The August Letter from Birch Bay

Friends,                                                                                               August 10, 2108


Red Flag Warning!  Fire Danger.  That’s the message we’ve gotten on our computers the last few weeks.  We’ve had the hottest July on record, and most of the state is in drought conditions.  Smoke is in the air now from fires down south and on the eastern side of the state.  We’re really safe as raspberry and blueberry fields surround Birch Bay and the forest patches in between are green and healthy.  Folks who live up in the foothills closer to the fires that have popped up are suddenly aware of cougars in their front yards as all the wildlife runs from the flames, including bears.  Again, we’re safe from these invaders.  The only really carnivorous worry is the Venus Fly Trap plant that a neighbor gave us.

And if you understand the mindset of Cancer females, you won’t be surprised to hear that Leslie harvests sugar ants from the kitchen sink to feed Venus.  Then she shakes the pot, and I swear I heard one burp. The warm temps and sunshine fuel lots of growth in the garden as Leslie has harvested green beans, zucchinis and parsley – the tomatoes are just getting there and carefully watched over as she is out every morning checking on the crop, throwing some love on it all.  On the backroads there are lots of small farm stands filled with flowers and vegetables – take what you want and leave the money in the jar.

Best of all we get fresh eggs from the local dairy store and the farmers who raise chickens.  And I tried something new last week.  Leslie’s son, Pete, has a buddy at work, Texas Tony, who has a little ranchette and raises chickens and ducks.  We bought some chicken and duck eggs from him, and I had duck eggs for the first time – sunny side up.  They taste like chicken eggs, but the yoke is bigger and richer.  You might not be able to tell the difference from regular eggs if you scrambled them.  Leslie turned her nose up and wouldn’t taste them (remember, Cancer rules chickens, plus she’s a big baby).

The Canadian geese are back, too.  They fly over us in the Winter with loud honks but disappear in the Summer when they raise their young.  That’s to keep the bald eagles from snatching the young ones.  Now they are back with the teenagers teaching them how to fly in formation.  For some reason, crab season has been put off until Aug 16.  Likely it’s to let them fatten up as was the case last year.  But that means I still haven’t had my crab dinner, and I have a cold bottle of French wine waiting in the box for the moment. The big environmental story here is the momma orca still carrying her dead calf in the waters off the San Juan islands.  She’s getting weak after swimming more than two weeks keeping the calf afloat.  So, the Lummi Indians are planning to put Chinook salmon, her fav, loaded with medicine in her path hoping to feed her and save her life.

Meanwhile, the Governor has created a task force to study how to help save the dwindling orca population that return each year to our waters.  Scientists and wildlife folks watch the herd very carefully and report that there are only 75 adults in the pod now when there were 100 members 30 years ago.  Lack of Chinook salmon is the main reason for the decline, mostly caused by the dams on the Snake River preventing the fish from swimming upstream and spawning.  Of course, there’s a big resistance to destroy the dams and their ability to create electricity.  Polluted water and lots of boat traffic also are part of the reason for the decline, they say.  It’s been three years since a calf survived birth to become an adult and that’s part of the reason the state needs to take action now.

Tahlequah is the name of the mother orca – put her in your prayers.  And hang on, there’s a big kiss up ahead at the end of Mercury Retrograde, as times change.

3 thoughts on “The August Letter from Birch Bay

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Times change.  Green lights.  Turning the page of the calendar feels like walking into a big new room with a view because there is a major shift of positive energy in the Skywatch this month as we thankfully leave behind the double Rx period.  Plus, responsible Saturn turns back direct in motion on Sept 6 and sits in a beautiful spot in the Zodiac making a trine to brilliant Uranus over the first two weeks.  Seems like we’ve had difficult astrology over the last few September periods, but not this year.  This trine is in earth signs: practical, efficient and blessed with common sense.  It’s an excellent marker for starting school, a new job or for making changes around your home or office this month.  And for taking a step up on your ladder of ambition, Saturn.  Yes, yes, yes.

The odds increase that you are successful in your endeavors this month due to a Jupiter Pluto sextile on September 12.  In power all month, these two planets account for more millionaires and famous folks than any others.  Look for opportunities to enlarge your view and position in life in September.  Gamble on yourself.

