Posts Tagged ‘Salt Pub’

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The night had been just below freezing.  I woke early to a white frosty world, poked my camera out the south cat door for an unscreened photo of frost on the grass…

…and went back to sleep for three more hours.  When I awoke, I suggested that we go do the post-frost clean up, in hope that finally the frost had put the gardens to sleep.

We began a few blocks east at

Mike’s garden,

which we have referred to till now as Mayor Mike’s garden.  He is retiring as mayor at the end of 2017.

The sun was bright, the air cold, and the ground just lightly frozen.

Pieris promising spring

pale pink hesperantha blooming on the west side

salmon pink hesperantha blooming on the north side

pulling spent hesperantha along the front path

Allan raked.

Anchorage Cottages

Some days back, we drove in and right back out of the Anchorage parking lot because I could see the chrysanthemums by the office were still blooming.  And today they were STILL blooming.

Chrysanths that will not quit.

Today, I showed Jody, the housekeeper, who also does some gardening, how to just cut them to the ground when and if they ever brown off (which they will…).  We are not going to keep returning to check on two chrysanthemums.  I also showed her that she could cut the Melianthus if we have a hard enough freeze to make it ugly.

Melianthus major in the center courtyard

frozen birdbath (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo: In early spring, we will cut back this sprawling plant even if it does not get frozen, just to shape it up.

Long Beach

My mind had been on the one big Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that I had left untrimmed.  Surely it would be frozen by now? But no.

Allan’s photos

Frost could make the California poppies ugly, too. At least they are small.

It has been so mild that the Rozannes we cut back early this year have put out rosettes of new leaves.

It got cut back anyway, because we are not going to keep checking on it through January and I don’t want to think about a potential blackened heap of frozen leaves later on.

An anemone was already blooming in Veterans Field.

Allan’s photo

a wreath in Veterans Field (Allan’s photo)

We did some cutting back in Fifth Street Park, of a pineapple sage, some Verbena bonariensis, and a bit of the sprawling Melianthus.

pulling some spent hesperantha flowers

as tidy as its going to get till at least late January

Once upon a time, the scrim of unclipped catmint along the front, above, would have greatly bothered me.  For some reason, this year I think it looks interesting against the dry flower heads of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’…or maybe it was just that my hands were so cold.

Primroses (cowslips) were already blooming under a street tree.

I can feel exactly how it will feel to go back to work in late January or early February, and the prospect feels ok.  My only problem is that I have gotten pretty much nowhere on my indoor winter projects.

We celebrated the true end of the work year with coffee, warmth, and Pink Poppy Bakery treats at Abbracci Coffee Bar.

Abbracci co-owner Tony

We and another regular customer each got to take home one of the Christmas centerpieces.. very nice, since we never got around to putting up a tree, and later the flowers can go in my wonderful compost bins.

Abbracci tree and centerpieces

Ilwaco Timberland Library

We had some books to pick up.

at the library entrance

deep shade behind the wall

In the library

As expected, I got quite a pile of books, despite my original staycation plan for re-reading books on my own bookshelves.  Maybe that will wait till sometime when I am homebound for one reason or another.

a new batch, and the previous batch is not done yet

We had brought home a bucket of Abbracci coffee grounds and enough clean compost to add a wheelbarrow’s worth to my bins.  As I chopped it into small pieces and turned some from one bin to another at dusk, I did not mind the cold at all.

I have a compost obsession.

All the work got erased from the work side of the board, as did “Call Accountant”.  I had found an email address for the accountant we want, so I emailed her on the way home this afternoon.  I won’t have to call unless we don’t hear back in my preferred medium for anything business related (email, text, Facebook messaging, anything but a business phone call!).  (Carol, this does not mean you and Bill!)

a joyous sight

Salt Pub

After dark, we attended a Salty Talk at Salt Pub.

“Join Jim Sayce, historian and Executive Director of the Pacific County Economic Development Council, in a SALTY Talks presentation, “Reading the Land: Forensic Ecology” exploring the changes in the local landscape over time. Jim will show us how to recognize the subtle clues that can help find the original or historic landscape of a site within the bones of the built environment.”

