Sunday, December 30, 2012

The year is winding down, and it's tempting to say "Oh thank goodness this year is over, I hope 2013 will be better," while in reality the "New Year" is just a point on a continuum.  If I want the next arbitrary bundle of 365 days to be better, I have to make them better... I'll get out of the new year what I put into it.

Winter sunset

What is undeniable is that I have much to be thankful for.  This weekend, for example.  To finish off our Christmas vacation-at-home, Emma and I went away for a Girl's Weekend to our nearest metropolitan center with a plethora of retail opportunities that are not found in La Grande.  We hit all our favorite thrift stores and craft stores in Kennewick, Washington, and stayed overnight in a hotel.  It was a cheap hotel, but it had a POOL, and it had a HOT TUB!

So we replenished Emma's wardrobe at the thrift stores.  Chortle, chortle...for $40 we got her 2 pants, 2 dresses, a skirt, 6 shirts, a pajama set, and a pair of shoes!  I love thrift stores!  We got beads and feathers and a mask to decorate at the craft store.  We went to the mall and had lunch and got her some sparkly earrings.  We swam and hot tubbed. We went out to dinner at Red Robin, then swam some more.  We snuggled in bed and read books.  We slept.

Today, we had the continental breakfast provided by the hotel- cereal and oatmeal seem so much more glamorous when eaten in a hotel, especially when there are also cinnamon rolls wrapped in cellophane and a juice machine where you can serve yourself half orange juice and half cranberry juice.  We geocached in town in the morning and went to a park, then we went to REI for a bike pump, to the craft store again just on general principles, to Best Buy to see if they had a power cord we need for Emma's computer (they didn't), and to the pet store (new fish!  yay!).  Then a quick late lunch and we headed home.  But wait, there's more!

On the way home we stopped off  at Plymouth Park, which is an island in the Columbia River, just downstream of McNary Dam, on the border between Washington and Oregon.  There are seven caches on this one island, and we found them all, which allowed us to go for a two-mile hike through the sagebrush.  It was lovely.  The temperature was right at freezing, but there was no wind and we were moving enough to keep warm.  We got there mid-afternoon, so the sun was starting to go down and we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

Smiley girl

It was a great two-day trip, with a great walk to cap it off, and a fun time with my girl.  What a wonderful Christmas break this has been.

Winter sunset

Sunday, December 23, 2012

'Tis Christmas Eve Eve, and we are having a lovely snowstorm.  How perfect is it that inside looks like this:

Christmas tree 2012

and outside looks like this...

Snowy creek
Snowy creek...

Snowy barn...

Inside the plum thicket.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey today.  As with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it was magnificent.  What a great way to spend three hours (!) on a gray and windy Saturday afternoon. 

Well done Peter Jackson, cast, and crew!  I can't wait for the next two.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wait, WHAT? Christmas is in six days?!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The scene:
Emma and a friend are watching a show on TV, which has Mom-approved content.  Then an ad for a slightly more mature teenager-y show comes on, featuring a scantily clad 16ish year old girl singing with her trendy band.

The conversation I overheard:

Emma: "Wow, look at what she's wearing!"

Friend:  "I know!"

(Here, I mentally groan and roll my eyes.  Trashy flashy wins again...)

Emma:  "I like the color of her scarf, but her other clothes are completely inappropriate."

Friend:  "Yeah it's so tight, how can she even dance? And she's probably cold."

(Hey, maybe there's hope after all!  And I love that Emma actually said "completely inappropriate".)

Friday, December 14, 2012

After hearing the news on NPR this morning about the shooting at the Connecticut school, I've felt like I can't breathe.

All I can think about is Emma, my girl who is the same age as the kids at that school.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I think it's ironic that we spend the entirety of our childhood being told not to talk to strangers, then when we're grown up our jobs require us to interact easily with a wide variety of people we don't know and have never met.

Googly moogly,  I hate talking on the phone.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sometimes taking a step forward feels like the most horrible backward step I can ever imagine taking.

I try to hold onto the thought that things will be better in the long run, and that I won't always feel like I have ripped out my own heart to crush it into a bloody pulp and am a total and complete failure at life.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

I had a very odd moment this morning, after watching episodes of MI-5 and Doctor Who on Netflix and then going to the grocery store.  I wondered why everyone was speaking with an accent.  Then I realized that no, I am in fact in the United States, and people here are supposed to sound like that.