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The July Letter from Lance…

Friends,                                                                               July 14, 2018


Delayed gratification.  That’s the story with the weather here in Birch Bay, Washington.  We had lots of cloudy days and rain in the Winter months but now the sun is out and the days are lovely and welcome long drives in the country and having lunch in the bayside parks enjoying the ocean air.  Our windows are open all night long as the lows drop to 60 and the sleeping is fine.  Dawn comes at 5 am with bright sunshine and the sweetest light breeze.  The high today will be in the high 70’s with variable winds and a delightful combination of warm sun and cool breezes.  New faces and colors are popping up in the fields and front yards now.  Our neighbor has a fabulous front yard with at least a couple of thousand rose blossoms in 20 different colors filling her flower beds and lining her driveway.  Sweet pink flowers the size of a quarter cover acres of seed potatoes planted in between the acres and acres of raspberry vines and corn fields.  Most of the seed potatoes used in this country come from this area.  Leslie’s flower beds are bright with color – neighbors walking by stop and give her a compliment on her work when she is out watering.  And our dear neighbor Dave made her some raised flower beds which she immediately filled with dirt and mulch and placed along our driveway so that the veggies and herbs she planted get full sun.  We call these beds “the south 40” and every morning we check out the new growth and marvel at how fast the yellow squash blossoms turn into yummy squash.  She has all flavors of herbs planted there, too.  Along with tomatoes, beans, cukes, and a big horseradish plant with huge leaves that I tasted and they are hot and spicy just like the radish – amazing.  The veggies are all organic, too.  There are no bugs in the beds requiring chemicals to eradicate.  Lavender grows all over, and we found a lavender farm out in the country with an entire hillside ablaze in purple glory.  White morning glory flowers dot the fence lines on the back roads and small yellow blossoms, nippleworts they are called, cover the pastures.  Even the weeds here are fabulously beautiful and abundant.  Fruit stands are common in the city and country crossroads, and the big sellers now are bright red cherries – two bucks for a basket – the best are from Yakima.  Raspberries are now ripening, and the ticklers are out in the fields harvesting them.  A local guy invented the tickler, a machine that shakes the vines and collects the berries in small trays efficiently and without a lot of labor.  Blueberries will be next to ripen and then blackberries. I’m stoked to hear that crab season starts today;  Dungeness crabs are my favorites, and I can’t wait to get one and pig out.  It’s a simple meal I crave:  a cold bottle of white wine, crusty bread, a pot of melted butter and a fat crab.  Delicious.  Now you can see why Summer is so wonderful here.  The weather invites you to go outside and play.  And we do. The local farms and dairies produce fruit, cheeses and ice cream that you can’t beat. And traveling down the two-lane farm roads is a pure joy.  Plus, the topper is when we drive out of the forest and into the valleys where the corn is growing –  snow-covered Mt. Baker sits out on the horizon in plain view – a marvelous sight.  Put a red X on Aug 1 in your calendar  - Mars Retrograde tangles with dangerous Uranus while Mercury is Retrograde as well on that date.  It’s the most difficult and potentially dangerous day of the year.  As times change.



One thought on “The July Letter from Lance…

  1. Sandy

    Wow!!! What a continuing luscious ‘picture’ of your and Leslie’s ‘new’ home – thank you!!!


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Very, very sticky.  Mars continues to back up on the bases, Retrograde, until Aug 27.  Delays, low energy, a strange mood, and unexpected resistance all come from Mars Rx.  At the same time trickster, Mercury also drives in reverse and continues to Retrograde until Aug 19.  This is double trouble and turns on the caution searchlights during this three-week period when both planets appear to reverse direction in the heavens.

The good news in August is a lovely spiritual and creative trine between Jupiter and Neptune on August 19 (interesting day with Mercury turning direct that morning—and if this is your birthday I recommend you get an astrological reading and find out how you can best use this fabulous trine).  Exact again in the Skywatch last May, trines offer a downhill path and welcome our initiatives and actions.  They often bring a payoff for dues paid in the past.  At the least, Jupiter enlarges Neptune’s ability to imagine and create new art and ideas which work and urges us to think of helping others and sharing our abundance.


  1. lance Ferguson

    note to new visitors…be sure to read all the headers up top…you’ll get a preview of next month’s Skywatch….and by clicking on the “sample” button you can see what the monthly edition of Skywatch looks like and how I lay out the yearly long-range Datebook. And remember, you can scroll down right here and see yesterday’s Skywatch and the day before.

  2. Carolyn Terry

    There’s a “white civil rights rally” permitted for DC on 8/11-8/12. So that should be a little tense.

  3. Stephen

    Well, since you asked, Lance, my birthday is August 19th, and my astro for the coming year is fabulous. Venus is conjunct my natal Moon, natally in the 7th house of relationships, or in the first return house. Jupiter is in the second return house, sextile my return Part of Fortune (hoping for the Lotto!) Return Mars in Cap is trine my Return Ascendant, and Mercury is conjunct my natal Mercury in my natal sixth house, or in the 11th return house. I cannot remember any year I’ve had a SR astro even remotely like this. Truth be told, it somewhat feels as if all these Powers of Grace are already lining up – just did my July review in my planner and it was a truly extraordinary month, especially in progressing personal projects.


