Thursday, June 29, 2017


It is frustrating, when the weather has been so nice -- partly cloudy, partly sunny, upper 60s to low 70s -- for an entire week, and it has corresponded with VERY HIGH grass pollen alerts every single day.

I've been making forays anyway, and suffering from the consequences.  Yesterday I returned to the Magnuson Park garden for another sketch:

Today the pollen alert is down to "Moderate".  I do hope it continues to improve over the coming weekend and next week, as Tina and Nicole and I have lots of plans to get out and about hither and yon for sketching nearly every day.  Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Meandering in Magnuson

Yesterday Truman and I took a break from Chloe (after, of course, taking her for a nice long tiring walk), because Chloe does not sit still for birdwatching or sketching.

First we went on a leisurely stroll through the Magnsuon wetlands:

There we admired some juvenile Pied-billed Grebes:

Then we went over to the P-Patch community garden:

Where we admired the flowers:

And where I did a little sketch:

It was a most enjoyable and relaxing outing.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Foster Dog Update

No, we are still not keeping her...!

The rescue org person is doing home visits for two potential adopters later this week, and is hopeful that Chloe will be going to her forever home.  Fingers crossed!

Then she asked if I could take another foster right away--an 11-year-old male who had never been housetrained.  I was sensible enough to say "NO!!"   I need a break, and also need some out-of-town vacation time soon, so am not going back on to the foster list until at least September.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Too Darn Hot

Seattle broke 90 degrees yesterday--which is too hot for me.  Tina and I still got out sketching, in the shade at Twin Ponds Park in Shoreline.

I wasn't totally happy with this first effort--I tried to do too much, including everything in the scene, and wished that I had focused more on the tree and used less detail on the other stuff.

So when I started on the next view, I tried to simplify things a bit, and wasn't entirely successful, though it's a bit better.

I had trouble getting the main tree too dark, and I also kept fussing with the fallen tree, and just overworked everything in a desperate attempt to fix my mistakes.  Oh, well.  Every drawing is a learning experience.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Quiet at the Fill

Yesterday morning Truman and I took a break from the antics of foster dog Chloe, and went for a stroll around the Montlake Fill.  I wanted a nice quiet walk--the few times I've taken Chloe with us, I got a frantic walk as she spent the entire time pulling hard towards every rabbit in sight.  And there were plenty of rabbits in sight.

So yesterday Truman and I had a quiet, calm, Chloe-free walk.  Naturally, we didn't see a single bunny, nor did we even see many birds about.

Here is Truman looking for birds:

We did find a mountain!

We sat at the bench near the Osprey nest for quite some time, chatting with our birder friend Doug.  He's also a professional photographer and he'd been waiting for half an hour for the male Osprey to return from a fishing expedition so he could get some shots, but alas, that did not happen while we were there.

The female was on the eggs--there has been one report of possible chicks hatching, but we could not confirm this.

While we sat there, a Great Blue Heron flew in to take a stroll nearby.

We continued our stroll around the Loop Trail, not seeing anything of interest.   Here is Truman wondering how far it is to the car and home:

We had a very welcome break from youthful dachshund activity, but then we had to go home to Miss Chloe.  And I had to make it up to her by taking her for a long walk later.  I took her to the local farmer's market, where she endeared herself to several families--kids love her, and she is super friendly to them.  I do hope she finds her forever home soon!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fun at Magnuson

Magnuson Park is one of my all-time favorite places to go -- it's a short drive away, it's big, it's not crowded on weekdays, there are some lovely trees here and there, plus lots of meadows, brush, and ponds, along with a lakeside promenade.  There are plenty of buildings from the old naval base days, and a truly fine community garden.  It's perfect for a combination dog walk/sketch outing, which is what Nicole and I engaged in yesterday.

We started at The Mountaineers building, which has a rock-climbing wall.  There was no one climbing it, so we sketched in the tiny garden behind it.

There were workers nearby unloading stuff from a truck and making way too much noise, so we moved on to the park proper, where we landed by the submarine fin sculpture.

It was warm enough that Truman needed a dip in the lake, so I strolled him down there.

Then I settled on my camp stool in a shady spot to draw the fins.

While the fins turned out okay, I spent most of my time on that tree on the right, and had loads of fun trying to convey its leafiness.  I think I spent a good twenty minutes on that tree, while the fins were more of an afterthought.  Of course, it is typical of me to prefer nature to man-made objects.

There is sun and 70+ degree weather in the forecast through the weekend.  I suspect I will get out and about.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Garden Update

The roses are busy blooming away now, along with plenty of other flowers, and plenty of weeds.  I haven't felt inspired to go out and work in the garden for the past week or more due to cool, cloudy, gray days.  But summer is here and the forecasters claim we will have several warm, sunny days in a row this week and weekend--time to get back outside.

My favorite floribunda rose is so top-heavy with blooms that some stalks have fallen over.


I'm training two climbing roses up either side of the arbor.

This climber is called The Magician

And this one is Dublin Bay

Near the arbor are a few day lilies

Lychnis is scattered throughout the yard

This is a shrub rose called Carefree Wonder

Here is a view of the Japanese Maple, with more Lychnis around it.

If the forecast is correct, then I foresee some quality lounging in my future.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Here A Dachshund, There A Dachshund...

...everywhere a dachshund!

We had quite a barky Sunday.  In the morning, things were fairly quiet -- we had a nice walk, where Chloe met our neighbor's dogs Myles and Molly.

But things got a tad chaotic in the afternoon, when we hosted Winston and Original Chloe for nine hours.

From Left to Right:  Winston, Original Chloe, Chloe 2, Truman:

Sure, they look sweet and calm here, but this pic was taken after they'd been romping all over the yard and all over the house and worn themselves out.

Chloe 2 tried to make friends with Original Chloe.

Chloe 2 wanted to play a whole lot longer than the others.  Here is a pic of Truman, Winston, and Original Chloe taking a little break from her antics.

My ears went numb from the barking.  At one point, my neighbor across the street took his Golden Retriever for a walk in full view of the Hot Dog Crowd.  It was not a quiet moment at all.

The rescue organization has now listed Chloe on for adoption.  I haven't heard any news yet, but I'm sure she'll get plenty of applications and will find a great home, with people who have a whole lot more energy than I have!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Little Sketching

Nicole and I went sketching at two small parks -- Log Boom Park in Kenmore, and Lyons Creek Watershed Preserve in Lake Forest Park.

This is Log Boom:

And this is the view I sketched there:

This is the Lyons Creek preserve:

Truman was feeling a bit warm there.

Luckily, there's a creek at Lyons Creek -- go figure!

There was a dock there, too, with a bench, and a view of two chairs which were being gently lapped by the lake water.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Making the Most of a Sunny Day

Saturday the sun was out and so was I (and so was Truman).  First we stopped in at Swanson's Nursery:

Where I picked up some more peppermint -- I've been strategically planting it around the home's perimeter in my never-ending battle against the Odorous House Ants.  They hate the smell.

From there we tootled on over to Golden Gardens Park to admire the water:

Which was also being enjoyed by a Mallard family.

A Great Blue Heron hung out on the beach:

And Truman enjoyed hanging out on the beach, too!