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Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

Sunday, 11 February 2018

We decided to work on the downtown Long Beach planters and street trees.  I had big ideas that we would also get to the Anchorage Cottages garden and then get rugosa roses cut down in the beach approach garden by the arch.

As I began with the southernmost planters, Robert (wasband and former co-gardener) bicycled up and we had an interesting chat, reminiscing about our friend Lily who died some years ago of ALS.

Robert

My mission was to trim back any Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ still standing and to clip santolina hard so it will make a nice round ball instead of getting rangy.

before

after; this planter has too much of a boring little hardy geranium but is not one I plant to re-do.

crocuses in a planter

crocuses and an iris reticulata

santolinas, before

an after from across the street, because I forgot…

before

after

Would be huge escallonias that we cut back hard by the pet shop last fall are leafing out:

anemone

After clipping and tidying in eight planters and three trees, I re-joined Allan who had been working on a difficult tree garden that whole time.

before, with an unfortunate batch of rugosa roses

Those roses reseeded into there, and I thought, years ago, how cute, and let one or two stems bloom.  Oh, what a mistake…and yet it does look pretty when blooming in summer.

after; unfortunately, the roses will come back.

after; will this be the year we prevail?

I notice every time I come to a clump of narcissi and find flower stalks picked.  (Deer are not the culprits here, although they might be with tulips.)

Why not leave ALL the flowers for all the people to enjoy?

It was not a pleasant weather day, with wind that became increasingly strong and cold.

not feeling comfortable

Another street tree job by Allan:

before

after (the stems are a hardy fuchsia)

In another tree, we worked on eliminated all but two corners of Geranium ‘A.T. Johnson’; I planted too much of it way back when I had a low budget, and it was free (for good reason).

before

after

sidewalk display at The Wooden Horse gift shop

In the last two blocks, the wind was much colder and stronger.  We were determined to finish.

We cut back these chrysanthemums, with foliage undamaged because of our mild winter.

Allan cut down the other two escallonias that are crowded into a planter.

before

after

I came along behind him and trimmed those green santolinas hard.

At home, I was able to erase the Long Beach downtown planters from the work board, and added the Pop Outs (little gardens on Ocean Beach Boulevard).

There may be a reader who is wondering when Kite Museum will appear on the work board.  It finally got added on Feb. 14th!

It took hours after work to finally feel warm again.

 

 

 

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Friday, 15 December 2017

When we’d learned there was to be a rally against ICE deportations in the afternoon, interfering with my at-home goals, I had decided that we should try to polish off some of the leftover work beforehand.

We began at the Ilwaco boatyard garden, planting about six good sized starts of Solidago ‘Fireworks’ in empty spaces along the two block long garden.

boatyard garden looking south

planting

The last of the old cosmos got pulled, and I am calling this garden done for 2017.

crab pot tree at the end of the garden (Allan’s photo)

In Long Beach’s Fifth Street Park, I planted two clumps of the solidago (a short and well behaved clumping goldenrod) while Allan snipped a few stray brown stems from nearby planters.

Fifth Street Park

Narcissi already blooming in Fifth Street Park

We cruised up to the Anchorage Cottages, thinking we could finally clip back the chrysanthemums and agyranthemums.  Our summery weather had them still blooming, so we did not even get out of the van, just turned around and left.

At The Red Barn Arena, we planted a couple of pieces of the goldenrod and pulled out one dead erysimum.

a wee bit of weeding

Midge in her fine coat.

Next door at Diane’s garden, the remaining annuals still looked too lush to pull.  I left a note suggesting she just cut back anything in those pots that looks tatty later.  I can’t keep going back to check on them every week; that is not cost effective for either of us.

the annuals that will not die

I look forward to many bulbs in this raised septic garden.

We now had an hour and a half left before the rally, with no more work to do.  This called for a stop at NIVA green.

In NIVA green, with Heather’s assistant, Wes, and Heather Ramsay herself

a peek through the doorway into the magic workshop (Allan’s photo)

Heather had put out some new lamps:

I fell hard for this double decker nightlight and got it for myself, even though buying presents for myself was not on the agenda.

