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Archive for Oct, 2017

Friday, 13 October 2017

At long last, we were going to replace the roadside garden at Diane’s.

At the post office, Allan found some decorating going on.

Basket Case Greenhouse

We went to Basket Case first to buy baled mulch.  Peninsula Landscape Supply has gone to its winter hours of Tues-Thurs-Sat only.  Besides, sometimes applying bales of Gardner and Bloome Soil Conditioner goes faster by far than offloading bulk mulch, so labor time saved makes up for the more expensive (and better) product.

My good friends Penny and Buddy came to greet me.


I love Buddy so much! (Penny, too.)


Roxanne was sorting seeds.  (Allan’s photo)

Roxanne had recently been to see the marvellous Janet Jackson and told us that Michael Jackson had appeared as a hologram while she performed one of his songs.  Oh, I would love to have seen that.

fairy gardens for sale


a subtly color-echoing container

Allan loaded up seven bales of Gardner and Bloome, the last of the pallet, wet and heavy.  He lifts the things I can no longer lift because my leg would give out.  It worries me that he had to do that. 

Roxanne said a new delivery would come today.  As we were about to leave, the delivery truck rolled up full of nice dry comparatively lightweight bales.  If only we had had one of our slow to start mornings, we could have gotten dry bales.  Roxanne and Darrell do have a plan to add some sort of cover to the soil amendments storage area, among the many improvements they have made to the structures at the nursery.

Diane’s garden

Here is a reminder of what the garden looked like before it had to be removed for the new septic installation.

Diane’s roadside garden August 2016


Diane’s streetside garden  May 2016 (Allan’s photo)


California poppies in Diane’s roadside garden, July 2015.


Diane’s roadside garden August 2013

The trees are gone now and the garden area is more level.  I think the new version will be better.

today, before (Allan’s photo)

Our first mission was to remove the hard-to-maintain strip of sod outside the fence.  The fence was originally going to be built at the edge of the new lawn, and then got moved inboard because of reasons.

before (Allan’s photo)


The half moon edger line had to be cut on the inside, to avoid grass growing up right under the fence.


Peeling the sod off in two strips.  There’s nowhere to run to get away from traffic now!


Diane comes out to chat.


The full length with one strip done (Allan’s photo). It was quite tiring.


The bales were so wet they made puddles in the trailer. SO heavy. Poor Allan.

Allan wheelbarrowed the nice pieces of sod to the back yard, because Diane can pass them on to someone who is putting in a new lawn.

Allan’s photo

We took the scrappy little weird shaped pieces home.

adding the mulch


Local author Lorrie Haight stops to ask for a plant ID in the driveway corner garden. (Cosmos)


Allan raking mulch


That is our local trash collector waving at us.

A further connection: Diane retired last year as the owner of Peninsula Sanitation.

inside view after adding back the river rock edge (they were in a pile in the corner garden)   Allan’s photo


after (Allan’s photo)

I put in one new Euphorbia ‘Blue Glacier’ and divisions of one of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that was saved from the previous incarnation of this garden.

all done for now


Diane’s roadside garden as it looked one year ago.  I like the new look much better; those were not especially attractive trees.

Allan weeded the raised septic bed in the back yard while I deadheaded containers and give Diane’s sweet old dog, Misty, a belly rub.  We put some old bricks all around the top edge of the raised bed.  Too tired to take photos of any of that.

At home, we patched a low piece of lawn with the scrappy sod bits.

patch job


I am curious to see, with the lawn patched, how much rain water will stand in this newly cleared area next to the lawn.

We had a short spell of relaxation (collapse) before going to our North Beach Garden Gang dinner at

Salt Pub

Salt Hotel

I had my favourite drink, the vodka Sea Cucumber, while admiring the names of the wines.


our view


jerk spiced clam fritters


Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) pronounced her clam chowder to be excellent.


dinner salad


my favourite smoked tuna sandwich

On the way home, we drove by Lucy Dagger’s house one block east to admire her Halloween decorations.

Missy “Lucy Dagger’s” house

We now have a very welcome four day weekend, the last planned long weekend for awhile as Bulb Time begins with the arrival of my order next Wednesday.  (Yikes.)  Getting our Halloween lights put up is one of Allan’s priorities.  After a busy Saturday, my big plan is gardening at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

We had had much rain overnight.  It was supposed to continue all day, and I settled in for a pleasant early afternoon of catching up on writing this blog.  Mark and Brian of the most excellent north Ocean Park garden stopped by to get some Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ starts.

We toured the garden, of course.

After they left, I realized the sun was out and that we must go to work.

our house


reflected garden


across the street: J Crew house with new paint job.


on the way to work: more water

Port of Ilwaco

With a couple of work hours available before a dentist appointment, we opted to clean up two more sections of the Howerton Avenue gardens.

westernmost beds, before


after


before


after

Long Beach

Dentistry followed (just cleaning, which I sort of enjoy).  Allan dropped me off and went to work in the city hall garden.

before pulling city hall crocosmia


after

He got caught in a heavy rain squall which I did not even hear from the dentist chair.

After my appointment, I called him and walked for a few blocks till he arrived to fetch me.

“Seabattical”, 1890 house on the corner of Sid Snyder Drive


Captain’s Cottage, 1905


reflected blue cottage

We still had some work time and decided to keep on with the crocosmia pulling in a planter on Sid Snyder Drive.

The crocosmia was planted by a volunteer years ago.


after (rather dull)

Allan pulled crocosmia from one of the little pop outs on Ocean Beach Boulevard.

Allan’s photos: before (with a rainbow)

No after, because a drenching rain began (and soon ended).

