The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

Leave a comment

Rialto Beach – Knitting, Napping, Beach-combing.

In early July my friend Olivia arrived for a music festival. We took a trip out to the west coast to camp and explore Rialto Beach. I hadn’t been in ages. Pretty crispy, I was ready for a trip. The agenda was simple-with R&R the main goal-involving beach combing, knitting and napping.

Both days were warm and grey but still requiring sleeves and a light windbreaker. I loved it. Sometimes I need that gray slate to rest my eyes on and relax.

It’s a beautiful beach. On the north side of the mouth of the Quillayute river, La Push is on the opposite side. One mile up the beach is the Hole in the Wall formation, a natural arch. Seastacks sit offshore.  The Olympic Peninsula has a wild and rugged coast.


Our first evening there involved naps and knitting.

Ever nap on the beach? It’s divine, as Olivia demonstrates. See her nose peeking out?


My Orbit shawl’s simplicity fit the bill. One skein of DK or worsted yields a long swath of garter-squish for the neck. I love it. It’s destined to be an old stand-by for gifts and special, single skeins. It could also be knit up in other gauges. You just knit ’till you run out of yarn.


Finished the next day:


We had a good giggle at our knit goods photo sessions. Olivia worked her shawl into pretty poses. You can’t see it. It’s in TML in a pale green the color of the water behind it.



The Hole in the Wall formation is about a mile walk up the beach. There are tide-pools galore.


More shallow pools are on the other side of the arch.


You can see how the coastline once stretched out, remnants remain.


There were plenty of critters to observe.

Vivid, lime-green anemones:


The ONLY sea star I saw:


A crab met its demise in an anemone:


Mussels with wee barnacles growing on them:

Goose barnacles. I have a hunch these are Pelagic Goose barnacles which began life living afloat in rafts in the open ocean, these now stranded on the beach.

Remnants of a squid (?or octopus?), closely watched from above by a group of noisy eagles.

There were remains of what I suspect was a huge fish of some sorts. The bones were quite soft and flexible. This one looked like a pelvis.

This a snout (do they call those beaks on fish/)

Vertebrae? For scale, this was long, maybe 3+ feet.

A fault line on the archway shows great detail of uplift, classic for this edge of the continent that is being thrust upward by the Pacific Plate.


The rocks are just beautiful out here – the colors calm yet defined.

I’ve missed my friend Olivia. What a treat to have some quality time with her, camping, walking, exploring.  This winter I plan to return to this area during off-peak time when the weather is  wintery.

Leave a comment

Hawaii – The Last Leg – Waipi’o Bay and back to Kona

The Waipi’o Bay overlook is stunning.  I’m glad we stopped. There’s an informative collection of educational signs there.  From what I read, the valley below was once a political and religious center as well as an ancient “breadbasket” planted with taro and rice.  A tsunami in 1946 travelled one mile in. Most folks relocated “topside.”  Very few live on the floor.   A 25% grade 4WD road plunges down to hiking trails, camping and beach access.  The road down was closed to all but locals due to the Zika virus cautions in place.


This little feral cat was hanging by the overlook platform, clearly used to handouts but still leery of people.  It made me sad.


Bougainvillea festooned all over in hedges. I’ve missed seeing it, once growing it in CA and seeing it all over the place there.

IMG_8757 IMG_8762

Needing to be at the Kona airport the next AM we headed back that day to meet our friend Judy.  This took us through Waimea. Half lies on the “wet” side of the island and the other on the “dry” side. This was very obvious to me. At ‘2760 the weather is purportedly cool at night and warm during the day. This area’s famous for cattle. And man,  did we stop off and have a hell of a burger at Village Burger.

I was drawn to the open ranch views and elevation like you see in this photo:


That long day of driving ended at a beach north of Kona were we met Judy and spent some time swimming and snorkeling.  Pete snorkeled. I tried, bobbing along holding his hand.  I have to admit I’m not comfy with my face in the water, a mask on and breathing through my mouth.


But it was a beautiful, relaxing place to wind up the trip.


I worked on the Antler Charity Sweater I brought.


Sunset. So gorgeous.  A fine ending to a great trip.  Next time I’d like to visit the north coast of the island and go back to Hilo/explore Puna.  I seem to prefer the wetter side to the dry side.  Then again, we had glorious, dry weather while on that wet side. ;  )



Leave a comment

Hawaii – Part 4 of ? – ‘Akaka Falls State Park

Let’s finish up the trip to Hawaii.  The drive up the Hamakua Coast was beautiful, lush, dramatic in that wooded gullies sliced down to the coast constantly. Remember, we were there in a rare, dry spell. Leaving Hilo, the Pepe’ekeo scenic drive was a fun detour off the main hwy. The narrow road crosses several one lane bridges through lush rainforest.  Here’s a glimpse of Onomea Bay. There’s a botanical garden and some hiking here I was sad to have to pass up.


Our main destination that day was ‘Akaka Falls. A turn left led up hill to the little town of Honomu, described as a former sugar town that stays alive due to tourists heading to the falls. I found the town charming, spending some time chatting with an eclectic gallery owner who demonstrated his silk painting.

Open vistas framed Mauna Kea, the highest point on the island at 13, 796’.


This detour out of the trees with a green, sweeping view to the ocean fueled my draw to open spaces.


Up we continued until the road dead ended at ‘Akaka Falls State Park.  A short, concrete path makes a loop through forest, so unlike what I’ve ever seen.


It was hot and very muggy.   Vines and trees entwined.



The blooms were vivid. I dallied to enjoy.

IMG_8698 IMG_8708

We made it to the falls, all 442 feet of it. I’ve never seen such a large waterfall.  Of note, you do pass the 100′ Kahuna Fall, off in the distance, before this one. My photo of it did not turn out.