Allan’s photo

delicious burger with salad subbed for fried (Allan’s photo)

window reflection

night marina

More boats than one used to decorate with lights.  The winter storms and wet weather caused too many electrical problems and so that pretty tradition ended just a few years back. We were happy to see one or two boats still carrying it on.

The Salt holiday tree

The lecture was well attended for one so close to the holidays.

Museum director Betsy Millard introduces the lecture (Allan’s photo)

Jim has a good collection of photos to illustrate how you can see the underlay of history.  For example, a line of trees representing old fence lines (where the trees grew up under the fence and the fence eventually disappeared):

He showed our changing views due to accretion of the beach (in some places half a mile wider than it used to be) and the growth of beach pines, which were not there a century ago.   Many beach trails were begun over 100 years ago and have simply been lengthened by trodding feet as the beach itself moved westward.

Allan captured some of the interesting old photos:

The “elephant rocks” used to be out in the surf, as an old photo showed, and are now well inland of Waikiki Beach.

rocks once out in the surf…

and now on land

An old highway has gone back to nature by the new highway 101.  Through a layer of grass and moss, the yellow line of the old highway occasionally shows through.

Jim Sayce

Jim’s laser pointer was not working.

The old and new photos pleased and fascinated us.

Jim’s blog, circa 2011 and before, is here.

It is now time for five weeks of true staycation.




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Saturday, 2 December 2017

In the late morning, I got up from some reading and found this cryptic note.

The question mark threw me.  I figured out that Allan had gone to help Jenna with the final set up for the crab pot tree.  She had been there all alone in the rain and had texted just to ask for some electrical tape.

The tide was at 11 feet.

at the south end of the boatyard

The port had set up a tent—a smart idea, implemented for the first time for this event.

Allan climbed up to plug the cord in way up high.

He dug a trench to run the cord across the field.

(Note to self: while the ground is soft would be a good time at home to dig a trench for running some hoses across the lawn.)

Jenna decorated a crab pot “snowman”.

They tested the lights and declared all systems go.

Allan took a couple of photos in the nearby boatyard.

On the way home, he popped into an American Legion holiday bazaar at the museum.



he Meanwhile, at home….Due to torrential rain, Skooter had no interest in outdoor life, nor did I.

I caught up on the Tootlepedal and the Miserable Gardener blogs.

At three, having been joined at home by Our Kathleen, we went to Salt Pub for a pre-tree lighting long, late lunch.

upstairs in the pub

Dave, Melissa and J9 joined us, making a party of six.

the view from our table

Allan’s photo

a hot cranberry toddy

sea cucumber

delicious brussel sprouts appetizer

polenta cake with veg and greens

dusk approaching

in the downstairs lobby

Next: a share from Our Ilwaco blog of the tree lighting festivities.




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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, 9 November 2017

I got eight hours of sleep for the first time since my cat Smoky got sick.  This meant a late start to the day.  I had barely settled in to what I thought would be a reading afternoon when the sun emerged from rain and we decided to go to work.  We picked the Ilwaco boatyard so we would not get drenched far from home if rain returned.

I left Frosty in his peculiar new favourite spot:

smack dab in the middle of the back bedroom floor

On the way to work, we clipped the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ at the back of our volunteer post office garden.

Allan’s photo; no before; the Helianthus had been in the back corner.

Ilwaco boatyard

I had decided to take down some of the annuals now instead of waiting for frost, because I remembered how hard they were to pull from frozen ground.

sweet peas all the way to the top of the fence

Turns out that while I did pull some of the sweet peas and the taller cosmos, I could not bear to pull them all.

Tall cosmos and the tallest sweet peas and the verbascums got pulled.

Allan’s photo; We did get caught in a couple of brief squalls

Allan’s photo: This re-seeded euphorbia had to go, as it was too close to the sidewalk

Allan’s photos: All but the two Stipa gigantea at the center of the garden got their long stems trimmed.

