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Sunset on icefields on the west slopes.

Sunset on icefields on the west slopes.

I must have been in the camera groove when I went to Mt. St. Helens. I am merely trying to sort and organize my photos to upload them to flickr, but I keep impressing myself. Some of these are stunning. I cheat, because I was standing in gorgeous scenery. But still… wow.

Evening sun turns the silvery spikes of dead trees into copper.

Evening sun turns the silvery spikes of dead trees into copper. And do my eyes deceive me, or is that blue sky through an arch? You can click for a larger image.

This one makes me think of candy. No Photoshop here, just pure atmospheric luck.

This one makes me think of candy. No Photoshop here, just pure atmospheric luck.

This was so much more astonishing in person, but it's still nice here. The North Fork Toutle River sparkles as it flows West to the sea.

This was so much more astonishing in person, but it’s still nice here. The North Fork Toutle River sparkles as it flows West to the sea. All the particulate is…yes… volcanic dust kicked up in the wind.

Ash kicked into the air as high winds tornado into the crater.

Ash kicked into the air as high winds tornado into the crater.

I want to paint this with oils - all that blue shadow. These are the hummocks in the valley below the observatory.

I want to paint this with oils – all that blue shadow. These are the hummocks in the valley below the observatory.

Awww... ok, I threw this one in for cuteness.

Awww… ok, I threw this one in for cuteness.

Pow! What color!

Pow! What color!

I am about the world's biggest huckleberry fan. Imagine my delight when I found bushes just loaded with ripe berries beside a trail.

I am about the world’s biggest huckleberry fan. Imagine my delight when I found bushes just loaded with ripe berries beside a trail.

The contrast was just irresistible.

The contrast was just irresistible.

I am on the East side of St. Helens, and the wind is Easterly. So the air is clear over the forest, but in the places where the volcanic dust is still on the surface, the particles are raised high in the air. You can see the cloud moving off to the West.

I am on the East side of St. Helens, and the wind is Easterly. So the air is clear over the forest, but in the places where the volcanic dust is still on the surface, the particles are raised high in the air. You can see the cloud moving off to the West.

In case you want to see any more, here’s my flickr link.

…and a shout out to anyone who can tell me why sometimes my images are displayed in sharp focus and sometimes they look blurry, or grainy low quality, when displayed in WordPress. Is it just my computer that does this? Is it the template that I’m using?

a view from my back yard

I’ll get back to the foreclosure story shortly…. but amidst everything; amidst all the drama and trauma and even amidst the joys…. life goes on without us.

And if we just stop a moment and take a look, everything else gets smaller in comparison. Look at this gorgeous planet of ours! Just look!

with happiness and love

wealth

The veggies are still exploding with growth. It’s too much for our small family of three to eat on our own, and we are “forced” to give much away.

It makes me feel rich. And spoiled. We pull in heaps of dark red tomatoes several times a week. I’m plucking deep red and yellow peppers off the bush. Watching the watermelon and pumpkin mature.  Tossing fresh basil into the stir fry just because we can. Best of all, my daughter has been given no holds barred permission to eat whatever she wants from the garden, whenever she wants, so she does.

I am very grateful for the beauty and wealth in my modest, little slice of life.

The smells of nature are so far unmatched by human attempts at scents.

I love the smell of dirt after a rain, the smell of old snow on a mountaintop in early summer, and the smell of weeds getting baked by the sun.

My heart stirs at the smells of low tide, deer so close I can scent their pelt, orchids and lillies, spruce trees, clean air, and cut cedar.

I also love the domestic nature smells – my kitty’s fur, lavender, tomato plants, a hand-woven wool carpet.

I just saw something very cool.

I was out in the back yard, breathing air which is not freezing anymore. I’ve got these beensy mini-daffodils coming up, and they’re brilliant. The Juncos have learned that when I show up, that is somehow connected to tasty seeds. So they start arriving. And I’m watching the tree where they are perching and thinking about tasty seeds and looking at me… and I see a hummingbird join them.

A hummingbird! Cool! I saw her on Saturday afternoon too. I guess I need to add some tasty juice to our back yard fare.

Then Mr. Hummingbird shows up and hovers 11 inches away from the Ms.

“Hello, hello? Check this out!”

And he suddenly goes up, up, up into the sky. Waaaaaaaaay up. So up that I can’t even see his teeny weeny bird body anymore. Then he DIVE BOMBS the tree and makes this awesome whining sound because he’s blasting through the air so quickly.

Ms. Hummingbird doesn’t move. She says, “hm.”

He does it again and again. It is SO awesome! I’ve heard of that, but never seen it. Waaaaaaaay up into the sky till he’s invisible, then whoosh! Bzzzzzing! and Zzzzeeow! he dive-bombs past the tree, somehow timing that whine to occur at the exact moment he passes the Ms.

Then he flew over to roost on a nearby rooftop and chirped at her for several minutes.

She decided it actually was pretty cool. “Ok, I’ll fly with you,” she said. And zoom! Off they went together.

Just this morning I sent a long letter to my friend Vladimir. In there somewhere, I commented on how I simply have no more patience for being cold. Even in these mild Portland winters, I still complain.

pink Camelia bud

Miss T spotted it first, through the window, and called out to me. Check it out. The sun is shining, there is no wind, there is a pink bud on my Camelia by the porch.

I’m pretty much sure there couldn’t have been a better response to my desire for the end of winter.

I was so happy I did yard work for an hour!

Now I’m going back to finish my taxes.

Love to you!

When you want something, all the Universe will conspire to help you achieve it.
– Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

One of my many guises

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