IMG_8720 IMG_8712

More exotic flora:

IMG_8732 IMG_8735 IMG_8736

This was one of my fave stops on the trip and a do-not-miss place in my book.


Leave a comment

Nasturtiums. And others.

Some simple snapshots of flowers and a token veggie from the garden:

A dahlia the size of a dinner plate.

Delicata squash

I have a thing for nasturtiums. I can’t get enough of them. This year I loaded up on nasturtium seed packets. My trip to California in March took me to the Petaluma seed bank. They carry Baker seed company seeds. I purchased a catalog. It’s an idea book for seeds to order for next year.

These little guys have the prettiest patches of melon orange.

I imagine many will self see for next year. Still…I’ll surely look for more varieties.

Rural Murals

Leave a comment



Buffalo Look closely

Just Drove North of Flagstaff along Highway 89 up to Kanab. I used to commute from Flagstaff up to Tuba City for work, so a stretch of this was very familiar to me. I was pleasantly surprised to see one new element along the road, a certain amount of street art.

The subject matter is rather distinctive, but I can’t help thinking one of the best things about this material is the background.

An elderly Navajo working one of the craft stands told me there were a couple different people in the area putting these up. I don’t know much more.

Thought I’d share.

(Click to embiggen!)

P.S. My girlfriend tells me I’m not supposed to include the pictures of the child and a goat on account of she accidentally picked up a black ant taking pictures of those herself. We ejected the hitchhiker on the outskirts of…

View original post 38 more words

This gallery contains 11 photos

Leave a comment

Garden Update

Happy Friday all. I’m procrastinating starting my work day.  It’s raining, remains of a thunder and lightning show last night. Once familiar in past locale’s, those are rare in Port Townsend, WA.  We stood on the porch with neighbors and watched it approach, heard its rumblings and watched the light show. Rain’s needed.

Realizing I’ve yet to share garden pics with you I’ve collected some.

The front yard, yet to be landscaped, perked up with perennials and annuals I tucked into place.

The window boxes are filling in. It was fun working with the colors available at the time I eagerly planted them.


Violas, which did great last summer failed this year so I just replanted the ones on the side of the house. The annual supply around here, at this time of the year, isn’t great.


Fuchsias. I’ve grown to love them. They live in the front boxes:


“Lena” is back on the porch:


The “Army Nurse” that didn’t overwinter successfully was replaced by another I potted up.  It’s  auditioning for a home in the ground.


A mystery variety that overwintered in the garage was planted next to the arbor. It thrives.


I just love that hardy varieties overwinter here and will grow to massive proportions if desired.

One rainy, cool, very early spring I noted an evening light and rainbow that was fetching. The garden was just waking up.   See the wooden frame in the back corner?  That will become a chicken coop for next spring.


I added a new raised bed framed with rocks to the backyard. It’s planted with sunflowers, milk weed, tall Echinacea, dwarf bee balm and some annuals.

Are you familiar with borage? It’s so pretty, an iridescent blue. Apparently it’s edible.  It grows like a weed.


All the lettuce is done.  The greens are getting tough and will soon be pulled.

This bed now homes mostly flowers and the garlic rings it.

One AM, a huge slug munched on leaves from the pea plants.  I let it be, observing it,  as it stuck to one spot.

The little Orca pear has three fruits on it and is gaining girth well.


I planted my first ever strawberry plants—for the birds’ enjoyment.  Need to net them next year.

The Frost Peach has a few fruits on it. Unfortunately, it has leaf curl, which I read can be treated when dormant in Feb.  It’s a gamble planting this here but I thought we’d give it a go.

The apples are gaining girth and height quickly, but barely fruiting. There’s am insect targeting them I haven’t been able to identify.

Last year’s honeysuckle and clematis boomed:

The learning process continues.  I enjoy my times out there pottering, weeding, and just throwing down a blanket and reading.

Leave a comment

Hawaii – Part 3 of ? – Hilo-Washed and Worn and Fabulous

Back to March. Hawaii.

Let’s finish up this trip.

Pete and I left Volcano National Park and headed to Hilo which apparently is usually doused in rain. bluebird skies greeted us.

First stop was the farmers market where we plied the crowds, exploring tables of exotic fruits and veggies.

IMG_8623 IMG_8625

The back streets fascinated me. Hilo is weathered, well worn, wires hang everywhere.


The colors look faded and washed from years of rain.


Gulp!  How about that nest of wires?


Just a smidge we explored.  I recommend the Tsunami museum should you visit.


Having a crummy stay the night before in a moldy, yucky rental in Volcano we splurged on a B&B in Hilo that night that was exquisite, the Shipman House. There is a very extensive history on the website.

The home sits on a once island between two rivers. A land and man-made bridge access it. The grounds are lush and fun to explore.


Inside, family antiques abound. Note the windows that reach the floor.  The hostess explained homes were taxed by the number of doors, at one time, thus low windows meant lower tax rates. Clever, eh?



Such treasures!


This lamp was in an attic for decades. The hostess mentioned it had live wires in it, that no one was aware of. Miraculously no one was shocked by it before its restoration.


A steep lush gorge falls off below the home’s back side.


Breakfast was delicious! Nearly all this fruit came from the grounds. The host and hostess explained each fruit.



The grounds are lush and fun to explore.

IMG_8641 IMG_8643 IMG_8647 IMG_8652

What a treat to stay at such a historical, gracious home hosted by such  welcoming folks.  Hilo was my favorite stop on our Hawaii tour.  I found it more friendly and welcoming than other places, and the window of blue-skies helped. Often, it’s wet and gray. If we return, I’d like to explore that end of the island more.

Next leg headed up the coast, more on that in a bit…



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 393 other followers