A View Into the Woods Renewing

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

The view out of my darkened office window on June 6, 2010.


Foxgloves in the Woods


Foxgloves in the Woods 2


These views might be unremarkable except for what happened here not so long ago…


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This is what it looked like after they cut down the trees and ran over and turned their heavy equipment around on a fern covered forest floor immediately behind our house in January, 2009.


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 For more about what happened, read my post:  Toad Lake Logging: Is 80% enough for them?  


I don’t see this kind of logging any differently than I see what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico at the hands of BP and its cronies. What my neighbor’s trustee did to the woods here was only different in scale. It is kind that they have not objected to our cleaning up the mess and encouraging some wildflowers and replanting uprooted ferns to grow where they left carnage, but the woodcutters have not returned to plant trees or to remove the piles of detritus.  It was pretty clear that they would not do that work, even though the state permit requires it. They took the wood and left the debris.  There is no enforcement of rules about cleaning up after the logging process.

With their heavy equipment and giant chain saws they destroyed the gentle slope of the meadow where cattle once grazed and girls rode horses.  The path where joggers ran around the west side of the lake is gone.  They have moved on to pillage elsewhere.


Blackberries have now grown over some of the massive heap of sticks and branches they left behind, and I can only see it from the second story deck, but eventually the brambles will engulf it in berries.  It’s just about to flower and there will be lots of blackberry jams and syrups made this summer.


Foxgloves in the Woods 3

Thoreau

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WHERE WE LIVE: The Gorgeous Pacific Northwest

Moving to the Pacific Northwest is one of the best decisions in our life together. I hope you enjoy the pictures…I’ve got lots more.

No Hippies
 Welcome Sign in Port Townsend

 Sequim Lavender

Lavender Festival in Sequim – You pick!

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Bridge View

View from the Deception Pass Bridge

Silver Lake Near Mount Baker

Silver Lake near Mt. Baker

Whatcom Chief

Mount Baker in the distance, Whatcom Chief ferry leaving Lummi Island

Lummi West Side

Driftwood Beach on the West side of Lummi Island

Pebble Beach Trail

Trail from my house to Toad Lake (below)

Toad Lake Canoe

House

It’s always good to come home!

Our House

The garden is so lovely

Garden 1

Garden 3

Garden 4

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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Mount Baker’s snowy cap is on the horizon, peeking up behind the foothills.

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There were lots of puddles and mud to interest our grandson.

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We were not alone!

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There was a beautiful garden that was marked so you would be able to know the varieties.
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Even some of the early rhododendrons were contributing tremendous color.
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Every garden benefits by little surprises like this!
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The next door neighbors were llamas…

llamas at the tulip festival

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Most of these photos are from the RoozenGaarden and were taken on my iPhone on March 27th.   RoozenGaarde: A Division of Washington Bulb Co., Inc. sells the bulbs that you see in the labelled photos.
The Tulip Festival has a web site at http://www.tulipfestival.org/index.php

It’s So, So Green at Toad Hollow Today …

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Cuttings (later)

This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks,
Cut stems struggling to put down feet,
What saint strained so much,
Rose on such lopped limbs to a new life?
I can hear, underground, that sucking and sobbing,
In my veins, in my bones I feel it —
The small waters seeping upward,
The tight grains parting at last.
When sprouts break out,
Slippery as fish,
I quail, lean to beginnings, sheath-wet.

Theodore Roethke


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Teaser loves to check out what’s going on down on ground level…


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While we call our home Toad Hollow, it’s also been called the house of the entwined cedars.  Behind the Aurora Dogwood is an enormous Douglas Fir.  Just beyond them up hill is a Stellar Pink Dogwood, shown in the very next photo.


Entwined Cedars & Aurora Dogwood


There is an Eddies White Wonder Dogwood in the foreground, and to it’s left is the Stellar Pink. Look at that Rhododendron color!

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The Rhododendrons are blooming one by one, we’ve bought different varieties with differing bloom times to extend the time we get to enjoy them.


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The Clematis have been blooming in successive waves and growing and growing and growing like never before up the posts that support our deck.


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My editor demands that I upload a photo of him too…


Firecat the OS Editor


There is so much to do.  This began as 15 square yards of 4-way garden soil.  It seems that we haven’t moved much of it yet …


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“Since childhood, since childhood!

Childhood is a toad in the garden, a

happy toad. All toads are happy

and belong in gardens. A toad to Diana!”

Excerpt from Romance Modern

William Carlos Williams 

She Retreated

 Laughing Nuns

She clawed against the forgetfulness

She imposed upon herself.

She had not remembered names very well.

That way, she didn’t commit to memory

The friends she didn’t make;

The names of those who were not inviting.

Without names, it is easy to disregard people,

Driving out any sense of existence.

The habit protected her from the unapproachable,

The eyes that suddenly averted upon arrival,

She understood what she was doing,

And she kept doing it, other ways of being

As unfamiliar as the names that she forgot.

She tried, somewhat unsuccessfully,

To be a good friend to the few who

Were not thrown off by her insular ways

&  self-imposed isolation.  The names

That she did remember.

She used to yearn for a ‘best’ friend,

But she really didn’t have the skill,

Always doing too little and then too much.

She withdrew into her laptop,

Just as her grandmother had retreated,

Misunderstood, into her gardens.

Toad Hollow in Summer

From our front porch:
Toad Hollow House RulesIn case you can’t read it, “this is the exact center of the universe which explains why none of the usual rules apply here.”
Another view:
The Rules 2
Toad Hollow 7/2011
Coppertina Ninebark
Coppertina Ninebark
Blackeyed SusansBlackeyed Susans (Rudbekia  )
Sutherland's Gold Elderberry  Sutherland’s Gold Elderberry
  4th of July Breakfast on the Sunny Deck
4th of July Breakfast on the Sunny Deck
Toad Hollow Garden 3
Toad Hollow Garden 4

  Prayer Lady

Shade Garden

Shade Garden2Shaded Sculpture Garden

Hummingbird in the Bee Balm

Hummingbird in the Bee Balm

Early Spring

And it all started in the Spring with quite a lot of bare dirt.


For a larger view of these  photos and more visit Flickr 

Fireflies in the Garden 

By Robert Frost 

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.
Firefly