Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oh, the Indignity of It All.

I think one of the tenets of Buddhism is loving animals... and this squirrel loves Buddha back. As a perch, anyway!

This is one of the black squirrels I referenced in this post last year. The black squirrels seem to have proliferated even since the fall when I wrote that post, and now I see more black squirrels than gray ones... and red squirrels only rarely.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lone Tree

When the tree was young he used to lean
toward the distant cluster of woods,
toward the islands, toward the sea.
For years now he's grown straight.
Happy on his own,
making a home
between the railroad tracks and the cliff.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Canada Goose

This Canada Goose (or Canadian Honker, as ejvig calls it) is not a silly goose at all, but a rather regal goose. And after that goose-saturated sentence, I wonder if this post will pop up first in a goose google search?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Mighty Slug

In the great Pacific Northwest we like to talk about the things that make our area unique. Some say it the great evergreen forests or the San Juan Islands sparkling on Puget Sound. Others may talk about the rain and our over reliance on coffee. A certain generation might feel that the Seattle grunge scene was what defined the region.

But what few will mention and many of us secretly suspect is the lowly slug is the true king of our region. They are the subject of countless hours of garden warfare, furious hand-scrubbing to get rid of their slime, and cruel child-hood dares. Hot dog anyone? Sorry Nathan.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hazelnut Catkins

Hazelnut Catkins-- sounds like one of T.S. Eliot's Practical Cats.

Hazelnut Catkins was a selfless cat;
She gave all the cheese to three mice and a rat.
When they were done, she gave them her bed.
Oh, what a selfless life Hazelnut led!

You get the idea.

Anyway, hazelnut catkins are actually the long, caterpillar-like things that hang down from hazelnut tree. It actually carries the pollen, while the blossoms and leaves are further back on the branch.

I stumbled across quite the heated debate when trying to decide whether to call this "hazelnut" or "filbert"-- I grew up calling it the first; my husband, the second. According to my studiously extensive internet research for the last five minutes, it's still up in the air whether they are in fact interchangeable terms. Some say they're the same thing, and the name was more recently changed from filbert to hazelnut for marketing reasons. Others say that "filbert" is derived from the french word for it, and "hazelnut" is the english term. Others say that filbert is a sub-species of the hazelnut, and only refers to the elongated, not round, shape. This article from The Nut Factory seems to have the best information to my amateur eye, although in the same article it says both that filberts and hazelnuts are THE SAME NUT, and also that the filbert is a COUSIN TO the hazelnut. Oh, I also read that filbert is a European term, and hazelnut is an American term.

I think we can choose whatever we want at this point.

More hazelnut fun facts:

The Pacific Northwest is the only place on earth where hazelnuts are grown commercially.

The Romans burned hazelnut branches at weddings as tokens of fertility.

Forked hazelnut branches are historically the best divining rods for finding water, and Moses' rod was supposedly made of hazelnut wood when he tapped the rocks for water.

Magicians' wands are traditionally made of hazelnut wood.

The ancient Chinese called the hazelnut one of the "five sacred nourishments bestowed on mankind by the gods."

Hazelnut Catkins is a Practical Cat.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Eagle

It's thanks to MaryBeth of Stanwood DP that I got this shot of a bald eagle surveying his territory. This post of hers prompted a conversation between us that resulted in her invitation to show me where the good eagle spots are. Voila! Thanks again, MaryBeth!

Although he's in a tree, whenever I see a bald eagle I'm reminded of the poem "The Eagle" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Sorry we haven't posted all weekend-- EJVig and I took our daughters down to Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington, for a weekend of waterslides and other kid fun.

Anyway, on the way back home we stopped in the University District of Seattle for a bite to eat (just the place when you're craving cheap teriyaki) and saw an apartment building decorated with these faces. I assume it's Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, although there was no bell tower so I'm not sure what the significance is. Either way, the faces make for an unusual facade!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mommy, Where are Ewe?

What did we do before the internet?
I thought this would be a good place to post a cute sheep joke so I did a search to find one. Who knew there would be sites devoted to sheep jokes? It turns out none of the jokes were cute, but several had me laughing out loud and needless to say none were fit to print on Bellingham Daily Photo!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Tranquility

An old wooden bench is the perfect place to watch things go by
or nothing at all.