This red truck is going to go beautifully with a “Card Lady’ card of a red truck with a Christmas tree in the back.

After NIVA, we spent 40 minutes relaxing at Abbracci Coffee Bar.  I am quite annoyed that the bright summer-like sun blurred out my focus on the Christmas tree in their window.  Trust me, it was such a pretty sight.  Let’s say it is like a water colour.

an elegant pattern on my latte

Maddy of Pink Poppy Bakery is retiring her business to become a personal chef for an artists’ retreat.   Abbracci will be the only local place to get her baked goods, like this delicately flavoured Swedish Traveling Cake.  Elixir Coffee up in South Bend will also have her treats.

Abbracci art (Allan’s photo)

In Abbracci, I had such a helpful conversation with owners Tony and Bernardo and one of their patrons. I was asked (not in these exact words) about the severe clean up of the narrow garden to the south of their building: Would the plants come back? I had dug up lots of volunteer blue scabiosa and other perennials in an attempt to start over. I told them that I try to rein in my “messy gardening style” and was thinking of a much tidier planting there. Turns out all three of them love the wild and tangly style. It made the happy to hear that I could so easily make that garden bed messy again.

Finally, it was time for the rally.  This time, the organizer had decided to split the event between Long Beach and Ocean Park.  I had kvetched about it making the groups too small, and indeed, the rally began with only three of us.  For new readers, here is the background again:

“[Long Beach Peninsula Resident] Rosas was arrested when going to Okie’s early in the morning of November 27. When he asked why he was being arrested, ICE officers said “My supervisor asked me to come find you because of what appeared in the newspaper.” We want to speak out against this arrest and on the attack on his rights to free speech.

The original story in the Seattle Times (my home town paper) is here, and well worth reading.

The follow up, after the arrest of Rosas, is here.

He appears to have been sought out because he spoke (under his nickname) to the Seattle Times.  ICE did not detain him earlier, even though he asked them why they took his family and not him.

This story has drawn the attention of the Mexican consulate and has been picked up by national and international news, including the Washington Post and The Independent, UK.

Here is a link to the gofundme where you can contribute, to help him and his family, who were deported to Mexico.  (His children are American citizens, who went with their mother.)

Today, when we first arrived, we thought there was no one else, and we waited in our van for a bit.  Then we saw one lone figure arrive; it was Ann, who had also been waiting in her vehicle.

Allan’s photo

We settled into our rallying as the wind picked up and the rain arrived.  Allan took all the rally photos but one.  My hands were so cold that I didn’t even think of getting out the camera.

Only once were we heckled with a “WOOO Trump!” from a young fellow driving a foreign made car; the rest of the interaction from passing vehicles was all waves and honks and thumbs up.

Everyne at the Ocean Park rally point bailed out when the rain came.  I was not about to stop for rain; I know darn well that Rosas himself worked on the bay in all sorts of weather.

MaryBeth saw my one real-time photo on Facebook and came to join us.  Four felt much more effective to me than three.

The rain finally stopped and out came a rainbow behind us.

Our good friend Susie was just at that moment returning from an out of town trip, too late to join us..

our Susie

We endured till 4:15 PM.

Allan and I could see a glorious pink sky and so we drove to the west end of Sid Snyder drive for a better look.

looking west

Allan’s photo, to the south

We nabbed a few Christmas lights photos on the way home.

Ilwaco City Hall

Ocean Beach Hospital, Ilwaco (Allan’s photo)

Ocean Beach Hospital (Allan’s photo)

Crab pots on First Avenue

We had a mere 45 minutes turn around time at home.  I was able to erase Diane’s garden and the Red Barn from the work board.  The other jobs are simply going to have to wait until we have a hard frost for their final check up…if we have such a thing this winter.

We soon left again for our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner at OleBob’s Café at the Port.

on the way: The Crab Pot Tree

The four us us (Tangly Cottage Gardening and Sea Star Gardening) were joined this week by our good friend Ed of Strange Landscaping.

