Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Lavender Festival

Last week several of us from Franke Tobey Jones visited the lavender festival held by:

Blue Willow Lavender Farm
10615 Wright Bliss Rd KPN, Gig Harbor, WA 98329
253–225–9030

I’ve been wanting to attend a lavender festival ever since moving out here, so I eagerly signed up for this trip. Here are three things I learned.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) So Many Varieties!

I had no idea that there are so many varieties of lavender. The farm featured several rows of different varieties, all labled:

varieties of lavender

(2) Not all Lavender is Lavender

Some lavender is white:

(3) Lavender is Used in Many Ways

The gift shop contained so many items that use lavender: soap, body lotion, essential oil, flavoring for food and drinks. I bought some tea:

lavender tea

Bonus

Lavender fields

lavender fields

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Recently we’ve come across some artistic representations of animals (click on any photo to see a larger version):

(1) Snake Sculpture

carved snake 02

We discovered this snake at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. It looks so real that I was taken aback the first time I came upon it in the Asian Forest section. A few days ago we visited the zoo again with a 3 1/2 year-old family member. Like me, she stopped in her tracks when she saw this guy. “Is it moving?” she asked. When I told her no, it was a statue, she said, “Whew!” I know exactly how she felt.

(2) Wooden Slug

Slug Sculpture

We came upon this carved slug on our most recent trip to Northwest Trek. We had never been him before. In addition to rain and a temperate climate, the Pacific Northwest is also famous for slugs, including the big banana slug. This fellow apparently arrived just in time for the annual Slug Fest, which was to be held the following weekend.

(3) Neighborhood Sea Serpent

carved snake 01

And what would a Pacific Northwest neighborhood on Commencement Bay be without its own resident sea serpent? We came across this clever use of a tree root on one of our walks. I always marvel at examples of such creativity.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: Mount St. Helens

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Trip to Mount St. Helens Volcanic Monument

Related Posts:

You know how we often say “We should do XXX sometime” but then never getting around to actually doing it?

A trip out to Mount St. Helens has been one of those things for us ever since we moved to the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately, our activities director here at Franke Tobey Jones arranged a bus trip, and we eagerly signed up.

Mount St. Helens, which erupted on Sunday, May 18, 1980, is easily recognizable by the giant crater caused by a landslide on the mountain’s north face. I have written in detail about that eruption (see the two related posts), so I’ll just include some observations here.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) The mountain’s crater and the devastation as well as regrowth around it are evident in this photo:

Mt St Helens 02

(2) You can still see evidence of the downed logs that covered the area around the volcano like matchsticks as a result of the eruption:

fallen logs

You can also see the new evergreen trees that have grown up to begin the natural process of reforestation.

(3) Wild flowers proliferate, evidence of nature restoring itself:

For More Information

In quite a case of synchronicity, today I find this news article: Crystal movement under Mount St. Helens may have predicted 1980 eruption

Mount St. Helens Visitor Information

Eruption Geology and Monitoring

Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater

Lawetlat’la

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: Northwest Trek

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Trip to Northwest Trek

Earlier this week we took a trip out to Northwest Trek near Eatonville, WA, USA. A facility of Metro Parks Tacoma, Northwest Trek focuses on both flora and fauna native to the Pacific Northwest. Its main feature is a 450-acre free-roaming area, containing meadows, forest, and wetlands, where many non-predatory animals live with only minimal human intervention. Visitors ride trams around the area to view the animals in their natural habitat.

I usually concentrate on the animals, but this time I decided to look at some of the plants as well. Here are three of my favorite things from this visit.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) Salmonberry

(2) Roosevelt Elk Bucks

Elk bucks

Look at these six big guys lounging around. Right now their antlers are growing to make them attractive to the females come mating season. Antlers are covered with a substance called velvet. If you were to touch the antlers now, they would feel like soft velvet rather than the harder substance they will later become. But please don’t touch these growing antlers! They can grow as much as one-half inch per day and are suffused with blood vessels. If you were to touch them, you could feel the animal’s pulse as blood feeds the growing velvet. Because of the large blood supply, even a small tear in the velvet could cause the bull elk to bleed to death. That’s probably why these bulls are content to sit around instead of risking a possibly fatal nick to their antlers.

However, this bromance will end at about the end of July, when hormones begin to surge at the beginning of the rutting season. Then there will be fierce competition among the guys to attract the females. After mating season ends, the antlers will fall off. Then next spring the whole process will start again.

My thanks to my husband, who happened to be on the correct side of the tram, for letting me use this great photo.

