Read in the paper that this old building in downtown Mount Vernon was scheduled for demolition in January. Since this was the last day of January, thought I should get a few shots. Took several, but when cropping, this window caught my eye. I love the reflection of the trees across the river.
Friday, January 30, 2009
This is a shot I have played with for a few days. I have a small collection of milk bottles (started back in my egg in the bottle Science Experiment Days). The bottle in the front is actually not old. It is from one of our local farms and their business is still going strong. As you can probably see, from other photos, I really love the beautiful farms in the Skagit Valley. Family Farming is a tough business these days but it is still going strong in our beautiful valley. I could easily do a photo a day just sharing images from our local farms. We are famous for our fields of tulips, but I think potatoes, brussel sprouts and cabbage seed are pretty cool too.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Ruger was a student of mine 7 years ago. He is now a Senior in High School. Not sure how much he uses his tree house any more but I think it is one of the more creative tree houses I have seen. Started out as a pretty regular tree house. Then they added a tube to the 2nd floor window of the house. When their van bit the dust, it was added to the construction along with a porch. Not sure when the propeller was added. This contraption is viewable my walks around the neighborhood. It always makes me smile and hope that there are still kids and parents inspired to make such creative contraptions.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Decided to visit one of my favorite local nurseries after school today. Really gray day and I didn't know what I would find. Got a few shots of an old school on the grounds, a stunning Yule Tide camellia and as I was leaving, I noticed that this Witch Hazel was in bloom. It is always one of the first hints of the color of Spring to come. As I was trying to get some close ups, I noticed that the school was in the background.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I've driven by this truck many times before and even taken photos. This morning I liked the way the morning SUN, yes, there was SUN was hitting the truck and the tree behind. No place to pull over, so I was glad no one was behind me. Just stopped in the road, rolled down the window and took a quick snap.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Just a dusting of snow this morning. Erik and Roswell and I went for a very long walk. As we walked along the trails, we noticed, different sized dog prints. (Roswell's being the largest.) , rabbit prints, raccoon prints and squirrel prints. I think that this was a crow. Was fun to follow these footprints to the middle of the street where it looks like he did a little dance before flying away.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Well, I made it 24 days before posting a photo of Roswell. That was tough. Maybe one a month or so won't be that bad. Roswell has taken over our love seat. He stretches out with his legs hanging off the side. (He has LONG legs) and he rests his head on the head rest. What a life.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I was in a school helping some teachers today and I passed this first grade dual language class reading Clifford, El Gran Perro Colorado. Unfortunately, all eyes were not on the teacher when I pointed the camera. I guess I need to be more stealth.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Today is Erik's Birthday. He was out of the house for work before 7 and won't return until about 9 tonight from work. Poor guy. I've got all kinds of goodies waiting for him when he does arrive. We've actually been celebrating his birthday for over a week now with a great trip to Vancouver, a nice meal out last night etc. So don't feel too sorry for him...:)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Not much time to get outside today so I decided to look around the house for inspiration. I have a collection of glass African trade beads from my time in Kenya. I display them in a hand blown Mexican glass Erik and I used for celebrating the Lord's Supper at our wedding. Looked for a unique angle and this is what I came up with.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I had the honor today of watching history with a group of 4th graders at Madison Elementary. Their teacher, Laurie Kerley is at the inauguration with her family. Students were riveted as they watched history unfold. After watching the the oath and the speech, the students got to work while watching the parade. Schools dealt with time crunches, lack of cable and limited bandwidth. It was so exciting to see teachers take time to connect with the real world outside of the classroom doors and help children make a connection to history.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunshine and frost this morning. I decided to take a tour of my favorite garden (besides my own), The Discovery Garden. This is a place I go often to explore and learn about what to grow where, when things bloom, etc. Just like in my own garden, things are starting to show the hope of Spring.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
This morning we woke up to more fog. We couldn't even tell which direction we were facing when we looked out our hotel window. We decided to go for a walk on the beach anyway. Enjoyed watching dogs play, runners run and birds fly. This statue is an Inukshuk, an ancient Inuit sign and the symbol for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Everywhere we went, there were signs of the city getting ready for the Olympics. So, even though this is a shot in the fog, it had to be my photo of the day. Later in the day, as we were walking along Fisherman's Wharf, the sun came out in a glorious way and I was able to get some cool photos of the boats, the bridge and the city reflecting in the water. Check out all of our photos from our wonderful weekend in Vancouver here.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
We have had a great day in Vancouver. Very foggy, so I've had to think of different kinds of shots. We ate a yummy lunch at Vij's an Indian Restaurant and the had a great time exploring Granville Island. I had lots of fun taking pictures in the market. Markets are one of my favorite places to take pictures. After a nice Malaysian dinner we went for a walk down Denman and then down Robson. The highlight of the day was definitely all the great food we ate and saw. Our hotel room overlooks the English Bay, we think. Actually, we can see anything out our window because of the fog. Here are some other photos from our day.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Foggy and cold for most of the day. About the time to go home from work, the sun started breaking through the fog. Decided to go out in my yard and look for some promises that Spring is on its way. Found lots of bulbs pushing their way through the soil and buds on trees. This blueberry was a little ahead of the game.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Not a great work of art on my part. But this is a pretty creative breakfast mobile. This was just pulled up to the side of the road. They pack up and move on at night. They boast biscuits and gravy. Bad for me, but a rare treat to find good biscuits and gravy up here in Washington. Will have to try it some time.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
This morning the sky was amazing. The sun was actually peaking through and all the clouds and fog gave the sun lots of opportunities to show off its glory. The sky was full of colors, some foreboding and some very welcoming. Fog was settled in the valley giving the sun even more of a canvas to color. The sun has not disappointed today. It has been a gorgeous day. I didn't even wear a coat even though it was in the 30s all day.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Still no sunshine. But no rain so we are getting closer. I had a meeting in Anacortes today in the San Juan Islands and was hoping for some nice photo opportunities. Still grey so I went with a architectural shot instead. I'll come back another day and take some photos of the breathtaking pass when everything isn't so grey.
