Tag Archive | nature

Autumn day

Today’s post (which was actually supposed to have been last Wednesday’s post) is taking awhile. Numerous interruptions, various other commitments, and I have come to terms with the fact that it’s not going to be ready for today. So, in order to prove that I am still alive and not taking another unannounced hiatus, I took some pictures of autumnal type things around the yard.

One of three scraggly old apple trees

One of three scraggly old apple trees

Moss and ferns growing on the branches of the apple tree

Moss and ferns growing on the branches of the apple tree

Just a few of the many, many oak leaves in our yard

Just a few of the many, many oak leaves in our yard

Acorn on the patio

Acorn on the patio

See you later this week!

Paint a pineapple pot

Have you ever grown a pineapple?

I have to admit, the notion had never crossed my mind until reading a fantastic little book that I found in the library this past spring. I enjoyed this book so much that I even bought a copy for myself.

toad cottages

Yeah, I know it says it’s for grandmas and I am a long ways off from being one. But the ideas in here are so fun, I didn’t feel like waiting around when I can do them with my own kids. There are so many sweet ideas, many of them somehow related to gardening or the outdoors. Rana and Granota have had a lot of fun building a variety of fairy houses all summer out of pieces of bark, moss, acorns and whatever else they can find in the yard. I really love how the book encourages creativity and an appreciation for nature.

One of the long term projects is growing a pineapple plant. You start with a fresh pineapple from the store which, of course, you get to eat, so even if your plant goes kaput, you really haven’t lost anything. Before slicing into your pineapple, however, the first thing you need to do is carefully twist off the top bunch of leaves. It’s surprisingly easy to do. Remove a few of the lower leaves until you can see little brown dots in the nub of flesh; those brown dots are where the new roots will sprout! Then stick your pineapple top into a jar of water, making sure those little brown dots are always submerged. After a few weeks, you’ll have some healthy pineapple roots swirling around in the water.


At this point, the plant needs a permanent dirt home. I bought a large terra cotta pot for the job, but far be it from me to just leave it plain. I dithered around for awhile, trying to decide how I wanted to decorate my pot. Finally, I got inspiration from an iron-on transfer book I have (does anyone still use those?). Obviously, there will be no ironing on a terra cotta pot, so I got my pencil and freehand drew the pictures I wanted based on the ones in the book. It was a nice way to spend a hot summer day, sitting out on the porch, soaking up the vitamin D and being artsy.

The painting itself took place over the next week or so. Believe it or not, four kids provide plenty of interruptions. Who knew, right? Sometimes I sat out on the porch, sometimes I moved in to my sewing room if it was too hot, but all the while surrounded by my brushes and paints. Those were happy moments.


There are two large flowers and two birds encircling the pot


Flower #1 didn’t turn out quite as I had envisioned, but I like the colors



This side is my favorite


Now my pineapple has a fun and pretty place to call home. And now you want to go buy a pineapple.


Pop of color

The thing I love best about living in the Pacific Northwest is all the green. Green everywhere! It’s my favorite color. Green ferns, green firs, green moss, green grass (if you’re lucky enough to have grass), green clover… But even for someone like me who loves green, all of that green can get a little overwhelming. So when the rhododendrons start blooming, seeing another color is so refreshing!




Some green, just for good measure.

Some green, just for good measure.

Robin in my window

Last Friday, we began getting visits from a very curious robin. First, it would sit on the deck rail and chirp, then it would fly the short distance to the living room window and sit in the windowsill. But it didn’t just sit there, it walked back and forth, stretching its neck as if it were trying to look inside. Then back to the rail where he would run down to the other end, chirp a bit before running back to the corner where he would start all over again. Every couple of minutes he was in the windowsill, trying to peek inside. A few hours went by like this before he added to his routine. After running down the deck rail, he would flutter down to my sewing area window and tap on it. Back to the rail, run to the corner, chirp, jump into the living room window. Back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes he brought a girlfriend or two. They weren’t brave enough to come down in the windows, but they would sit on the rail with him.


This went on for four days. Every two minutes. Hello, Robin.


Then Monday night we began getting very heavy rainstorms and I haven’t seen him since. I wonder if he’ll come back when the rain lets up a bit?

Mushroom Monday

This is not a cop-out post. I did make something this week, but I can’t show you. It’s a secret. Once its intended recipient has it in her hands, then I will show you.

So I’ve been looking around for something that I can show you today and I wasn’t coming up with much. I’ve attached the heads to the bodies of the Axl dolls and embroidered the mouth and nose onto one. But who wants to see a half-finished doll? I’m going to start on a super cute stocking hat for Konik this week, but dreams and good intentions don’t make for good blog posts (ok, well sometimes dreams do. Thanks, buffaloes!). Then, when I hiked up the trail (that’s not an embellishment; it’s a pretty steep incline on a gravely, foresty path) to retrieve our garbage cans from the highway, I noticed some mushrooms. Lots of mushrooms. Itty bitty ones and big ones and everything in between. There were some particularly small and cute ones in the neighbor’s yard and I really wanted to see if I could find a fairy circle, but I wasn’t sure that the neighbors and their enormous black dog would be too keen on me poking around in their lawn. Nevertheless, I found some pretty cute ones to take pics of. Enjoy!








Foggy morning on the river

A few of the trees are starting to turn. I love the spots of orange highlighted by the green all around. This morning I looked out the window and saw that fog had settled into our little pocket here along the river. It was cool and misty outside and still very quiet when I went out to take the pictures. Perfect fall morning.

Open letter to residents of the Pacific Northwest

Dear PNWers,

I apologize for making lightweight, summery blouses this week. See, I got all excited with the recent sunshine and light breezes and remembered the springtimes of my youth in Colorado. It’s a fascinating place. It has what we call “seasons.” I know, right? It’s not just a myth! There really are places out there that experience different kinds of weather at more or less predictable times of year.

Well, you’re right, we have predictable weather, too, and I suppose it could be argued that we have something resembling seasons. Y’know, Rain and Not Rain. And when the sun came out last week, I suppose it goaded me into thinking that perhaps we were on the verge of Not Rain (even though I know intellectually that Not Rain doesn’t begin until July). I got out the floaty, flimsy fabrics and scared the sunshine right off.

The appearance of flowers is the only way we can tell the difference between Rain in October and Rain in April.

So now I know what I need to do. I need to go back to making sweaters. I know that will mean that my wardrobe will be off-balance, but for all the rest of you pasty (and sparkly?) PNWers, I’ll do it. I’m just that kind of person. Besides, I’m cold most of the time, so I can handle wearing a sweater in 70 degree weather.

So, when the sun comes out, enjoy (don’t get burnt), and think of me. Knitting sweaters.

Yours truly,