People in La Grande, Oregon, USA do not speak like people in London, UK. Or aliens in the far reaches of the galaxy heard through the TARDIS translator that is linked to someone with what sounds like a northern British accent but isn't because lots of planets have a "north".  (It's complicated.)

It's entirely possible that I've been watching too many BBC shows on Netflix.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I had a fun time at Crafty Night last night, a bright spot in an otherwise icky week.

See what I made!

Needle felted sheep!

Needle felting is fun!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Emma's been dropping hints recently about things she wants for Christmas.  Normal stuff like the new Tinkerbell movie, a horse, any and all Pokemon cards, a kitten, beads, or Wii games. I've told her a couple times to write it down, and that Santa and I would see what we could do.

This morning she was rattling off her list again, and the first thing she said?

"A happy family together on Christmas."

That sound was my heart. Breaking.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Last month, Emma got her ears pierced. She is currently as tall as my chin. She wears a size 5 shoe.  She gets confused and upset when the boys at school act like 9- and 10-year-old boys.

My girl is growing up. I can tell puberty is coming- it's not here yet, but I have a feeling it's lurking just beyond the horizon. I need a pause button so I can stop and catch my breath.

I remember adolescence, and I'm not sure I'm ready to weather that storm again, even from the other side.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Note to self:  Two cups of tea before 10:00 am does not make up for four hours of sleep and no breakfast.  I'm off to find some food before I jitter right off my chair.

On a completely unrelated topic, YAY for the democratic process!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dear skunk that keeps patrolling my yard and disagreeing with a raccoon three times a week...

Please stop it. No matter what the raccoons say to you, it's not worth getting that upset.  You know you hold the trump card.  We ALL know you hold the trump card.

Take the high road and just ignore whatever the raccoons are doing that riles you up.  Please.  I'm begging you.

And you, raccoons, need to back off.  Nobody likes a bully. Pay attention to the lesson that the skunk is trying to teach you, and leave him the heck alone.

That is all.  Thank you for your attention.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

--James Dillet Freeman

Rivers hardly ever run in a straight line.
Rivers are willing to take ten thousand meanders
and enjoy every one
and grow from every one.
When they leave a meander,
they are always more
than when they entered it.
When rivers meet an obstacle,
they do not try to run over it.
They merely go around
but they always get to the other side.
Rivers accept things as they are,
conform to the shape they find the world in,
yet nothing changes things more than rivers.
Rivers move even mountains into the sea.
Rivers hardly ever are in a hurry
yet is there anything more likely
to reach the point it sets out for
than a river?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Emma and I escaped to the woods again today for a geocaching adventure.

(By the way, I am no longer hiking with an 8-year-old.  Last Thursday she turned NINE!  How did that happen?!)

Anyway, this time we went over to the southern face of the Wallowa Mountains, in the Eagle Cap Wilderness area.  Blue Hole is in the Eagle Caps, too, but farther north.  Today we were east of Baker City, north of Richland and Halfway, and south of  Wallowa Lake.  Kind of in the middle of nowhere, but still a day trip at only an hour and a half from home.  It's actually only 45 miles from home as the crow flies, but there's no direct way to get there!

We visited 8 geocaches, found six of them, but the prize of the day was the last one.

Summit Point lookout

Me and my far-too-quickly-growing-up girl, at the Summit Point fire lookout tower, elevation 7006 feet.


The actual hike was only 0.8 mile, since the road goes most of the way to the top.  But that 0.8 mile gains over 600 feet of elevation.

It was a glorious sunny day, not too hot, and we had a great hike.


The leaves are starting to change color, and the views were gorgeous despite the haze and smoke from the forest fires.

Emma begged to differ on the "glorious, wonderful hike" part on the way up.  She wants me to make sure and let you all know that the hike up was not 0.8 mile long, it was 15 miles long, nearly vertical, and it was in fact HOT.  Also, the dusty trail needs to be cleaned up and all the dust taken away.  The way down was all right, since the trail had shrunk back to 0.8 mile and wasn't as steep any more.

