Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Lazy Tuesday

Taken last Saturday on Lummi Island
I'm having a bit of trouble trying to get used to some changes in my routine. For starters, it felt like Wednesday all day, because instead of taking my usual Tuesday yoga class, I've decided this semester to try a little bit harder one. It's on Mondays, and after having taken the first class out of ten, I think I will learn a lot and maybe even enjoy it. It's a much smaller class than Tuesday's, so that will be good: I'll have plenty of individual instruction.

But today I kept forgetting that I wasn't going to class today and would stop and try to remember what my schedule was. On class days, I drive to town instead of riding the bus so I can head to Yoga Northwest in Fairhaven. After looking for my car, I remembered that I had taken the bus. I'll get used to it, but it might take awhile.

I came home and did my laundry and then snipped two kinds of kale from the garden. One thing I've noticed is how much I love growing my own vegetables. And the raspberries are getting ripe. My favorite part of gardening is the harvest, and next the eating. I just finished a book I enjoyed (mostly: the ending threw me for a loop. Have you read The Last Cruise?) So now I'm lazily completing my final task for the day: my Tuesday post. I hope you're having a lazy Tuesday, too.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Our annual Lummi Island walk

Some of the group on the ferry
Today fifteen of us gathered to catch the 8:10am ferry to Lummi Island to do our usual seven-mile loop around the northern part of the island, mostly flat. It was really cold and windy as we waited to board. Cindy captured this picture of me, wearing all my available cold-weather gear.
Yep, it was cold
I didn't think to bring more warm clothes, since I was sure that the low marine layer would most likely burn off quickly, and I wasn't expecting the fierce wind. I pulled my handkerchief up over my nose for maximum effect, and Cindy laughed when she saw me and took this picture.
Walking on the road
Once we got off the ferry and started moving a little, it got a bit warmer. And then as we got out of the worst of the wind, it was definitely much nicer, and clothes started to come off.
All of us today
A nice passerby took this picture of the fifteen of us. Three are visiting Carol from Ireland, on the left behind me, and Cindy's sister from Sacramento (in the middle of the shot) were the only non-regulars along on this trip. We didn't go very fast, since not all of the visitors were interested in going at Cindy's usual pace. And although there were still a few clouds, mostly it was quite comfortable, unless we were facing a headwind.
Mackerel sky
While we were waiting to catch the return ferry, I looked up and saw these pretty mackerel clouds. They usually portend a change in the weather, and we are scheduled to have rain tonight. The wind is still strong, but now I'm comfortably ensconced in my favorite chair and feeling glad I went to Lummi Island today.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

All at sixes and sevens

Chris, Mike, Dianne, Mel, Kirk (and me behind the camera)
Thirteen Senior Trailblazers showed up at the Senior Center to decide where to go today. We were originally scheduled to take the Mt. Baker Highway to the the Hannegan Pass trailhead, but the weather had turned rainy and cool overnight. After much confusion, we decided to break into two groups, one to go to the original destination, and the rest of us on a local hike, the Chanterelle trail and beyond. There's the six of us; the other group had seven, which is reflected in the title of this post. It is also an old phrase meaning "disarray and confusion," so it was a perfect lead-in.
Viewpoint at the top of the Chanterelle trail
We hiked up two-and-a-half miles to this overlook, and decided to go on up higher, which we've done many times before. Unfortunately for us, the side trails we usually take are blocked off, since the Forest Service is renovating the trail and eventually making a loop hike. We had to walk on the service road the whole way from the viewpoint.
Wide service road
We expected rain, but other than a very brief downpour, it was dry, although it was obvious that it had rained overnight. The road was lined with foxglove and daisies, making for some lovely views.
Lots of foxglove next to the road
The road goes pretty steeply up from the viewpoint, and other than the pretty flowers, we pass under some power lines, which buzzed as we trudged uphill, making our way upward, always up. I'm not a fan of service roads.
Closeup of foxglove
You can see from this closeup that it had definitely rained recently. We imagined bees seeing these pretty flowers and settling in for a drink. Foxglove is what digitalis is derived from, if I'm not mistaken.
Lots of daisies, too
We kept going up the road until one of us (that would be me) got a little grumpy from walking uphill and asked when we might turn around. We had decided to return to the viewpoint to have lunch, so we began our descent at 11:30.
Another part of the service road
It was quite lovely, actually, and a lot more fun to be walking downhill back to the viewpoint for lunch than uphill. We arrived there a little after noon and settled in for a nice break.
The viewpoint and our lunch spot (Mel's picture)
It was quite mild, with the temperature in the high 50s (around 14–15°C) and just a light breeze. The way back down to the cars was on the Chanterelle trail and beautiful. We covered eight-and-a-half miles total, with 2,100 feet elevation gain and loss. That would be just about the same distance and elevation that the other group must have made, but they also had a three-hour drive (an hour and a half each way) that we didn't have. When we returned to the Senior Center, their cars were still there, as we expected they would be. If I find out how their hike went, I'll put in an update. As of now, we six are back and happy to have had a good day together, albeit with half of our usual number.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Northern Hemisphere summer starts this week

California poppies
I snapped this picture on my way back from my excursion on the bus, back from my gym class and hankering for lunch. Since I'm out of the house by 7:00am, I'm usually ready for lunch before noon. Today was no exception.