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The June Letter…

Friends,                                                                                               June 10, 2018

“Beeville” is now the name of our little homestead in Birch Bay, Washington.  The buzz got started when the pink, purple, white and red delphiniums opened their faces in the front flower bed.  Leslie has flowers blooming all around our house, and the bees love it.

The big attraction, however, are the two California Lilac bushes outside our bedroom window.  Each is ten feet high and four feet wide and covered with baby blue blooms the size of your thumb.  There must be over a thousand flowers on each bush – viewed from the street all you can see are blue blossoms drawing hundreds of bees to the party.  The fragrance from all the flowers that wafts into the room  is sweet – I love the smell of lilac.  Everything is green and growing in the fields and forest.  We’ve had the driest and hottest May weather on record and it’s amazing how fast everything grows here.  Partially due to the long hours of sunlight.  Dawn is at 5 am.  Sundown is after 9 pm.  We are lucky that the snowpack in the mountains from Winter storms is deep and will keep the rivers flowing even with warmer temperatures.  Strawberries are front and center now – warm temperatures make the new crop sweet and plentiful. “Barbie’s Berries” has already opened their little stand in the shopping center parking lot.  And strawberries were easily the big seller at the Farmers Market last weekend.  This is our favorite Saturday event.  The city of Bellingham has done a great job creating a building and space for the farmers to bring their fresh produce to market.  The building is made of steel girders with glass walls and ceiling – it’s light and airy inside.  We immediately hit one of the bakery stands inside when we arrive and get a treat to munch on as we survey all the different booths.  Lots to see and the crowd is festive.  Flowers, jewelry, artesian cheeses, plus local honey and loads of fresh veggies all get our perusal.  The food booths have lots of choices.  Leslie always hits the Indian booth and gets samosas, a taste she acquired while living in England years ago.  I get some iced coffee and we wander around enjoying the good vibes and the happy faces of children with their faces painted pretending to be a princess or Spiderman.  Also happy were the folks who walked around with a flat of bright red strawberries in one arm sampling same as they checked out the shrub booth or the local potter who had beautiful blue cups and plates on display.  We made it to the Scottish gathering two weeks ago.  Leslie and I both have Scottish blood in our veins and we love to join all the clans and celebrate our heritage.  And I really enjoy the bagpipe and drum groups who put on a show.  Of course, we had a quick brew at the beer tent and met some old timers in kilts with stories of the history of their family from centuries ago. We had a perfect day in a wonderful park with the forest encircling green fields and an old pioneer house and barn dating back to the 1930’s.  I almost expected Robin Hood and his men to come out of the dense stand of giant cedar and fir trees surrounding the open meadows where the events took place.  The setting was fabulous and we had a wonderful afternoon soaking up Scottish lore and music.  The wildlife story that interested me was on the tv news.  A giant orca was tangled up in nets and fishing line and could barely swim.  Somehow a boat filled with conservationists got near it and managed to untangle the line and set the big whale free.  Almost immediately the huge orca surfaced and breached over and over again to show the men he was free and happy to be alive and full of joy and energy.  It was a beautiful sight to see.  Lots of changes in the Skywatch in July – read ahead and put a red X in your calendar on August 1 which is easily the most difficult day of the year in the Skywatch – details next month.

2 thoughts on “The June Letter…

  1. Tremolo

    So glad to see you guys loving Beeville! Your letters bring it to life. Do you have hummingbirds yet?

  2. lance Ferguson

    yes, we do…some hummers stay around all Winter….Leslie always has a feeder out with food for them.


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Caution lights.  This month could mark a turning point in your life in some way. The Skywatch is unsettled, to say the least.  Mars continues to Retrograde and will not return to direct motion until Aug 27.  Mercury begins to Retrograde on July 26 adding another note of complexity to this month’s astrological weather. Having two personal planets Retrograde at the same time creates a critical period as backfires from mistakes made in this time-period are exacerbated by the two Rx cycles. This is when some folks will say and do things they wish they hadn’t.  And Fools will surface. Yes, yes, yes.

One less problem in the Skywatch is that Jupiter resumes direct motion on July 10.  The planet of expansion has been Retrograde since March 8 diluting our power to grow and expand in the last few months.  Not likely you’ll feel this one with Mercury and Mars both backing up now.  Again…this is a good time to be planning and building something to start after Mars goes direct Aug 27—especially since Jupiter will be direct then and powerful—ready to charge up your energy and make good things happen at the same time—this is money in the bank as far as good timing goes.

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