As we drove by city hall to admire Allan’s work, I realized we might have time to dig out the  aruncus (goat’s beard) that has gotten too big for its britches on the northeast corner of the building.  It was not easy.

I tried with the shovel to no avail.


Our strong shovel was not enough; Allan employed the pick.

I felt bad that it turned out to be such a hard task, at the cold windy end of the work day.  We dumped our debris at city works (saving good rooted pieces of the plant) and returned with some mulch.

adding Soil Energy scraped up from the flat dregs of the city works mulch pile


After, with some divisions of pulmonaria, and after hosing the mud off the sidewalk.

We were not able to get every root, so I hope aruncus is not a plant that returns from every little piece.  Constant vigilance will be in order.  I will plant a nice piece of it by the pond in Fifth Street Park.  The plant originally came from the road by my old house, rescued when the road was about to be widened.

looking west from city hall


The sun set as we worked.

That was exhausting, especially for Allan, on what we thought would be a rainy day off.

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The forecast had been for bad weather on this Wednesday.  Instead, we seemed to have had most of the rain overnight.

Wheelbarrow by the compost bins was empty at dark last night.

passionflowers in our back garden

The Depot Restaurant

north side of dining deck

Coreopsis ‘Flower Tower’

Long Beach

deadheading the welcome sign

For the rest of our Long Beach session, my goal was simply to deadhead and tidy the planters.  Because of iffy weather, we parked on each block instead of walking the route.

Below: The rugosa roses that we fight in this street tree garden always win, and they look grand right now.  Across the street is the office of NW Insurance and Financial, where we had our Medicare meeting yesterday.

The sky to the north looked ominous.  I hoped the wind from the west would not bring rain.

murky sky to the east behind a dream house of mine (close to all Long Beach activities)

sky to the northwest

Then the rain came.  We hoped to take shelter at Abbracci Coffee Bar till we remembered they are closed Wednesdays in winter.  We waited out the squall in our van.

In twenty minutes, the weather was fine again.

Before the rain, we had pulled Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ from under a street tree.  After, Allan pulled it out of the planter by Wind World Kites while I checked on three blocks worth of planters.

before (Allan’s photo)

Allan pulling crocosmia.

after (Allan’s photo)

after; I clipped a lavender way back for better traffic sightlines.

The proprietor of Wind World Kites likes the crocosmia, which is why this is the only planter than still has a substantial amount.

After all the wind and rain, peace reigned for the rest of the day.

Veterans Field

Anchorage Cottages

greetings from our good friend Mitzu (Allan’s photo)

center courtyard

I had been concerned about the rain delay and getting work done in time for a social engagement.  After some pruning and tidying at The Anchorage, I felt we were nicely back on schedule.

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent an hour and a bit deadheading and clipping back some plants as we whittle our way into fall clean up.

black currants under the tetrapanax

Tetrapanax flower bud

Allan in the garden

He cut back more of the big rugosa rose.

birdbath view

pink Symphoricarpos (snow berry)

dinner with Judy and Larry

One good thing for us that has come out of this year’s local liberal politics has been getting to know Judy and Larry.  We went to their north Ocean Park home for a “simple supper”.

Judy contends with deer and raccoons in her garden.

a deep blue tradescantia in a wheelbarrow, moving from one part of the garden to another

rust flowers on the west wall

handsome front porch containers; cannas are from The Basket Case

pond in the back garden

neat little fountain

Amaryllis Belladonna

a work-in-progress sit spot with wisteria

After our garden stroll, we went indoors; it was too chilly to have a little fire in the chiminea.

I asked to see Judy’s art; our artist friend Michele Naquaiya had told us about it.

First, Judy showed us two pieces by Michele.

Scratchboard painting by Michele Naquaiya

Scratchboard painting by Michele Naquaiya

a kitty corner

Judy had taken a class from Michele in the Zentangle technique.

one of Judy’s Zentangles. I liked them all very much.

I finally got to meet Judy’s cats, brothers, one bold (Elwood) and one shy (Jake).

Elwood

We dined on a delicious chili soup with bread and talked for three hours.

This morning, when I had opened my front door, I had found an apple pie from darling Tony and Scott, made from apples from our tree.  We took it along to dinner and that was our dessert.

Tony and Scott’s Dutch apple pie.

On the way home, we detoured to see the Halloween decor at the Long Beach home of Cathy and Bob (Captain Bob’s Chowder folks).

spooky!

When we got to our driveway, Allan said “Why did Todd only leave one?”

I was confused.  I had put out four Lonicera fragrantissima plants for Todd to pick up.  Why would he have left one?  Then I saw it.

One zucchini by the garage door.

Later in the week, I learned from Todd that he and his father have given away 2050 zukes this year.

Before we settled down to watch the Rachel Maddow show, I lined up and admired the bookmarks Judy had given us.

Even though I may not be much of a social animal, these times with special friends are precious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Allan found a critter before we left for work:

We had a meeting scheduled for 1 PM and somehow got a late start. I wanted a yard of Soil Energy so we took the risk that 45 minutes was enough time to get to Peninsula Landcape Supply and back.

We were thrilled to see a great big new pile of mulch had arrived.

plenty for all

loading up

On the way south, we made a three minute stop at the Planter Box, looking for orange violas that I had seen the last week.  Someone else had snapped them up, as I should have done.

Allan’s photo

Pumpkins were in. (Allan’s photo)

We got to our appointment with Shelly Pollock at NW Insurance and Financial in Long Beach with five minutes to spare.

in Shelly’s waiting room; to the right is the enjoyable local mystery series by Jan Bono.

