Sunday 🪷

The summer days are rapidly running out, but the dahlias in the little rose garden in Myrtle Edwards Park (the extension called Centennial Park) are still in bloom.

Thursday/ Mowich lake, one more time 🦌

I made a final run out to Mt Rainier National Park today, to pick up the Wonderland Trail hikers where they had started eight days ago: the campground at Mowich Lake.

It was a stunning day out at Mowich Lake, elevation 4,929 ft (1508 m).
The name “Mowich” derives from the Chinook* jargon word for deer.
*The Chinook Indian Nation is made up of the five western-most Chinookan speaking tribes at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Tuesday/ Sourdough Ridge Trail ⛰

I made another run to Sunrise Visitor Center on the slopes of Mount Rainier on Monday morning. (My hiking party needed me to help them retrieve their food for the next four days. It was in a cache down by the White River Campground, an arduous trek by foot from where they were on the mountainside).

I took the opportunity to walk up to the Sourdough Ridge Trail to the north of the visitor center. The summit of Rainier is then to the west.
There was a little drizzle on the mountain early in the morning.
It took a while for the clouds and fog to clear, and for the snow-capped summit to reveal itself for a picture through the trees.

Thursday/ at Sunrise 🌅

Located in the northeast corner of the park at an elevation of 6,400 ft (1 950 m), Sunrise is Mount Rainier National Park’s highest visitor center.
It is only open from early July to early September.

The butterfly is a mariposa copper (Lycaena mariposa), and on the log is a Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) and a Townsend’s chipmunk (Tamias townsendii).

Wednesday/ Mowich Lake 🏞

This morning, I dropped off the hiking party of two (my friends visiting from South Africa) at the Mowich Lake campground on the slopes of Mount Rainier.

Mowich Lake is where they will start out on Thursday morning, on the Wonderland Trail/ Northern Loop Trail for an eight-day hike.

Sunday/ at the zoo 🐻

These creatures are all from Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo.
The zoo opened 124 years ago, in 1899.

Top to bottom: Grizzly bears, Langur, Gray wolf, Canadian lynx, Kookaburra, Asian small-clawed otter, Western Low-land gorilla, Jaguar, Toco toucan, White-naped crane, Reticulated giraffe, Hippopotamus, African lion, River otter.

Wednesday/ Hawaii is burning 🔥

This summer is no exception when it comes to apocalyptic scenes of fires and floods, worsened by the changes in the planet’s climate.
There is very bad news out of Hawaii, as well, now— of destructive firestorms that started yesterday and continued into today.

Thomas Fuller, reporting for the New York Times:
From the air, the town of Lahaina looks incinerated. Charred palm trees are reduced to slender matchsticks protruding into the smoky sky. Homes are ash. Streets are deserted.
The firestorm that tore through the western shores of Hawaii’s Maui island on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday has killed at least six people and forced the evacuation of more than 2,000, the authorities said. It was the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history, according to Clay Trauernicht, a tropical fire specialist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Fast-moving wildfires wreaked havoc on the island of Maui, trapping locals and tourists. Strong winds linked to Hurricane Dora several hundreds of miles to the south fanned the flames, but as of Wednesday it was not known how the fires had started.
The hall of Lahaina’s historic Waiola Church and nearby Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, on fire.
[Photo by Matthew Thayer/The Maui News/AP]

Tuesday/ asters 😊

The pretty little asters in my front yard are starting to bloom.

Purple (a shade of lavender, maybe) is the most common color for asters, but they also come in pink, white and blue.

Wednesday/ haze, then clear 🟠

Widespread haze before 11pm.
Clear 86°F/ 30°C, with a low around 59°F/ 15°C.
Northeast wind 6 to 8 mph.
– Tonight’s weather forecast for Seattle, from the National Weather Service

Do we really need to blow up tons of fireworks while wildfires are raging and the planet is burning up?
(More than 7,000 pounds of fireworks was set off on Lake Union last night for the city’s Fourth of July celebrations.)

The setting sun is casting hazy red highlights onto this tree here on Capitol Hill.

Tuesday/ the colors of summer ☀️

Here’s a stunning lily flower that I found on my neighborhood walk tonight.

Lilium is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. They are the true lilies. (Day lilies belong to the genus Hemerocallis and are not in fact lilies).
I believe this lily hybrid is called Royal Sunset.

