The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels


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A Winter’s Walk

I’m having a bit of a glum morning. Though I try to not let it drag me down the state of the world and the dysfunctional #$*’s in US politics has been magnifying everyday troubles and annoyances more than usual.

My cat Jane gazed at me two days ago with a completely clouded over left eye. Having impaired sight in her rt eye from a chronic infection, she is now nearly blind, walking into things.  We see the vet this AM. I hope this is a simple infection that can be treated.  It’s hard having a geriatric pet. Some days they look a bit stiffer or don’t eat very well – a reminder of their shortening lease on life.

A walk in a local park Thursday was just the ticket to lift the spirits.

Low tide was still high enough to make the beach route impassable.  A seal kept an eye on us like a para scope.  The clouds washed the sea in the prettiest grey-green.

Up the trail into the Madrones and young fir we walked.  It was very windy – the trees swayed.

Madrones – A favorite tree of mine – sculpted and sinuous.

I like how their curved lines wend around the arrow-straight fir.

There’s a coffee shop at Fort Worden we took full advantage of. Returning the way we came the sun made an appearance.  Hooray! Incredible how the color of the water changed so quickly and dramatically, now a deep blue.

The daylight lengthens. Tuesday it was warm enough to garden all day. A gift!

More later-


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Happy Holidays to all!

Greetings from Vancouver, BC where I’m having some quality time with my sweetie.  Off we went yesterday for a walk in Capilano River Regional Park. Snow fell in the last couple days making for a delightfully brisk, white-dusted walk.

This city has a great number of parks. This one lies far up in the northern section on the flanks of Grouse Mtn.   We appreciated the quiet retreat away from the buzz and chaos of the city.  It’s coastal rainforest up here. Which I just love-

My neck of the woods on the Olympic Peninsula sees snow maybe once or twice a year, never more than a couple of inches and it melts quickly.  I like retreating to snow when I miss it, walking in a fresh coating now. I’m glad to benefit from a marine climate the rest of the year.

It’s a real treat to have a stroll through white-dusted lichens, firs and such.

The Capilano River runs north to South through BC’s Coast Mtns and empties into Burrard Inlet. A massive dam and its reservoir provides water to the city, one of three primary sources.  A salmon hatchery was put in downstream from this damn to try to preserve the salmon runs. The famed Capilano Suspension Bridge is close by and run privately.  All lit up for the holiday it was stuffed full of visitors this weekend. We avoided it.  I’d like to see it another time.  I’d also like to return and witness spring snow-melt water levels.

The canyon we walked up has very steep walls. It’s astounding to imagine the flow and amounts of water that have carved out this pathway.

Check out this delightful fungus-

Such a pretty city retreat!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Years to you and yours!


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Seattle – a weekend escape

I slipped away for a quick weekend escape to Seattle. An hour and change drive + a 35 minute ferry ride deposits me into another world. I adore small town life. But sometimes I crave time in the city.

I knew there would be lights to see.

A wall of antique sewing machines-an unexpected sight.

This delightful, joyful procession caught me by surprise.

So Much Yarn shop’s holiday display. Cute! I’ll likely pick up a live tree this year. I could make some mini skein ornaments.

I sauntered down to the market at perhaps the worst time. It was packed. They were lighting the tree.

Watched the gals at Beechers make cheese then indulged in a dish of Mac n cheese.

Indulged in a Top Pot donut. Mmmm!

This was interesting. There were two mounted police training their horses. They were repeatedly stopping and backing them up. A yappy little dog started in on them and they intentionally walked over next to it. I can’t believe how tolerant those horses were of traffic and that dog. Incredible!

Beautiful stonework on the Federal building.

Though I enjoy my rare trips over there, it’s still great to cross back over to home.


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Mt. Baker: Heliotrope Ridge Hike

August 2017 – yes way back then – I took a long weekend trip to get back to the Cascades. It’d been two years.

Day one I chose a trail that was too busy for my taste but fit the required logistics.  In 6 miles or so round trip I was able to perch above the Coleman glacier and be nose to nose with Mt. Baker  via flower studded meadows. During my last visit to Mt. Baker she was shy and stayed shrouded in clouds the entire time.

Not this time.

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I was itching for views that go on for miles and miles and I found them.  Numerous small streams were crossed.

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The views opened up and meadows were found.

There is one helluva obstacle on this hike.  Heliotrope Creek must be forded. I mustered up some vitamin-brave to do so. The water was swift and icy-cold.  Someone had strung a safety line across. It was handy but I did not rely on it fully not knowing its strength or condition. Poles were helpful.

The water to my knees, across I went. I yelped in icy pain. It was scary. But I made it. Looking up the creek:

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It took some time to get the feeling back into my feet.

It was so worth it.

Today, the sky was bluebird clear. There she is! So thrilling!  And how about that flower-studded meadow?

I believe the fuchsia pink flower on the right and above is Red Willowherb and the orange one might be a saxifrage.

Selfie.

A climbers trail to summit Mt. Baker is way off to the right of this frame. While stopped on the ridge overlooking the glacier I could see dots of people moving upward. Mt. Baker is 10, 781′ tall.

Water and glacier sculpted rock ran with rivulets of water were everywhere.  So lush!

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Pearly Everlasting?

Pink Monkey flower. I think.

My end goal was a picnic perch on the flank of the Coleman Glacier. There were people climbing it, looking like ants from my perspective. Note I’m not referring to the buffoons below me loudly carrying on. Some people are clueless when outdoors.

Isn’t the mountain striking?

Glacial ice:

Some sort of thistle?

A lovely yellow flower that looks like the 100’s of other yellow flowers in my plant book.

Cow Parsnip. I think.  I’m taking a stab at plant names using several guide books.

Here’s one of my favorites, lupine. My last trip up here was in 9/15 and it was a frightfully low snow pack year. The lupines and other usual flowers were long done (water starved) or barely bloomed before I arrived.

I was glad to catch some this time. I’ll show you more in the next post of this series.

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