Category Archives: Farms and Gardens

Dear Daughter Got Hitched at Queen Elizabeth Park

So on Thursday, June 29th, Dear Daughter married her long time Canadian Beau (now know as Dear SIL). It was a simple and beautiful ceremony with the couple and the immediate families. As you can see  the Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver BC has stunning landscaping, amazing views and an ethereal beauty. The happy couple was married by the water with a wooden bridge in the background. Part way through the ceremony several visitors on the bridge figured out what was happening and soon there was a small crowd respectfully watching. At some point I hope to return to Queen Elizabeth Park to wander the trails and explore the arboretum.


 

 

Dear Daughter got hitched: Deer Lake Park, Burnaby

Dear daughter and her fella needed a marriage license, so much of Monday, June 26, was devoted to paperwork, but we still took some time to check out Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. I had it in my head that I would see large topiary in the shape of animals, but we never did find the large bird I was expecting. For the record, that was my fault for not being ready with a map and not having wifi. We did get a glimpse of a topiary carousal horse and found this great insect.  The joy of the park was the stunning view of part of a city skyline over the lake and the lush greenery. While strolling around we also we enjoyed the very friendly Canada geese with their gawky teenagers (in geese years). And there was some delightful art and unusual plants.

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Natives at the Pacific Bonsai Museum

Dear daughter and I went to revisit the Himalayan Blue Poppies at the Weyerhaeuser Rhododendron Gardens in Federal Way before they completely faded away for the season. In the United States, these poppies only grow in parts of New England, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, so we are lucky.

While we were they we checked out the adjoining Pacific Bonsai Museum, which we had been through a half dozen times. This time though there was a really great exhibit titled Natives. Per the brochure “each display in Natives is a composition of four artists — the bonsai artists, the kusamono artist (Young Choe), the ceramicist (Victoria Chamberlain) and the visual artist (Iuna Tinta)”. In case you don’t know (I didn’t) a kusamono artist creates potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique pots or trays. So each display has a bonsai, a companion kusamono (accent), the ceramic art (often using minerals from the depicted region) and a visual piece of art, all of which are centered around a particular place. It is a marvelous exhibit and worth some real time. The exhibit runs from April 8- October 8, 2017 and more information can be found here.

And, of course, there are some photos of the blue poppies and other foliage from the gardens.

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Stellar Alpacas because really alpacas!

Stellar Alpacas

I was pretty excited to read that Stellar Alpacas was having a Open Ranch (think open house) this weekend. I mean who doesn’t love alpacas?! Stellar Alpacas at 27810 16th Avenue East in Spanaway has 54 alpacas though two were off today. I learned how to tell if an alpaca is pregnant! If she is pregnant and a stud male is introduced she will spit at him and try to kick him. The average pregnancy is 11.5 months.

The folks that own the farm are delightful and the man was walking one of the alpacas around. Visitors were allowed to touch them, though they don’t like their faces touched. There was a refreshments stand with free cookies, water and sodas. And a small bag of carrots was only $1. Of course the carrots were for the alpacas. The videos below provide a chance to hear them chewing. There is also a small store with delightful socks, sweaters, yarn, hats, gloves and more made from alpaca fiber, some from right there on the farm. The ranch has a website.

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A Barn at Fort Steilacoom Park

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Steilacoom Barn

Western State Hospital for the Insane, later shortened to simply Western State, opened in 1871 and soon after included a farm with animals. The farm included several barns and this one, near the entrance to the dog park in what is now Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, is one of them. The farm workers were patients of the hospital and the farm supplied much of the food for the hospital. The farm closed in 1959.

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I went in the evening and there was a lovely sunset and a flock of geese.

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Variations on the Floral/Grange Building at the Washington State Fair

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Four Apples – Prizma

One of my favorite buildings at the Washington State Fair is the Floral/Grange Building and of course while dear husband and I were enjoying the fair I took a bunch of photos there. I thought this time I would try editing each of the photos with a different photo app. The four apples above were made with the Prisma App (a new one for me)

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Washington Fair Grange – Brushstroke

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Washington Fair Grange – Tomatoes Mobile Monet

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Washington Fair Grange – Carrots – Photolab Cartoon

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Washington Fair Grange – Onions Toon Camera

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Washington Fair Grange – Kaleidoscope

Washington Fair Grange – Pixlromatic

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Washington Fair Grange – Pears and Grapes – Photolab Light Boken

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Washington Fair Grange – Photolab Pen & Ink Photo Lab – Pen & Ink

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Washington Fair Grange – Glaze

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Washington Fair Grange – Tintype

 

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Washington Fair Grange – Living Planet

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Washington Fair Grange – Distressed FX

 

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Washington Fair Grange – Photosplash

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Washington Fair Grange – Sparkle Post

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Washington Fair Grange – Juxtaposer

Percolator 2.4 (2.4) Grind: Extra Fine (Average Circles & Effect: Auto Adjust), Brew: Circles (No Pic & Full Blended Circles), Serve: Black (Clear Tone & Paper Cup Texture)

Percolator 2.4 (2.4)
Grind: Extra Fine (Average Circles & Effect: Auto Adjust), Brew: Circles (No Pic & Full Blended Circles), Serve: Black (Clear Tone & Paper Cup Texture)

Waterlogue 1.3.1 (72) Preset Style = Bold Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Heavy Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = High Contrast Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Blurry Water Bleed = Average Brush = Fine Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Medium Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Medium Options Faces = Enhance Faces

Waterlogue 1.3.1 (72)

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Washington Fair Grange – Photoshop Pro Antique Oil

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Washington Fair Grange Photoshop Express – Bright

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Washington Fair Grange – PicMonkey

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Washington Fair Grange – Be Jealous – PicLab

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Washington Fair Grange – Enlight Urban Paintsplat

Swan Creek Park Community Garden

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Swan Creek Park in Tacoma, WA is the largest community garden that I have seen and I’ve been to many. All of the plots except one (there is always one!) were full of produce and/or flowers. It was an interesting range of plants including tomatoes, squash on a lattice frame, corn, peppers and flowers. The entire garden is protected by a black chain-link fence and I had the sense that the gardeners would not suffer fools gladly.

There was also an environmental art show going on and had I more time, there would be more photos of that.

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The Hobbit Hole and Year 7

The Hobbit Hole in Port Orchard

I was pretty delighted to hear there is a Hobbit Hole in Port Orchard and I finally got to see it at the Brother’s Greenhouse. It is really well made and I actually got into it. The rest of the nursery was pretty great too, plenty of stock and helpful employees. They even had free cookies! We picked up some charming plants for the front porch.

And oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’ve been working on this one time impulsive blog project for going on seven years now! It began in 2010.

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Acton Nature Center

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I suspect I visited the Acton Nature Center when it wasn’t at its best. The weather was that special hot that it gets in Texas in the summer and many of the plants were suffering from a long dry spell. But it was still great! The Acton Nature Center is located at 6900 Smoky Hill Ct., Granbury, TX 76049 and has been around for more than a decade. Because of the heat, I didn’t explore the entire center, but I did venture to the butterfly gardens which was lovely. There were a couple of butterflies and a huge lizard, as well as an air conditioned structure used to view birds (that day it was cardinals and hummingbirds).

The volunteer was very welcoming and informative and suggested walking the loop down near the pond, which was wooded and a tad cooler. Sadly the pond wasn’t there! I’m sure it will be back after some rain.

I’d love to go visit in the Spring when the wildflowers are blooming and it is cooler. The volunteers that have created this center should be very proud of their efforts.

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