It looks like Allan has a new business partner. That’s Shelly’s dog, Bella.

Shelly guided through Medicare choices.  Allan will be elevated to the safety of good health care on January 1st.  We were sadly surprised with how much Medicare costs (cheap compared to full price insurance, of course, and with no dreaded deductible that keeps even insured people from going to the doctor).  Nor does him being on Medicare cut my solo insurance cost in half.  Phooey.  I asked what would happen to someone who, with minimal social security, ends up too poor to pay the Medicare fees.  When does one then qualify for Medicaid, I wondered.  Apparently only if one makes under $12,000 a year Social Security…so if one is living on a not luxurious 14K a year, Medicare would take a painful slice out of that.  The image of sitting at the curb in a cardboard box came to mind.  It does not look like retirement will be in the cards for us, after all.  Good thing we like what we do; I hope we can keep doing it.

I was awash with relief that this fall, Shelly will be able to help me sort my way through the complicated and rather scary application for individual insurance.  The affordable ACA plan with which I have been blessed is in jeopardy right now because of the whims of the Trump administration; I just hope to be able to afford insurance for two and a half more years.

After the appointment, we checked on the planters on Sid Snyder Drive…

Too many wild beach strawberries in this one, we agreed.

…and spent the rest of the day mulching, first finishing up the end of the Ilwaco Boatyard garden.

Allan’s photo

All the way to the end of the boatyard garden with mulch!

sweeping up

Next, we mulched four of the garden beds (two large, two small) on Howerton Avenue, with an interruption that took us by surprise.

a heavy squall

Allan’s photo

Port Office gardens tidied and mulched

I clipped several santolinas.  An art event will take place on the weekend, so I wanted the gardens to look refreshed.

Time Enough Books/Purly Shell garden clipped and mulched

Looking north across the port parking lot, we could see Melissa finishing up the Norwood hedge.

in the boat storage yard by the parking lots

We had divided the cost of mulch so as to keep some for our own garden.  At home, we finished unloading and wheelbarrowed the soil back to the newly cleared bogsy woods area.

First, I got to see my good friend Royal setting out with Devery for his evening walk.

This much rain in the wheelbarrow from today.

before

after

after

Mulching the port got erased from the work board.

I have a month and a half to get a good weeding done at home before year’s end! It has been on the board since late spring.

 

 

 

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Monday, 9 October 2017

My first reference that there was a falls on the Palix River was from this book written by a naturalist who lived on the Willapa Bay in the early 1850s. He wrote extensively of the local region.  On pages 41 and 42 he wrote of an outing he took up the ‘Palux’ River to see the falls which tumbled some 200 feet down a series of cataracts.

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I followed the course of the river system on google maps and found two white features that could be waterfalls. I cross-checked and these marks didn’t show on Bing maps. I decided that next time I went boating, I would to drag a little boat up the riverbed and see if these were the falls.

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At the top center are two white shapes with two logs between for scale.

After my trip, I did a search to fill out the narrative and found few references and only one engraving about any waterfalls on the Palix Rivers.

There is a thread on an Oregon Hikers club page entitled; “What happened to the “Falls of the Palux River?” 

Bryan Swan wrote on the thread in 2008 “…on the North Fork of the Palix about 2/3 of a mile above tidewater there are six or seven very clearly visible white marks along the river in that canyon that can be seen on Google Earth. The valley upstream of the canyon is at 128 feet ASL and tidewater is at the mouth of the canyon, so there’s about 120 feet worth of loss taking place in there. Looks to me like two drops, then the river makes a 90 degree left turn and drops four more times back-to-back.
I do not expect getting in there will be very easy.”

A ‘forester’ person added, “From the west side, you’re looking at a 400′ change in elevation over about 700 feet of ground. Pretty steep. Nothing down there looks huge, so it had better be the prettiest small falls you’ve ever seen to make it worth the effort.”

Apparently, more of the falls were visible by satellite back in 2008.

A second result of the search yielded the 1894 book ‘The Oregonian’s Handbook of the Pacific Northwest.’  On page 318 there is an engraving of a photo by A. Gylfe of “THE FALLS OF THE PALIX RIVER NEAR SOUTH BEND.”  There is no text describing the falls, however, they were touting nearby South Bend; “This harbor has offers safe anchorage to the largest ships afloat, and has ample accommodations for all the shipping that will ever visit the state of Washington.” I then looked up Ilwaco, and 123 years ago the book declared on page 302 that, “This is a solid town as is entitled to the attention of all visitors to Washington’s coast .”  It still is.

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This book isn’t in the library system but looked like a good reference book.

Today I packed up the 9.5 foot pretty light ‘MaryBeth’ kayak to check out the North Fork of the Palix River. Earlier this year I traveled most of the South Fork of the Palix.

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The boat launch is on Highway 101 near the Rose Ranch and requires a Discover Pass.

A plus 4.2-foot incoming tide.

Maybe the smaller the boat, the more I like to carry. I packed a full lunch and cooler (I only ate half a sandwich), a spare set of clothes and shoes (untouched), and the electronics box.

A muddy beach and the western sky.

I headed east. This bay includes the entrance to the Canon River plus the South, Middle, and the North Forks of the Palix River.

One of the old pilings used for logging.

I thought this piling had a face with a small branch in its mouth.

The entrance of a small bay I explored. The river was now sheltered from the wind.

The entrance narrowed as I entered the North Palix River. It was noisy with birds.

First, a flock of geese flew off. As I got closer I saw the same little birds I had seen in October 2015 at the John Day River east of Astoria in Oregon. The cute little birds bob their heads and chatter through their long beaks as they feed along the bank. Here is a video I took on that trip.

