Our Summer Tree Musicians

It’s this time of year, again. The Green Cicadas are in our trees and make lots of rattling noises with their abdomen to call out for a mate. It is so soothing, when the cicadas “play their love music”. Summer has officially arrived with them. The temperatures are warm and humid.

Travel Journal, Day 6 (Part II): From Redwoods National & State Park To Willits, California

June 6, 2019

We back tracked from the beach to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. There we parked at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. Kevin, the girls, and I hiked at the Prairie Creek Trail, where we saw lots of Redwoods, ferns, wildflowers, a jay bird, a few ground squirrels, and a daddy long-legs. When we came back to the parking lot, we could see some wild elks on the meadow. I guess, the park staff guides those elks to a certain area, so the vegetation has enough time to recover, grows back; and the elks can feed again. It seemed like a controlled area.

After our hike, we had dinner in Trinidad. Kevin and I debated how far we still want to go. I looked at the map and suggested Willits, which was about three hours down the road. That way, we would have only another three hours to San Jose. We didn’t have to get up too early and rush to get to the airport. Kevin booked a motel room, and we were on our way to Willits.

…to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 6 (Part I): From Grants Pass, Oregon To Redwoods National & State Parks, California

June 6, 2019

On Thursday, we’ve made our way from Grants Pass, Oregon to the Redwoods National & State Parks. First we drove through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. A little bit into the ride, there was a huge pot hole filled with water and not enough space on the road to get around it, without having the passenger wheels over the hill’s edge. And the edge was to brittle. With the little Ford Fusion we’ve used as a rental car, we really didn’t want to try anything stupid (at this moment, we wished we still had our Jeep Grand Cherokee). I told Kevin to screw it; we’ll turn around. I’ve got enough photos of the park. And it was just not worth to risk getting stuck in that hole or falling several hundred feet upside down into the gorge.

We’ve rather decided to get out of that State Park and drive long the beach into the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park on US 101. Katelynn and Sara could walk barefoot at the Crescent Beach, until the tide came in. We’ve found some sand dollars, Dungeness crabs, sea stars and some broken shells along the beach.

Our next stop let us to the Redwoods National Park. In the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center we asked for more information. I found out, that the Park Ranger spoke German due to his German parents, who originated from the Sudetenland. He said, he brushes up his language from all the German tourists, who are the main visitors of the Redwood Parks. He also mentioned, his two sisters moved back to Germany, while he rather stays here in the US. The world is small. Well, after this little chit-chat, the Park Ranger explained to us, the best place to visit is actually Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, while driving on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy. Dangit! we’ve bypassed it on US 101. So, we had to backtrack a little bit …

…to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 5: From Everett, Washington To Grants Pass, Oregon

June 5, 2019

Gosh, we all were sore from walking around in Seattle. Kevin and I decided, we would take it easy that Wednesday. David and his wife had lunch plans with us. So, we made our way back down to Vancouver. After lunch, David and Karen did show us a little bit of Vancouver along the northern shore of the Columbia River. Walking around felt good, since we needed to get the soreness out of our bodies, anyway. Later that day, we still had a long “hike” to get to Grants Pass in Oregon. That night, we had a room with a king-sized bed. I didn’t sleep so well, since I left home. We all needed that rest.

.. to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 3: From Vancouver To Everett, Washington

June 3, 2019

Monday morning, Kevin got a phone call from Southwest Airlines which stated that our luggage arrived safe and sound in the SeaTac airport. Knowing that, we decided we make a trip to Mount Saint Helen first. David posted a video about the Lower Lewis River Falls on Facebook in the previous week. And that caught my interest. The falls are just a little bit east of Mount Saint Helen, and can be done in one trip. The phone call ended about ten miles north of the exit on Interstate 5. Kevin and I made a spontaneous decision and back tracked to State Route 503. A little over 60 miles later, we made it to the entrance trail of the falls. It was about a 3-minute-hike, before we reached the overlook. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I tried to find a way down to the river’s edge. But we didn’t want to chance rolling an angle in the middle of the Washington woods. Instead we hiked down the regular trail, to see some flora and fauna.

Here is a short video, I filmed of the gorgeous Lower Lewis River Falls. https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/48046148486/in/album-72157705230883495/

On our way back, we went to the Pine Creek Information Center. The lady informed us, where we would have a good view of Mount Saint Helen. And we were lucky. The National Forest Road 25 just got cleared from the last snow and opened on Friday.  There are several nice overlooks along NFD 25. A few motorcyclist were standing at one of the parking/viewing areas. One of them told the story about the exploding mountain, when he lived in this area 39 years ago. I overheard him saying, that the blast of the eruption broke his sister’s house windows and they could feel that hot shock wave. They were all lucky to be far enough away to survive it and tell the tales. We all gazed at the Mount Saint Helen and let the story sink in for a moment.

Soon, we’ve reached US 12 and drove back west to Interstate 5, where we were on our way to SeaTac. Picking up our bag was very smooth, and we could soon move on to our motel in Everett, north of Seattle. But first, we’ve got a good climbs of Seattle, before we had dinner and called it a day.

3300

Seattle, Washington

… to be continued …

Our Garden In Late April 2019

The warm and the rainy days help the garden to progress very quickly. Flora and Fauna are flourishing. Our Meyer Lemon tree has a lot of flower buds; and we have a first blossom. The tomatoes are growing fast. Planting them on a good layer of compost did the trick. The peach tree is full with fruits. I can’t wait for July to come, so I can harvest them.

A little Bewick’s Wren made its home in the nestbox outside of Katelynn’s window. She loves it, when the wren wakes her up with a beautiful song every morning. The Blue Jays are very pleased, how the raised beds come along. The birds did their part of growing the beds as well. Lots of seeds turned into seedlings. In Summer, they will enjoy a Sunflower “jungle”.

Happy Gardening!