Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Garden Update

Now that Spring has finally Sprung, things are blooming all over the garden!  Always a fun time of year, if only the weeds didn't bloom as well.

First, the rosebuds are starting to open:

my favorite floribunda

my only David Austin rose

Buff Beauty

The weigela shrub is always colorful at this time of year:

Last year I yanked out the oriental poppy, as it was getting very scraggly, but some of it must have survived, because this is happening:

Meanwhile, the columbine is also happy:

As is the meadow rue:

I have a bird and bee friendly garden.  This is one of the many varieties of Monarda, also known as Bee Balm:

The foxglove blooms only every other year, and this is its year!

There are a lot more roses that are getting close to blooming, and the crop of mallow won't bloom until mid-summer, nor have the peonies opened, so there will certainly be more updates later in the season.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Truman and Chloe Are Getting Along

Here's an update on our foster dog Chloe.  After a little over a week, she has settled in nicely (except for excessive barking).  She loves to eviscerate her squeaky toys.

Michelle and Steve brought her a bag of stuffed toys, which she promptly removed the stuffing from with great abandon, so I had to take her to Mud Bay to find her a tougher toy.

Luckily, Truman doesn't care much about tearing apart his toys, and there were no altercations except over his beloved Lamb Chop, which she shredded, and I had to buy him three new ones to make up for it.

Toy destruction wears out Miss Chloe, which is good, because otherwise she'd be engaged in excessive barking.  We're working on that.

She walks very well on a leash, so we've gone to local parks a lot, and also to the Montlake Fill, where she demonstrated a keen interest in rabbits.  Since it is difficult to push a stroller while walking another dog, I've been leaving it behind.  Chloe has been encouraging him to walk without his stroller.

Our biggest breakthrough came yesterday, when Truman played with her for the first time.  He was growly and snappy with her during the first week, and not interested in playing.  But yesterday he finally decided she was okay, and chased her around the yard.

And she chased him!

They continued playing inside the house, for up to ten minutes at a time, off and on throughout the day.

I'm happy they are now getting along and it's great to see Truman being so playful.  And no, that does not mean we are going to keep her.  Did I mention the excessive barking?  My ears will never be the same.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Beside the Seaside

Last Friday Tina and I went to Richmond Beach to check out a particularly low tide--not for sketching, really, because it's hard to draw when you're standing and there's no place to sit on the slippery seaweed or barnacle-encrusted rocks.

It was a lovely sunny day:

There were naturalists from the aquarium to help folks identify critters.

This crab was definitely hiding.  There's also an orange sea cucumber trying to keep out of sight.

One of the naturalists showed us a molted crab shell.

The tide pools were lovely.

We saw several sea stars:

And quite a few sea cucumbers:

And a whole lot of anemones:

Here's an anemone that's not covered in sand:

There were plenty of crabs about, too.

The seaweed could sometimes be challenging to walk through:

This is also an anemone--a naturalist explained that when digesting, they project their stomach outside their body.

And yet another version of an anemone...

Eventually I got tired of tromping over the rocks, which was hard on my knees and back, so I took a rest up on the beach, where I drew some driftwood:

And then I sketched a broader view:

A lovely day all round!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Mostly Dogs

We are still having oodles of fun with Chloe 2.0!

It's been warm and sunny--perfect weather for hanging out a lot in the back yard, where Truman loves to hop into his wading pool.

Yesterday Chloe helped Truman in his hole-digging efforts.

Then we had some quality lounging time.

The Original Chloe (along with Winston) came over for a visit.

The Two Chloes greeted each other nicely.

Chloe 2.0 adored Winston.

Later that afternoon, I gave Truman a break from Chloe and spent some quality time with him at a little park, where we went sketching with Nicole.

More sun is coming this long weekend, with temps into the low 80s.  Oh, my!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Back to the Birds

Foster dog Chloe is remarkably well-adjusted, and I'm now able to leave her alone for longer periods, so yesterday morning I rewarded Truman for his good behavior towards her by taking just him on an outing.  We had some quality time at the Montlake Fill.

An obliging Tree Swallow stopped swooping long enough for a pic:

A Killdeer tried to distract us from her youngsters by doing a "broken-wing" display.

The American Goldfinch males are getting into their finest breeding plumage.

This Cinnamon Teal male was also looking quite fine indeed.

A juvenile Bald Eagle soared high overhead.

A fine outing all round.  

Later that day, I took both Chloe and Truman for a neighborhood stroll.  He is getting used to her!