Here is a different flock today.

One of the last birds leaving as I tried to quietly approach.

Branch tentacles to paddle around.

The tide was incoming at 1.5 feet per hour. It was enough to drift the boat upstream if I stopped paddling. The river water was salty.

I think this is a non-native blue spruce.

The air cooled as the sun was blocked out.

The sun was bright above the river valley where it has been logged on both sides.

The first log to hoik over. The tide was an incoming 7.0 feet.

It was time to get out and drag the boat upstream.

The paddle worked ok as a steadying stick.

Soon I pulled the boat onto a small gravel bar and continued walking up the stream using the phone’s MapMyTracks app to track the distance.

Looking back at the little boat on the bar.

The river bed was now fresh water and not muddy except near the shore.

Fall colors in calf deep water with a rising 7.7-foot incoming tide.

Logs to climb over.

No matter what the tide, a hike is required to get to these falls and being that the area is also logged, the public is probably not welcome above the valley.

A fernlike plant on a log.

Handholds helped climbing over this log.

A half-hour later the wind through the trees changed its character to more of a roar. Up ahead were the falls. I really had contemplated turning around several times by now.

Logs were everywhere as I waded a shallow route to an ‘island’ below the falls.

View to the right.

View to the left.

Here is a 360-degree video of the noise and the falls.

There were deep pools ahead and steep banks on either side. I figured this would be far enough.

A lower view

Here again is the old engraving from the Oregonian to compare.

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There might be a taller cataract above as it looks like the photographer crossed the pool to the green knoll on the left.

 

The panoramic view

These were taken with my little Sony waterproof camera as I couldn’t find the larger camera until I got back to the car. It had been caught in my waistband when it fell out of my shirt pocket while climbing the logs.

Something between a bird and a bear had left their fish meal here.

I scanned the area again wondering whether something bigger was watching me. I didn’t see anything and headed back. There was also a razor clam shell in the river which I figure some animal imported.

An unusual colony of fungi gave me a chance to rest on the way back.

The tide was still rising at 8.7 feet.

Now the water was more like knee deep plus in the middle.

The shore was thick with branches and rivulets which could have punctured my waders. The river route served ok except that several logs I had previously ducked under I now had to climb around or over.

Back after an hour. The boat would have drifted upstream had I not tied it to a log on the shore.

I didn’t double check if the distance to this point matched on both the GPS devices. Since I had taken the phone to the falls and left the Garmin in the boat, the difference should equal the riverbed walk. The result was that the falls are a half mile walk from the blocking logs.

A wet knot

The earlier log obstructions were now underwater as I headed back.

Back over the beach where the birds had been feeding.

The headwind returned as I more slowly worked my down the river.

The boat landing ahead.

A bull was there to greet me when I returned.

Salty sea beans (salicornia). I picked a few as Skyler likes them.

At a 9.0 foot tide, the muddy beach was gone. A pair of tourists arrived on a heavily loaded motorcycle, but I was a bit too tired and unsure if I should be the local greeter. I could have had them sample the sea beans or sent them off the main road towards the picturesque Bay Center but we pretty much minded our own business.

A sign on their trunk declared they were headed from Argentina to Alaska.

Sea beans ready to garnish the evening’s salad.

As ‘forester’ said in his or her thread “it had better be the prettiest small falls you’ve ever seen to make it worth the effort.” Well, I think it was. Now my video is in the google search.  I don’t think it will prove destructive to a long-preserved secret. The loggers protect the top and to visit it is a rough hybrid paddle and hike that I just happened to hit right with the tides.

 

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The phone app with the extra mile walked.

The little car GPS I keep waterproofed.

 

 

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Sunday, 8 October 2017

Allan and MaryBeth sail on Black Lake

To confirm I was pretty caught up on projects, I thought I should use the day to take a boat out. To make it more leisurely, I would go out on Black Lake just a mile away. But, to put some challenge into it, I invited MaryBeth, the person who sold me one of her little kayaks, one so little that it fits inside the van with room to spare. She has conquered the tippy little kayaks but had never sailed.

(Below): Here is the Black Lake Yacht Club. Don’t let the pine needles and the grass piled about fool you, nor the fact that the two white boats haven’t budged all summer. It could be a happening place! I’m appreciative that I don’t have to drag my 150-pound green boat from home.

A small retirement community.

The first item is to clean out the needles and reinstall the plugs.

The sail is only half the size of what the boat was designed for.  It makes it very stable and not too overly thrilling. The winds only reached 11.5 mph which led to a relaxing day.

A free boat several years ago, it just needed a winter’s worth of hole patching, painting, new wood…($); but it works now. I’m now the owner of a graceful boat that was saved.  

I set up the red sailboat so that I could later abandon MaryBeth to her own adventures in either boat.

First we had to row out to clear water and then south to find some ripples.

Being cranberry harvest time, the lake was down about a foot.  The McPhail cranberry farm at the north end of the lake pumps water into the cranberry bog in order to float the berries for harvesting.

MaryBeth took the controls and we drifted downwind to the southeastern tip.  There was someone fishing off every dock but Marybeth carefully avoided all their lines.

Letting out the boom.

We saw a lot of these today, who were maybe attracted to the colorful sail (and each other).

This type of sailboat can head any direction except 45 degrees left or right of a headwind. Depending on the trees, hills, and weather,  the wind speed and direction changed a lot.

We paid attention to the wind vane. Here we are angling 45 degrees into the wind.

The black streamers indicate we’re heading into the wind and about to drift backward.

