Greetings From 2015

Happy New Year!   We hope you had a Merry Christmas.  We’ve made it through another year, and feel fortunate for pretty good health. We continue to enjoy living on the Olympic Peninsula and the slower lifestyle it offers.

Mom and her four little chickadees

Mom and her four little chickadees

2015 brought some significant changes to our lives.  In May, Mary Anne’s mother passed away after living a very full life to the age of 96.  We will miss her terribly.  In the photo, you can see sisters Terry, Patty, Barbara and then Mary Anne standing in front of Mom.

With Mom’s passing, Mary Anne is no longer in Prosser 30% of the time as she had been for the past couple of years.  Time to catch up on things.

And what better way to catch up on things — and have even more time –than to retire?!  2015 marked the 20th anniversary of Mary Anne’s graphic design business AND retirement from that same business.  She’ll be keeping her existing web clients, and letting the others go.  More time . . . yea!

We had a terrific time this year photographing our artist friends in their studios.  Using some of these photos, we made 20×30” posters for each of them to display at their area of the “Art Jam” show at the barn at Rock Hollow.   You can see the posters here.  Be sure to click on the posters to see them full sized.

With the maturing of the gardens surrounding the house, we’ve begun to look at the yard beyond the immediate area around the house.  Where should we add more color?  What will thrive close to the pond?   Trips to the Bloedel Reserve are always inspiring.  Here are a few photos from a trip to Bloedel earlier this year.

Be sure to click on the images to see them full sized!

DSC09414.JPGDSC09416.JPGDSC09425.JPGDSC09437.JPGDSCF0461.JPGDSCF0470.JPG

Early in the year, we skirted up the evergreen trees around the south pond, allowing us a new view into that pond.  The resident ducks seem to enjoy the new avenue of travel and use the peninsula between the north and south pond as a shortcut between the two ponds. At the same time, we expanded the hydrangea garden we started last year.

DSCF0168.JPGDSCF0174.JPGDSCF0188.JPGDSCF0207.JPGDSC00547.JPG

Additional work in the forest yard yielded two nice Zen-feeling spaces.  We’ll be cleaning out the forest area this coming year as the winter storms have caused a number of downed trees and some flooding.

DSC00543.JPGDSC00552.JPGDSC00606.JPG

We continue to marvel at how quickly things grow here.  After decades living in the much drier east side of the state, it is amazing to see how the plants flourish here.  These photos show the yard in September of 2010 and in June of last year.  What a difference!

IMG_3018.JPGDSC02435.JPGIMG_3019.JPGyard02.jpgyardIMG_3976.jpghouse_oct_2015DSC00592.jpgyard_2011_IMG_8503.jpgyardDSC02429.jpg

Mary Anne celebrated her 60th birthday with a quick trip to Victoria.  Always a great place to visit for the flower-lover!

DSC08800.JPGDSC08815.JPGDSC08844.JPGDSC08847.JPGDSC08874.JPGDSC08884.JPGDSC08888.JPG

With the unusually warm weather came the baby ducks about a month early.  One batch arrived on Jim’s birthday, April 25th.  For the first time, one of the daddy-ducks stayed with mama and her brood, and they managed to keep six ducklings through to adulthood.  The large group allowed another mama duck and her one little duckling to share the pond with them.  Apparently, the single mom and her young one were not considered any kind of threat to the larger family.  Cute duck story: the single mom would wait patiently for the larger family to be fed, then lead us to the South pond to feed her chick, where she “ruled”.

DSC09060.JPGIMG_1729.JPGIMG_1730.JPGIMG_1734.JPG

Our niece, Katie, came for a visit from Chicago.  A few outings took us to the restoration of the Elwha River.  Two dams have been removed from the Elwha, allowing the river to run free for the first time in about 100 years.  Salmon runs were better than expected!  To see information about dam removals, visit this site.  Here are a few photos showing the area of the Elwha Dam removal and the area that was once Lake Aldwell.

DSC09490.JPGDSC09513.JPGDSC09527.JPG

And the removal of Glines Dam and what was Lake Mills.

DSC09569.JPGDSC09573.JPGDSC09580.JPG

What is a trip to the Olympic Peninsula without a hike to Sol Duc Falls – and a bit beyond.

DSCF9900.JPGDSC09645.JPGDSC09654.JPGDSC09665.JPGDSC09692.JPGDSC09864.JPGDSC09881.JPGDSC09893.JPGDSC09925.JPG

and here is one photo from a hike from Obstruction Point

IMG_7228.JPG