Are We Walking to Alaska

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

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Tuesday's Treasures

Because I took time off from blogging during the holidays I didn't get to share any christmas dishes or tables with you.
This ceramic train is a special holiday decoration - we've had it since our kids were in high school - and they are almost all 50 years old now.  They still enjoy seeing it set out for christmas.  The three cars to the train are candy dishes and you lift the lid to find M&Ms inside - plain M&Ms in the yellow car, mint M&Ms in the blue and the caboose holds peanut M&Ms.  No change in the cargo plans each year.  
Our grandsons look forward to the day that the cargo is loaded.  I made the train in Southern California - a group of us went to ceramics once a week and had a blast painting cute things for our homes.  This train is one of my favorites.  I wish that there were still ceramic shops like the one we used to go to.
The table is set for Christmas Eve - I made the Gingerbread house in the center - it is plastic canvas and the lid comes off and it can be filled with tiny gifts.

The china cabinet holds christmas dishes gathered over the years.  The three carolers in the center bottom of the photo were made by me at the same ceramic shop as the train.  I painted them to look like our three children when they were little - the hair, eyes and clothes match each of our three kids.
The holly teapot is a special treasure that we found on ebay - and the matching holly cream and sugar, salt and pepper were a lovely gift from my cousin Linda a few christmases ago.

The table is ready for Christmas Eve feasting!
The tall white shelf in the dining room holds my collection of Lefton Holly dishes from the 50s and 60s.  Over the years we've gathered a rather nice array of pieces.  Atop the shelf are green depression glass pitchers and a vase.
All sorts of delicious things to choose from - come, fill a plate!

I'm glad you stopped by - we certainly have a grand time at Christmas in our home.


Some barns in our area - old and new
 Old, old barn with harvested hay field and harvested corn field in front - a long line of fog behind with the foothills in the very back
 A raggedy old barn and stable
 With a raggedy old horse
 Neat and tidy - but couldn't find any horses nearby
 I had never seen this old house and barn before - they have always been hidden behind the leaves of the trees when we've been past in the summer.
 Commercial raspberry fields have taken over this farm, the barn is used for equipment storage now.
 A harvested corn field in the foreground of the farm - with Mt. Baker looming up behind.
 Another distant view of Mt. Baker, almost obscured by the clouds, a farm, Tundra Swans along the treeline and a nice seasonal pond with reflections.
 Closer view of Mt. Baker and the overwintering swans.  We often see the swans here - only a few miles from our house.
A lovely red and white barn with old silos to one side.

Friday, January 26, 2018


Let's see what the ducks are up to.
 The Surf Scoter is a large sea duck that overwinters in our area.  It is sometimes locally called the Skunk Headed Coot, because of the markings on the head.

 They feed on mussels that they scoop up when they dive
 Mallards also overwinter in our area and are found in flocks on the bays and sloughs
 They often flock with the American Wigeons
 Time for showing off
 Impressing the girls
 Catching the American Wigeons at bath time 

Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 In Review - Part Two

The second half of 2017.  Last week we visited the first half.  It was a busy year.
 July brought lots of summer parties and feasts
 And birds galore - the Great Blue Herons were especially active.
 Barns and boats on sunny summer days.
 Views from mountains and lots of birds
 My favorite tree with a cornfield in the background - and lots of flowers in August
 Barns, apples, mountains and spider webs kept the month interesting.
A cute little vacation cottage on Samish Island in August, china cabinet full of summer dishes and dinner on the deck with friends.
Great and Lesser Yellowlegs on Wiley Slough, Great Blue Herons, American Pelicans - not always seen in this area and lots of our state bird, the little Goldfinch.
 September sightings, Mt. Baker, Great Blue Heron and Tow Mater, seen on Portal Way in Custer, WA
 Disastrous wild fires at great distances from us left our sun red for weeks on end, until the smoke finally cleared.  In September we saw barns with ripe corn in vast fields, Northern Flickers, Stellar's Jays and flocks of Starlings along the power lines.
 Into October we go - my early christmas gift from our son and daughter -in-law was the crow teapot that I had wanted for years.  Jamie has the magic touch when searching for hard to find items.  The dolls dressed up in their Halloween outfits for the holiday and gnomes sat in pumpkin fields.
 My favorite house of all time was repainted this year - when I saw them prepping it I had great fear that it would be painted the obnoxious grey that every second house in Bellingham has been painted this year - but they stuck to the existing wonderful colors -it shines out among all the boring grey houses we are beginning to be drowned in this year.  Barns and the summer moon rounded out the month.
 Along with birds of all sorts - and the colors changing as the year moves on.

 November brought us a freak snowstorm - we had almost 8 inches at our house - and just blocks away there was almost no snow - even farther north there was no snow.  And our snow stayed around for a couple weeks before warmer temperatures finally melted it.  We had to keep cleaning off the hummingbird feeder and brought it in every night to keep it from freezing.  The hummingbirds visited almost constantly  during the day.  Anna's Hummingbirds overwinter in our area.
 My favorite tree with almost no leaves in November - the cornfield has been harvested, and our winter birds are back - including Plovers on the beach at Birch Bay, and American Wigeon in huge flocks.
 A very Christmasy December - parties, decorations and lots of good food.
 Birds abound in the winter - Anna's Hummingbirds flit about the feeders, an American Kestrel on the wire, Trumpeter Swans swarm the farmland fields in Skagit County all winter and a special treat - after four years we again saw the Leucistic Red Tail Hawk.  Leucistic means that some of the pigment is absent in the feathers in random patterns, not a true albino.  We saw it twice, four years ago and return to the general area often, but this is only the third time we have seen it.  One of my most thrilling sightings of a bird.
Lots of rain in December, yards and fields are often flooded, Snow Geese flock by the hundreds of thousands to Skagit Valley, the crabapples hang heavy on the trees, waiting for hungry birds and the sun breaks through the winter mist in the trees across the street from our house.

How was your second half of 2017? And here's hoping for good things in 2018.