Thursday, September 08, 2011
one of the things i love along the columbia river gorge is all the colourful lichen growing on the rocks. i got very distracted taking photos of it this trip. the colours and textures are amazing. we have lots of moss around here, but I don't notice the lichen as much. then again, maybe i'm not looking close enough. but the dry shrub-steppe environment east of the cascades is so very different from my own wet coast, and the change in ecosystem fascinates me.
little lizards scurry between rocks, small brown bunnies rest between sage brush bushes rustling in the afternoon wind, rattlesnakes sun themselves...oh yeah, and at night the mice come out in force! this was the first year we had to set traps inside my truck, as a couple had snuck in and made themselves at home. gross. actually, the traps are still set, just in case a few came north with us (don't tell the border patrol i may have smuggled wildlife into the country!).
uh, moving on... this was our third year in a row visiting this area of washington state. i love it most of the time, although the heat and sun kind of overwhelmed me this trip. very thankful for the river to cool off in on those hot days. i had thought this would be our last summer hurrah and i was feeling very ready for cooler fall temps upon returning home, but it seems not to be. after our summer that wasn't, we have plunged into september with a heat wave that seems to have no rain in sight. soon enough i know there will be a wet swath of clouds that hangs over the island for much of the winter, so i suppose i should enjoy it. although i'm a bit jealous, seeing lisa and joni's wonderful mushroom finds, and knowing ours won't be popping up in this dry weather. good thing there is foraging to be done of a different kind, with the blackberries beginning to hang dark and heavy from their branches. i picked a couple small buckets last night, and plan for more, if i can squeeze a few more bags amongst the strawberries and blueberries already crowding our small freezer.
hmmm, this post seems to be taking a lot of random, tangential turns. hope i'm not boring you too much; just enjoy the photos! the spider above was one of many we saw - late summer seems prime time for web spinning. we even spotted a tree filled with dozens of big fat ones in their webs; unfortunately spotted after i'd been sitting under the tree for quite a while, and there were some just inches above my head!
it always takes me a bit to get back into focus after a holiday, but i hope this weekend i will be able to finish the special pieces i am working on and then get some new items in the shop! thanks to those who have been emptying it out! i also have some cool dye results to share, and more pics from our escape. but i will stop rambling for now, and instead get back to dreaming about the tasty margaritas i will be sipping tonight with friends, cooling my brain off.
other things i'm liking recently:
• i made heidi's magic sauce last night, so so delicious. i can see it will become a staple.
• and incidentally, i poured the sauce on this prawn, tomato & white bean recipe from martha and it was all divine. the remaining sauce in the pan was sopped up with crusty bread.
• and just to round off this foodie link list, lisa made some yummy looking soup with her recent foraging find.