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.

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