 (I do see her point about the 6" deep dust that rose up in choking clouds.  We encountered this at Blue Hole, too. The only way to avoid the cloud was to keep moving ahead of it, a solution that Emma was not pleased with.  I guess that's the price you pay for hiking in eastern Oregon during the dry season.)

dusty trail on the way up

But the price is SO. WORTH. IT.

Cornucopia Mountain

That's the view north to Cornucopia Mountain, from the Summit Point fire lookout.

Yes, another great way to spend a day.  I love geocaching. I would probably never have explored this area without the incentive of a geocache.  And now we've scoped out two nice campgrounds that are on our list of places to come back to.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Note to self:

No matter how tired and overwhelmed you are after a sleepless night and crazy morning at work, do NOT go home during your lunch break.  DO. NOT.

You WILL sit down in your comfy chair to eat your sandwich.

You WILL end up falling asleep.

Even when you somehow manage to wake up in time to get back to work, it WILL NOT be with a cheerful spirit. 

Just don't do it.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Last weekend, Emma and I escaped to the woods.  Everything is better in the woods.  She and I both had Labor Day off from work/school, so we went camping for two nights!

(Working the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings means that from May to October, I only get one free day per weekend, and therefore can't really go far from home. I miss 2-day weekends.  One-night camping trips seem like a lot of work for a short time away.)

Anyway, the extra day off meant that we could finally trek over to the upper Imnaha River and camp and hike.  It was awesome.

Blue Hole

This is Blue Hole, a spot where the Imnaha River goes through a narrow gorge.

 Blue Hole

There's a deep pool, and it is thoroughly, entirely, completely beautiful.  This is the view from the top of the cliff, near where we bagged a geocache.  Of course this was also a geocaching trip!

This is the view at river level, upstream through the gorge, showing the deep pool.  Earlier in the year, before the water starts cooling off, this is apparently a perfect swimming hole.  When we were there the water was painfully frigid (even though the air temperature was in the 80s), but Emma and I plan to test this theory next July. 

Blue Hole

The pool was stuffed with salmon.  None of which, of course, I was able to photograph.  They were there, though!

Blue Hole

Blue Hole

It took us about an hour to hike the three miles from the campground to Blue Hole, and another hour back.  We spent about three hours at Blue Hole, playing on the beach...

Blue Hole

watching the dragonflies (Variable Darner, Aeschna interrupta) zooming around and sunning on the beach,

dragonfly at Blue Hole

and just generally enjoying being outside.  This is the view downstream- not a bad way to spend an afternoon...

Blue Hole

What a great weekend.

me and my girl

Friday, August 31, 2012

So many things to be rage-y about today.

There's the normal stuff, like politics making me want to clamp my head in a vise before it explodes, general idiocy rampant across the spectrum of your average news feed, and the just unbelievable shortsightedness and closemindedness of some of the people I find around me every day.

But it got personal.  There I was, having a perfectly normal conversation with someone I've never felt uncomfortable around, but haven't seen in about a year; someone about my age that I was friend-ish with before she moved. We were just chit-chatting about random stuff, and somehow it came up that Shaun moved out last year.  I just mentioned it in passing, without any details.  Because, you know, I'm making so much progress toward accepting the situation.  Yay me!

Suddenly there was silence.  Forehead-wrinkled silence facing me across the little table.  Then this person who hasn't seen me for over a year, sitting directly across from me in a public place, actually uttered the following out loud:

"Oh, no.  What did you do that made him leave?  There must have been something- can you remember what it was?  I'm sure you can fix it.  You know, you should come to church with me on Sunday, and we can pray for him to have forgiveness and acceptance so he will take you back. Besides, you can't properly raise your daughter without a husband."

I was speechless.  Literally speechless.  I sat there gaping like a stranded flopping fish.

Once I re-found my lungs and could breathe, I stood up and said "How DARE you make assumptions and pass judgement on a situation you know nothing about. This conversation is over. I need to leave now."  And I left.

Nutter-Butters for dinner, with a side of canned pineapple and beef jerky, while providing temporary comfort, do not really make you feel any better.  I should just go to bed.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Sometimes you just have to smack yourself and snarl, "For crying out loud, Sue! Go to bed, already!"


