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Thursday, 8 June 2017

*Overseas is not as exotic as it sounds; it’s just what we say around here about crossing the Columbia River to northwest Oregon state.

We had a lovely rainy day so there was no guilt at all about not gardening.

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The half an inch of predicted rain had materialized.

Before leaving Ilwaco, we finally found time to go to the botanical art exhibit at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, three blocks west.

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“The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is honored to present an exhibition of 82 paintings by Frances Stilwell representing the native plants of Oregon’s eight Ecoregions.

After moving to Oregon in 1969, Stilwell began defining her new home by learning and drawing the native plants. Since then, Stillwell has published two books related to Oregon’s native plants including the exhibition’s companion book, ‘Oregon’s Botanical Landscape; An Opportunity to Imagine Oregon Before 1800’.”

Before going in, we simply had to pull chickweed out of the museum’s two planters.

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beargrass and beargrass baskets

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I liked the impressionistic paintings so much that I bought the accompanying book.

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Now for our shopping trip overseas.

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Astoria

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We’d go to more events in Astoria if I enjoyed crossing the 4.2 mile bridge.

We drove into downtown to buy a t shirt at Old Town Framing for Astoria Pride 2017.

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flowers in a downtown window

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large street planters

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Allan’s photo

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and individual shop planters

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In Warrenton, just southwest of Astoria, we checked out the plant stock at Fred Meyer and Home Depot because I have often found cool plants at Fred’s…not so much this time…and because I need a couple of small hydrangeas like Cityline Rio.  I was disgruntled because both stores had hydrangeas which were not marked with cultivar names. Just “hydrangea” is not enough of a label for me.

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feeling disgruntled at a big box store

We bought some feeder fish for our water boxes at the local Petco.  (I’d rather shop at smaller places but sometimes, here away from the city, the choices are limited.)

We turned right onto Broadway in Seaside, Oregon, to make the loop of

Pam Fleming’s Seaside Gardens

Because the frustrating hydrangea shopping had consumed a lot of time, the photos are taken from the van on a drive by.  Sometime I’d like to have a leisurely enough trip to text city gardener Pam and meet for lunch.  You can see the gardens at their summer peak in this post from July 2015.

 

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Taken backwards after driving past because I admired the pool of still water underneath the clipped ceanothus.

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I envy Pam’s big, irrigated planting beds.

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impressionistic

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a store named after me

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the turn-around

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We drove on south from Seaside to shop at Seaside 7 Dees. I found some fairly common plants that I wanted for my garden.

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Allan’s photo

 

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a couple more Euonymus ‘Green Spire’

A nice Salvia patens was a good find.  My best find was a flat of Asclepias syriaca, which had been on my must have list since I saw it last summer in the Deerly Missed gardendeerly.png

Well, syriaca and speciosa are not the same one…but close in appearance.  I hope.

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Allan liked the fountain. (We’ve seen a version with crows, too.)

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Their beaks clack as water runs through.

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He found himself a new “parsley fern”.

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My cart; I wish I could have found two cartloads of cool plants to buy.

I am aware of the contradiction in my recent rejoicing that planting time was over.

Note the gold leafed Tradescantia ‘Blue and Gold’.  I have tried this plant repeatedly and the snails always get it.  My memory of seeing it in Lucy Hardiman’s Portland garden years ago always inspires me to try again.

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Lucy’s garden, 2001, gold tradescantia in pots on the deck

Unfortunately, the hydrangea selection at 7 Dees did not include any that I wanted for the J’s garden although I did get myself one called ‘Shooting Star’, which might be one I have seen in The Oysterville Garden.

Perhaps, thought I, I had not tried hard enough while looking at the hydrangeas at Home Depot.  We went back to try again; I hoped that scanning the tags might reveal the names of the different cultivars.  Nope.  The scan just said “Hydrangea”.  I tried to explain that there are a lot of folks with the surname Smith, but individual Smiths are names Mary, Bob, or Lucy.  I got crickets and blank looks.

We had not had time to eat yet so we decided to have a meal at the cute Uptown Café in the adjacent mall.  (I wished I had decided that earlier; we could have waited to get our feeder fish and saved them the ride to Seaside and back.)

