Monday, September 17, 2012

RIP Sprout

Sprout was a great kitty. We will miss him so much. He was the cuddliest, sweetest little snuggle buddy anyone could ask for.

We're stunned; we didn't realize he was as sick as he apparently was. He had seemed a bit less energetic than usual, but nothing that seemed to warrant a trip to the vet. He wasn't exceptionally old, around 12 I think. This afternoon we found him deceased on the porch, looking like he just laid down for a nap and then passed on.
We buried him at the edge of the woods, in a beautiful and peaceful spot where the wild blackberries grow thickly. Not much more we can do at this point but mourn.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mt Baker Berry Picking

This past week I took a day off work and went up to Mt. Baker with Mom, GG, Uncle Fred and Debbie to pick berries. It was a gorgeous day for it. The berries were small, and somewhat patchy, so we didn't get the volume we were hoping for, but they are so tasty it hardly matters.

The star attraction on these high-alpine berry expeditions are the wild, low-bush wild blueberries that mingle with the heather to form a 6-8" high ground cover in the meadows. These mountain slopes also feature an array of huckleberries, standard (not low bush) blueberries, salmonberrries, and even a few thimbleberries tucked into sheltered creek beds. All of these are tasty, but none compare with the low-bush blueberries.


In case you've ever wondered the difference between Huckleberries and Blueberries, the simplest way to tell is the position of the berries on the plant. Huckleberries (bottom) hold their berries up proudly, above the leaves. Blueberries (top) hide demurely below their leaves. The leaves are also somewhat different; Huckleberry leaves are pointed at the end while blueberries are rounded. Blueberries are also usually blue-er, and huckleberries are generally more purple-black, but color is not always a reliable indicator of which is which.

Labor Day Weekend in Plain

Whew, we've been busy! Here's to trying to catch up to our summer on the blog. Labor Day weekend we went to Plain to visit my parents. We had a lovely time.
The first thing we did was "hike" along the irrigation ditch to watch Poppy bale hay at the Old Pobst Place, which is the farm my Great Grandpa Otho Pobst originally homesteaded on. It's been subdivided and there are some new houses up there. A nice couple from Alaska live in the original house and are farming the attached hayfields and keeping their horses in the barn. It's nice to see the place looking so well cared-for.
Mom and I watched from a convenient haybale.
Poppy rigged a little seat especially for Conan to ride on the tractor with him. It's pretty neat to think that he participated in farming the land that was once his great-great grandfather's.

Fishing was another big attraction. Conan has been working on casting this summer and was really excited to show Poppy how far he could cast.
Poppy restrung his reel and tied on a real lure (with an actual hook) and then he was really off to the races.
Cary, Poppy and Conan took the boat up to Fish Lake for some guy fishing & bonding. Cary caught his first two fish ever. I'm told the other one was much, MUCH bigger.
So big, in fact, they completely forgot to take any pictures of it.
Another highlight of the trip was finding a large toad in the garden. Both Conan and Chloe got to hold it. The toad took his new fan club in stride, but was glad to go back to his quiet life in the cucumber vines after a few minutes in the spotlight.
It was a great visit - hopefully we'll get back over again before too much longer.
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