OK, I'm going now.

Friday, August 03, 2012

I love watching the Olympics, but thanks to living in the Pacific time zone must stay up until midnight if I want to see the Primetime coverage, which is the only time I have to watch (pesky job). Aside from the fact that they only cover the "glamorous" events like swimming and gymnastics, and not the other ones I also want to see like badminton, this is way too late for me to be up on a weeknight.

I'm a night owl by preference, but not when I have to get up at 7 am.

This was clearly illustrated this morning while I was driving to work and was stopped at a stoplight. I waited and waited, impatient because this light was Taking. So. Freaking. Long. To. Change.

Then I realized that it wasn't a stoplight, it was a stop SIGN.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Today's excitement?  Giant hail.

giant hail

For approximately 1 minute this afternoon, as the thunderstorm was boiling over the hillside, we had a downpour of giant hail.

I've never seen hail this big.  It was awesome.  Of course, being the smart people that we are, Emma and I were out running around the yard looking at the hailstones.

giant hail

Let me tell you, it hurts to get clunked on the head with a 2-inch ball of ice falling out of the sky!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I really am trying to organize my pretty pictures into a coherent post or two, but I keep getting sidetracked by other cool things to post about.  To wit:

western screech owl juveniles

I've been hearing this really, really soft bird sound at night recently.  One of those almost-not-heard-at-all sounds that teases me just as I'm falling asleep.  It sounded like a screech owl, but honestly I was so sleepy all three times I heard it, that I wasn't sure I wasn't dreaming.

This afternoon Emma was out playing in the neighborhood, and came running inside to get me in a great froth of excitement.  She hauled me out to look at the trees on the next block down, because she had seen BABY OWLS!

These are juvenile western screech owls, and they are still half-and-half baby down and adult feathers.  So the mystery of the night dream sounds is solved, and my sleepy mind identified them correctly.

How cool is that??!

Monday, July 09, 2012

How is it that I've lived in this corner of the world for almost six years, and have not until this last month fully appreciated the intoxicating perfume that is a ponderosa pine forest in mid-summer?

ponderosa pine forest

It's like a drug that I can't get enough of.  Emma and I go out geocaching and I feel like my lungs aren't big enough- I breathe in that scent until I'm lightheaded and giddy and convinced that the world has a purpose and I have a place in it.

breathtaking view

I guess I've just never noticed before, as impossible as that seems, beyond "oh, pine tree smell"...  Granted, last summer was a miserable blur of Shaun leaving me, and the summer before was a miserable blur of anemia.  I wanted to curl up in a ball and shut out the world, and hiking through the forest was absolute last on my list of things I wanted to do.

hiking girl

Now, though- now I drink in the waves of ponderosa and sagebrush scents that billow down from the hillsides in warm golden resinous clouds.  Even in town, it washes over me.  I can't turn on the air conditioner, because that shuts out the living air.  The forest exhales and I come alive.

There is really nothing like it.


(The first two pictures are from a geocaching adventure in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest, 8 miles northwest of my house; the second two are from Catherine Creek State Park, 20 miles southeast, measured as the raven flies.)

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Before I get to the adventure pictures, I have to post some glamor shots.  Last night, Emma and I had a hairdresser moment.

She's been talking for a while about cutting her hair, and last night she decided that she was ready.  Actually, she was ready last week, but I made her wait a few days to make sure she was ready.

(Actually, I made her wait because I wasn't ready.  I finally just cut it, because I was never going to be ready.)


She loves it, and I must admit that it's easier to manage.  She. Has. So. Much. Hair.  She can actually brush it by herself, now.

haircut 2

I miss the waterfall of golden silk, though.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Ahhhh!  I've been without a computer for two weeks!  I don't think I've been computer-less since... I don't even know when.
  • no email (except by stealth at work), 
  • no Googling interesting things,
  • no downloading geocaches to my GPS,
  • no Pinterest,
  • no spelling/math practice websites for Emma,
  • no downloading pictures from my camera,
  • no Ravelry,
  • no blog-reading,
  • no bank-account-checking to make sure everything's hunky-dory,
  • no changing around the music on my iPod,
  • no Google Earth browsing,
  • no designing weaving drafts,

It's appalling how dependent on my computer I am.