Monday, January 12, 2009
It has definitely been a gray start to 2009 here in Western Washington. Today it rainy and foggy again. Tomorrow they are promising sun. Although I do really miss sunshine and welcome every ray we get here. I also love the lush forest, the fertile fields, the waterfalls and all the vivid life that is possible because of our dreary weather. I need to remember that on days like today and embrace the gray.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Another soggy Sunday. Decided to get out of the house anyway and look for a photo. I love the fact that we have wintering Tundra and Trumpeter Swans that spend their winter here in our fertile valley gleaning from the fields. The sounds of these giant birds as they soar overhead looking very much like 747s is such a welcome sign of Winter. With my little point and shoot, they often just look like many white dots in the field. They are a bit camera shy so even though they are here in great numbers, it is often hard to get a nice shot of them. Today, as I was driving through the fields, looking for a shot, I came upon a flock of swans who happened to be very close to the road. Still not an easy shot on a gray rainy day, but better than a white dot in a field. I looked up what a group of swans is called and did not get a definitive answer. Some suggestions were a flock, bevy, lamentation, herd, game and team. I kind of like lamentation. Now if I can just manage to get a nice shot of them coming in for a landing in a field or taking off. They look very much like planes on a runway.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
One of our favorite local restaurants is the Rachawadee Cafe in downtown Mount Vernon. This is in an old lunch counter. Some day I will have to take a photo of the whole restaurant. Easy to do because there are only 10 stools. We are right in the kitchen with them as they cook up the yummy food. I love watching them create their masterpieces. This is a real community building kind of place. We all talk with each other talking about the news and practicing both English and Thai. Sawadee Khaa
Friday, January 9, 2009
I was determined not to take a weather photo today so I looked inside. We have a bookshelf full of travel books from our many travels. This is just a partial photo of our collection. I became a huge fan of Lonely Planet when living and traveling in South America. After 3 years in Ecuador, my Lonely Planet book was worn and written in like a well loved Bible. When I travel, I like to go beyond the tourist traps and experience the real culture. These books have helped to guide me off the beaten path.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wow! I had a really hard time choosing a photo today. The Skagit River was flooding today, as were all rivers in Western Washington. That seemed to be the story that I needed to document today. I tried taking a photo of the river downtown. It just looked like a muddy mess with giant logs floating by. Without any comparison, I didn't think this would be a good shot. Tried taking photos of the swans in the water logged farm fields, but I really don't have the right lens or camera for that. I decided to drive down Dike road to see what I could find. I saw a truck loaded with sandbags. Thought that would be a cool photo, so I pulled over. That led me to some amazing photo opportunities of the swollen Skagit at sunset with beautiful Fir Conway Lutheran Church in silhouette. I chose this photo because I think it represents, the scene the best, but I was so pleased with some others, that I am going to share a link to those as well.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
After record amounts of snow, now we are having loads of rain and warmer weather. The loads of snow in the mountains is melting into the rivers. Today I watched the Skagit river rise from my office window. So far, no major flooding here in Mount Vernon. This photo is from one of our beautiful farm fields. Flooding of these farm fields over the centuries bringing rich silt from glacial runoff has made our valley one of the most fertile regions in the country.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
I arrived in my chilly office this morning after snow days, and winter break to find a cute little cactus sitting on my windowsill. It was a gift from sunny Arizona from one of my colleagues.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This photo lacks quality due to low light and I actually had some more interesting shots today. But I thought that this shot best represented the uniqueness of this day. Today Erik and I drove to Seattle to see Slumdog Millionaire. I had heard a lot about this movie and it seemed like just my type of movie. We ended up getting to the theater almost an hour before it started. Hence, the empty theater. The theater did fill up and the movie was as good as I suspected. A well crafted story.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Erik and I love Indian food. There is no Indian food any where near here. Today I decided to make my own. The recipe called for sewing cardamon pods together. This is the first time I have ever had to use a needle and thread to cook. The smell of the Chicken Makhani cooking all day was yummy. Next time we will add a bit more spice.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I wanted to start the challenge off right so I went to one of my favorite places in Mount Vernon. The Discovery Garden. Since this was the morning of January 1st and a rainy one at that, I had the place to myself. It was pretty soupy after the 20 inches of snow we have had in the past few weeks. Wasn't sure what I would find on this cold winter day. I found a flock of robins gleaning on left over seed pods and fruit. I found promises of Spring in the budding trees and bulbs starting to push their way through the dirt. And I found this beautiful splash of color in the coral bark maple. Had a hard time choosing my photo, but went with this one because I thought it represented the surprises that await even on gray winter days.