Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Favorites in Spring

It is spring - the Skunk Cabbage is in "bloom" - one of my favorite spring things.
 Growing up in Southeast Alaska, where there are no skunks (you can even be fined for bringing one into Alaska), I did not know that the scent of the Skunk Cabbage was supposed to be offensive - and so I have always loved it when the first Skunk Cabbage come out in the swampy areas.

And along came a female Bufflehead Duck - that has to be my favorite duck name.

 Lots of ducks on the pond - Mallards and Bufflehead

 Lots of skunk cabbage in the boggy areas

 Ring Neck Ducks

Juvenile Common Merganser
And Common Mergansers - taking a snooze seems to be their springtime favorite.
 Canada Geese
What are your favorite signs of spring? 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fly Away 2

The Trumpeter Swans have been very cooperative this year - giving me plenty of opportunities to catch them stretching their wings.

 Take off!!!!

 Landing - and they never land on top of each other.
 Settling in.

 Away we go!


Out for a drive - we decided to head to Snohomish County - south of where we usually go to see the Trumpeter Swans and the Snow Geese.  We weren't looking for birds - but for barns.  A completely different area with barns we'd never seen before.
 A working barn, with a new tin roof
 In need of repair - sitting on a soggy lot with seasonal ponds surrounding it.  It rained almost the entire day we were in Snohomish County.
 Excellent barn - a bit smudgy in a drive-by shot.
 This old barn and the next one were sitting just a few feet apart on the same property.
 Similarly shaped barn sits on a once profitable farm - two big barns on the same property is unusual.
 No longer usable
 Sad and sinking back into the earth
 A barn that remains in the middle of the Snohomish Small Plane Airport - probably used only for storage these days.
Along the way we came across a covered bridge.  Good shot for a drive-by,
 We took a side road off to Granite Falls and found the delightful restaurant - Buzz Inn.  There are several in the state - best food we've ever had - and at exceptionally good prices - two things we love in a restaurant.  Everything was fresh and perfectly prepared.

Now if they would just put a Buzz Inn in Bellingham.
Our table was right next to this fireplace - perfect for a cozy dinner on a rainy evening.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fly Away

My dream picture of any bird is to catch it spreading its wings - or flying.  
 Sometimes Trumpeter Swans flap their wings as a warning to those nearby

 Sometimes to rearrange their feathers

 And often just before taking off
 Away they go

First time I've ever seen it done in unison - I was, and still am, amazed.

Saturday's Critters

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cupcake Practice

Let's make some cupcakes - let's make them extra pretty.  I got some new piping tips recently, and needed practice, so our daughters decided we would get together and have a practice session before Easter dinner.  We baked cupcakes, made frosting and readied our supplies.  A cupcake decorating party is a great idea - that way we'd be really good at it before our family dinner.

These are the new tips - they are quite large - and make a whole flower all at once.  They are called Russian Piping Tips - quite clever and lots of fun.
Our first try - the frosting has to be thicker than for other piping tips - so the bigger flowers hold their shape.  Fix the frosting - and try again.
 With  practice we improved - lots of fun - lots of silliness - lots of laughs - and lots of pretty cupcakes - large and small 
 Here's a clever trick - spread multiple colors of frosting on plastic wrap - roll it up into a tube - cut off one end of the tube, place it in the piping bag and you get a flower with three colors.
A pretty multi-colored Columbine

 More practice - getting better
 The Columbine tip also makes a pretty multi-colored pansy

 I think we are almost ready now.

Would you like a cupcake?  I'll make a pot of tea.

And more of our new tips - these are about 2 1/2 inches tall and make big swirly designs - and use LOTS of frosting.
 Lovely orange swirls with a pretty rose on top.
Some of the cupcakes were taken to friends and family - and the remaining ones went to work with Don - where his co-workers devoured them in record time.

Tuesday's Treasures - it is always a treasure when we get together with family members

Mosaics made with picmonkey and photovisi