In the entry hallway: Pins show where visitors have come from.

a local sea captain

This week’s specials:

a beef empanada

the view

south window reflection shows the inside, the outdoor dining deck, and the Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co Christmas star

Dave, Ed, Allan, Melissa, with Lynn and Chef Laura in the background

Paella was another special of the night.

Allan’s fresh caught rockfish with Laura’s chimichurri sauce and a “perfectly done” baked potato

flan for dessert

We stayed till after closing, when I was so happy to sit with Laura’s dog, Pancho.

I so much want a nice little dog.  Pancho is such a good boy.

I suddenly felt ever so exhausted.  Yet tomorrow is another busy, not at-home day.

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

I slept long, and so did Skooter.

In the afternoon, Allan went boating again.  He will write up two days together for tomorrow’s post, because yesterday’s trip was not entirely a success, and today he returned to the same place to go further.  (I hear cries of “Thank goodness, we’ll have something to read about other than compost bins!”)

The day was warm, so warm that I had the back window and the front door wide open.  While hauling yesterday’s pile of chopped honeysuckle out to the trailer, I  had to find a summer weight shirt to wear, after having packed them away for winter.

I sorted out the wheelbarrow of purple lysimachia (went into the wheelie bin) and Sedum “Autumn Fire’ (went into a pile to save).

I picked up some windfall branches from the back yard next door, and saw a view that was worth going to the house for the camera.

crab pots being readied for the seaon

Unfortunately, the latest tests show the crabs do not have enough meat and it has been decided that the season will not begin till January.  Many years ago, after visiting and falling in love with this area, I subscribed to the Chinook Observer, the local weekly.  During the winter of 1991, I sat at my table in Seattle and read about a delayed crabbing season and about how the local fishing families were suffering economically at Christmas time.  When I read that a restaurant at the port offered free holiday meals to fishing families, I knew that this was where I wanted to live.  The way the community pulled together in hard times impressed me deeply.  (The restaurant in question might have been the former Reel ‘Em In Café.)

the latest windfall

My own little frustration is that tonight would have been a perfect evening for a campfire, being windless.  I knew Allan would not return till after dark,  and I would have felt rather selfish eating a campfire dinner on my own.  Especially since he was the one who had gone to the store to get sausages.

I feel pressured because it is so hard to get to just stay home on staycation.  We have Important Things to Do for the afternoons or evenings of the next three days.  This strangely warm winter* weather is supposed to go well into next week, though.  I hope so.

*As far as I am concerned, fall is Sept-Oct-Nov and winter is Dec-Jan-Feb.

The only indication of winter is the low angle of the sun and seasonal look of the garden.  Otherwise, it felt like a summer day.

2:20 PM

Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ and smokebush

some interesting new growths on the dead “Danger Tree” snag

Frosty walked with me.

After some inexpert pruning of my leaning ‘Cox’s Orange Pippen Tree…

before…it’s leaning to the east

after, some big eastern branches removed

…I measured my compost area (again!) to figure out if a fourth bin would fit.

I don’t use the plastic bin; we have three of them.

I thought about having to empty all the bins at once and then realized that the bins could be moved without having to empty them all at once.  Starting at the near end, one could be moved, and the others shifted as they get emptied.  Eureka!   At the same time, we could move them forward, making room to walk between them and the greenhouse.  I need two more pallets to make another bin.

It has proved annoying when debris falls into this narrow space. And there is no room to maintain the greenhouse exterior.

There is room at the far end, too, if that batch of hops and honeysuckle were pruned regularly.

I simply had to start tearing a bin apart and get it moved.  I just could not wait. I would tie it together and later Allan could do the good job that he likes to do. I managed to tear off one side and move it over.  To my intense frustration, I could not get the back pallet off.  It got wodged into the other one and stuck by one screw.  I worked and worked at it and finally had to give up.