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Tradescantia ‘Blue and Gold’ outside the café, planted with lots of sidewalk around it so probably not vulnerable to snails.

The back of the menu explains much about the charming decor of the café.  Its ambience is more important to me than the food.

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wood partition from an old church

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south wall

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Old doors from Astoria houses.

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veggie burger

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fish tacos

home again

…after accomplishing the tedium of grocery shopping.

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This snail had ridden all the way down and back with us on the back of the van. (Allan’s photo)

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chickadee poised to take food to the nest

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new batch of ladies in waiting

The new fish had one casualty, a plain silver one.  The store clerk had put in extras for that eventuality.  They got floated around in their bag for an hour in the water boxes before being divided into their new home.

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the new fish

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There are lots of places to hide from predators.

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We had had this much rain.

Tomorrow: One work day, followed by a two day weekend with a couple of events that might preclude getting the new plants planted.

 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

After work, we drove to Oysterville to see the late spring glory of THE Oysterville garden.

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a cloud of white daisies and valerian

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blue Siberian iris and blue tuteur

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front walk with matching groups of Armeria at the front and evergreen symmetry on either side

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The south bed is burgeoning.

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detail

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the glorious terrace

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The chair backs match the window in the previous photo (Allan’s photo)

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ruffled echeveria in a ruffled pot (Allan’s photo)

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echeveria (Allan’s photo)

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south side of the driveway

Because Melissa would be in Portland this weekend visiting her mother, we would not be having our weekly North Beach Garden Gang dinner, so we were pleased to find Mel and Dave (Sea Star Gardening) just finishing up a work session here.

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Sea Star Gardening’s rig

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sheds and climbing rose

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a pale Siberian iris

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looking north across the allée

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the allée of Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’

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blue star creeper

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center axis is a potted Japanese maple

We turn to the gardens surrounding the big north lawn.

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Astrantia

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looking north

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west side of lawn, clematis climbing an old pear tree

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new growth on rhododendron

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white primula

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Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ or maybe the all gold one

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an interesting rhododendron

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Aquilegia 

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo, with flash

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I “helped” Melissa look for weeds. (We did help pull some!)

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Allan’s photo

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more clematis

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Allan’s photo

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the northernmost curve of lawn

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coming round to the front border

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Allan’s photo of the edging begonias in a big pot of boxwood

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Phlomis fruticosa and Thalictrum (Allan’s photo)

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inside the front border

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Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

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Allium opening (Allan’s photo)

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Digiplexis doing much better than mine

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Siberian iris

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miniature meadow on the porch

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golden dicentra still looking fine

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looking back

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Tetrapanax papyrifer

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Allan’s photo (The new leaves ARE soft and fuzzy.)

The tetrapanax towers overhead.

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Allan’s photo

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More Siberian iris admiration.  Last year I got the silver subshrub identified as Gomphostigma virgatum, a South African plant which came through the winter here nicely.

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Gomphostigma virgatum, closer.

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a handsome pittosporum

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I want to know what the white flower is.

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Allan’s photo

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Allan’s photo

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me, Dave and Melissa 

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back outside of paradise

 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Another two part post, as this blog falls further behind real time.  Our day had only four jobs, two of them brief, and would end with a tour of THE Oysterville garden, which always deserves its own post.

The Red Barn Arena

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Amy and her barrel racing horse

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Allan’s string trimming alternative to using round up right behind the garden

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My friend Disney, the mother whippet, who likes me. It is her son who snubs me. Unless I have a treat.

Diane’s garden

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new lawn going in by Steve Clarke and crew

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All we did was fertilize and deadhead the three groups of back yard pots.

The Basket Case Greenhouse

I had a check to deliver and a few plants to seek.

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middle greenhouse

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north greenhouse

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Middle greenhouse; all three greenhouses have many choices.

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Allan’s photo

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I love this peachy diascia, and that is my favourite tender fuchsia, Pink Marshmallow.

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I got myself an Orange Rocket Barberry, shown here with Roxanne. This time, I won’t forget to water it. I’ve killed two Orange Rockets by neglect in the first year.

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a poster by the sales desk

The Anchorage Cottages

Allan pruned the center courtyard viburnums to keep them from coming forward into the perennial border.