I remember poppies like these when I was growing up in California. They remind me so much of our home in Fairfield. I was just a kid but some images stick in my head, as poppies and geraniums were everywhere, as I recall.

Summer starts this week, but it seems like it's been here for quite awhile already. Late spring and early summer are my favorite time of the year. The pansies I potted on my front porch are getting leggy, and it's probably time to switch them out for summertime flowers, like heliotrope, petunias, lavender, and more geraniums, which seem to do well here.

I've got a doctor's appointment this afternoon so between now and then, I think I'll head to the local flower shop and snag some colorful plants. Now that I've written my usual brief Tuesday post, I'm ready to go!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Two great guys

John and Gene
As I was leaving the coffee shop this morning, I snapped this picture of my two friends who are almost always there when I arrive. Since Lily didn't make it for the walk, I wanted to send her something to remind her that she's missed, so these two guys sent her a greeting. "Lily, we miss you!"

We ladies walked from the Farmers' Market to Marine Park in Fairhaven, a round trip of about five-ish miles. It was overcast and very pleasant. None of the "R" word, just lots of clouds. We don't have any rain in the forecast until next Thursday, just in time for our hike. Oh, well, I'll take that over heat any day.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Goat Mountain 2019

Shady and dry trail
Today we headed back up to the High Country to Goat Mountain, and since there is a limit to groups of 12 or fewer in the wilderness, Al decided to start breaking up the group into a 7:30am and an 8:00am time to leave. Five people went on the early hike, and eight of us started at the regular time. We didn't know how many people would show up, but it worked out very well. Since there were only 13 in total, we could probably have gotten away with a "baker's dozen," but there is no way to tell, since nobody has to sign up ahead of time.
Beautiful purple (meaning old) trillium
The weather was hot from the start, after two record-breaking days of heat in Bellingham, but this hike, although steep throughout, is shaded at the beginning, as you can see from that first photo. It was hot but not brutal. Then we hit the meadow, where you begin to climb relentlessly in the sunshine to the overlook, but we took it slow and it wasn't too bad. We were looking forward very much to getting to the top.
Our combined groups at the overlook
The early group arrived at this spot an hour before us, and after a bit of chitchat about the day, the excellent views, with their lunch already eaten, they left and the eight of us settled in for our own lunchtime and rest.
Having lunch and enjoying the spectacular view
The three beautiful mountains that we can see from this vantage point were in full view. Many times we've gotten here in blustery or bad weather and couldn't sit and enjoy it like we did today. There was no snow except for a few patches on the trail coming up. This is very unusual for this early in the season, but nobody was complaining.
Mt Baker and clouds
There was a brisk breeze (which felt wonderful, by the way) while we were on top, and we noticed the clouds beginning to move in and wondered if a change in the weather is on the way. After a half-hour lunch break we started back down the way we had come.
Me and Shuksan behind
I asked Melanie to take a picture of me so I could chronicle myself at this spot. I'm wearing another new hat, hoping it won't be as hot as my others, and with the sunglasses and sunscreen I felt quite protected from the strong sun.
Returning to the cars
And then it was time to head back down. We didn't hike far today, only seven miles total, but the elevation was pretty intense: 2,600 feet (492 meters) in that short three-and-a-half-mile distance. Everyone in both groups did just fine, but I must admit that I am really enjoying my glass of wine right now as I write this. I've got to water the garden once it cools down a bit more, but I have no need to do anything more than that before settling down in my easy chair. Another fine day in the High Country with my great friends.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

I got nothin'

Astronomy Picture of the Day June 10, 2019
I have absolutely nothing to talk about today, so I'm heading out to Jupiter to see what's going on out there. As some of you are aware, NASA has a robotic spacecraft that is circling Jupiter and taking pictures that we've never seen before. As that APOD link (under the picture) tells us, that black spot is something, but nobody knows what it is.
The featured image was captured last month while Juno passed only about 15,000 kilometers above Jupiter's cloud tops. The next close pass of Juno near Jupiter will be in July.
I have been fascinated with Jupiter and its beauty for many years and have been thrilled with the pictures Juno has been able to capture. This one is, well, out of this world.