When I dragged the plastic composter to the back of the garden, I looked wistfully through the gate at the pile of gear shed pallets, and then realized that I have one under the wood pile.  I dumped the wood onto the tarp and dragged the pallet up to the compost area.  Now I just need one more.  I considered walking down to the dump pile near the boatyard where sometimes free pallets appear, and rolling one home.  I wasn’t quite that obsessed; it’s a five block “roll”.  (A Flintstones roll of a square object.)

I was left with a great big mess again…but tomorrow Allan will help me.

If we can get bin one set up, I can start shifting compost from bin two into it.  Because the wood pile pallet was a little smaller, I think the fourth bin might even fit in without moving the whole thing over.  (But will it bother me to to have one slightly smaller bin? Yes.) Bins two and three do need to come forward about a foot as they get emptied out.

Other than garden touring, this is the most satisfying event of my year, or will be, when that one danged stuck pallet gets moved.

I could not do my original plan of clipping more debris to compost, so instead I finished the daylight by clipping old hellebore leaves throughout the front garden.  They carry disease and must be discarded. I loosely filled the wheelie bin and didn’t even get to the back garden hellebores.

When Allan returned after dark, he went to the free wood pile and scored two more pallets.  Joy! Tomorrow, he will help me complete bin one.  No sleeping late, because we must get it done in time to go to a rally in Ocean Park.

Tonight, we have a new disc of Stranger Things, season one, so life is extra good.

Next:  Allan’s boating adventure.  We’ll get back to composting soon, never fear.

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Sunday, 19 November 2017

I caight up by writing the three latest blog posts. I begin this one with a poem that blog reader Lavinia of Salmon Brook Farms recommended.  It is from a book called A Visit to William Blake’s Inn:

The King of Cats Sends a Postcard to His Wife

by Nancy Willard

Keep your whiskers crisp and clean.
Do not let the mice grow lean.
Do not let yourself grow fat
like a common kitchen cat.Have you set the kittens free?
Do they sometimes ask for me?
Is our catnip growing tall?
Did you patch the garden wall?

Clouds are gentle walls that hide
gardens on the other side.
Tell the tabby cats I take
all my meals with William Blake,

lunch at noon and tea at four,
served in splendor on the shore
at the tinkling of a bell.
Tell them I am sleeping well.

Tell them I have come so far,
brought by Blake’s celestial car,
buffeted by wind and rain,
I may not get home again.

Take this message to my friends.
Say the King of Catnip sends
to the cat who winds his clocks
a thousand sunsets in a box,

to the cat who brings the ice
the shadows of a dozen mice
(serve them with assorted dips
and eat them like potato chips),

and to the cat who guards his door
a net for catching stars, and more
(if with patience he abide):
catnip from the other side.

Of course, the poem reminded my of Smoky, and I found it most comforting to think of “catnip on the other side”.
Calvin enjoyed cereal milk this morning.
I am going to call tomorrow for a veterinary appointment for him.  He is almost 13 and has a nagging little cough, which I hope is just a hairball thing.  He is a compulsive groomer who has sometimes groomed himself into bare patches.  Since he and Smoky had become best friends, he had been grooming Smoky instead.  Now he is back to licking his ownself.

Snoozy Calvin

Frosty chose to nap near my living room desk, on the floor, even though there are four comfy chairs nearby.

Skooter helped me blog.

The wind gusted at 45 mph, as predicted.  We need a dry-ish, calm-ish Sunday or Monday for mulching the Ilwaco Community Building garden while the library is closed.

In the evening, I settled in to read a little book sent me by an imaginary bookish friend–that is, someone I know online but have never met. It came with this card:

The wee book was published in 1925.

What an affirming message to read today.

This illustration spoke to me of my grandmother (who would have treasured a little book like this):

In her Scrapbooks, she had several photos of stone edged ponds much like that one.

And she had pasted in an illustration with a similar path.

A pretty postcard that was in the book:

I’m feeling especially fortunate in my friends lately.

I finished Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Here are four favourite passages.

