Old trucks...

We met friends at the XXX Drive-In in Issaquah today, and were so surprised to find a classic Chevy truck show there. We love old trucks!

I loved that this was a club event, and all S10 truck were welcome, no matter the age or condition. These weren't just fancy show cars, that never put rubber to road. It was fun to see all the trucks from the 1970s (ours is a 1977), but my favorites were from the 1930s, like this beautiful 1938 painted orchid and white.

The utility vehicles were pretty cool, too... like this panel van in red and black.

And this green dump truck.

Car shows (and truck shows) are big around here; the Issaquah XXX hosts one nearly every weekend from March to October. One of these days we'll make it to the big Tri-Five (1955/1956/1957) show this summer. DW's uncle gave him a 1955 Chevy when he was in high school, and it's still in the family.



We had visitors at the farm today. I glanced out the kitchen windows at the fruit trees in bloom, and there was a small doe, grazing on the lawn. A smaller doe was just crossing the fence from the pasture. They looked like the pair who visited a month ago, with a small buck. I wonder where he is? I went to the other end of the house, and sure enough, there was the buck. He was munching his way through a patch of blackberries.

This trio stuck around most of the afternoon, grazing. I also suspect they came to check out my flowerbeds to see if anything is in bloom. Every year I lose flowers to the deer; they love to nibble off the tender flower buds. They especially love the garden phlox. This year, I plan to toss netting over them. When they bloom, I'll cut them and fill up my vases and enjoy their scent inside my house.



We stumbled across this little park in Sammamish this morning, and found this fabulous flooded pond. The sun was breaking through the clouds, the water was still, and a family of ducks swam past. The trees are finally leafing out, brilliant green against the dark evergreens. It's one of my favorite times of the year, and I couldn't stop taking pictures.

Reflections can be hard to come by in this place I call home, even with all the water that surrounds me. Lakes and rivers and salt water canals and sounds. But there's also a lot that gets in the way of that perfect shot: trees and wind, but also lack of access.

I've been looking for something to jar my creative juices for weeks... and this was it. Everything was so perfect, it was hard to leave.



We turned our back on projects and took it easy this morning, then spent the day with friends. Wine tasting in Woodinville, then a dinner at Lorenzo's in Everett, with a Georgetown tasting.

I never thought of beer with Italian food, but it was surprisingly good.

With a window seat at the Everett marina, the sunset was spectacular.

Sometimes you just need to get out, spend time with friends, meet new people. It's good for the soul.



We escaped the rain this morning, headed north to the Snoqualmie valley for a hike. Tolt-MacDonald Park is on two levels: pastoral green fields below, where the farm used to be, and a repurposed barn that was once part of the dairy farm. But cross the river on a somewhat creepy suspension bridge, you can climb the trails to a forest high on a bluff above the Snoqualmie River. It's a favorite of mountain bikers; once you get up the steep switchbacks to the top, you can ride for miles on singletrack and old logging roads.

We came up to find one of the oldest geocaches in the state, placed in early 2001, then we just explored. At the top of a "shortcut" trail back down the bluff to the river, we found this amazing view across the valley to the fresh snow in the Cascades.

The shortcut didn't turn out to be the fast trail we'd hoped. It was shorter than retracing our steps, but it was a steep, root-laden, slippery, sometimes hair-raising trek back to the park. I was glad to have a walking stick, and glad for roots and branches to hang on to in the worst spots. And most of all, I was glad it hadn't rained recently. It would be a nasty, slick trail when wet.

We had the chance to stop by Snoqualmie Falls this morning, but I decided to wait until after our hike. Which turned out to be a bad call. Just as we drove out of the park, it started to rain. And when we got to the falls it was raining so hard, I didn't want to risk my camera. A few quick shots of the falls in full force, and we ran back to the car. 



It's been a wet couple of weeks, tough to get enthusiastic about going out with my camera. The online photography class I signed up for in January is still going, but mostly without me. It's hard to practice new skills when going outside isn't much of an option. So I'll start again in September, with a bit more commitment on my part.

The rain is back in full force today, and I was glad we found a cache in the woods... the trees kept the worst of it off our heads. And this small stream, roaring down the hillside in a series of small waterfalls, was beautiful. So in spite of the heavy rain, I lingered, and risked getting my Nikon wet to snap a few quick photographs.


Family time...

A break in the weather. My sister, niece, and great nieces in town. We met for lunch at the Issaquah Brewhouse (where I had perhaps the world's best grilled cheese sandwich), then we headed for Snoqualmie Falls to check out the lower falls park.

We always go to the upper falls viewpoint, but this time we decided to check out the lower viewpoint. We got a bird's-eye view of the power station, the roaring Snoqualmie River, and the new boardwalks.

The girls and Dave solved a geocache together.

The star of the show was the stupendous flow of water over the falls. From the lower viewpoint you don't get to see the whole waterfall, but it was still an amazing sight.

A section of the original water pipe was cut into rings, to walk through.

A brilliant yellow shrub was in full bloom, covered in water droplets that sparkled in the sun.

There's nothing like getting outside and exploring with family.



Spotting the first trillium of the spring is always a thrill. Even on a cold, wet, windy day when even a down coat under a rain jacket couldn't keep me warm.

In a small neighborhood park, we found six huge trillium plants gathered together under a maple tree, which looks to be just days from leafing out into brilliant green.


Barn quilt...

In Washington, they aren't very common outside of Ellensburg, but occasionally I stumble across a barn quilt. This old farm is protected from the west winds by one of the "humps" of the Enumclaw plateau, a remnant of a long-ago lahar flow from nearby Mount Rainier.

The quilt block is a Friendship Star variation.



We braved the wind and the rain and went for a walk in Marymoor Park today. The dog park was full of dogs (and owners paying more attention to their smart phones than their dogs). We met a lot of them (the dogs, that is) and had fun sharing the trail.

Between the dog park and the Sammamish River is a grove of cottonwood trees and a few dozen Great Blue Heron nests. My neck got stiff from looking straight up for a better view, but this time of day, the birds were mainly silhouettes against the grey sky.

The dogs for the most part ignored the birds, and the birds did likewise, continually coming and going in search of food for their young. The fledglings will stick around the nests until late July, and then they'll fly off to begin their own adventure.