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Allan’s photo: before, coming too far forward

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 before (Note that I do not like the look of the Arbutus on the right.  I gave it some Dr Earth fert.)

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after

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Mitzu supervising

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during

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after

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Dutch Iris

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with gorgeous markings

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‘Eye of the Tiger’ Dutch Iris

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Dutch Iris and Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ (blue potato vine)

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Two of the four windowboxes

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Climbing hydrangea

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north end garden

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climbing rose and ceanothus

The Planter Box

I wanted 18 more painted sage for me, and more Dr Earth rhododendron fertilizer, and then I saw some Cosmos ‘Double Click’ and ‘Seashells’ and ended up with two full flats of plants.  Oops.

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at The Planter Box entrance

Klipsan Beach Cottages

We spent an hour in intensive grooming of the garden.

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east side of fenced garden with Climbine Cecile Brunner rose and honeysuckle

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looking in the east gate

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birdbath view

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Allium ‘Mount Everest’

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The gold is Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’

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clematis

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Mary had a little time to work with me. She is picking snails that are hiding in a daylily.

Allan had planned to clean up buttercups along the roadside edge of the swale (by the road up to the cottages).  He found that the housekeeping and grounds crew had done a beautiful job there, so he did not have to.

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Allan’s photo: well done, and not by us.

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Allan’s photo

This gave him time to do a good clean up on the outside of the fenced garden.

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Podophyllum (Allan’s photo)

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bindweed on the weigela! (Allan’s photos)

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Allan’s photo: One of Mary’s snails on the run.

We then went north to THE Oysterville garden: Tomorrow’s post. On the way, we took a scenic route through Ocean Park.  Allan’s photos:

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on Park Avenue

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While I went into the Oysterville garden, Allan detoured on foot to the bay to look at the boats.

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Oysterville by the bay

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These are all part of the Oysterville regatta, a July event that seems to be an invitational event sort of for the Oysterville crowd.    Everyone uses the same kind of boat so that skill is the factor in winning, followed by a barbecue.

On the way home down Sandridge Road, we saw that (as expected) Steve Clarke and Co had completed laying Diane and Larry’s new lawn to perfection.  We did not stop; it did look like there will be room to create a very narrow remake of our roadside garden although I’m concerned about it being closer to the road, thus more nervewracking to work on.  We shall see!

In Ilwaco, we drove down Howerton to assess the gardens and saw both artist Don Nisbett and Butch of Coho Charters.

Fisherman Butch

Butch said, “No matter what they say about you, I still think you do a great job!”

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Ilwaco

We began the day by having a look at our new job, the Loading Dock Village garden.  The actual garden owner was weeding and if she keeps on at the pace she’s going, she’ll have it done by next week when we have scheduled a day for it.

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the garden (Allan’s photo)

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Allan’s photo. I love the metal edging but it is rusting away, says the owner.

She took us on a tour of the building, as well.

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a double door

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cleverly designed

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inside the Loading Dock Village

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one of the upstairs rentals

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I would not be able to do these railingless stairs and bridge between two upstairs spaces in the living quarters!

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the view

Allan noticed the curb painting at the nearby curbside garden.  This was done by an outside contractor, not our city guys.

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The trick is to hold up some kind of cardboard or some such barrier to keep the paint in place.  If the plants were not there, even more river rock would have been painted yellow.

We went back to the J’s garden to work some more on the three sad hydrangeas.  Out two of them came, and the landscape fabric underneath got cut and pulled out, and back in the hydrangeas went.

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the saddest (Allan’s photo)

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fabric

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back in; the one on the left had already had the fabric cut out on another day.

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fabric (installed by previous owner)

I still think I am going to get new hydrangeas for this area.  Dwarf ones, preferably from the Cityline series (not easy to find here).

We are obsessively watering these three and the three nice new ones at the Norwood garden across the street from J’s.

Ilwaco Community Building

We had a book to return and paused for Allan to take a few photos of the garden. This is an area that was heavy with salal up to last year:

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It was a pleasure to see and have a good chat with John and Yudy, who were just going into the library themselves.

Long Beach

I was eager to check the new plants in two Sid Snyder Drive planters.