On someone who converses by asking questions:

On being a beloved person:

On why not to finish a boat:

A perfect river:

Now on to Of Mice and Men.

Sweet Thursday is a sequel to Cannery Row, but I need a little break from that setting.

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Thursday, 16 November 2017, part two

When we returned from work, we just had time before dark to do a garden walkabout.  We had not been into the garden since the recent two days of rain and wind.

standing water where it usually does not collect

three days worth of rain in the big yellow rain gauge

lots of little twigs down

Frosty wanted to follow. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

the center path of the Bogsy Woods Loop

Allan’s photo

east Bogsy Woods Loop

from the center: the new sit spot

overflowing swale

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

looking east from the west side

hardy fuchsia

Allan’s photo

future firewood

forlorn hope for a winter campfire

In the house, Allan’s gloves after washing and drying:

We had time for an hour of sitting down (me reading The Grapes of Wrath) before going out to  meet Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening) for dinner at Salt Pub at the port, followed by a Salty Talk.

Allan’s photo

Melissa showed us a photo of one of a couple of trees that had fallen at Sea Star Acres.

photo courtesy Sea Star Gardening

For dinner, Allan and I had “chicken pot pie poutine”, a deconstructed chicken pot pie with fries, gravy, and fried cheese curd.  It was amazing comfort food.

chicken pot pie poutine

and a salad for something healthy

Betsy Millard, director of Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. introduces the season’s first Salty Talk.

Park Ranger Dane Osis and a cauliflower mushroom (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo: the deadly amanita on the left

amanita (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo of some mushrooms brought in by an audience member.

My lecture notes follow.  Although I have no intention of collecting mushrooms or of eating wild mushrooms that anyone but the most expert person has harvested (and even then I would think twice), I am interested in all plant life.

Salty Talk about wild mushrooms, what I learned:

Mycelium mushrooms are like the apples on an apple tree.  You cannot hurt the main organism by picking them.

Saprophytic mushrooms can be mass produced.  So-called “Wild oyster mushrooms” are most likely produced on a farm.

Mycorrhizal fungi are symbiotic with plants and will transfer moisture from one part of a forest to another.

Knowing your trees will help you to identify mushrooms (based on where the mushrooms like to grow).

The “chicken of the woods” fungi used to rot the hulls of wooden ships.

Ranger Osis says there are fancy mushroom collecting knives with a brush on one end, for brushing off the mushroom to get a closer ID.  He made one by duct taping a brush to a knife.

His favourite mushroom book is All That the Rain Promises and More.  The one with the trombone on the cover.

Cauliflower mushrooms look like a pile of egg noodles.  The one he showed in the lecture, he picked on Monday while elk hunting.  His pick up bed filled with rain water, and yet the mushroom is still good, whereas a chanterelle would have rotted.  He has found one that was 24 pounds.  Another elk hunter found a 55 pound one and thought it was a bedded down elk at first.  If you pick this mushroom, it will grow back the following year.

This strange mushroom can get up to 50 lbs and is delicious, Dane Osis said.

There are more common names for a king bolete than there are languages.  Porcini is just one name.  They are beloved of deer and elk…and can have maggots, as a friend of ours discovered when she brought some home and left them in a bag for a short while.

Jack of Lantern mushrooms, which glow in the dark and can be mistaken for chanterelles, will make you violently ill.

Survivors say the death cap mushroom is the most delicious mushroom they ever ate.  Liver failure will follow in 48 hours.  The deadly death cap is changing hosts from oak to spruce and Douglas fir and can now be more commonly found in the Pacific Northwest (unfortunately).

The effects of amanita mushrooms, which are more toxic here than in Europe, are associated with berserker Vikings, Santa Claus (flying, maybe?), and Lewis Carroll supposedly tripped on amanita before writing Alice in Wonderland.  (Don’t try this.)

Candy cap mushrooms taste like maple syrup and are used in desserts, and will even make your sweat smell like maple syrup.  There is a toxic mushroom that tends to grow with the rare candy cap and looks almost exactly like it.