We did a lot of curlicues today. When tacking upwind, and changing from one direction 90 degrees to another heading, sometimes the boat just stops. It won’t complete the turn, it drifts and won’t steer. Swinging the rudder back and forth like a Venetian gondolier sometimes moves the boat just enough, as often you’re close to shore. There’s an official nautical name somewhere but the curlicue can get you going again. The wind pushes the sail, the boat speeds up, the rudder starts working again. The boat can complete the turn and you’re off again on another tack.

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A little extra distance but hey, this isn’t a race.

 

The breeze was light and we successfully tacked nearly all the way back to the north end.

The captain’s eyes are on everything

With the wind nearly gone I started rowing. Soon I heard voices and looked over my shoulder. We were all up in this fisherman’s business. Afterwards, we beached, folded up the sail and continued by oar.

We’re the only two boats on the lake and who do I bother?

Another fisherman, minding its own business, was near the northern shore. My telephoto got a few shots of this snowy egret before my splashing oars caused it to fly off.

patient and quiet

I did not get good photos of the snowy egret. However, a local wildlife photographer recently captured these beautiful images of the Black Lake egrets and has kindly allowed us to share them here.

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

photo by Jane Winckler Webb

We rowed back through the lily pads to shore. After we failed to wrestle the boat up the bank, MaryBeth came up with the idea to use the trailer hitch to help. It only snapped one rope but we succeeded in pulling it out. Next time I’ll bring a winch. 

Solo sail, eh? Next time. She can do it now or rent a sailboat on her own. An intriguing rental place is on Seattle’s Lake Washington. It rents the smaller affordable dinghies and kayaks which I hope to visit someday (Sail Sand Point). Portland has a sailing club and school for the bigger (way over 150  lbs.) sailboats at the Island Sailing Club.

This was plenty fun and totally relaxing for both of us.

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The stats

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Friday, 6 October 2017

I began a weekend of sleeping long and then gardening with great energy.  My goal was to not leave my property for four days.

Friday, I accomplished some shrub pruning that had been neglected all summer.

Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ before removing deadwood

and after

Decided this whole area needs to be redone from boring sedums and dull lysimachia to….???  Much soft debris from here is already in the compost.

Have you ever planted too much of something not very exciting when starting a big new garden?  It seemed seven years ago that I had so much space, that I would never run out, so some of the beds have a lot of filler.

I spent quite some time pruning old twisty wood out of the honeysuckle next to the compost.  I filled up the wheelie bin with it.

After big pruning of old wood on honeysuckle next to the compost bins.

Frosty and Royal hanging out next door. (I was using a new camera and having trouble turning the flash off.)

I don’t count going next door to Devery’s back yard to pet Royal as leaving the property.

I started doing some more salmonberry pruning, creating a lot of dry kindling twigs that called for a campfire.

campfire dinner

Smokey was my neck warmer.  I was actually quite happy.  I have a sad “resting face”, I’ve been told, and can’t help it. My own experience has been valuable in that I’ve learned to not judge someone’s mood by their expression. It’s hard not to.  But I try. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

We’d had this much rain. (My last task yesterday was to pull montbretia corms from the new bogsy woods clearing.)

I slipped up slightly on my not leaving the property goal by going next door to pet Rudder.  I did not even realize that I had left my own place until I downloaded this photo four days later.

Rudder’s ears show the camera did not please him.

Skooter welcoming me back home.

I contemplated removing a dead branch on the scraggly ornamental plum, then decided it looked good for Halloween.

kinda spooky

I found a spot for our present from MaryBeth, at the entrance to last weekend’s newly cleared area.

I was pleased to find that my middle bin of compost had enough rough compost to do some mulching in the bogsy wood clearing.

middle compost bin

roughly sifted compost

By today, I realized that I was creating so much debris that a dump run would be necessary at the end of the long weekend.

In the bogsy woods, I looked long and hard at the grove of salmonberries with two broken, planted chairs in them.  This area had reminded me of riverside camping as a child, and yet part of me wanted a new look.

The area as it looked on September 12th.

I thought today that red or gold twig dogwoods would look good there.

The gold twig dogwood in the swale, by the bridge railing, was started by sticking cuttings into the ground.

Maybe I could move this one, that has gotten too big in the main garden bed on Willows Loops West.

With those ideas brewing, I started chopping, and ended up with this:

I would need Allan’s help to get the stumps out.  Now I had created a huge pile of debris.

I will still have one big salmonberry grove, in which is the fabulous salmonberry tunnel.

salmonberry tunnel in evening light

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Allan went sailing on Black Lake with MaryBeth.  That will be tomorrow’s post.

I spent much of the day (after another long sleep) toting debris 200 feet to the work trailer.  Going out onto the sidewalk to load debris does not count as leaving the property.

We had had this much rain overnight.

rain gauge

Rain at night and fine days make perfect gardening weather and also assured me that I did not have to fret over any of the city planters.

We’d had enough rain to fill even the slowest filling rain barrel.

Skooter by the water boxes.

After hauling debris, I set upon the project of digging out several shrubs of Lonicera fragrantissima (winter blooming honeysuckle) that had started themselves by layering off of the main shrub.  I did not want a large grove of them in an ornamental garden bed.

My before photos were thwarted by the new camera I was trying, which took several blurry photos of the ground and my feet.  Below, you can see how a branch, touching the ground, layers itself into a whole new rooted shrub.

the layered look

I needed help with that hefty stump, and Allan arrived home before dark and got it out for me.  (I’m not weak; however, foot and knee problems make it hard to drive a shovel in as hard as need be for something big.)

