Category Archives: Photos

Eerie eclipse

Pleading earnest apathy, I refused to observe the solar eclipse, even with my husband’s offer of welding filter goggles. I don’t know for sure that looking at the phenomenon at all, through anything, will not hasten my “incipient cataracts” to the surgeon’s table. I’ve been given a 5-8-year pass with no change for nine years. My eyes still correct to 20-20. I like the trend.

Through my windows half an hour ago, I could see a fairly dark sky, and zombie-still trees in what is usually the wind belt of the Palouse. The stillness is beautiful. I don’t need to see the moon occlude the sun. An eclipse, after all, is the original “Nothing to see here, Ma’am, move along. . .” But if you think it’s something to see, by all means, protect your eyes and enjoy the sight!

The sky actually brightened as I composed the photo through my window.

2 Comments

Filed under Nature, Photos

Chinook rebuff

Today marked the arrival of Chinook salmon to the Snake River from the Pacific Ocean, and the state’s approval to fish for them. My husband took the morning off so we could fish for the salmon while they’re here and before the females lay their eggs and the males follow to fertilize the eggs. The adults typically die after these accomplishments.

We did not manage to intercept the life cycle of any salmon. My husband caught a good-size bass, and I was skunked. We enjoyed a pleasant morning on the river. We saw a few salmon jumping, but not for the joy of coming home with us.

The railroad bridge across the Snake River

Sunbeams glistening on the river

11 Comments

Filed under Action & Being, Fishing, Photos, Seasons

Westerly greetings

These sunflowers beam their cheery golden brightness into a west-facing window.

2 Comments

Filed under Creation, flowers, Gardens, Nature, Photos, Seasons

Effie and blackberries

I took this photo last summer, of Effie slavering over the unripe blackberries she had been checking out. This year she has shown no interest in them at all, even when they were ripe. I think she does really cute things with her tongue.

Her cute look elevated my morale after reading the NOAA wildfire reports and predictions. It was a tad demoralizing to learn that I am not cut out for life on earth, but hey, I’ve had a fair number of decades to prove I am blessed with some kind of knack for survival–aka God’s preserving grace.

I have a wonderful husband, a compatible cat, a pleasant home, and a well-matched church. Smoke happens. I’ve been outdoors only briefly, to run up the hill to get any eggs our hens have laid, and down the hill to pick up our mail. I feel a little cooped up, staying in the house so much, and very ready to get back to fishing in the Snake River again. The fires have kept us from fishing for three whole weeks.

Like most nuisances, smoke doesn’t stay forever.

6 Comments

Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Effieland, Faith, Health, Home Life, News, Photos, Seasons, Weather

A welcome touch of blue (even if it’s not the sky)

As I fed Effie her daily fresh catnip leaves in Effieland this morning, I noticed a small handful of suddenly ripe blueberries that brought me joy and consolation nearly two weeks into the absence of any hint of blue in the sky or elsewhere. The smoke is predicted to clear tomorrow–we’ll see. Much-needed rain and westerly winds continue to elude the smokey valley.

I’ve picked all the blackberries, and Vic picks several large, full stems of Himrod (green) and Flame (dark pink) grapes every evening. We’re thankful we have plenty of water on tap to keep the fruits of the garden and the chickens hale.

We are also extremely thankful for the aerial and land firefighting crews in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. May God continue to sustain these wonderful people. I don’t know how the losses they have prevented can ever be calculated.

4 Comments

Filed under Effieland, Gardens, Nature, News, Photos, Places, Seasons, Weather

Still no rain

The lightning-generated forest fires across Montana, Idaho, and Washington continue to plague Eastern Washington where we live. The smoke today is worse than ever. The original morning designation was “hazardous for the sensitive,” and was quickly promoted to “hazardous.” The 3,200-foot-high, red-brown basalt hills normally in view, continue to blend with the light-cloud-grey sky.

I think a homeowner’s best defense is a garden. Our indoor-outdoor cat Effie has an enclosed garden, Effieland, filled with green ground cover, grape and berry vines, tall corn and sunflowers, and a few poplars. I think these plants displace the compromised air with oxygen. It smells fresh and green, and easy to breathe. I am happy I don’t have to leave home today.

Even the UV filters in my camera’s lens are unable to compensate for the smoke screen that whites out the basalt hills.

Effie loves her green domain, Effieland, and so do I. My husband created the fenced area just for Effie and our garden.

6 Comments

Filed under Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Effieland, News, Photos, Weather

Dear Elijah, Wish you were here. . .

In the 9th century B.C., Elijah was a good person to have around. His effectual prayers for rain delayed Ahab, enabling Elijah to arrive ahead of the ungodly king and execute the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:41-19:1). Blood, gore, and slaughter notwithstanding, Elijah prayed for rain, and rain arrived, with a “sound of abundance.”

We need rain! Smoke from the lightning fires continues to linger throughout Washington and Northern Idaho. Visibility of the basalt canyon walls less than 10 miles from our home remains compromised, as does the breath of some people with health issues.

Elijah is gone from the world; the format of his prayer, in which “he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees” is not necessary for effectual prayer. Elijah can, however, remind us that however we pray with real need and sincerity, we are heard. Whether or not our prayers are effectual is entirely up to the perfect discretion of God–as is the weather.

My camera has taken up a tourist photo proclivity–the sky directly above has a few streaks suggesting blue, but is predominantly ash-white. The photo also makes the hills much more discernible than they are to the eye. I promise, the smoke is really there!

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Nature, Photos, Seasons, Weather