Western Larch

Larches are different from most conifers because they’re deciduous–they lose their needles each fall. In addition, their needles are arranged differently from those of most conifers; on current-year twigs they’re borne singly, but on older twigs they arise in dense clusters from stout, woody pegs that resemble wooden barrels. Only 10 species of larch occur in the world, mostly in cold parts of the northern hemisphere. Only western larch and subalpine larch grow in the Pacific Northwest. Larches are commonly called tamaracks, especially by people whose roots are in eastern North America.

 

Needles are deciduous. They fall from the tree in winter, turning brilliant yellow before they fall.

Needles are about 1″ long and typically grow in dense clusters (20-40) attached to short woody shoots (called spur shoots).

Needles are soft to the touch–never sharp or spiny. Current-year needles are borne singly on slender pegs.

Small, woody cones (1-2″ long).

The photos above were taken on October 30th on a drive Dear and I took out Addy-Gifford Rd. to Bluecreek Rd. The following photos are from 2012 on our son’s property in Chewelah.

I was happy to find that we have Larches on our new piece of property.

We did not have any random trick or treaters coming to our door last night but we did have our Colville family drop in for some treats and our little Miss Addy was sporting goofy smiles for the evening. What a joy to have these drop in visits!

Happy November to all of you!

 

And Now I’m Headed South

We arrived home from northeastern Washington just after noon on Tuesday and now I’m packing to fly to Southern California early on Wednesday morning. But in the meantime I’m relishing all the time we had with little Addy May and her parents.

Mommy and Addy have lots to share with each other.

While the grown ups enjoy their dinner Addy sits and watches from this little baby lounger.

Some views from around our kid’s property. The lilac is such a rich beautiful color. The chicken coup got moved in a new position and cleaned out. The new position will make it easier to retrieve eggs in the winter and also make it easier for the chickens to get in and out. Speaking of chickens some animal has been killing them and only leaving a pile of feathers. They are down to only 2 chickens. Maybe this hawk that likes to circle above the chicken coup is to blame or a fox.

I take this shot every time we visit. This is taken from the drive down from the kid’s home to the main road. Above taken on May 20th and the photo below was taken in April.

Most of the water that you see in this shot from April has been absorbed and there will be lots of dry grass to deal with come summer. We plan to get back to visit our kids again in the latter part of June.

I’m hoping I will have more time while I’m in California to visit and see what you all have been up to.

From the Other Side…

…of the Great Divide. The only side of Washington that is predominately red in their politics. The line between the blue and red counties cuts along the Cascade Mountain range. The blue side has the highest population, largest cities, with Seattle (652,405) being the largest. The red side has the most farmers and ranchers and many small cities. The largest city on the red side of our state is Spokane (210,721), then Spokane Valley (91,113) and Kennewick (76,762). All the population numbers I’m sharing are from 2013. The city I live in on the blue side of the state has a population of 21,611.

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Dear and I travel across the great divide when we visit our son and daughter-in-law. We enjoy our time on that side. We find it refreshing. There are lots of great fences and barns to photograph. Here are some of those fences and barns all taken in Stevens County.

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I’m linking up to Good Fences #128 with TexWisGirl and later in the weekend I’ll be linking up with Tom for The Barn Collective.

Happy First day of September to all of you! I started the morning off with fresh strong coffee in a new cup to me that I bought at the Habitat for Humanity Shop in Colville, Washington (population 4,668). It was half off and I only paid 40 cents for it. It’s Churchill made in England with a population of 53.01 million.

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May September bring good things to us all.

“The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

–   John Updike, September

Good Fences from Steven’s County

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The sign under the horse says Mountain House Stables.

While spending time with our son and daughter in law in Eastern Washington I took some photos on our son’s property and along some back roads close to them. Close is a relative term when you live in the country.

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This fawn visited our son’s property with it’s mother the first day we arrived.

I’m linking up with TexWisGirl for Good Fences #127.

We are catching up with the regular things we do in the city at this old house. We have a busy last weekend of August coming up. Our eastern Washington kids are coming on Saturday. Dear and I are going to a Chinese wedding reception Saturday night which will be a first for us. I’ve been reading up on Chinese wedding customs so we don’t do something that would offend. We are looking forward to this new celebration experience. On Sunday our whole family will be attending a Memorial service for our dear friend Dave. Joy and sorrow seem to always go hand in hand. How’s your summer winding down?

Barn Collective

I might have shared this one before and I wonder if it’s still standing since fires are burning out of control in this part of Northeastern Washington.

The rest of my selection are paintings that my Mother-in-Law painted. She grew up in Kansas and taught in a one room schoolhouse in Kansas. I think she saw lots of barns in her lifetime!

Linking up with Tom at Backroads Traveller for the Barn Collective.

We have been getting texts, watching the news and searching for news on the fires that are burning in Northeast Washington too close to our son and daughter in law and their friends for comfort. Because of all the fires raging in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana resources are at their limits. When this northern part of Steven’s county where our son lives called to get help they were told there was no help left to send them. Homeowners have been doing what they can to try to save their homes. We thought our son’s friend’s family had lost their home to the fire that swept through his property but we were happy to learn that the house did not burn down but all their out-buildings a truck and tractor were lost. We will get more details when it’s safer to return and assess all that was lost. This area is in a State of Emergency and are awaiting a declaration as a Disaster Area. It’s my understanding if they get a Disaster Declaration they might be able to get some national help with the fires. This is the worst situation that people who have lived in this area for years and years have experienced.

This is a photo I found on line of the Marble Valley Fire in Addy, Washington. Our son’s friend’s home is on that hillside and our son and daughter in law’s home is about 5 miles away.
I love the prayer a dear friend has prayed for this situation…
“will be praying for Dan and Jamie’s situation — that God will hold his hand over them … keep them safe from the fire and may the fire be blown out by an angelic host .. since everyone else is busy ! “
And I’m also praying for all the firefighters that are probably exhausted and the poor homeowners who have lost everything in this fire. For our son’s friend (who was one of his groomsmen) and his family as they walk about their property and make plans to replace what was lost. Even though their home did not burn down there is probably some smoke issues that need addressing. Praying that the winds stay calm and more help will arrive and that the fires get under control. If you pray could you add your prayers to mine for this area? Thank you!