Since I knew almost nothing of mushrooms before the lecture, I feel that it was successfully jam packed with information.  I look forward to the once a month Salty Talk season which will continue once a month through the winter and into early spring.

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Thursday, 16 November 2017

The forecast was for so much rain that we probably would not have tried to work, had we not  an appointment to see Shelly Pollock at NW Insurance and Financial to sort out my health insurance.  This drew me out of the house and away from reading The Grapes of Wrath.

First, in a dry hour, we tidied up a block worth of Ilwaco planters.

street tree, before (Allan’s photos)

before

after clipping lavenders and oregano

cleaning up a block worth of Ilwaco planters (telephoto)

also did three more planters near the stoplight intersection (Allan cut down that Sedum and pulled the nasturtiums)

A local fellow walked by and said how much he liked the nasturtiums and that he had picked up the fallen seeds and planted them around town.  I hope they all come up!  Allan refers to the seeds as “little brains”, which is what they look like.

Long Beach

Shelly’s office is in Long Beach.  We bracketed the appointment with some attempts to further tidy Long Beach planters and street tree gardens.  We did get two on the nearest corner done, mostly in the rain, before time to see her.

Bella in Shelly’s waiting room

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

The books on the table, Starfish and Bottom Feeders, are from an excellent cozy mystery series by our friend Jan Bono.

on Shelly’s desk

As we got started on our health insurance, the Washington State Affordable Care Act website locked us out of our account as we tried to change the password because we had forgotten to bring ours.  (It has to be long and complicated, and the site makes Allan change it frequently.)  Because we’d be locked out of it for half an hour, we went off to try to work again and agreed to return in an hour.

We got a bit more planter work done.

before

and after (Allan’s photos)

Work soon became impossible.

So we went to Abbracci Coffee Bar, two blocks north, for a treat.

We got a window table.

Tony and Bernardo (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

Mexican hot chocolate and cookies

We got to see our friend, Sophie (Allan’s photo)

Back at Shelly’s office an hour later, Allan was outside trying to tidy under the street tree while I waited for Shelly’s previous appointment to end.  As it did, Allan took shelter from pelting hail.

I knocked on the window for him to come in.

This time, we were able to access the website.  I am so grateful to Shelly for her expert help.  I got signed up for a plan I can afford, with the ACA tax rebate.  Without it, my plan would cost about $800 a month, or approximately half my annual income.  The greed and fear of the insurance companies (and pharmaceutical industry and the Republican party) may be the downfall of the ACA, but not yet.  Two and a half years for me before the relative safely of Medicare…  Shelly says that people used to be sad to get older, but that now people are rejoicing in her office to have turned 65 (Medicare age).  Medicare will also cost us about 1/4 of our eventual Social Security income, so even that is not a pretty picture for old age.

Continuing with work was futile, as the day turned as dark as dusk at 4 PM.

On the way home, we stopped at the library to pick up a film I had ordered.

The library garden had drifts of hail:

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Next: the rest of our day, including a mushroom lecture.  It was too long a day to write about in one post, despite us not getting much done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

 

sun on dogwood leaves outside our kitchen window

Ilwaco

We started by pulling the rest of the now wind-battered sweet peas off of the fence at the Ilwaco boatyard and trimmed some more Stipa gigantea.

The boatyard garden is all greens and silvers now.

Long Beach

We continued to whittle down the fall clean up of the Long Beach planters, starting with taking down the last of the Geranium ‘Rozanne’ at the welcome sign.

windblown geraniums

There’s no after photo.  Just imagine it pretty much empty.

In town, we could tell the weather was about to be variable.

I had decided to clip back Geranium ‘Rozanne’ even if it still had some blue flowers.  My memory was strong of how miserable it is to do an extensive post-frost clean up in cold weather with cold hands.

before

planter in front of the Coastal Inn and Suites

Allan cleaned up under two trees just to the north of my project.

before (with Pacicum ‘Heavy Metal’ and some badasters

Panicum “Heavy Metal’ is a kind of greyish green grass in summer.

after

It is better to wait to prune down ornamental grasses in late winter.  However, sometimes I just realize that passersby do not GET this grass and probably think it looks weedy in the winter (or anytime).

