volcano gawkers

We live along a part of the Pacific Rim of Fire, a seismically active horseshoe of volcanoes and earthquakes.   Well before I lived here, in May 1980, Mt St Helens, one of the local conical volcanoes erupted so strongly that it exploded cataclysmically upward and outward, destroying 14 percent of its peak and devastating about 150 to 200 square miles of forested land.

Here’s a very short video that shows the before and after shape of the mountain (with amusing musical accompaniment).  Here’s a National Geographic gallery of pics.  Our pics upcoming will show only the after.

Last Friday we took the camper to a park about 50 miles from Mt St Helens, just to get out of Dodge for a few days.   Almost as an afterthought the next day, we decided to drive the 50-mile road that winds toward the summit and go nose around.

The only other time we’d been here was heavily overcast with no chance of seeing this volcano.  I’ve flown over the area many times, so have seen the destroyed peak and bleak landscape from 30,000 feet.  Our Saturday was clear and warm.

Herewith, perhaps too many photos to illustrate those 8 hours we messed about.  (N.B.  Click on any photo in a section and they’ll get bigger!)

We continued tootling up the road, along sections of the Toutle River that were devastated in the explosion.

For the gawkers, the smart powers-that-be constructed many waysides and several complex interpretive centers.  I kept wondering about having to rebuild if the mountain blew again….  We’re a peculiar species.  I digress.

bunker potty--I'm trying to imagine the request for proposal:  need blast-proof potty in case the mountain blows again

bunker potty near the end of the road–I’m trying to imagine the request for proposal: need blast-proof potty in case the mountain blows again.  Maybe we’re supposed to hide in their for a few weeks?!

We found a wayside about 20 miles (?) away from the mountain, just a parking lot with three interpretive signs, no facilities, and a knock-em-dead view of the peak and surrounding terrain.   We had the camper (with a potty!).  We lingered.  Had lunch al fresco, had naps, and I did laundry because I dumped a cup of tomato juice right into my only bag of clothes.  Sigh… !!

Our final view of the mountain at that spot:

late afternoon and the clouds bathe the broken peak

late afternoon and the clouds bathe the broken peak

The clouds continued to thicken.   Sunday the cloud deck was so low that there was no hint of a peak.   Weren’t we smart to go up the road on Saturday?!

We took kitty Calpurrnia with us because she needs three medicines twice a day, though we’d rather leave her home with Ooper.  They probably snuggle up when we’re not looking.  …  Nah…  Not sure how much longer she’ll be with us, our old girl, and it grieves me deeply to think of her fuzzy tortoise-shell self absent.

The camper road trips are quite demanding of me, but I recover faster now, which inspires lasting hope instead of mere pockets clung to in desperation.


another book: The Secret Life of Water

Partway through one book, I posted a snippet about it.  Still haven’t finished the book, but it’s pretty good that the guts of the book got my attention.   Bruce Lipton’s supposition that the environment plays an often-discounted role in cellular and multi-cellular (human) life reminded me of another book.

This other book, The Secret Life of Water, by Masaru Emoto, demonstrates through fabulous photography the effects on water by thoughts.  Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s all woo-woo ‘n’ stuff.  Just read some of it and look at the purty pictures.  Your library should have it and I see that Amazon has it for 14 cents, plus shipping!

The publisher’s description:

Masaru Emoto‘s research has visually captured the structure of water at the moment of freezing, and through high-speed photography he has shown the direct consequences of destructive thoughts and the thoughts of love and appreciation of the formation of water crystals. The revelation that our thoughts can influence water has profound implications for our health and the well-being of the planet.

The art of the photos is worth the 14 cents (plus shipping).  But the implications are enormous.

Besides, why couldn’t it be true?  What would be so horrible about being connected at so basal a level?  Couldn’t it be grand?  What is there to fear?  Does it matter if Official Agencies have or have not tested the hypothesis to death?  Isn’t it enough to wonder about our world as seen through other eyes?

dark roasted blend

Big Mister loves this blog and I have just remembered to look at it.  (Never mind.)    Here is how the authors represent the blog:

dark roasted blend:  ‘highly visual “Weird & Wonderful” online magazine to complement your daily coffee ritual.’

‘The “Dark Roasted Blend” online magazine is dedicated to the ongoing quest for wisdom and beauty, for all things cool and wonderful in our world, featuring the best in art, travel and fascinating technology.

‘The “Thrilling Wonder Publication” bi-line stands for the sense of wonder that has been largely neglected in our cynical times. To that end, our “Thrilling Wonder” family of sites try to promote “the intense, wonderful and never-boring” side of things.’

If Neil Gaiman likes this, then I’d better pay attention!

I had a little trouble figuring out how to subscribe by email, so in case anyone else needs a boost….  Here’s an annotated screen shot of the subscription page:

front yard garden

Lots of action in the perennial garden.  I love being a passive participant this year–worked my bum off in spring 2010 and this is my reward.  This is only about 1/8th of the front yard (street-side) that is dead-on south-facing, so has lots of possibilities.

(I apologize for the weird spacing below.  It’s probably a Buddhist expression of peace and moving slowly.  I’m making that up.  I’m not very good with WP, but I also am not a perfectionist, so there!)