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first planter: plants still there, in right corner

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westernmost planter…test plants still there, tagged with words like “I want to live here” and “This is my home”.

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We added some sedum starts (Allan’s photo)

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and watered it well (Allan’s photo)

We then watered the main street planters, with me going north and Allan going south.  We skipped the trees because of a forecast for considerable rain Wednesday night.  (Please, please, please!)

Photos from Allan’s walkaround:

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Basket Case Greenhouse basket by the police station

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Allium albopilosum by the carousel. (I have no idea why this allium is here as I usually consider them too fragile for the planters.)

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painting in Fifth Street Park

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More city crew hard at work. This is why people say Long Beach is as clean as Disneyland.

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Salvia viridis (painted sage) still a ways from blooming.  I usually pick off the big lower leaves at this stage.

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California poppies of a pale peach hue.

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Camassia ‘Sacajawea’ and Dutch Iris

Photos from my walkaround:

I noticed the police station roses (Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’) sticking out awfully far onto the sidewalk so I quickly trimmed one end.

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before

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I called Allan to say that if he got done first, to please cut the roses back all the way along.  Because the Farmers Market is opening on Fridays beginning this week, this sidewalk will get lots of walkers.

Here is the planter with the boring Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’—boring because it has already stopped blooming.

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The shape of the seed heads is why it is called a cranesbill geranium.

A whole bunch of people were hanging out in front of Funland and one man made the enlightening remark, “You can go to the beach, sure, but all the real shit is happening downtown.”

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The damnable wire plant is coming back full force in the planter by Stormin’ Normans. It will not prevail. Humans will win.

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I swear I spent half an hour pulling chickweed out from under the tree by Dennis Co. Chickweed always wins. Someone dumped sawdust in there.

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That tree has a very pretty helianthemum.

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Happy to see the dug-up-for-plumbing-fix Geranium ‘Rozanne’ coming back but now I feel the planter needs at least one trailie while it fills in.

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It’s quite off balance with the undamaged geranium.

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two favourites, Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’ and Agastache (probably ‘Mexican Giant’)

I was so pleased when I got back to the police station to find that Allan was just finishing up trimming the roses.

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before

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during

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after. We’ll check it again on Friday morning.

Then we weeded the Vet Field flag pavilion garden, which had some big weeds and some plucked and dropped white alliums.

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Why?? I love these alliums.

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trash and a beheaded allium pulled right out of the ground

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Dang BLANG it.

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Perennials set back by our cold winter are being slow to fill in.

We had a check to pick up at city hall and some cosmos there to check on for dampness.

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City Hall west side

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the wonderful edge

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Dutch iris (Allan’s photo)

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elephant garlic (Allan’s photo)

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passersby (Allan’s photo)

On the way to dump debris, I saw the shasta daisies at Culbertson Park were wilting.  Why?  They never have before, so I wonder if a sprinkler head has changed.

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emergency watering

Ilwaco planters

On the way home, I saw something suspicious lying on the Ilwaco sidewalk.  Allan went back out to water the planters, and indeed:

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It was an Allium albopilosum picked from the boatyard, carried two blocks, and dropped.

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He knew I’d want to see it was torn off, not clipped.

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a planter filling in nicely

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The poppy that looked all sad last Friday got pulled today.

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Asiatic lilies in the post office garden

Meanwhile, at home:

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I wanted to weed this but instead fertilized the evergreens and hydrangeas in the front garden.

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Dicentra ‘Valentine’ and a poppy the wind blew over

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Two chickadees were chattering at me…

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They have babies in there.

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One of my Basket Case baskets

Basket Case basket maker Roxanne said the pale pink calibrachoa was supposed to be a deep burgundy.  The colour combo was not what she planned but I like it.

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Halmiocistus wintonensis ‘Merrist Wood Cream’

Just before dusk, while blogging, I asked Allan to go out and get a photo for me of the peony from Mary Beth:

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nearby

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two toned Gaura

Tomorrow, we have a moderately short work day so we hope to visit THE Oysterville garden in the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

I got outside by 11:30, so gold star for me!