(3) Red Elderberry

red elderberry

Red elderberry bushes grow along stream banks, in swampy thickets, in moist clearings, and in open forests. These bushes are common along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. The small red berries are not palatable and can cause nausea when raw. However, the cooked berries were an important food source for native coastal peoples. The berries are still used to make elderberry jelly or elderberry wine.

 

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Considering all the rhetoric being slung around here in the U.S., I’m grateful for people who find straightforward yet creative ways to communicate positive, respectful messages.

Here are three examples (click on any photo for a larger version):

Bike safely
Bike safely
No crabbing allowed
No crabbing allowed
Be an organ donor
Be an organ donor

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Usually I feature things that interest or amuse me in these weekly postings. And of course I’m grateful for things that interest or amuse me. But this week I decided to focus on the “exercise in gratitude” part of this challenge’s definition.

Here, then, are three things for which I am especially grateful.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) Nature’s Bounty

(2) My Family

My Family
My Family

(3) The Beauty of the Earth

 

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

We have a couple of trips scheduled for the next two years, for which we recently bought a new camera with a gigantic zoom lens. My husband has been walking around practicing zoomed-in photography. Eventually I will claim the camera for my own practice shots, but in the meantime I’m grateful that he has allowed me to use these three bird pictures.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) Singing Bird

bird singing

I haven’t yet tried to look this guy up in my bird book. My husband says he was singing his heart out.

(2) Hornbill

Hubby photographed this exotic bird on a visit to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

hornbill

Here’s some more information:

Meet Pilai the Hornbill! She is 20 years old and weighs a little over 3 pounds. She lives at the Asian Forest Sanctuary exhibit. Her favorite snacks are grapes and bananas. She also loves blueberries but they have to be the perfect amount of ripeness for her to eat them. Pilai plays with small toys but her favorite is a rock that she uses to toss around and clean out her beak with. Hornbills in the wild also use rocks and bark to clean their beaks.

(3) Flickers (I think)

I was pretty sure these were a female (left) and male (right) flicker:

flickers

However, when I checked my bird book, the sketch didn’t look exactly like this. The book has the red on the front of the face, not on the back of the head as it appears to be on the bird on the right. But the book says flickers are common on the ground, where they move around eating ants, and that description fits what the birds in this photo appear to be doing.

Flickers are large birds in the woodpecker family and are common around here, so I’m sticking with my original identification unless someone can identify these as something else. Please let me know in the comments if these aren’t flickers and you know what they are.

Have a good week, everybody!

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain  for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Earlier this month the Lunch Bunch traveled to:

Verrazanos Italian Restaurant
28835 Pacific Hwy S
Federal Way, WA 98003

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

The subtitle of the restaurant’s web site is “Fine dining with a view!” And they aren’t kidding. The dining room offers a beautiful view of Poverty Bay and the Olympic Mountains.

We visited on a sunny day, and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains were visible when we arrived:

original view
1. Before

While we were ordering, a truck from a local tree service arrived and caught our attention. We watched as the truck got into position and hoisted a man up into one of the trees. He worked there during most of our dinner, directed by a fellow on the restaurant’s large outdoor deck:

man trimming tree
2. During

One of the members of our group asked the waiter what was happening, and she explained that the restaurant owners had hired the company to come out and improve the view. By time we finished eating, the man in the tree had done just that:

view after tree trimming
3. After

I thought the view was spectacular before the tree trimming, but I didn’t complain about the opportunity to see even more of those beautiful mountains.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

There’s no theme this week, just three separate things that drew my attention.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) Only on the West Coast

Since moving to Tacoma, WA, I enjoy discovering things that belong solely to the West Coast. These are California poppies:

California Poppies

Despite their name, they’re plentiful here in Washington, also.

(2) Our Glow-in-the-Sun Hydrant

fire hydrant

The fire hydrant directly across from our house got a shiny new coat of paint recently.

(3) The Pizza Man Delivers

I think the first time I saw a TV ad for this car was during the Super Bowl:

pizza delivery car

At the time, I thought it must be a joke, but apparently not.

I hope everybody has a good week!

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: A Lesson in 3 Trees

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

A Lesson in 3 Trees

It’s amazing what you’ll notice once you start paying attention.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) What does that tree remind you of?

sloth tree

This tree reminded me of a giant sloth, complete with hanks of shaggy fur.

(2) How big is a Giant Sequoia?

Giant Sequoia

This big: And still growing!

(3) Where do pinecones come from?

formation of pinecones

Why, they grow on trees, of course.

Have a good week of looking at the world around you! Let me know what you find.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown