Saturday, 1 October 2016

Local and Far Fetched Fruits!


A menu featuring 'Local and Far Fetched Fruits' means one thing - we are in the Virgin Atlantic Lounge, waiting for our flight home...

See you soon... x

Friday, 30 September 2016

Raccoon Antics

Our little family of raccoon visitors is very persistent.  They visited again while we were away and were captured on the night camera on the decking.

Here they are working hard to try to reach the suet block cage..

Despite impressive climbing and balancing skills, they did not manage to break into the cage...well not this time, anyway.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

End of Summer

For weeks and weeks the Creek at the bottom of the garden has been dry as a bone and it was starting to fill up with fallen leaves.

Now, however, the temperature has dropped and the rain has started.  We were forecast 3-6 inches over several days but fortunately we seem to be between two storm systems at present and have only had an inch or two.  Enough to replenish the Creek..

There is very little depth as yet - although it is running - but as the Autumn progresses, the water level will certainly rise.

It was noticeable this evening when we walked along the trail how the birds had returned to the area around the stream, especially the Robins who, like their Blackbird cousins, love to poke around in damp soil.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Hartford, Connecticut

David has been to Hartford to attend a conference today.

One of Hartford's claims to fame is the home of the author Mark Twain (real name Samuel L Clemens).  He lived there during the period 1874 to 1891 - the period when he was writing 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' and others of his best known novels.

Unfortunately David didn't have time to visit the house and museum, which looks very interesting.  

At the airport, however, there was on display a Lego model of the house..

It was, apparently, quite a large model - 125,000 bricks - taking almost 18 weeks to design and build.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Mountain Wildlife

We did not see a great deal of wildlife in the mountains of Washington and Oregon.  Many of the slopes were heavily wooded with managed forest and above the timber line conditions were sparse.

At Mount Rainier we saw the young deer above, at a quiet moment at the end of the day near the visitor centre.

This Grey Jay was also at Mount Rainier.

At Mount St Helens we were shown mountain sheep high on the rocky slopes through a telescope - but no photos of course.

At our feet were scampering chipmunks and these slightly larger Ground Squirrels.  Some were feasting on the wildflower heads.  Others had discovered the picnic scrap possibilities of the large car park adjacent to the Observatory and looked hopeful - and very tame - as each car arrived.

Walking on a trail at Mount St Helens we saw a bird which is said to be quite common in many places in the US but which I had not seen before.

Rather well camouflaged in this photo, it is a wild turkey, one of a group of three who suddenly crossed our path.  Somewhat smaller than its domestic counterpart but unmistakable when one of them raised his tail feathers!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Chihuly Glass - Indoor Exhibition

We have seen many Chihuly in the Garden exhibits and a couple of indoor works at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas - but the centerpiece of the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle was like watching a firework display where everything has fired at once!

It was hard to know where to look first in this huge arrangement of glass in all colours and shapes.

Elsewhere in the exhibition were individual pieces, such as these in the 'Sea-Life' room..

I loved the colour and pattern in this glass..

Other individual pieces were quite subdued..

This glass ceiling was anything but subdued though..

There were some very large individual pieces - this one must have been 9 feet tall..

There were also some very large indoor chandeliers..

All in all, a spectacular collection and fantastic to see video clips of the glass shapes being created and the process of designing pieces for famous spaces in Venice and Jerusalem.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Bees, Ants and Aphids

On our evening walk tonight we noticed a very prolific yellow wildflower along the path which was attracting the intention of a variety of insects.

Various different bees seemed to like it.  

The plant had also attracted the attention of some large black ants..

When we looked closer, the ants seemed to be more interested in the aphids living in the heart of the flowers..

The flower is a Cutleaf Coneflower - apparently a common wildflower here and a member of the Rudbeckia family.