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My newish dog niece, Farrah. Today was an unexpected treat to get to catch up with my sister and spend time with this young adult fur ball. I met Farrah twice last year when she was under one year old, and found I was very allergic to her. Now that she’s out of puppy phase, I’m less allergic to her. Yay! Still asthmatic, but minor! And none of the itchy sinus or eyes. Sweet!

She’s shown me much love, lots of gentle nose kisses, paw on my hand or arm to hold and lick. A lovely gift of love. Super smart girl, I look forward to being able to hang out with her around more.❤️ She reminds me of a snow 🦊… Lol

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Found a variety of fungi that I had never seen before ❤️🍄 Does anyone know what the name for these are? They’re so pretty! Like ornate vintage buttons… Loved our forest walk today despite very few mushrooms to be found, too cold I suspect. I had the pleasure of so many dogs that came upto me on their own to say hello, lush greens, Pacific wrens happily singing, and freshest of tree scented air

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Pic1: The faces of those who make up the annual gathering at Frenchman Coulee… ages range from 45 to 70+. The shared laughter, stories, and new experiences.
2: The ever windy trek over the Vantage Bridge
3: Dana, my fur friend
4: View from above the plateau down into Sunshine Gullies
5: View down onto Frenchman Coulee and the basin to the right where the camping area is. You can see my orange tent in the top right corner.
6: View from Frenchman Coulee over to the Columbia River basins, and see if you can spot the baby marmot on the rock nearby.
7: The morning after 18hrs of terrible winds, which also blasts silica along it (free facial micro dermabrasion anyone?), still gusting and storm clouds move in. We’re in a traffic jam, waiting for crews to clear the road debris from an earlier accident.
8: Snow fall on Snoqualmie Pass.
9: our rain set-up
10: Glorious sunshine and misty morning. And envying camper vans.
This trip’s experiences included a few firsts, such as seeing the landscape so lush as never before, seeing marmots up close and having their babies come out to hang out while we tested nearby, the crazy winds actually made us retreat back to the PNW and rain for the last night, witnessed the aftermath of what the wind gusts can do to a tractor trailer (unfortunately 2 lives were lost), encountering snow driving through the Snoqualmie Pass while making our way to camp out the last two nights in Birch Bay State Park, and camping through 12 hours straight of rain from noon till midnight… Awaking the next morning to sunshine.

I made a dog friend, Dana, whose family travelled from Creston, BC to climb. She’s a Aussie Shepard mix and she made her rounds with every campsite, choosing to hangout even longer during dinnertime, lol. She was so awesome though, very obedient as she followed my commands, and a food hound (no handouts from us) with a wagging nose! Too cute

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The abundance of flora from the cooler and wetter spring… Mother nature replenishes the landscape post wild fires from the year(s) before.

It was a beautiful contrast to see the new lush growth surrounding the black burnt trees left behind… For the first time in the many years I’ve done this annual trip, we saw lush green lawn-like grass growing! All the grass nibblers were enjoying the tender growth.

I had never expected in this climate to see mushroom growth, but they were plenty, esp. flourishing in thr small holes dug by either wild rabbits or marmots. The variety of lichen and in technicolour patterns were interesting and such eye candies. The wildlife was in abundance too… We’ve spotted at least 3 marmot dens with wee ones foraging, heard many coyotes with young ones yelping and howling at night. Had many a cute desert mice running our feet, including juvenile one which took their time to be curious. Otherwise plenty of mice, we also heard owls out hunting after the mouse came out at dark. Rich and abundant wildlife, a lovely contrast to two springs ago when it was so quiet, with very few wildlife sightings. So happy to have experienced this lush spring in an otherwise arid landscape

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Beautiful and powerful in all its delicate beauty… The power of many.

It’s my spring nemesis, itchy stuffy eyes and sinus, fatigue/lethargy, and puffy face 😖 It’s a love/hate relationship, lol