Monday/ mail from New York City 📨

The stamps I had ordered from a seller in New York City, arrived in the mail. The sender put beautiful stamps from yesteryears on the envelope for me.
Might he have picked the 1934 violet stamp with Mt. Rainier on just for me, because I am in Washington State?
I’d like to think so 😉

Listed in year-of-issue sequence:
1934 National Parks Issue/ Mt. Rainier (one from a set of 10 stamps)
Unwatermarked, Perf. 11, Flat Plate printing
742 A241 3c deep violet, Aug.3 1934, Mt. Rainier and Mirror Lake (Washington State)
1954 Wheat Field and Pioneer Wagon Train
Unwatermarked, Perf. 11×10½, Rotary press printing, E.E. Plates* 
1061 A508 3c brown orange, May 31 1954
*Electric Eye, a machine that had photo-electric cells to properly center the images to reduce waste during the printing and perforation of stamps.
The machines were introduced in 1935 and used into the late 1950s, when USPS found new ways accurate for centering and perforation.
1954 George Eastman (American entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company and helped to bring the photographic use of roll film into the mainstream).
Unwatermarked, Perf. 10½x 11, Rotary press printing, E.E. Plates
1062 A509 3c violet brown, Jul.12 1954
1956 Benjamin Franklin (issued to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin).
Unwatermarked, Perf. 11×10½, Rotary press printing, E.E. Plates
1073 A520 3c bright carmine, Jan.17 1956, Franklin Taking Electricity From The Sky (stamp design by Benjamin West)
1956 Booker T. Washington (Centennial of the Birth of Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), black educator, founder and head of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama
Unwmk., Perf. 11×10½, Rotary press printing, E.E. Plates
1074 A521 3c deep blue, Apr.5 1956, Log Cabin (stamp design by Charles R. Chickering)
1958 Forest Conservation (issued to publicize forest conservation and the protection of natural resources, and to honor Theodore Roosevelt, a leading forest conservationist, on the centenary of his birth).
Perf. 11, Giori Press printing, Plates of 200 subjects in four panes of 50 each
1122 A567 4c green, yellow & brown, Oct. 27 1958
1962-66 Regular Series/ Andrew Jackson
Unwmk., Perf. 11×10½, Rotary Press printing, Plates of 400 subjects in four panes of 100 each
1209 A646 1c green, Mar.22 1963, Andrew Jackson (7th U.S. President), design by William K. Schrage
1963 John James Audubon 
Issued to honor John James Audubon (1785-1851), ornithologist and artist
Unwmk., Perf. 11, Giori Press printing, Plates of 200 subjects in four panes of 50 each
1241 A673 5c dark blue & multi-colored, Dec.7 1963, art titled “Columbia Jays” by Audubon (birds pictured are actually Collie’s magpie jays)
1973 Boston Tea Party (bicentennial of Boston Tea Party, designed by William A. Smith)
Perf. 11, Lithographed, Engraved printing, Plates of 200 subjects in four panes of 50 each
1480 A894 8c black & multi-colored, Jul.4 1973, British Merchantman
1481 A895 8c black & multi-colored, Jul.4 1973, British Three-master
1482 A896 8c black & multi-colored, Jul.4 1973, Boats and Ship’s Hull
1483 A897 8c black & multi-colored, Jul.4 1973, Boats and Dock
[Information from Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps, 1989]

Wednesday/ a New York city sunset 🌇

From the Washington Post, reported by Ian Livingston:
Streaks of golden light bathed the urban canyons of the Big Apple on Tuesday evening as it was treated to a spectacle dubbed ‘Manhattanhenge’, when the setting sun aligns perfectly with the middle of the western-facing streets.

The warm evening glow of sunlight was made even more intense because of smoke wafting into the region from wildfires in Nova Scotia.

Along certain thoroughfares of New York City — including 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets — unobstructed views toward the horizon made the scenes especially magnificent.

The sun sets in alignment with Manhattan streets running east-west, a phenomenon known as ‘Manhattanhenge’, on Tuesday.
[Photo by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images]

Friday 🐦

Happy Friday.
I had my big camera with me on my walk tonight, and got these pictures of a pine siskin (Spinus pinus).
The little bird started singing just as I was snapping it (a rapid che-che-che chew zzzhreeee to ta chew).
These are North American birds, belonging to the finch family.


Thursday/ hello, little face 😘

I found this pansy flower in the Thomas Street Gardens today.
In South Africa they are called gesiggies in Afrikaans (‘little faces’).

The garden pansy (genus Viola) is a type of large-flowered hybrid plant cultivated as a garden flower. It is a hybrid derived of several species in the section Melanium of the genus Viola, particularly V. tricolor, a wildflower of Europe and western Asia known as heartsease.
[Source: Wikipedia]

Monday/ it’s a jungle out there 🐛

My lawn is the shaggiest it has been— maybe ever (gasp)— since I have moved into my house.
Our street block’s lawn services guy was off to a late start this spring, and he was scheduled to swing by last Friday, but it rained all day on Friday. He then left word with my neighbor that he would come by today, but it turned out his mower was in need of a quick repair and that he hopes to come out on Tuesday.
I think it’s time for me to dust off the electric mower in my garage and get out there tomorrow.

‘Your Perfect Lawn Is A Buzz Kill’ is the title of a recent article that I read, that advocates for eco-friendly front yards. And there is a ‘No-Mow May’ movement that encourages lawn owners to just leave the greens to their own devices for the month of May .. but then comes June and July and it’s back to mowing again, I guess.