Posts Tagged ‘palouse’

Second Warm Period on the Palouse

21 May 2017

The plants are popping out very strongly on our warmer days.

They seem proud this year. The weather was rough, and the warmth came late. They suffered this Spring, but came through it OK.

I hope we can do the same!

flowering apple tree

“I’m the best apple tree on the Palouse.”

quail on pullman trail

Quail like sunny days, too.

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A Miracle!

3 May 2017

First warm day of the new year!

pullman weather for Wednesday 3 May 2017

With a “scorcher” scheduled for tomorrow!

On Saturday, back to what it’s been like most of Spring, then a steady (I hope) climb towards Summer.

Spring News

31 March 2014

More photos of the tiny white roadside flowers!
They’re back! They are a crucifer, probably an alyssum that most would consider a weed. I took my camera out to “the vacant lot” on a brisk, sunny Sunday afternoon for these shots.

flowers look like snow

They look like snow on the ground from a distance…

drift of tiny white flowers

Get closer and you still can’t really tell..

mat of tiny white flowers

Yes, they are flowers!

huge field of tiny flowers

From an ant’s eye view, they look like a huge field!

flowers in gravel

Basalt gravel adds a little character.

defiant little flower

They defiantly grow where no plant has grown before!

Remote Viewing News

Speaking of defiant, Courtney Brown, who runs the Farsight Institute single-handed, has released his latest project, after much fanfare in an attempt to get more attention. This project concerns the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Yes, ETs and cloned rock miners appear to have been involved. The stones (up to 80 tons in weight) were hovered into place with the manual help of human devotees. The sessions include the data that another ET group came in and introduced monotheism to the area. The “magic” of the pyramids had evidently waned by that time, and the people, finally realizing they were free to leave the area, did in droves.

Courtney is convinced that data gained from Scientific Remote Viewing can change the planet for the better, but he has come to understand the grim realities of the situation: He has only two remote viewers he can rely on; the technology is dying out. You need a group to push a new technology forward, or it will die as an esoteric curiosity. Data of this variety is being pushed into the “alternative media” with the hope that it will never be picked up by the mainstream. The “intelligence” community seems very involved in this activity. They also work hard to discredit and/or ruin anyone who has something truly promising or revealing to offer. The strategy is to make the “alternative realities community” – also known as “New Agers” – look like a bunch of kooks so no one who wants to be known as “serious” or “legitimate” will touch them. Works pretty well most of the time.

One year on the Palouse as of end of January!

tiny flowers with bicycle

My bicycle celebrates its first year in service.

Teasel Time

23 July 2013

This article includes quotes from my favorite wildflower book, Michigan Wildflowers by Helen V. Smith with illustrations by Ruth Powell Brede, first published in 1961.

It’s “teasel time” on the Palouse; the teasels are blooming!

teasel-at-roadside

Teasels growing in a gravelly area.

Teasel is in the Valerian Family. Valerian was a Roman emperor, notorious for being forced by others to persecute the Christians. The “valerian” herb is considered a rather potent medicine. Teasels are not native to the Americas.

teasel-in-field

“Teasel is a troublesome weed, but one species, Dipsacus fullonum L. (originally named by Linnaeus), was formerly grown commercially because the ripe inflorescences (flower heads) were used by textile mills for raising the nap on cloth.”

teasel-heads
These flower heads are quite noticeable when blooming, particularly up close.

teasel-head
The flowers are very small, but numerous, and bloom in rings around the head, which gives an unusual and distinct appearance.

teasel-head
teasel-head
This of course is also the time when many other summer flowers bloom. I photographed a few notable examples in a nearby field. Next we see a teasel growing alongside a Mullein plant. Also known as “Flannel Plant,” its leaves are unusually fuzzy.

teasel-and-mullein
Mullein is in the Figwort family. This family also includes Foxglove.
It is plentiful here, but it is one of many weeds introduced from Europe. In this area its flower heads are commonly attacked by insects. I know from other sources that its leaves and flowers have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. One fascinating aspect of studying wildflowers is to find out how many were used for medicine in past times.

st-johns-wort

St. John’s-wort is showy when it first blooms because of all the flowers. When not blooming it is rarely noticed, but grows practically everywhere. Its small leaves are peculiar in that they are speckled with numerous translucent dots. The common species (Hypericum perforatum L.) was introduced from Europe. It was known there as an herbal medicine and the plant does indeed produce at least two biochemically active compounds.