The good news is that the computer wasn't dead.  The fan stopped working because it had cat hair in it {blush}.  The computer gurus opened up the back, took out the fan, removed enough fur to make a small kitten, and put it back together.  Voila- my computer works again!  The only part that ticks me off is that they had the computer in their shop for TWO WEEKS while they looked for a supplier that had a replacement fan in stock, without even opening it up to see if it actually needed to be replaced.

Anyway, I have oodles of pictures to download and go through, then I'll have more geocaching adventures to show!

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Mom," said Emma, "when are you going to make some more fruit candy?"

fruit candy

Mangos on sale at the supermarket and strawberries from the Farmer's Market.  Last jar of 2011 plums (from our yard) pulled down from the top shelf.

Candy accomplished.  No added sugar, nothing but fruit.

Have I mentioned that I love my dehydrator?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Want to see some more geocaching adventures?  OK!

Last weekend my friend Anne let me and Emma tag along on a trip she was taking with a group of friends to northern Idaho to go garnet hunting.  It was super fun, and over the course of the weekend we found 27 geocaches!

leaving Lewiston, ID

This is the view back generally toward Lewiston on Friday evening, as we wound our way along the Clearwater River toward Idaho. We geocached along the way, and found lots of pretty places.

On Saturday, the entire group (10 of us) went to the Emerald Creek Garnet Area.  This is a developed area within the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, where people can "dig" for garnets in a much more controlled fashion than if everyone randomly started digging up the streambed and forest.  They haul in the garnet-containing sediments, and the sieving troughs where you extract the garnets from all the mud run on a self-contained flume with a settling basin.  This way, the large quantities of sediment that are the inevitable part of mining don't end up choking Emerald Creek.

Garnet hunters!

It was a drizzly rainy chilly day, and we got very muddy, but we also found garnets!

garnets I found (6 oz total)

I found a total of 6 ounces of garnets, shown with a dime for scale.  I have no idea what the quality of these are, but some of them are nearly complete dodecahedral crystals.  Probably some of them are worth polishing.  Super cool!  (Anne found the prize of the day- one that weighed two ounces by itself and was the size of a ping-pong ball!)

Emma got pretty cold pretty fast, and bailed when half the group went back to the cabin after lunch.  I think she liked it, though- she asked if we could go back this weekend.

We left on Sunday morning, and tootled home the long way, through Moscow, ID, stopping at a few more geocaches.  Here's Emma at a BIG log on a little nature walk we took at a campground to find a cache.

Emma geocaching

She's holding up a snail to show me, but I like how she is mimicking the tree!

One geocache we stopped at was super cool.  It's an EarthCache, so there's no physical cache container or log to sign.  EarthCaches are learning stops, to highlight some geologically interesting feature of that point.

This one was near Kendrick, ID, and was about plant fossils!  You can pull up to a roadcut, get out of your car, go look at the rocky rubble at the base of the cliff, and find FOSSILS!  Real ones!  Just sitting there!


We finally continued on home, up and over Rattlesnake Grade, which is a very twisty, winding road in southeastern Washington that took us south into Oregon.

Rattlesnake Grade

It was an amazing weekend.


Today after work, Emma and I went on a much tamer trek to find a couple closer geocaches at Bird Track Spring campground and Red Bridge campground.  We've been both these places many times, but the nature trail at Bird Track, especially, is always worth a repeat visit.  It's one of my favorite places.

Grande Ronde River

The trail winds out to the river through the cottonwoods and willows.  We always look forward to The Tree Gate.

the tree gate

The wildflowers were pretty, and the weather was lovely and sunny and warm.


This pretty little butterfly, a Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus) was fluttering around the whole time we were having our drink and snack.  There were several other species along the river bank, but the weather was so warm that they were too active to sit still for a photo.

Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus)

We poked around the river for a while,

looking for critters

and saw a juvenile garter snake hunting in the water, lots of insects under the rocks, a few mussels, and tons of itty bitty fish.

These are salmonids that probably hatched this spring (tiny ones) or last fall (bigger ones).

We couldn't find any of the three geocaches we went out after, but you know what?  It doesn't matter.  As Emma said on the way back to the car, "We found our own NatureCaches."  And that's really what geocaching is all about.