The first big rain squall came.  I got into the van.  Allan was stuck under an awning (in yellow vest by the white pillars).

I had found a couple of rocks in the planter.

I am now finding painted rocks that have been hidden in the planters all summer, not very effective because they were so lost that some of their designs have worn off.  Mr. Tootlepedal asked about the painted rocks.  It’s a hobby that has caught on around here, and towns all over Washington State and Oregon, too, have groups of folks who paint and hide pretty rocks.  When you find one, you can keep it or re-hide it.  You can join the Facebook group associated with whatever group logo is (usually) painted onto the back of the rock and post a photo of it.

From one of the local groups, Ocean Park and Long Beach Rocks:

We paint rocks and hide them all over town for others to find. On the back of the rocks write Ocean Park/Long Beach Rocks and a Facebook symbol. If you find a rock, you can keep it or re-hide it for others to enjoy. You can also post pictures here of the rocks you hide, as well as the rocks you find.

This is a family friendly activity, so please don’t decorate rocks with profanity or obscenities. Always remember that this activity is about community and spreading joy, happiness and love.

They do bring me a lot of enjoyment as I find them and can brighten up a hard work day.

After the squall, finishing up the planter by Coastal Inn:

We moved on to another intersection, skipping a couple of blocks to get to the planters that I felt needed tidying the most.  The one in front of Hungry Harbor Grille, with its tired California poppies, had been on my mind.

before, with the planter by the carousel in foreground

I left this one for Allan.

Allan clipped the catmint in the near one, and I tackled the diagonal one.

before

creating a big mess

I needed the wheelbarrow!

after

after

The Hungry Harbor was getting its doors painted for Christmas. She got one door outlined in the time it took to clean the planter.

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan also cleaned up the planter in front of Sweet Phees snack and pizza shop.

before cutting back the golden marjoram

after

Cutting the perennials now prevents the cutting of bulb foliage of those that come up early, and lets the flowers of the small spring bulbs show off better.  The grape hyacinths foliage is already up, which is normal.

Another tree garden cleaned up by Allan:

before, near Castaways Bar and Grille.

We had once tried to make this tree garden special, with some hardy fuchsias and fewer badaster and hesperantha.  But people park their dogs in it, and bikes, too, I suppose, and the good new plants got smashed so it went back to badaster and hesperantha.

after (Allan’s photos)

At 4:30, 45 minutes before dusk, the rain came back in earnest so we went home.

I’m spending some of my evening time reading The Grapes of Wrath, which continues to be both stressful and satisfying.  Satisfying because I so agree with John Steinbeck.

About a rich man with a vast acreage who is “mean, lonely, old, disappointed, and scared of dying.”:

How times have not changed:

The desperately hungry, who cannot find work despite daily questing for work, dream of just a small piece of land where they could grow food to eat:

Is a different time coming?

In his review of the film of The Grapes of Wrath, Roger Ebert wrote, “Of course Tom [Joad] didn’t know the end of the story, about how the Okies would go to work in war industries and their children would prosper more in California than they would have in Oklahoma, and their grandchildren would star in Beach Boys songs. It is easy to forget that for many, “The Grapes of Wrath” had a happy, unwritten, fourth act.”  Fortunately, I did not read the review till after I’d finished the book; it has a big spoiler about the book’s final scene.

Roger Ebert was not entirely optimistic about the fate of the workers:

 “The story, which seems to be about the resiliency and courage of “the people,” is built on a foundation of fear: Fear of losing jobs, land, self-respect. To those who had felt that fear, who had gone hungry or been homeless, it would never become dated. And its sense of injustice, I believe, is still relevant. The banks and land agents of the 1930s have been replaced by financial pyramids so huge and so chummy with the government that Enron, for example, had to tractor itself off its own land.”

 

 

 

 

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