Although we have had some very cold temper-atures lately, I have seen signs of spring. This despite the forecast, which calls for snow today (we got a sprinkling so far) through Friday and again on Tuesday. Nevertheless, I saw a few tiny little crocuses coming through in the orchard, and the blades of my daffodils have been pushing up for the past couple weeks. I know from experience, though, that I will be seeing the daffodils down in the valley for weeks before I see mine, and no sign of any flowers there yet. I didn’t bother with the picture I took of the crocuses, because you can hardly see them in the picture.
On the weekend, I began blazing a trail through the brambles down by the pond. This effort was because of a suggestion from my friend Deb, who helped me pick blackberries last year. She noted that some of the best berries were inaccessible, right next to the pond, and pointed out that an additional path would get us closer to the berries. So, on Saturday while it was sunny but cold, I took Luke down there with a pair of clippers and started clipping out a path through the brambles. That turned out to be more tedious than I thought, so on Sunday, Wayne helped me run an extension cord down there to use the weed whacker. Once we got the cord down there, it didn’t work, and it took us a while to find that the plug halfway down the slope from the house, which Wayne ran last summer, had come unplugged. Finally, Wayne helped me with the whacking, and afterwards we sat down on our bench in the sun and enjoyed the pond.
On Friday, Wayne and I went out on an outing, an occurrence that is sufficiently rare (Wayne coming along, that is) to be remarked upon. We went to the Friends of the Library book sale in Woodland. To get to Woodland from our house, you can either drive south down to Battle Ground, go west to the freeway, and drive north to Woodland, or you can take one of two back ways. We took the shorter back way out, which winds around through country roads, but when we got outside La Centre, about 50 feet of the road was torn up with no detour. We had to turn around and depend upon our GPS to get us out of there, which it did by taking us over to the freeway.
On the way back, we decided to go the long way home, which is to take WA 503 towards Cougar and turn south on its spur to Amboy and eventually our house. We had never been that way before because it was closed between Woodland and Cougar for a long time shortly after we got here, because of an avalanche. It was a beautiful drive through the mountains, and we saw an elk just grazing in someone’s pasture. When I told my neighbor that, she said, “Well, yeah,” and looked at me in surprise, but I have never seen an elk since I moved here, not even in the elk-viewing area up at Mt. St. Helens. So, that was exciting.
Right now and since Monday, I am tolerating loud pounding above my head. That’s because the roofers arrived yesterday and began tearing off the shingles. Yesterday they started putting the new ones on.
Lukey has been going bonkers from the noise. Monday, he was out to Puppy Play and Stay, and later I took him into the orchard to get him away from the noise. Still, he was so fascinated by the men walking around on top of the house that he wasn’t doing a good job of concentrating on fetching the ball. Hillary hasn’t been happy, either.
Because of the delivery of our washing machine, due any minute, I have two hikes under my belt already this week. Last week, we returned to Moulton Falls Park, because it was very cold and potentially slippery. We had to get moving before our fingers and toes warmed up. It wasn’t slippery at all, however, and although most of the snow in the park was gone, we saw a small frozen waterfall. We had a strong wind storm the night before, and we saw lots of downed trees in the park, including one across the path.
Yesterday, we took another hike. We returned to Whipple Creek Park, a beautiful place to be on a sunny, cool winter day. The park is mostly forested, and we encountered several sets of horses, joggers, and dog walkers on our hike. It poses a little more of a challenge than some of our default hikes for the winter, because it has quite a few steep hills without being too difficult. We went 3.6 miles today, taking two of the loops.
My sister has finally talked my niece into coming to art class with us, so she has put Katrina on the waiting list for our class. I am excited she will get to come. She really misses art, and I haven’t understood why she couldn’t come before. She is probably being careful with money. The class is in the evening, so she shouldn’t have a problem with the kids, but it remains to be seen whether she will come with us to dinner when we go after class. I suspect, since she won’t be going to Weight Watchers (I’m sorry, they’ve renamed it WW) beforehand, that she’ll be meeting us there every week.