star-thistle
I have yet to positively identify these striking blue-flowering plants, though they seem to be very similar to the Star-thistle.

cow-parsnip
This large Umbellifer (flowers in umbrella-shaped clusters), is probably Cow Parsnip. The family includes carrots, celery, parsley, anise, chervil, dill and fennel, as well as Poison Hemlock. Smith says of Cow Parsnip:

“The Indians used this species for medicine and food. The young stalks were roasted over hot coals. The leaf stalks were peeled and eaten raw like celery. The young roots when cooked taste like rutabaga.”

grasses
Of course the Palouse is covered with grasses. I am not a grasses expert, so can’t tell you which one these are.

grass-seed-heads
I should not ignore the fruit trees. They are growing produce that will turn ripe a bit later in the season.

unripe-apples
It is calming to walk among these growing things and see them surviving, persevering, quietly and without complaint. Is it not part of our work here to look after them?

Grand Avenue spring overview – closeups

8 June 2013

Top of Grand:

mullein and teasel

Last year’s mullein and teasel still lord over the smaller plants.


dames rocket and flax

Long-time garden escapees, Dame’s Rocket is the four-petaled flower, while Flax has five petals.


SEL Wayside Garden:
The pea family of plants is highlighted in this area (like the most-cultivated crop – lentils)…
lupine

Lupine.


broom groundcover

A carpet of bright broom stays close to the ground.


Upper Grand:
showy composite

I have not yet identified this one.


vetch

Vetch – very showy while it blooms. Another pea family plant.


cinquefoil bush

I believe this is a cinquefoil.


iris

Garden iris in a city-maintained corner mini-park.


slasify

Purple goat’s beard, also called Salsify. The roots are said to be edible.


Mayor’s Grove:
plaque

Mayor’s Grove plaque.


horse chestnut

Horse Chestnut. A very showy tree while blooming.


Lower (South) Grand:
willow fuzz

Willow fuzz looks very pretty when the sun shines through it…


wild rose bush

Wild rose bush, with dogwood in the background.


storksbill

Storksbill going to seed. A tiny spring flower related to the geranium.


Grand Avenue Greenway trail:
grand avenue greenway

Grand Avenue Greenway trail sign.


dames rocket

Dame’s Rocket abounds in this area. It is a crucifer – mustard family.

Grand Avenue – Spring overview

1 June 2013

I thought it was about time to take a ride down the main street in Pullman, Grand Avenue, and take some photos of what is there.

I actually took photos going down and coming back. But I have put them together into a single sequence.

I live near the north side of town, and this tour starts looking north from the bridge that takes cars over the creek (and railroad tracks) that come down from the north. To the north is the city of Spokane. Closer north is the city of Palouse.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-00-498

The immediate area around the train tracks is a nature preserve with a walking/running/biking trail going through it. This trail goes downtown and then turns east towards Idaho. It follows a creek upstream all the way into Moscow, Idaho.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-02-517

Grand Avenue has received a lot of civic attention recently, which has resulted in the running trail and in several mini-parks. The northern-most of these is the “SEL Wayside Garden.” I pass by it every day on my walk to work. Evidently, it was sponsored by SEL, my current employer.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-03-519

Several entrances into the running trail show up along Grand Avenue. I will skip by the first for now (opposite Larry Street, where I live).

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-05-533

…And the second…

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-06-534

…which is across from the power substation (which has recently been upgraded with SEL protection devices).

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-08-547

Next we get to the first big cross street, which heads up into the north part of the WSU campus. Dominating this corner is Dissmore’s Market and its parking lot.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-09-554

Just behind Dissmore’s is my favorite thrift store, Palouse Treasures.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-10-558

And at the corner below the thrift store is another lovely little garden.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-11-565

The next entrance to the running trail is at the “President’s Grove.”

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-12-577

…This time I will peak in for a closer look…

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-13-575

…To find a nice little rest area with some benches. There is also a little picnic area further up the trail.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-14-682

The next improvement along Grand Avenue is the “Mayor’s Grove.”

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-15-585

It contains a bench, a plaque, and a lovely horse chestnut tree.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-16-582

And now we arrive at the point were the train tracks turn east and west, and where the little creek running down from the north meets the bigger creek running downhill from the east.