All in all, a great way to end Friday afternoon.

Grande Ronde River

Thursday, June 07, 2012

It's 8:54 pm.  The sky is still just barely light; deep steel blue and heavy with rainclouds.  I am restless and feel the need to DO something.

Emma is with Shaun tonight, and I'm home all by my lonesome.

I'm going for a run.  Because I can.

[Edit at 9:47pm]  I didn't realize until I stepped outside that there were not only rainclouds, there was rain.  Pouring rain, and wind.

I'll admit I hesitated.  But I went, and here I am thirty-five minutes and four miles later.  It was totally great and I feel wonderful!

post run

Sunday, June 03, 2012

All recent posts notwithstanding, I really don't sit around all day feeling sorry for myself.  Like I said, there are good days, too.

Emma and I have recently gotten into geocaching, thanks to my friend Anne.  Geocaching is like a grown-up treasure hunt, wherein you use a GPS device to locate a specific set of latitude and longitude coordinates and find the treasure box (the "cache") hidden there.  Sometimes it's a large box with trinkets you can trade, sometimes the container is tiny and you just sign the log.

Thanks very much, Anne.  I really needed another hobby.  ;-)

Geocaching is SO FUN.  It's a perfect excuse to get out and go for a walk or a hike, or just see a place you've never been (and likely wouldn't have seen otherwise).  I love it.  And it's very good for Emma, who is otherwise prone to whining when I say we're going for a walk.  Geocaching gives her a goal, something to actually look for (and takes her mind off how tiiiiired her legs are, pleeeeease carry me Mom...)

It is also helping her get past her fears of bears and wolves and getting lost, a relatively recent development in her outdoors awareness thanks to a forest safety talk that the kids at her afterschool care program were subjected to last year.  Grr. But that's another story.

Anyway, we've been out and about.  Last weekend we went to a scenic overlook right off I-84 west of La Grande.  We've been here before, but were not aware of geocaching then.  So we found the cache, then enjoyed a little hike around the area again.

Blue Mountains overlook

It is so beautiful here.  Breathtaking.

The wildflowers were ramping up, and the larkspurs were casting a blue-purple haze over the hillside...


with the hairy balsamroot just starting to bloom...


scattered among the sagebrush, against the backdrop of dark green firs.


We walked down the trail to the lower overlook, and while the wild pink onions weren't quite blooming yet, it was still spectacular.

Blue Mountains overlook, Oregon

By now, that nearest hillside is probably pink with onion flowers.  I was going to go back today, but it was rainy and gray and I didn't get organized soon enough.

It was a great day.

self-portrait on the Oregon Trail

So that was last weekend.

Today, we went on another geocaching expedition (slightly closer to home because we didn't get out until late afternoon) to Hilgard Junction State Park.  This is right outside of town, right off the highway, in the canyon that the Grande Ronde River flows through.

There are two caches here, one of which is at the entrance, and one of which you have to walk for.  We got the first quickly, then set off down the forest road.  I was glad to see that the gate was locked and we had to walk the half mile in.

Hilgard Junction State Park, Oregon

The wildflowers were beautiful here, too.


The columbines were lovely sparks of color along the embankments.

The last bit before we found the cache took us away from the road, up a hill and into the woods.

on the trail of a geocache

Note please, the relaxed and smiling face, and complete lack of bears and wolves.  Geocaching is a really, really good thing for Emma.

(Also, how is it possible that she is so big?!!  And is now a fourth-grader?!!)

On the way back to the car, we spent a little time exploring Rock Creek, which flows along the road and joins the Grande Ronde River.  Very, very pretty.

Rock Creek

I also discovered on this walk that if there is a rock outcropping that is easily scrambled up, Emma must howl from the top.

howl like a wolf...

Apparently, it is required.  Yet she's afraid of wolves...?  I'm not sure what that's all about, but it was very funny.

The prize for me today, though, was the flower we saw on the walk back to the car.

mountain lady's slipper, Cypripedium montanum

Any day that I see an orchid is a good day.  And to see this spectacular mountain lady's slipper (Cypripedium montanum) in the wild, unexpectedly, was the icing on the cake of my wonderful day.

mountain lady's slipper, Cypripedium montanum