Allan’s photos: sweet peas that I left blooming.

In pulling the old foliage off of a big Geranium ‘Rozanne’, I found a pair of clippers that I had lost over the summer.

The clippers had been hiding inside a santolina whose dead flowers I had sheared a month or more ago.

We had time to do a pretty good weeding all along the boatyard garden, as well, and to sow a bucket of poppy seeds that I had saved from deadheading there in late summer.  I thought the poppies might not reseed naturally because we had added a lot of mulch at the end of summer, smothering seedlings.  But I found quite a few new little poppy seedlings despite that, so good.

The crab pot tree has been assembled.  Allan will help decorate it later this month.

bare bones of the crab pot tree (Allan’s photo)

event poster by Don Nisbett

A fishing boat was pulling in to the nearby processing company, Ilwaco Landing.


Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

We dumped a few buckets of weeds at our dump spot, and took all the cosmos, sweet peas and clean non weedy clippings home to my compost mountain.

view from the east end of the marina

debris haul to compost bins (Allan’s photo)

the rain gauge from last night (Allan’s photo)

A dear local friend of ours is having post surgery woes.  Allan ran her son to McDonalds to get a meal, and then he and I went to meet Dave and Melissa for dinner at

Salt Pub.

It’s now dark when we go to dinner. Salt courtyard, Allan’s photo

Dave’s eyes were on a televised football game at the other end of the room.

fish and chips and sliders

clam chowder

Tomorrow we do expect the weather to be good enough for working, followed by a rainy weekend that I hope to devote to reading.




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Friday, 3 November 2017

We did not have a workday breakfast (heartier than cereal) because rain inspired us to sleep late. Calvin enjoyed a bit of my cereal milk.  It was nice to have someone to share with.

Calvin’s treat

When the sky cleared, Allan hooked up the trailer and we headed off to work, or so we thought.

A substantial hail storm drove us back home from the post office.

So much hail fell that it was slippery walking in to the house.

I settled in to read for awhile.  Our Kathleen dropped by on her way into town with a memorial present for my Smoky.

a choice Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ from Our Kathleen

As we visited, the weather began to clear.  Kathleen departed and at 1:45 PM we went out to do some work.

blue sky over the front garden

I thought at the very least, we could get some checks into the bank, for which we have to go to Long Beach.

fungi by our bank parking spot

Long Beach

I walked around and checked three blocks worth of planters, using the wheelie cart from Mary Beth while I cut back old foliage.

weeding the curbside

In a sad mood, I did not feel like taking photos.

I did find one rock, so worn from being hidden deep in a planter that I could barely tell what the painting depicted.  I first thought it was a bulb and almost shoved it deeper in.

a birthday cake, I think

I did see an odd thing when I cleaned up one small area of Fifth Street Park:

Fifth Street Park, NE quadrant.  Look next to the white post…

??what is??

Allan took photos of his clean up project in the NW quadrant of Fifth Street Park, in which he cut back some perennials and pulled some cosmos





before cutting back Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’


before (I still think this huge grass needs to come out, a daunting task)

after retrieving the path

Allan cleaned up this planter; before


By the time we left, the sky was ominous.

dramatic sky

I loathe the discouragement of shopping for clothes, but while Allan dumped the debris at City Works, I went to Dennis Company and found a pair of warm, soft black pants that actually have pockets.   I have misplaced my one pair of winter pants that don’t have holes in them! How I got to be an XXL is beyond me, considering that I work hard.  I would have bought two pairs of those pants, because they fit and it would save me from future shopping for awhile, were it not for the sad fact that only one in that size was available.

Recommended reading on the subject of size:

On the way home, I needed more Ethos 2:1 tincture from Mr. Doobie’s.  It seems to have been preventing back spasms.  While I was in the shop, Allan looked  behind it at Tarlatt Slough, an old portage route.


View north as it flows under Hwy 101 by Sandridge.


