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This is the third year in a row we have camped at Lopez Island during the first week of September. We like it and we will keep doing it. This year three friends and Ken’s brother and his wife joined us along with a couple of strawberry blonde dogs. We had dinner parties every night, caught Dungeness crabs on three days, Ken and Carl and our Lopez friend David, fished and caught some salmon, played with dogs and we relaxed. It was a good time.

We did this hike a month or so ago with Molly and Mary. It’s fun to see the changes during the season. There was less water and different wildflowers and it maybe wasn’t as green but it was still beautiful. Rozie and Kim joined us this week.

It’s the peak of summer now with hot days and hills covered in tall dry grass. Everyday we don’t have a wildfire, we are grateful. I rarely take my camera out on days like this but today I did and I found lots of beauty in the everyday scenes around here.

The girl gang – Molly, Luna, Sky, Mary and me – went for a hike yesterday and I have lots of pretty pictures of flowers and trees and mountains. And I’ll post those later. But for now, here are three happy dogs celebrating snow in July!

What’s really remarkable about this is that just ten days earlier, Molly was bitten by a rattlesnake! It was a dangerous and scary situation. She went to the vet pretty quick and got the right antidote and other meds and before they knew it, she was back on her feet. This was her first big outing. She didn’t seem to be slowed down one bit. Amazing!

Red Molly joined us for a lovely hike in the mountains earlier this week. The weather was darned near perfect – sunny and warm but not too warm. It is a dry hike so I carried water for the dogs. There is one spring just off the trail about 1/3 of the way up and Luna knows where to find it. It’s generally more of a mud hole but this time it held a little bit of running water.

Views were outstanding and the flowers are just starting at that elevation (6500 up to 8200 feet). Ladybugs were abundant. I don’t know why they converge at high elevations. I have observed them at this mountain top several times over the years as well as at other places in the Cascades. There are many kinds of ladybugs (technically a beetle, not a bug) and many of them are convergent. I have no idea what they are eating up there and when they will leave for more friendly habitats. I do know that later in the summer, they won’t be there, based on my observations which are not science-based at all. Is anyone studying them?

Here are the birds I saw on this hike:¬†Dusky Grouse, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Clark’s Nutcracker, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Mountain Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mountain Bluebird, Townsend’s Solitaire, Cassin’s Finch, Pine Siskin, Chipping Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Western Tanager.

I like this hike. Here is the trail in the fall.

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