MaryBeth returned with Allan and we had a garden tour.

Me showing off my newly cleared area and describing how I’d need Allan’s help with those stumps, too.

I was not the best host, as with an hour or so of daylight left I was obsessed with getting back to clearing and weeding this area.  MaryBeth understood what it is like to be on a mission.

So did Allan; he swung the pick and removed the five salmonberry stumps before darkness.

welcome assistance

end of day

Monday, 9 October 2017

Allan had gone on an adventurous boating quest; that will be Tuesday’s post.

Frosty and Royal goofing around next door.

Dave and Melissa were trimming a hedge two doors down, so I crossed Devery’s front lawn to chat with them over the fence, and to give them a nice big start of Lonicera fragrantissima, but I still did not count that as leaving the property.

As I started digging out one more of the Lonicera shrubs, I heard a friendly and familiar voice and tracked it to a visitor seeking me in the garden: Our dear friend Tony.  He had brought a gift of delicious home made baba ganoush, a treat that I adore and which I cannot find around here. Tony said woefully, “It was so beautiful…until Rudy stepped on it!”  Rudy, the larger of their two pomeranians, had stepped on it (outside of the plastic wrap) in the back seat of the car.  By then, Tony’s husband Scott had joined us, with the two dogs.  I said the footprint was like a design stamped on top of a latte, or a crust decoration on a fancy pie.  “Not everyone gets a Rudy footprint,” said Scott.

Scott, Bailey, and Rudy

Frosty loves dogs.

Rudy and Frosty

After giving Tony a big flowerpot full of greenhouse tomatoes, I finally did leave the property to walk with them down the block (my idea!) so that Dave and Melissa could meet the poms.

Melissa, Scott, and Rudy.

Before they departed, I introduced Scott and Tony to the peanut butter plant, Melianthus major.

They both agreed that the leaves smell just like peanut butter.

Both Tony and Scott could smell peanut butter; some people can’t.

Soon after they left, I dived in (with chips) to the perfect baba ganoush.

You can see where Rudy disturbed the composition. This was the best baba ganoush I have ever eaten.

I managed to save Allan just a bit.

Fortified, I returned to digging the Lonicera out, and then to weeding and compost-mulching the new bogsy woods area.  By end of day, the entire center bin of compost was empty again.

miniature bulrushes on the patio

Lonicera fragrantissima down to one shrub again.

I planted five small starts of the lonicera around the edges of the back garden, hoping at least one will take.  I put the rest in water buckets for Todd to take.

When I looked at my new, weeded, cleared area, I realized I want to be able to sit there, rather than having two broken chairs.

I had an old bench outside the fence, where I always planned to sit and look toward the port.

view of the port buildings across the port parking lot

I have sat out there twice in two years.

I moved the old bench.  If you come garden touring, don’t sit on it because it is rather wobbly.

I’ll get something better.

I am excited to see how the autumn rainwater will lie in this area, and how much will be plantable (wet in winter, dry in summer).

The two chairs now mark the entrance to the salmonberry tunnel.  I will divide the Japanese iris in two, one on each side.

tunnel entrance

looking from the fire circle lawn through to the enticing new sit spot

end of day: greenhouse tomatoes

Allan returned from his adventure at dusk.  Tuesday’s blog will tell the tale.



Reading

I finished another David Sedaris book, with two particularly enjoyable chapters.

I recommend especially the chapter called Rubbish, in which Sedaris described his mission to clean up the roadsides around his English countryside home.  (I was hoping to take daily staycation trash-picking walks around Ilwaco till my knee problems intervened.)

Sedaris was inspired by a local citizen.

I love Sedaris for his rubbish mission, even though it may be exaggerated for comic effect:

 

If you want to join a local group that regularly picks up trash, Friends of Willapa Refuge have regular cleaning sessions.  Unfortunately for us, even though it would be fun to go (Todd does!), they meet at 8 AM.

Our Todd is on the left, the tall one.

I also recommend Sedaris’s chapter in which he described his longterm devotion to keeping a diary, and I especially liked what he had to say when his computer was stolen and he lost a couple of months worth of entries.

David Sedaris: “….the terrible power of a diary: it not only calls forth the person you used to be, but rubs your nose in him, reminding you that not all change is evolutionary.  More often than not, you didn’t learn from your mistakes.  You didn’t get wiser but simply older…”

Next, two days of boating posts by Allan.

 

 

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Thursday, 5 October 2017

While divesting ourselves of the Ilwaco street tree branches that we had pruned yesterday evening, we  admired of the east end of the marina.

I found out later that the floating enclosure is a pen…


…for young salmon, used in a recent study of some sort.


Butch, the owner of Coho Charters (the red building) is my go to person for fishing questions.

We headed north, with a brief stop at the Basket Case Greenhouse.

Allan’s photo, getting rady for Halloween


a selection of new plants at the Basket Case


including nice Euphorbia ‘Glacier Blue’

Next stop: picking up a yard of Soil Energy at Peninsula Landscape Supply. We were worried because the Soil Energy pile had been way low last time, and might be all gone.  When we arrived, we saw a truck and trailer ahead of us.  Who were these people competing with us for the last of the pile, I thought anxiously….until I saw they were our good friends Judy and Larry.

Allan’s photo


Larry, Judy, me: friends with similar goals


We were glad there was enough in the Soil Energy bin for two loads.


We parked off to the side and the mulch came to us. (Allan’s photo)

Klipsan Beach Cottages  

Our first actual job of the day was a tidying and some cutting back at KBC.

Allan dug out a daylily, the same kind that he dug out for me in my own garden recently.