Scouts’ Park

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-18-667

In this park, you can also see where another creek that runs down from the south comes out from under the sidewalk and joins up with that same creek running west.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-21-670

Here we are at Main Street, downtown Pullman. The area is planted with lots trees (peppers?) which are just leafing out now and very light yellow-green. The creek running down from the south runs directly under this crosswalk.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-24-588

Here is where the little creek submerges, a few blocks farther south.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-28-649

Across from the Old European restaurant is Bill’s Welding, which includes a junk yard with this fence and planting in front of it.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-33-640

…In back of the fence…

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-34-639

Also from this position can be glimpsed a vacant lot across the street full of blue-purple flowers.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-39-636

Just a bit further down is a large old house in a very large yard. It is now Kimball’s Mortuary, but I’m sure it has a lot of history behind it.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-42-610

Next, a more modern building, the Living Faith Fellowship church. Below it are the Post Office, a car dealer and other businesses of less notable architecture. Since I am more attracted to the flora and fauna, let’s next look at a roadside section of the little creek overgrown with willows currently full of “fuzz” from their flowers going to seed, and also filled with wild rose, dogwood, and cattails.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-43-612

The wild rosebushes are in full flower right now. The cattails are from last summer.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-46-624

And here we are at Bishop Boulevard, near the southern end of town and the southern end of Grand Avenue. A sign tells us that the Ford dealer up the street has sponsored the plantings in this area.

grand-avenue-overview-20130601-47-621

Some closeups of trees and flowers will appear in a follow-up article…

Vacant lot by the bluff

16 May 2013

The day was beautiful so I took some time to walk around the corner to the vacant lot, with my camera.

The lot, showing bluff, apartment buildings, grass, trees and flowers.
the lot
California poppies are the first to catch the eye…

poppies and alyssum

…shown sharing the field with alyssum.


Their orange flowers are unmistakeable.
poppy flowers
The small trees are cottonwoods.
cottonwood leaves
A wild daisy makes the perfect landing pad…
daisy with fly
Last year’s teasel stands tall.
teasels

They thrive in disturbed soil.


The cliff beneath the bluff is man-made.
cliff
A dandelion flower survives in the cliff’s shade.
dandelions

A view from the bluff

12 May 2013
view from the bluff

The view from where I live, looking roughly north.

I live on a bluff. Opposite are the buildings owned by the company where I work. In this photo, you can see the route I take each weekday morning on my way to work.

In the valley is a little creek. It is one of the few protected areas in this region. On the communications tower live two hawks; their domain is inhabited by rabbits, geese, ducks, a variety of other birds, snakes, and at least one coyote (I’ve seen it).

On another day I may go with my camera down there – there is a bike/exercise path that goes through – and take some photos for you.

This weekend marked the grand opening of a totally renovated Church of Scientology building in Portland. I helped a bit on its “files project,” as I did at Seattle while its building was being renovated. I would have liked to go, but the time and expense involved in getting there was more than I could confront. That does not mean the occasion was not momentous. In the grand scheme of things, our churches do very important work. I doubt it will ever be officially recognized.

So I stayed home and worked on setting up my work area. Below is what it looks like so far.

I don’t need it excessively fancy. Part of my experiment now is to re-purpose mass-manufactured electronic goods for personal use, and some of the results of that experiment are illustrated in this photo.

As I have mentioned previously, we have an amazing thrift shop in Pullman (Palouse Treasures) not far from where I live, and it has helped me to stock my work bench with power supplies, tools, and organizing bins.

Though I do miss re-PC and the huge Goodwill Outlet in Seattle, Palouse Treasures always has something interesting for the discerning shopper!

my work bench

My electronics work bench, as of this date.

Larry visits Idaho

5 May 2013
Chipman Trail sign

Pullman entrance to the Chipman Trail

Idaho is only about 6 miles from Pullman, so it wasn’t that long a trip!

The area was experiencing an inversion. Warm air pushing down from the east. Temperatures around 80°F and dry. I couldn’t resist going out for a bike ride. I didn’t pack water because I didn’t think I would stay out long. But after an interesting visit to Palouse Treasures thrift shop, I set out to see if the North end of the Pullman bike trail connected to the Chipman Trail. And sure enough, it did!

So I went out on it. My basic purpose after getting under way was to reach someplace where I could get some water. This happened just across the Idaho border, at the Moscow (weird name for a Western town!) Walmart. That’s about six miles out on the trail; I skipped the last mile and came back.

