Spring….almost

We took a hike last Sunday with some friends up Petersburg Creek thinking that it was nearly Spring weather.  As the day progressed, dark clouds roll up the Narrows and a few sprinkles occur.    The sedge grass is just poking up and many birds are arriving on their northward migration to the interior tundra.

Our hike takes us through the muskeg on this newly built boardwalk, thanks to the U. S. Forest Service.    The muskeg is an interesting biological unit with very unique plants including a Venus fly-trap like plant called a Sun-dew.  When these get active, I’ll put up a photo on this blog.

After visiting the creek, we hike back down an old CCC road and stumble upon this old truck–about a 1937 or 8?  It’s full of bullet holes, of course.   This road is a great trail along the shore and connects with our loop trail and Petersburg Mountain (posted here).

The Red Crossbills are showing up, along with the Sandhill Cranes and Hummingbirds.  April 16th seems to be the day.  These Crossbills are hilarious to watch–they hop around on the kelp and eat small kelp fleas (or whatever they are).  As I took this photo the one on the upper right zoomed by and made a perfect landing.  I put up this pole on our dock two years ago and not one bird perched on it for over a year–they need time to check it out.  Now, everyone  is fighting over it.

Here I am out walking the deer…..  Otters run up and down the beach–one crossed our front yard while we were working in the garden–completely oblivious to us.  And we’ve a squirrel that is raiding my caulking cotton in the net shed for a nest and runs right by me, within feet even, without showing any concern.  Spring is here….

We stop and talk with some clam diggers after pink necks–our most edible clam.   This fellow is 93 years old, born and raised here, and still digging.  Clams are abundant on our beach–our house is on the right in this photograph, so it’s a quick dinner opportunity if the tides are right.

This time of year, we are thinking garden–and I think of my new ‘old’ tractor and drag it out.  Watch this movie–is this a monster or what?  This behemoth weighs in about 300 lbs. and is no easy ride.    I took off the front wheels so I could really turn some soil–this hurk could dig a hole to China!

Here is a modern version–the new Stihl Yard Boss–what a powerful yet lightweight rig.  I’m driving this to town next week to show it off.  Stihl is a great line–I’ve a woodshed full of their chainsaws.   In 1973 I built a log home with a 031 (and a horse).  This saw later sunk for a week in the Frazer River saltchuck (aboard my ill-fated tug, Winamac)  and after a few sprays with WD-40, fired right back up.  Just had it completely rebuilt which was cheaper than having it bronzed for the fireplace mantle!

We find more “Mayan Ruins” in our front yard and decide to dig them out.  Beautiful old rock garden beds.  This used to be the front yard of an old white house which had a very nice lawn.

Here’s a photograph taken in May 1969 of the same area.  We’re motivated to restore these gardens and most of that motivation comes from a friend, we met in Antarctica, Maryann, who spent her holiday with us working.

Here’s the view the other way with the old house and the newly built corner of our current cabin.  Can’t wait to see the flowers bloom again.

Here, Maryann and Martina labor while I take pictures.  Our house is now finished and the gardens are the finishing touch with our (now) six year restoration.

This was taken Monday morning about 7am with the fog just lifting off the ferry dock a mile away; our sunrise is now 5:30am or earlier.    Devils Thumb and the Coast Range loom in the distance.  Below is another close-up photo taken a day or two later–spectacular stuff to look at–notice the shadow of the “cat’s ears” on the Thumb’s face.

Now, if it would just warm up.  Stay tuned.

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One Response to “Spring….almost”

  1. Erich Says:

    Hi Doug,
    I had my laugh at watching you fight with the Gravely, hehehe. I fought similarly with a rented tiller. The Stihl, though, works well, it seems. I hacked by hand this week.
    Cheers, Eric

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