Tarlatt Slough south towards Black Lake


at home

I remembered that I had a couple of Geranium ‘Orion’ divisions to plant in the bogsy woods so bunged them in along the back fence at dusk.

Skooter came with me…

…and Smoky’s brother, Frosty.

I like Frosty, even though he is part Siamese, yowly and neurotic.  (Lately he insists on sleeping in the cold garage, and I do not know why.)  I like Skooter, even though Skooter likes Allan best.

Skooter, age four and a half

Some tears fell because I miss my adored Smoky’s company.  He adored me, too.

Julez of Salt Hotel and Pub did such a kind thing by bringing us a dinner of smoked tuna sandwiches, a gift of comfort for the loss of our cat.

Delicious food from Salt Pub

I talked with a friend today about what it is like when you have more than one pet, and the very best one is the one that dies.  I found it comforting to share that feeling with someone.

I hoped that Allan and I could get in one more workday in Fifth Street Park on Saturday.  It would have to be a short day because of the always exciting annual 6×6 auction starting at 5 PM.

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Friday, 8 September 2017

I enjoy the Slow Drag event that takes place every September at the port, and have posted our photos in two enormous albums (The Vehicles and The Race) on the Discover Ilwaco Facebook page.  Here, I have a different focus: How the event relates to the port gardens.

For those who wonder what a slow drag even is, Allan photographed the rules.

The race takes place down Howerton Avenue past our curbside gardens, and, to return to the finish line, the vehicles slowly promenade down Waterfront Way.

Curbside gardens run from east to west all along the landward side of the buildings.

I can’t resist adding photos of a view vehicles that I find particularly charming.  And some dogs.


Allan’s photo

First, I took photos of the parade of contestants down Waterfront Way.


The Church Ladies, always a favourite

The Who Bus, driven by Travis Matling, always our favourite to root for.

Someone called this bug “the condiment car” because of its colour scheme.

We love Salt Pub.

Clowns are scary. But it’s neat the way this car drives backwards.

My favourite truck

the old Shorebank building, now for sale, where we used to take care of the landscape

purple! and the condor sculpture

wings of the condor

condor reflected in purple

a passenger

my favourite bug with luggage rack

and the nice driver

port office baskets

our favourite local realtor, Char Wolters, in front of Don Nisbett gallery

Better call Char if you want to move to the beach!

a bug full of fairies

by Salt Pub, greens

The charming beach buggy driver comes every year.

It is always important to me to get red vehicles with red Jessie’s Fish Co.

People push to save on petrol and to avoid overheating.

Now we are turning the corner by Jessie’s and Englund Marine to the starting line of the race course.

The Who Bus


white, small and big

Is that our friend Don Nisbett?

Church Ladies near the starting line


Allan’s photo, starting line


starting line flagger, and our westernmost garden

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

a luau in the Salt courtyard

Salt curbside garden

Allan’s photo

Allan saw our friend Scott and Tony’s dog, Rudy, seeming to indicate which car he liked best:

Allan, Dave, and Melissa

Allan’s photo


another cute dog (Allan’s photo)


Allan’s photo

the announcer

Onlookers behaved well in staying off most of the gardens, except for the one right by the finish line, where they parked their chairs.  However, because we are not allowed to hook up our hose and water that one, I no longer plant special plants there.

One exception to the garden respect was this person in my favourite garden bed.

When I passed again , I saw that this individual was moving all around the garden.

I couldn’t help it; I gently said, “Oh dear, I have some very precious plants in that garden bed,” and got the “Are you crazy lady?” look, followed by turning away and more shuffling around in the bed.  I walked away.  Such incidents are always futile, but I never can resist just one attempt, especially when there were plenty of other places to stand, and when this person was the only one trompling around in a garden.

Back to the race:

finish line, with a car just over the line; you can see lots of sitters and chairs in the finish line garden.

clown car trying to slow down

Travis and the Who Bus had gotten eliminated, to my sorrow.  Now I was rooting for the truck, below.  It was doing well.

another round one

Astoria clowns again

cute car tries to make it over the line

They’re out! Note folks all over the garden in the background.

another dramatic moment

Finally came the last lap, and my favourite (after the Who Bus, that is) won!

