won't go near the greenhouse, and I could never get George to stay in there with me either.


And the weeds.  Oh my.  Do you get those little low green weeds with the tiny white flowers.  The ones that broadcast their freaking seeds EVERYWHERE when you try to pull them up?  They're baaaaaaaack.  And there are plenty of other intruders as well.  It's like this every year.  We spend the first couple of weeks taming the weeds and raking up dead stuff.  This year, I have a new weapon in my arsenal.  Look at this wicked weeder thingy I got last year.  Of course, last year I had already done all the weeding when I discovered this baby.  It's about the size of a garden trowel, but it has a wicked sharp and thick blade on it.  It also has measurements marked on it so you can use it for planting when you're not using it to seek out and destroy vegetative material.


I'm thinking a weapon this formidable probably requires that I wear some sort of superhero cape.  I'll be checking my closet later today for some appropriate Weed Warrior attire.

Then Smitty and I decided to walk down to the woods to check out the status of the trilliums.  I didn't see any trilliums, and Smitty fairly vanished the second we set foot over the "threshold" of the woods.  Then I spied him high up in one of the Douglas Firs.  He was using his whimper meow to indicate that he might have misjudged the amount of courage he could muster for such a climb.


I'm guessing he was about 30 feet up...and nervous.


Fortunately, the Douglas firs have lots of branches and he managed to get himself down.  Then he vanished into the thicket again.  I didn't spy any trilliums, and so I walked back up to the house, calling him as I went.  Eventually, he showed himself at the edge of the brambles.


He looked pretty tiny and pathetic, and he came up to the house looking a little less confident.  This is not necessarily a bad thing since I don't want him straying off by himself just yet.

This is a red-flowering currant.  It's a native to Oregon.  Recently, they've started selling them in nurseries as we become more aware of invasive species like the butterfly bush and English ivy.  We are lucky enough to have a large one growing wild at the edge of our woods.  I love it when it blooms.


These tulips are a surprise.  They are in one of the whiskey barrels that the squirrels raided last year.  I thought they had eaten every last tulip bulb, but they left these.  I can only assume that they were not as tasty as the others.


These are some of the remaining tulips that I planted the first fall we moved in here in 2002.  Most of them have been eaten by deer so many times that they no longer bother poking their heads above ground.  The deer have to cross a concrete sidewalk to get to these...which only inconveniences them some of the time.  Sometimes these bloom.  Sometimes not.  But in an act of unbridled optimism, these are headed up.  It's always a curiosity to me whether we will actually get to see them.  Right now, they are at their tasty best as far as the deer are concerned.


And I put out the sundial.  We bring it in over the winter because our heavy winter snow has been known to break off the gnomon, which is the shadow-casting wand in the center.  (I didn't know what its name was until I had to try to find a replacement.)


This sundial has a short story behind it.  You can read it right here.  Be aware that you will also see pictures of George.  Sniff.

It was definitely a three mountain day here.  I wish I could fit all three mountains into the frame, but there you go.  Rainier on the left.  St. Helens on the right.


And just to be perfectly clear:



Today I'm in preparation for our Easter/Birthday dinner.  I managed to get all my housework done yesterday along with a good portion of the cooking.  This morning I'm making an apple crisp for dessert, but most of the dinner will need to wait until later on this afternoon to start.

The vinaigrette for my salad is all ready.  I'm making a mixed green salad I tried recently that was soooooooo good.  Mike and I are anxious for the weather to warm up some more so we can eat it out on the patio on a warm summer evening.  It's a salad they make at Nordstrom and the recipe was published in the LA Times not to long ago.  I made it just the way the recipe suggests, except I used store-bought candied walnuts rather than making the candied almonds.  You can get candied pecans as well.  Also, I didn't have any champagne vinegar, so I used white wine vinegar, and it was delicious.  I used one of the roasted chickens from the deli and I found the apple chips in the health food section of my grocery store.  Today I'm making it without the chicken and just serving it as a side salad.  I love a salad with nice fresh spring greens.

So I hope you have a lovely Easter.  I'm looking forward to the rest of my day.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh lots of fun!! There are no flowers here yet...lol. Soon though; now that the snow is melting. My tulips are just starting through the ground in the sunny areas. It was a beautiful day today; our sons and their families go to the in-laws for Easter...here for Christmas. So hubby and I split wood today; It was 4 hours out in the sun....loved it.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

SO much eye candy today as the gorgeous Smitty shares spotlight with pretty awesome flowers; thanks for shooting. We're hoping the plants can get enough leaves on them to stay ahead of the snails. Buggers are my only garden pest-except aphids later but early on the snails have the garden to themselves. Time will tell; snail powder hasn't deterred them as much as I thought it would.

Happy Easter, Barbara and Mike.

WoolenSails said...

What a wonderful way to spend the day and seeing everything in bloom is so nice, can't wait for spring to get here. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter dinner.

Debbie

Lyndsey said...

A wonderful day and lovely photos. Smitty is an accomplished tree climber but no wonder he got a little nervous at that height. Here in London we have had a lovely sunny day. There are daffodils, iris elephant ears (not sure what its real name is)and rosemary in flower in the garden. Hope your family meal is wonderful.

Sherry said...

So lovely to see your flowers, we still see snow in a few places but did see the grass turning green as we ventured out today.

otterdaughter said...

It sure felt good to bask in the sun in the northwest! Your white flowering shrub is a star magnolia. :)
The red flowering currant is a huge attractant for our Rufous hummingbirds. I know to always put out the nectar feeder as soon as it starts blooming, because the hummers are soon to follow.
The first wildflowers to bloom up here are the skunk cabbage, followed by trilliums and then the little yellow wood violets.

Brown Family said...

Beautiful yard and I always love the mountains and kitties !

Cath said...

So lovely to see spring is finally making an appearance for you. I love the shot of the mountains.
Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

Michele said...

Oh I'm so jealous of all the lovely blooming things you shared. Nothing much is blooming here yet but they should soon. I have big plans to add lots of spring blooming bulbs to the new landscape this year so that I can enjoy them next spring. glad to know Mr Smitty got himself down from that tree.

Dana Gaffney said...

It looks like such a beautiful day, the flowers are gorgeous. "Be aware you'll see George" had me clicking just to see pictures of my old friend. Thanks.

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing your walk. It was warm enough here to walk yesterday, but it's back to being cold today. Lovely flowers. Ours aren't blooming yet.

Ruth Ann said...

Love your photos. Spring is here in northeast Texas also. Our daffodils are done and some little perennial ground cover is starting to bloom. My knockout roses are getting ready to bloom. One of my kitties, Coco has been my shadow all morning and I don't seem to be able to scratch just the right spot if her whining is any indication! Her sister Cookie has decided the last few days that she has to open all the lower cabinets and either get in or pull out what she can. Wondering if I need to go back to child (kitty) locks on my cabinets!