The Rain Forest

I’ve been feeling stir-crazy with all of the rain in the past few weeks.  I should know better, after all, I live in the rain forest. To remedy the crazy, the handsome and I took to the trails of Burfoot Park to get some much needed green time and a little fresh air. Our dogs were thrilled to play in the sound and splash in the mud.  We were happy to have a little sun-break and the forest all to ourselves.

Burfoot6 Burfoot4 Burfoot1 Burfoot2 Burfoot5 Burfoot3 Burfoot7

 

Those Quiet Times in the Woods

Fall. Wasn’t it wonderful? Crisp, colorful, and just a little slower than any other season.  This is my favorite season. Being outside just feels natural. I love the sound of floating leaves as they hit the ferns below, the sounds of boots crunching on the ground.  It’s an excuse to get out all my favorite scarves, sweaters, and the ever popular in our house- wool socks. Olympia has a lot to offer this time of year. Everywhere you look, there are tree lined streets that look like fire, yellow shrubs, and more pumpkin spice everything EVERYWHERE.

I took to the woods to capture my favorite season this is one of our favorite secret-not-so-secret places in town. I wanted to catch its loveliness before everything turned into Christmas music and the mad hustle-bustle of the holidays.

Fall-c Fall-a Fall-b Fall-d Fall-j Fall-e Fall-f Fall-g Fall-h Fall-i

Let the Sun In

Before the last big push to Autumn (and the glory that is leggings and wool socks), let’s take a minute to remember how lovely this summer was in the Pacific Northwest. The sun was out, the air was warm, and we had some incredible summer storms.

These little lovelies were taken at Ritter Farms in Cle Elum, Washington.  A place that feels like home, was the scene of the first day of our marriage, and a constant reminder of love mixed with hard work.

flowers1 flowers4 flowers7 flowers3 Flowers2 flowers5 flowers6 flowers8

Suburban Homesteading

Although I’ve grown fond of my current home, I don’t quite belong in the suburban area of Olympia. I am naturally drawn to the extremes of a big city or small town.  Lately, it’s definitely been on the smaller side of things. This is best demonstrated when I use my spare time to do a little homesteading. This can be anywhere from using local flora for decor, or making preserves from local bounties.

After a trip to my Gram’s orchard, I found myself with two large crates of our family pears amongst apples and Italian prunes.  In hopes of avoiding waste (and fruit flies), I took to the kitchen with mason jars and some patience. Pears were 1st.

The method is so simple:

Wash & Rinse

Cut pears in half

Remove the core

Peel and chunk

Add a squeeze of local honey and lemon juice in the bottom of each jar

Add the pears with some hot water

And finish in a water bath to seal

No unnatural additives, just pure, sweet home pears.

Pears-9a Pears-7a Pears-18a Pears-11a Pears-14a Pears-1a Pears-2a Pears-3a

 

At the Coast

There’s this summer song that comes to mind when I get a chance to hear waves while I sit in the sunshine. It’s by The Avett Brothers– appropriately named ” At the Beach.”

I was fortunate enough to enjoy the sand, the wind, and the sunsets of Washington’s Long Beach for a few days last week.  My day-time hours were filled with a lot of day-job work, but the evenings were filled with free time and the chance to explore. I hiked around Cape Disappointment to feast my eyes on Washington’s best lighthouses (that I frankly had no idea existed.)

I splurged on delicious seafood and local brew, thanks to the sunny beach-side view of The Pickled Fish, and walked for miles up and down the sand playing with every dog that passed. I browsed and chatted at the adorable Wooden Horse gift shop and had the best roasted almonds of my life during an evening walk on the beach.  I missed most of the Kite Festivities from getting out after 5:30, but the beach by itself was just the therapy I needed.

LongBeach-2a LongBeach-3a LongBeach-7a LongBeach-6a LongBeach-4a LongBeach-1a LongBeach-9a LongBeach-13a LongBeach-15a LongBeach-19a LongBeach-11a long Beach-25a

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

I have been taking weekend walks to supplement my activities during the week, and found myself at The Nisqually Wildlife Refuge outside of Olympia, WA.  It is a haven for waterfowl during the winter months.  There are no dogs allowed, and there is a use fee of $3 which is well worth the experience. The boardwalk twists through the refuge area showing the public beautiful views of the sound and feathered friends who call it home. I came across different wintering waterfowl including,  Eagles, Hawks, Trumpeter Swans, Herons, Ducks, and Canadian Geese.  It was a quiet, calm and beautiful place.  I was one of a few early birds risers on a grey and damp Saturday Morning, and those that shared the boardwalk were equipped with warm clothes and binoculars. They were there for a day of bird watching.  I, not as well prepared, had a light jacket and my camera bag. In hindsight a warm hat and gloves would be a good idea.