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

the winners

Tomorrow: The Cannon Beach Cottage tour, one of our favourite events of the year.


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Before we get to our day, here’s some breaking news: A sale fell through on the wonderful garden (and home) next door to the Bayside Garden.  There must be a moneyed gardener who would love this 4.4 acre property with great gardening neighbors and with lots of room for garden expansion. Have a look at the real estate listing, here.  And tour the garden in this old post from when it was on the local garden tour.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

We could have had today off by working ten hour days for three days.  I’m learning that a day off is not always worth that pain; besides, I especially enjoy a day spent working only in our own town.

You may recall that last night, we tagged three arbutus for removal near the old Shorebank building.


Last night: The tagged shrubs are three arbutus that want to be tree like. To keep pruned to the desired three feet tall just makes them ugly so I rebelled and stopped pruning them last year.

In the morning email, I heard that the port crew would probably be too busy to remove the shrubs.  Imagine my delight when we drove down Howerton and saw that the shrubs were gone after all!  What’s more, crew member Daryl had done the removal so skillfully, with a backhoe and ropes, that he had saved the wee huckleberry.


We don’t even have to get soil to fill in holes!

We set to tidying the area and pruning the two wax myrtles, a shrub that, unlike the arbutus, looks just fine when pruned.  A good hose watering settled the garden nicely.



The most important issue in these gardens is making safe traffic sightlines for people pulling out of driveways.


Daryl, who did the excellent shrub removal.


before pruning the myrtles


and after

We were almost immediately thanked by two business people for making their view of the road better.

After tourist season, we will cut those two wax myrtles flush to the ground.  They will come back as nice, easily clipped and shaped mounds like these, in the next garden, that got that treatment last year.


These are easily kept clipped low.

Also possibly for slated for removal is the mugo pine at the end of my favourite Howerton garden bed.  Daryl had stopped to clean the restrooms and we had complimented him on his precise and neat shrub removal.  He offered to take the pine out sometime and I said I would love that. While it may look neat and short in the photo below, that is only because of extensive and frequent pruning on my part.  I believe it was purchased as a dwarf mugo pine.  It doesn’t know that and wants to be twice this tall at least.


my favourite Howerton bed


Mugo pine might be feeling nervous at this point.


Daryl examines the understructure of the pine.

By the way, all the too-big plants predate our working on these gardens.

Next, we checked up on Mayor Mike’s garden nearby and found the house had been painted exactly the colour I was hoping for.  When brown had been suggested awhile back, I’d pointed out that a pink and blue and white garden does not tone well with a brown house.


This is perfect. The window trim will be raspberry colour. Delectable.


overspray (Allan’s photo)

We weeded at the boatyard for about an hour in weather that suddenly felt too hot and sunny.


pulling little scrimmy horsetail


boatyard garden looking south


north stretch of boatyard garden (Allan’s photo)


late poppies (Allan’s photo)

The rest of the workday was spent watering more of the Howerton Ave curbside gardens.


eastern end of the Howerton gardens, looking west

I left Allan and weeded my way toward my watering goals, the port office and Time Enough Books gardens.

While watering at the Loading Dock Village garden between Howerton and the water, I took in the view, as did Allan while hooking up his long hose at the dock.


Allan’s photo


fog rolling in, viewed from near the Loading Dock Village


At the same moment, Coho Charter boats are still in sunshine.


Eryngium and a spider (Allan’s photo)

When Allan and I met up at the west end after our separate watering tasks, we were both thinking of dinner at Salt Pub.



Deadliest Catch (with the sound off) was playing on the telly on the end wall.

Soon every table was full.  Despite that, our dinner was served in good time.


cheeseburger with salad subbed for fries


Allan’s rockfish sandwich


the view from our window table

At home:


Every morning and evening, I find Calvin and Smokey together on this small chair. There are larger chairs on offer!


Watered the container and greenhouse plants.


a late flush of lilies

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