For more Skywatch images click HERE.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


In honor of the day, I'm posting a picture from Bellingham's first annual St. Patrick's Day parade. As does most of the United States, here in Bellingham we ignore all religious and political roots of the holiday and use it as an excuse to dress silly, drink green beer, and throw a parade.

These folks are from Uisce Irish Pub. Our English word "whiskey" is actually an anglicized pronunciation of the Irish term for it: "Uisce beatha," or "water of life."

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Love the Earth

A cyclist with an environmental message, as seen through my gas-guzzling van's dirty windshield. She loves the earth-- but I'm not sure how much she cares about herself, as she ignored the traffic and pushed right through Bellingham's busiest intersection against a red light! Luckily, she survived the harrowing experience and lived to spread her message again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Field of Snow...

...Geese, that is! A huge flock of them landed obligingly in a field with a nice view of Mount Baker in the distance.

MB from Stanwood DP showed me around her neck of the woods yesterday. We were actually looking for bald eagles, but this was my favorite shot of the day.

Thanks for the tour, MB!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Yesterday Bellingham held it's first St. Patrick's Day parade. The parade was sort of a grass-roots affair so it didn't have the all the polish of your standard parade, but it did have much more interesting entries than you would normally see. This roguish group of bicyclists were all riding some great custom creations. I want one!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sinister Beauty

This black winged beauty was one of hundreds on display at the Tropical Butterfly House at the Seattle Science Center. If you are in the area and get a chance, I highly recommend visiting. You are free to wander among the butterflies in a tropical environment and may even get to have one land on you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

SkyWatch Friday: Tahiti Dreaming

Replace the cedar tree with a nice coconut palm and I could convince myself I'm lounging somewhere in the South Pacific.

For more skies click HERE.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fairy Hat, with New Baubles

It looks like a little fairy left her hat on my dad's front porch. I'll have to ask my daughter which fairy it belongs to, and where she lives so we can return it to her.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gray Sunset

Decaying wooden posts
climb from the water,
beseech the unreachable sky,
strive to escape their reflections--
ghosts of what they once were.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I can't do this maneuver...

...or if I did, I'm pretty sure I'd break something. Besides, I don't think it's recommended to try this if your bicycle is an ancient cruiser pulling a kiddie trailer. No matter. I'm still a fan of Fairhaven Bike & Ski, which is decorated with many of these metal cutouts, inspiring you to get out there and do something fun. Just don't break anything.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunset at Marine Park

A variety of people came to Marine Park to enjoy the early spring weather and watch the sun go down.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


It's green.
It's a sponge.

I wanted to post this photo of a sponge, but I wasn't sure what I could say about it. After some reflection I realized that perhaps there was nothing more to say:

It's green.
It's a sponge.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Bay

What better way to spend an evening than paddling off into the sunset?
Just be sure you don't keep paddling till the sun sets!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Pirate Princess

The pirate princess
perches on her stone,
a rocky, precarious throne.
Her eyes survey all that's her own:
sun... sky... sea... shore...
She is four.
When you're four
everything is yours.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This big-city bee
busy with his brothers
hustling and bustling
jostling like taxis
on pink parade streets

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Garden Spot

Ramping up for spring, The Garden Spot overflows with plants and all the cute little objets d'art you might want for your garden.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Art Impromptu

A young man made an artful rock tower while we picnicked at Little Squalicum Beach the other day. He continued on, making towers down the shore. This one was my favorite.

Monday, March 1, 2010

So a String Walks into a Bar...

...and orders a drink. The bartender says "I'm sorry, we don't serve strings here." So the string walks out again. The next day he tries again, but the bartender says "I told you, we don't serve strings here." The third day, the string has an idea-- he tangles himself up and ruffles up his ends, goes back to the bar, and orders a drink. The bartender examines him suspiciously. "Are you a string?" He asks. "No," the string replied. "I'm a frayed knot."

Now you've heard your bad joke for the day.