First on the agenda, the scary decision to move a paperbark maple that was lost next to the viburnum in Danger Tree bed.

before

after transplanting and weeding (even though the maple does not show well in this one)

The maple is the centerpiece now.  Allan helped me shift it.  I will water it every day.

I got after this woodsy bed, as well.

before

after (the old bench is for the campfire someday soon)

This robin hopped around a few yards away all day.

Allan’s photo: He dumped my barrows for me as they got full, or overfull.

Allan was using a new camera called Fujifilm XP 90.  More on this later.

He also removed this grass for me. His photos, before…

and after. I was tired of its tattiness and it had weed grass all worked into it.

Allan took on a few projects (his photos).  He installed the blue bottle holder.

The robin kept him company, too.

Allan’s photo

His next project was to make a new bridge railing.

Some plants I was happy to see:

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Thalictrum ‘Elin’, having been transplanted into two new spots last fall.

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Geranium ‘Orion’

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Stipa gigantea with Corylus avellana ‘Red Magestic’

At five, I tackled a horrible area along the east fence.

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It had bindweed running up last year’s dead stalks of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.

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got part of the front curved bed weeded after tackling the bindweed area

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but suddenly hit the wall and had to walk away from the mess of pulled weeds till tomorrow.

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I appreciated this iris whose name I have forgotten again. Next time, I will write it on my new plants to not forget list.

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Pacific coast iris blooming among weeds.

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Tomorrow, I want to finish the east side. Here’s the south end of it.

I dredged up the last bit of energy and finished the west side’s north end…

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And now the whole west side border is done.

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And one of the peonies from Mary Beth has a bud about to open.

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progress

Still too windy for a campfire.

Sunday, 5 June 2017

Years ago, I used to always choose Fuji film over Kodak, because I thought that Fuji had more of a rich palette of green and blue and that Kodak was more orangey yellow.  From a quick glance at Allan’s photos yesterday it seemed to me that the new Fujifilm camera had the same rich tones, so I borrowed it to use today.  Well, I don’t like it.  All the photos are dark, had to be tweaked, shadows are overwhelming.  Allan felt the same way, it turns out; he is going to work with the settings and see if he can improve it.

The garden is a dark green paradise today.

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First thing: Water the paperbark maple. It did not wilt! And in this spot, its bark, when it peels, will be backlit by evening sun.

Paperbark maple, from an old blog post about a garden tour:

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paperbark maple and pruned up contorted filbert

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Next, clean up yesterday’s mess and finish weeding the east side curved bed.

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after

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taken two days later

There is an open view through the fence where some helianthus has died so I moved my new little white escallonia into the space, far in the background of the photo.  I hope it does well.

I had won a raffle rhododendron donated by Steve Clarke at a long ago Astoria garden tour (a tour which no longer happens, darn it!).  I had planted it in an obscure spot because I was not very fond of rhododendrons.  Now my eyes are opened by Steve and John’s garden and I realize this is quite a lovely one.

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white tomentosum on new leaves!

I thought about moving it to somewhere showier but could not think of the perfect spot and was afraid of hurting it.  The new camera does not reveal how well I managed to reveal it by weeding and pruning.

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stupid new camera. I will find a good spot for this little guy and move him in the fall.

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taken two days later (with my iPhone)

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It is a special one!

Next, the south end of the east border. Allan helped by pulling some bindweed.

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Allan’s photo

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before; apparently I forgot an after.   It was better!

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after, taken two days later

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further along before

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good enough for now!

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Oriental poppies (and weeds that are coming back in the center bed) Allan’s photo

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another accomplishment of Allan’s today

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Rosa ‘Radway Sunrise’ made me happy all day.

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Look how it was blowing around in 24 mph winds!

The wind had been annoying all weekend but this evening it got so bad that when I went round the whole garden fertilizing assorted conifers and hydrangeas with Dr Earth rhododendron and evergreen fertilizer, I was afraid to go into the alder grove to fertilize the hydrangeas there (but I did it).

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At the very end of the day, I so wanted to finish the east side.  Allan helped (in response to moaning and whinging) by doing a difficult spot.

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And now the east side is done, too.

Disappointingly for both us and Devery, it was much too windy for a campfire.

