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A BEACH WALK, AFTER OPEN STUDIO…

The Spring Open Studio weekends were at least successful in sharing the bells’ design range & educating the steady stream of visitors about some of their production processes. While the business continued to reflect our difficult economy, exacerbated by the resulting increases in cost due to the precious metals’ market, the bells still seduce with delight & frequently plant seeds toward future sales. As always after these tours I feel well stroked in the appreciation for my work.

The garden attracts much attention as folk walk down through the several paths toward the studio’s entrance, allowing me to sometimes joke from the door that this is a studio, not a garden, tour & that it is time for them to come inside to play with the bells! The Petasites is once again a star, with its huge leaves, which seem particularly verdant this year. We’ve had to actively cull them in past weeks from our several plantations. Stephen had potted up numerous roots to give away but we had to dig even more to meet the requests for starts. They really are spectacular & I used some to make an arrangement with branches of lilac blooms for the buffet…

One clump greets from the road… from where signs direct down the steps of the main path to the studio in the lower floor of the house…


Another path to the bells wends through the newer north garden. Forget-me-nots have become a welcome weed throughout our gardens. Now we will begin to pull it out to free space for the plants they surround, often now too closely…

Looking back up that way one can enjoy the blooms along the horizontal limbs of a viburnum..

A view from in front of the studio contains a rhododendron in bloom below the first buds of a potted hibiscus. The water of the tide, now up, is visible beyond the birdhouse. We’d earlier noticed a wren beginning to build a nest, but it seems all the traffic of guests discouraged that family… sigh… 

We’ve planted more Petasites in two wine barrels below the Prow deck to enjoy their water-lily-mimicking leaves while looking down to the water of Puget Sound…

No, this isn’t any flower usual to our garden. It is one last view of Petasites… the stem of one of the leaves in that arrangement which had wilted. When I removed it I was struck by how it had splayed into a bizarre looking soggy sculpture…

I always need several days to recuperate from the output of energy necessary to clean & prepare for two weekends of continuously intense personal interaction with several hundred curious visitors. “Show Time” seems both rewarding &… grueling.

So today Stephen & I took a beach walk to enjoy the lowest tide of the year at noon. It is an opportunity to view Soundcliff from a rare distance usually covered by the water of the Sound.

For several seasons we have looked out at a large tree which has stayed put out from the beach… rare for resisting so long being lifted & moved by even high storm tides. Usually not much, even of this size stays in place. We have observed collections of starfish in its roots before & expected them this time, but that mass seemed abandoned today.

The creatures were taking shelter under its trunk instead…
There were many of these wonderfully colorful & curious animals in better view all along the beach…

  
This variety is slimmer & more subtle in color. I’m now curious to discover more about them…
Yet another variety called Sea Stars were there as well, with many more tentacles…
 
There was a richness of the nests or egg cases of Moon Snails, which are fascinating for looking like  thin clay pots, delicately thrown on some water logged potter’s wheel! 

Stephen discovered this nest of eggs, but we do not have any idea whose… they look almost tempting as caviar!

A ship came looming around the point as we were ready to climb home… 

Today I seemed to have the right eyes for finding the curious phallic rocks on the beach which I’m collecting to finish the construct in a bed planted with simpervirum alongside & between the foundation & the steps up to Stephen’s writing cottage…


While I still have a pile of projects procrastinating in the studio, this is only one of the matching list of projects in the garden during this week forecast to continue sunny, if cooler than I wish…