BuddyBoop hung out with me:

He's fluffy, really! By the time he finishes shedding, he won't be a foot wide!

shade garden

I created the shade garden by planting tall ornamental grasses on the south and west sides of the existing Picea spp (spruce tree).  There is bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis), several species of hosta, three species of Heuchera, delphinium, columbine (aquilegia spp.) with double, pink, lacy 1-inch flowers, and two species of ferns.





the lilac bed

The lilac I placed close to the front door so the heavenly scent would greet me every time I walked to and from the car.

Also in the bed:

perennials–bachelor buttons (Centaurea montana ‘Amethyst Dream’); hosta being shaded by the lilac; grape hyacinths

ornamental grasses–Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) in pots so they’ll wave above the bed; Japanese Forest Grass (the striped grass) (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’).

shrubs–Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’–it’s the yellow blotchy thingie; Weigela (Weigela florida ‘Red Prince’)–wonderful deep red trumpet-shaped flowers.

and rocks!  I LOVE rocks!



bachelor buttons in the lilac bed

There’s a rose bush to the right of the buttons (the red growth).  It was probably original to the house and had been planted in a peculiar place quite far from the house.

Last year, with a horribly painful shoulder, I dug it out–humongous roots–and put it next to the lilac. I found its tag way down in its roots–it’s called ‘Almost Wild’ and I understand why because it looks more like a wild rose.  And!  It’s scented!

There’s just something amazing about a scented garden being warmed by a south-facing sun… primal and earthy!






What else do we have here close to the house?

black mondo grass with funny berries, plus columbine leaves

turns out, the lilac does hate me! it only has ONE blossom!

bluebells right near the front door



Poppy leaves spreading out behind. Hops vines poking into the pic.  To the left of the bluebells is a grand clump of phlox, a pink scented variety.

close-up of the bluebells







making up for the long silence! (for Mom and my sister)

spring flowers

Not up for working in the garden, so sat under the pergola and read, but was quickly distracted by the garden coming to life around me.   Herewith a few pics:


The woodstove, our sole source of heat, is making an effort this morning, but I did have to bring in an armload of wood to encourage it.  On the way to the woodpile….  brrrrrrrr…..

ice storm (updated photos)

yikes!  happy to be sick and at home!  my poor corkscrew willow!  waaaaah!

ice storm!

Told ya it wouldn’t last–freezing rain has been pattering down since late last night.  It is hauntingly, deceptively beautiful, and very dangerous.  There are folks driving in this stuff.    See the new shininess?!

I'M not walking out to the compost bin, thank you very much!

and, I'm not walking that-a-way either!

that's more than the 1/10" of ice predicted!


winter is here in the Pacific Northwest (US)

it won’t last long, but the snow, wind, and cold are balm for my winter-starved soul.

red sky at morning, sailor take warning…

Except here it just doesn’t work that way.  But it was spectacular this morning.  I rushed out in my jammies with the little point-and-shoot, once again thankful for the landscape screening I planted a few years ago!  >:-D

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Saturday Sharesday

Note from the Editor who has a better memory than the writer:  the inspiration for this idea came from reading Kathy’s post, Blogging: The Christmas Gift that Keeps on Giving.   _________Back to our program…… ________

Lots of those blogging awards out there, huh?  “Award” may be not the best noun to use, but at the moment I don’t have a good suggestion.  Something along the lines of a Progressive Supper, where we move from house to house snacking on good food and getting to take away leftovers to enjoy later!

The point of the awards seems to me to be to pass the word about blogs discovered.  (It may also be about advertising WordPress, but I’m a little older and cynical now.  Don’t you wonder why they give this capability for free?  Ah, digression.)  Perhaps we could keep the intent and try:

Saturday Sharesday!

Wherein we bloggers who love to share our discoveries take a moment on a Saturday (or whenever–the days were named a long time ago and the gods maybe won’t mess with us too much if we post on Thor’s Day instead of Saturn’s Day!   And here’s a shocker:  not everyone in the world has the same names for the days!).  I digress.  As usual.

Just link to a blog you’ve discovered–no other requirements.  Do several or 1 or 100!  (It doesn’t have to be a WordPress blog!  Gasp!)

Or, share a funny cartoon!  (Which is my favorite, I confess!)

Or, just make a note of the many places your discovered bloggers live:  international enlightenment.

Or, change your blog’s language to a different language and see what happens!   I’m trying to imagine the hilarious translations!

Think of it this way:   circulating good writing and pictures is good for the world.   And it’s a mighty small world and it needs continued help.

I’ll start (and may be the only one, but heck I’m used to dancing by myself!).  They live in the US, Republic of Ireland, and Canada!

Tranquil Space Designs:  cards with personality, some with painful, funny puns!

Dummy Zero’s Blogpad:  Dedicated to the Flash of Original Genius from Creative Thinkers, Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Tinkerers.   Time to hear the truth about the For Dummies book concept.

That Is Priceless:  Art’s Greatest Masterpieces, Made Slightly Funnier

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

distracting cats

MY couch!


So this is how they do that!

BuddyBoop toes

bright sunflower

gigantic red sunflower

Garden in Autumn

I took a walk in my gardens late this Northwest (US) afternoon.

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