It is prone to daylily leaf streak. (Allan’s photo).  The flowers are hardy fuchsia.


before cutting back Thalictrum ‘Elin’


and after


The thalictrum will come home with us for Halloween decor.

Allan cut down one part of the rugosa rose.  The whole shrub is going to come down later.

After. Now you can see through to the lower fenced garden.

As you can see, the day was (too) warm and bright.

view in the east gate


the birdbath view


the inner bench circle


a huge bud on the Tetrapanax ‘Steroidal Giant’


fall colour on hamamelis


Allan captured the moment when Mary noticed the leaf colour.

We didn’t see Denny today.  He had had a knee replacement (his second) on Tuesday and was at home napping.

                           Long Beach

On the way south, we checked up on the beach approach gardens and the Long Beach city hall garden.  This weekend’s two days of clamming will generate a lot of passersby.

the foyer at city hall (Allan’s photo)

MaryBeth stopped by when she saw us at City Hall.  She gave us a present that she had been carrying with her for the next time our paths crossed.

After checking on the Sid Snyder approach planters…

the westernmost Sid Snyder planter (Allan’s photo)

…we made sure the World Kite Museum garden looked good, because their annual One Sky One World event is this weekend.  The philosophy of One Sky, One World is needed more than ever now.

Pleased with the new containers at the kite museum.

Ilwaco

The south third of the Ilwaco boatyard garden was our destination for the yard of Soil Energy that we’d been hauling with us.

looking south from the gate, before


soil applied by bucket


cutting back Pennisetum macrourum from the sidewalk


and after….I had suddenly realized the garden should start where the paved sidewalk starts.

The dredge has been at work lately, clearing mud from the channel which is so necessary for the marina to thrive.

scooping up mud


and depositing it on a barge.


boats


Allan’s photo


Allan’s photo

We still have sweet peas blooming on the fence.

sweet peas all the way to the top


bright red sweet peas

We had run out of Soil Energy about twenty feet from the end of the garden, so another load will be necessary.  The end needs such a small amount that I sort of cheated and erased boatyard mulching from the work list, changing it to mulching at the port and Time Enough Books.

The summer is long gone and I still have not accomplished one thorough, end to end good weeding at home.

At home: The garden gift from MaryBeth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

El Compadre Mexican Restaurant

We had this week’s North Beach Garden Gang dinner with Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) at El Compadre.

hard to get a good photo of the inlaid tables that I admire so much.


Allan’s photo


tiled window frames


As often happens, we were the last to leave.

Now for an extra long weekend, during the quiet time before fall clean up and bulbs.  My goal is to not leave my property for four days while I accomplish some gardening.  Allan has some boating goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Skooter had spent the night in Allan’s laundry hamper. (Allan’s photo)

We made a quick check on Mayor Mike’s garden and then tidied and deadheaded at…

The Depot Restaurant

The rain has been enough to make ground level watering unnecessary.

north side flowers by Basket Case Greenhouse

The Red Barn

We met an absolutely darling little dog named Delly or Deli…I think.

the most perfect little dog

And I found an appropriately painted rock for a horse barn.

And met another lovely dog, Junior.

Junior’s person had just been attending to a horse stall and said to his dog, “Ok, horse time is over, now it’s dog time!”

Junior and his guy’s truck with our small garden in the background

We then went next door to

Diane’s garden

where Misty got a belly rub.

Diane agreed that the small strip of lawn outside the new fence can be removed for easier maintenance.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Someday very soon, that will be our project along with replanting the roadside garden.

Long Beach

deadheading the welcome sign

Veterans Field

While watering the containers by the Vet Field stage, I noticed something new:

I admired the rhododendron leaves in the mini park behind Lewis and Clark Square, where Allan pulled some of the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

Allan’s photos, before

after

Before watering the planters, we dumped our debris and then picked up our repaired lawn mower at Bailey’s Saw Shop, where I was amused by this sign (the basic labor rate is $70 per hour):

In downtown Long Beach, I went north, watering planters, while Allan went south.

City Crew member pressure washing in Fifth Street Park

I found a painted rock.

a sign for sale at The Wooden Horse gift shop

While watering outside Funland, I kept hearing a robotic voice saying “Space Invaders”.  For some reason, I was tempted to go in and play. (I did not.)

Funland

Funland planter

The planters were definitely thirsty, and just a few cosmos had gotten crispy.

Cosmos (Allan’s photo)

California poppies and hesperantha (Allan’s photo)

hesperantha and asters (Allan’s photo)

santolina before (Allan’s photos)

and after

Coreopsis ‘Star Cluster’ (Allan’s photo)

Allan found a rock.

The week had been somber because of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, as attested to by the half mast flags.

We finished Long Beach with a tidying of Fifth Street Park.

butterfly on aster in Fifth Street Park

Ilwaco

I walked around and checked most of the planters and street tree pocket gardens while Allan watered them.

Allan’s photos while filling the water tank at the boatyard:

My….

…was low because my foot hurt, so I did not make it to all of the planters.

Acidanthera in a mostly shady planter

I was mightily annoyed to find, in a planter outside the pharmacy, that a special diascia had been stolen….again.  I don’t know when it happened because Allan is usually the one to care for these planters.

Just a hole left, with the protective label dropped into the hole.

a plea ignored by the plant thief

The water trailer (Allan’s photo)

A photo of the missing tree spot (victim of a bad driver) turned into a before and after when I decided to do some pruning on a tree a block away.

before

My foot was hurting a lot, so I asked Allan to take a break from watering and drive me home before I did the final intersection.  It can wait till tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I cut some lower limbs off one of the street trees.  These are supposed to be columnar pears, but I find them anything but columnar.