There were quite a few people using the trail. A few walkers and runners. A lot of bikers. And a group of student-age people riding bikes, skateboards, roller skates (a church group?). The trail follows the creek, so is somewhat scenic, unlike much of the surrounding area, except on a grand scale (the rolling hills). If you slow down and watch you’ll see lots of birds. And a few butterflies and insects were out.

The ride “up” to Idaho is indeed uphill (though very slight gradient – maybe 100 feet in 7 miles) but was also against the odd east wind. But as I glided back down towards Pullman I thought: What a joy this is! The greenery, the birds, the rustling grass. The sun twinkling in the moving water of the creek. What a simple pleasure!

I wish everyone on the planet could enjoy such things!

Chipman Trail info

Info sign at Pullman entrance to the Chipman Trail.

Springtime “snow” falls

13 April 2013
snow on ground

“Snow” melting on the ground.

I was on my way home after finding a great used FM tuner at Palouse Treasures and forgetting to buy more solder at Radio Shack. It was about 1pm. And as I rode my bike that last half mile back home, the skies opened up! But what fell down from those dark clouds on this cool Spring day? Rain, right? And I came home all wet and had to change my clothes…Nope. As pictured above, it was something more like snow. Riding through it, it felt sort of like little bits of styrofoam. It was little icy pellets, but they weren’t hard. They bounced on the ground like popcorn.

“I want to get a picture of this!” I thought, and after parking my bike on the tarp I have for it just inside the door, I went and got my camera and stepped back outside. The “stuff” had been falling in sheets! But now it was mostly gone. I walked up the hill a bit and found some still visible on the grass beside the driveway. And then I noticed more lodged in the junipers that serve as our landscaping here. And so I got a few more photos of the stuff before it all turned back into liquid water.

spring snow

Our “snow” caught in the juniper just before melting.

Cope and Organize

This is a famous LRH Policy Letter which I think of all the time these days.

Most of us spend too much time coping and never organize for increased efficiency or expansion. Others do nothing but “organize” and get no real work done. You have to cope with the real scene and also make some time to organize towards the ideal scene. The game is to achieve the ideal scene. We seldom ever get there. That’s what makes it a game, of course. But if you don’t even try, it’s for sure you’ll never get there. And one way of saying “working towards a more ideal scene” is “ORGANIZE.”

We do far too little of it at work. Production Troubleshooting is a study in the perfection of COPE.

At home I get some chance to indulge myself. And though I still feel miles away from any scene one could consider “ideal,” at least now I can see some movement in that direction. Like the nice new (used) FM tuner I got today for $13 (I bought it because it had a power connector on it that I needed for another project; that it works it just gravy!).

Short list of projects

For the sake of trivia, I will list some of the organize efforts going on at home:

  • Make several real tables using IKEA table legs. These are my favorite table legs because they work and they are also easily removable. I finally got around to ordering a dozen (they cost $3 each plus shipping) so now have a second real table (in the bedroom, where I am now) and legs for two more 2-foot by 4-foot wood tops which have yet to materialize.
  • Put heavier projects (power supplies with transformers) in boxes on the floor, while most projects are closer to table height, to make the front panels accessible. I found some cool aluminum enclosures on eBay and got two. Perfect for this purpose. Recently some parts needed to complete them came in, so they are becoming useable.
  • More furnishings (for my living room). My plan is to make the living room into a study area with three sections. One for the arts, one for science and electronics, and one for Scientology. The area needs tables (above), shelves, and chairs. But I didn’t want heavy furniture, and one night I thought: “I wonder if they make inflatable furniture?” And they do! So I am going to try some.
  • Electronics projects sort-out. These were in some disarray, as I was coping for so long with either too little time or too little finances. Now they can begin to move forward in a more orderly manner. My box of manual controllers (called “faders” in the business) is now ready, and the old circular display has been upgraded so it’s easier to use. It will eventually be joined by other displays that operate in different modes, and one will be very video-like.
  • Computers sort-out. I no longer feel the need to access the internet on a different computer from the one I store all my files on. So that older computer is being re-purposed into an experimental computer for the “learning room.” My under-used little netbox will now serve as my electronics bench computer, and my two portables will eventually be deployed at the other learning stations. My “main” computer was recently upgraded from 1GB of RAM (Random Access Memory) to nearly 4GB and the difference is really noticeable. Besides the fact that my phone line is quite noisy, the DSL connection to the internet works well, so for the time being, that’s all good.

Yes, these are the results of letting an electronics hobbyist with an income loose in a 2-room apartment!