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Now all sorts of pleasures await on days off: half moon edging all the paths, weeding in the front garden where the weeds have returned, ornamental pruning….I am not kidding, I love all those tasks.  Next weekend will not have as much gardening time because Sunday is the Pride March in Astoria.  And tomorrow, back to work.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

With Allan gone on his trail clean up (a longstanding committment), I did not go to the Rally for Truth in Astoria.  I don’t like asking for a ride and I don’t like inflicting my bridge phobia on anyone but Allan.  I saw later that the rally had attracted a good crowd (I heard there were about fifty people).  A couple of photos from the local Indivisible group:

What interests me especially about the above sign is that I had sort of gleaned that we were just supposed to have signs on the topic of truth.  I did not think my “Love our Planet” sign would be acceptable for the theme of the rally and did not have time to think about making a new one.  Turns out it would have been fine; had I known that, I might have tried for a ride.  In a big vehicle, though; it’s a big sign.

I’d like to say I was there in spirit.  Actually, I was so exhausted I slept till a shockingly late hour, and then I read the news for awhile.

The cats were no more energetic than me.

I looked at the path over Devery’s meadow and thought about going to the Saturday Market.

The market is just on the other side of those buildings two blocks away.

But I did not go.  I mustered up enthusiasm for putting my Pink Marshmallow fuchsias into prettier hanging baskets.

I don’t much like the faux terracotta look (right).

I looked around the garden a bit, seeking some energy.

pretty daylily

before: The west side garden was my goal for the day.

before, further along

and further along

south end, west side

Danger Tree garden, also a mess

north end of the west side garden, where I left off unfinished last week.

a beautiful Siberian iris

Sibirian iris take up a huge space for a short period of bloom.

Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’ with half nice new foliage and half old tatty foliage.

a grass which I will ask Allan to dig for me.

Good and bad: Distressed and dying little conifer, and a big bud on one of the peonies given me by Mary Beth

My legs hurt just walking around.  Three ibuprofen later, I was back out with my garden tools, at the disgracefully late start time of 4 PM.

realized willow needed pruning back

better

Through the fence, the buttercups glowed like sunshine in the meadow.

On my side, the buttercups were huge.

Three and a half hours later (I’ll repeat some befores):

before

after

before

after

Getting the buttercups out of this corner was a real pleasure.

I even got into Danger Tree bed but at 7 PM I walked away from a great big mess of weeds, having hit the wall.

Fortunately, we have a three day weekend.

I had a revelation that the center of Danger Tree bed is open.  Something small with gold leaves died, I think.  I need to move the paperbark maple into that spot so its bark shows.  I remembered Todd telling me that at Plant Delights, they moved large plants in the middle of summer heat and the plants survived with plenty of water for days after.  I decided to risk it tomorrow.

Skooter wanted a campfire. There was too much wind.

Salvia africana-lutea with brown flowers that smell like root beer.

evening light on the front garden

I hoped that on Sunday and Monday, I would manage to get outside before late afternoon.

reading

I finished the autobiography of Lee Smith, a writer of Southern novels that I especially like.  Years ago, I did not think I wanted to read novels about the South.  One evening in 1988 when I was in Cincinnati with my then spouse, visiting his friend who was having a play (something about moonshine and coal black nights) produced by the city theatre, I picked up a Lee Smith novel on Tom Atkinson’s recommendation, to be polite, because we were his guests.  It was probably Cakewalk.  I then read all of her books in short order and have continued to read each new one.

I always pay attention to what writers say about death.  I looked up the lyrics to this song:

I love the line below, “These ladies were a way I’d never be.”

This passage about writing started me thinking about what it was like to move to Ilwaco (“a stranger comes to town”):

Lee Smith recommends the writer Lou Crabtree.  I especially liked what Lou had to say about being a night owl:

Lou Crabtree

Ms. Crabtree had some comforting thoughts about death:

After Lou’s death:

What Lee Smith thinks about age and wisdom:

Dimestore is short, delightful, moving.  I am following it with The Deepest Roots, a book which I expected to be a breezy memoir about country life on Bainbridge Island.  It turned out be densely packed with information about community, history, Native American and Filipino food, the history of local tribes and the food they ate, farming on Bainbridge and the internment of Japanese farmers in WWII, how pollution has affected being able to live off of local seafood…and that is just chapter one.  It is beautifully written and will be a slow read for summertime. On the day that this post publishes (June 10), the author will be speaking at Time Enough Books at the Port of Ilwaco between 5:30 and 7:00.