Allan helping with my spontaneous mess

after (a bit more of the Portside Café now shows in the distance)

On the way home, we had noted a handsome stand of corn on Second Avenue.

New homeowners have made a new garden.

At home, a harvest:

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

While we were at the post office on our way to work, a local business owner stopped to tell us that an employee of his had knocked down one of the street trees in a vehicular accident, and that he was taking responsibility for replacing the tree.  I was astonished that we had not noticed this accident, which had happened a week before.  The city crew had cleaned it up, and we have been so focused on mulching the boatyard that we drove right by the empty tree garden several times.

on the SE corner of Lake and First!

I am just glad that the bad driver did not also take out the round cement planter on that corner.

We took our lawn mower into Bailey’s Saw Shop in north Long Beach.  This sign amused me.  I guess people don’t like to admit the mistakes they have made with their power equipment.

I coveted a walk-behind string trimmer, similar to the DR Trimmer/Mower that I once owned and used till I wore out the engine…twice.  It would be so great to mow paths in long grass in the back yard next door, just for fun.  I don’t have anywhere else in particular to use it so cannot justify owning one.

a well designed machine

Our mission today was to mulch at the Anchorage Cottages, and then, if one yard of Soil Energy was enough, to get another load for the Ilwaco boatyard garden.

Anchorage Cottages project

At Peninsula Landscape Supply:

first yard of mulch. Allan wears a face mask to avoid getting a face full of dust.

Mitzu greets us at the Anchorage.

While I spread the first yard, Allan did a pruning job by the office.

before….

and after shearing the viburnums

One yard was not enough for the Anchorage.  Two hours later, we were back at Peninsula Landscape Supply for a second load.

For me, it was a hot day to be spreading mulch.

second load

Don’t be too inspired to follow my example of mulching now.  It’s a bit early, in my opinion.  We are doing it now because we have time now.  Many sources suggest one should wait till the ground is frozen, although I don’t think that rule applies in the Pacific Northwest.  For my own garden, winter is the time I would choose to mulch.

While I spread most of the second yard, Allan pruned another viburnum area against the office wall.

before

after

I was so glad when he finished the pruning and could help me with the last of the hot, scratchy mulching.  I get uncomfortable with the bits of mulch falling into my shoes.  And did I mention it was hot?

At the Anchorage, several beds where the soil was thin will be happier now.

Beth’s dahlia patch should do much better.

south courtyard nicely mulched

mulched center courtyard

In the office courtyard, I took the sweet peas down because someone is going to point the chimney bricks.

no more sweet peas

A Pacific Tree Frog lost its sweet pea home (Allan’s photo)

The pampas grasses at the Anchorage are in the only ideal position, way down on a big lawn away from the garden beds.

Pink pampas grass (left) looking definitely pink.

On the way home, we noted that the Halloween display had been installed in the Griffin Gallery window.

Another local sight that pleased me was a pretty new paint job on this little cottage on Spruce Street.

well done

Mayoral Candidates Forum

We had a brief turn around time at home to change out of dusty clothes and join other Ilwaco citizens at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum to hear the two mayoral candidates answer questions submitted by the audience.  The well organized event was run by the local Toastmasters group, with two impartial Long Beach members taking the written questions (some of which had also been submitted in advance by email).  I had contemplated a last minute bouquet, because Jenna was the organizer and does like to decorate.  I regretted not having followed through on that impulse.

Jenna Austin, and the moderator, and Don Nisbett, and candidates Sam and Gary

Artist Don Nisbett, president of the Ilwaco Merchants Association, makes the introductions. (Allan’s photo)

Candidates Sam Lund and Gary Forner

not a bad turn out (Allan’s photo)

Jenna (Queen La De Da) operates the light box that went green to red if either candidate exceeded their speaking time.

Afterward, the one critique offered by the moderator was that the candidates had not used all of the allotted time for their responses.

That did give time for three out of the four uncontested candidates for city council to make speeches about their goals.  Three of them will be (almost) new to the city council.  Not pictured is our neighbour Jared of Starvation Alley Cranberry Farms.

Missy “Pirate Captain Lucy Dagger” will be a fine councilwoman.

As will Matt Lessnau, who was appointed earlier this year and is now officially running for election.

I mentioned the other day how Thandi (owner of the great Sou’wester Lodge) had visited our garden with her baby, Celestine, who had enjoyed fresh cherry tomatoes.  Here they are, with Celestine representing the new and upcoming generation of Ilwacoans.

Allan’s photo

You might think that as a feminist from way back. I’d be voting for the woman candidate.  However, I was particularly impressed with two things that Mr. Forner had to say.  One, he wants to have a disaster plan, with food and supplies stored in a facility on the one hill so that we can all survive after a tsunami or other disaster; our area is likely to be cut off for some time if the two roads in were damaged and if the rest of the state were affected.  Two, he will be reachable via email and Facebook, which is important to me because I don’t like making phone calls. But aside from that personal preference, I think we need a thoroughly modern mayor, not one who eschews owning a computer.  For me, those two things, along with Forner’s longtime service as a volunteer fire fighter, even outweighed Sam’s desire to have more flowers and beautification, much as I like that idea, too.  Both candidates have a lot of the same ideas about needing more businesses in downtown.  By the way, the Port of Ilwaco and the City of Ilwaco are separate entities.  One has commissioners and one (the city) has council members.  So our small and struggling downtown is a different kettle of fish from the port’s thriving art galleries, bookstore, and restaurants.

 

 

 

 

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