 

 

Note: If you enjoyed Allan’s recent Audubon trip to Long Island with author Robert Pyle, you might want to go back to that post and read the two post-trip messages (now added to the end) from the organizers. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017: Allan’s Day

Friends of Willapa trail clean up

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A map in the Headquarters Unit showing protected lands and their recreational features.

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Today (Saturday) the gate was open. The trails are accessible even when the gate is closed

I was there to help perform maintenance on the Cutthroat Creek trail as organized by the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

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Pre-cut steps ready to dig in. They’re pre-drilled for a couple of two-foot rebar chunks to ‘nail’ them down.

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Supervisor Jackie and the first of many series of steps on this trail.

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Jackie and some of the asphalt installers

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The pink flag meant work. Here’s a new step almost ready for a piece of asphalt.

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A fungi party parallels the trail.

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Natural steps are sometimes in place.

I found that the log installation was going well. I thought an undrilled log could support a wiggling step. I learned it would just be a hazard later if it rolled underfoot so I packed in soil instead.

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I beat up some old clippers slowly cutting a step top. It’s better to score, bend and break.

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Some more steps going in

At this point I found myself hauling shingles to try to keep the shinglers shingling. Pruners were cutting and others were hauling but when hugging shingles, it wasn’t easy taking pictures and besides, I wanted to look busy.

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Maybe bark later when this muddy spot dries out.

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This fungi party extends off into the forest.

The logs are nearly done, some more need to be made, and the asphalters are near the end of the trail.

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Todd ahead as someone behind asked us to pose for a picture. Then I turned around and followed instructions to be included in a photo.

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Our ‘Garden Gang’ Todd who’s been doing this for years.

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Yumm, and I thought we had to bring our own.

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Maybe about twenty volunteers who have been making the Willapa a better place to visit.




Black Lake

Todd went right to work after the Cutthroat trail project. I went home (it’s supposed to be a day off after all).

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The kids in the book I was reading were figuring out how to sail a frozen lake with their sledges. Something to do with an expedition to the North Pole at the north end of the lake.

We had a good wind from the north, so later I went to practice at our local Black Lake. There is no walking or working out when you’re in a sailboat, unless the wind dies.

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Tucked under a tree by the generous permission of the land owner who likes to promote sailboats on the lake. The other two ‘yacht club’ boats have yet to be used by their owners.

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If the boat works sideways, it should work keel side down.

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Years ago, Ilwaco City Hall had an extra rhododendron which Skyler recommended they plant at the lake. Here it is on the east side.

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Downwind to the furthest tip.

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Now to sail back, step off on shore, and NOT use the oars. I’ve done it once in eight outings. That’s why I installed oarlocks.

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A flowering salal where it should be, in its natural state.

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Tried to grab the camera and get a horizon shot with the mast leaned way over. To do that I have to let go of lines and or rudder. The boat straightens up and, well, maybe it doesn’t lean over all that much.

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The top speed was all of five and a half mph, easier than running or rowing.

The landing is to the right, just beyond the grass. The shore blocks the breeze. It takes inertia to glide in. Too slow and the boat looses steerage and drifts into the hazards.

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Smooth water, no breeze near the landing.

I grabbed the camera, got the shot,  but in letting go of stuff I drifted into the island.

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Rippled water out in the lake meant there was enough wind to try again. I pushed off the island but didn’t row.

I put the camera down and went around again, and again, for an hour. The challenge was to not to paddle. The kids in Ransome’s books don’t paddle without good reason.

When I got home and was asked “How was the trip”, I thought that spending an hour circling the landing was the highlight of the trip. “That doesn’t sound very productive.” I thought I’d try to illustrate it here.

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A google map with the challenge highlighted.

In chess, there is a fifty move rule where the game is a draw if no piece is captured or a pawn moved. Time spent learning how to win an endgame is productive if you want to get the game over.

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White can checkmate, or it’s a draw if white isn’t careful.

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…success

 

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