I've seen numerous deer this summer in Bellingham, as the deer go wandering through parks and parking lots, munching on flowers and fruits. But today, two deer actually crossed the street by walking in the pedestrian crosswalk. I was so surprised I just sat in the car and laughed as the traffic stopped - because that's the state law here, when someone is in the pedestrian crosswalk cars must stop and let the walker cross the street.
And that sort of sums up life in Bellingham, WA at the moment - quirky, a bit slow, sometimes amusing, and a little unusual at times.
We're doing our usual things with seeing doctors and renewing prescriptions and replacing worn out clothing or luggage. Things too boring and mundane to talk about in a travel blog.
I've also written summaries of Bellingham's history and development in previous summers, so it seems silly to repeat all of that again.
And we've caught up with seeing family and dear friends (as well as friendly deer), all important but again, not exactly blog worthy.
So I've postponed blogging a bit.
But then, in cleaning out my computer's cache, apparently I deleted the password to our blog site. My computer didn't remember the current password. I didn't remember the current password. So Google locked me out over Labor Day weekend, and we all know that holiday weekends mean a few extra days to clear up any kind of problems like this.
So here I am, new password and all.
Bellingham is having a cool and wet summer - some years are like this. The good part is that there aren't the problems with forest fires that we've had the previous two summers; no major smoke choking the towns, no people getting sick from inhaling all that horrible smoke. The bad part is that it's just chilly and often grey. We've had some nice days, just not enough of them to make us happy.
Most days end with a great sunset over the bay, though, so that almost makes up for not seeing the sun until an hour or two before it sets.
All that moisture in the air makes for a nice long growing season, so the flowers are beautiful as always. Trees are green, ferns are profuse, and the produce is wonderful. Incredible peaches, cherries, berries, pears, and apples, all grown here in our lovely (but wet) state.
My favorite supermarket still has life-size plastic cows and calves as part of their displays. They seem to have added a pig or two. I'm really not sure why these plastic animals are part of a supermarket's decorations, since the animals are usually either in the produce, floral, or medical departments. One is grazing by the sunglasses. On the other hand, maybe it would be too depressing for the plastic animals to decorate the meat department. Who knows what the rationale is for pig or cow placement?
The flower displays are my favorite, though. (And fortunately, plastic cows and calves do not eat real flowers.)
But autumn comes early to this corner of the US, and some trees are beginning to change colors. Green leaves are turning red around the edges, or random leaves are going orange or red or yellow, portending colder weather coming soon.
I spent two days in Seattle, taking the Amtrak bus down and the night train back north. The bus went through the International District, which is predominately a place where immigrants from Asia settled, so there are Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese shops and eating places. Several telephone poles were decorated with huge metal dragons climbing up to mark their territory and defend this part of the city from, well, whatever dragons defend their territory from. I loved this wonderful red dragon who posed for me as the bus drove by.
Today I walked around town a bit, and discovered a few new murals in an alley. Most of the alleys are delivery routes to the backs of businesses in town, so they tend to be colorless and somewhat trashed - literally and figuratively. But alleys are also home to the growing transient and homeless populations, a problem of most cities in the US these days.
Two murals were really striking, and by the same artist. Both were messages of hope, rising above, and making something beautiful out of something average and mundane and possibly profane.
In the first mural, a young woman is holding an origami crane in her open hand, the paper crane unfolding and re-folding into a series of variations and permutations, all the way into paper airplanes sailing above. A simple piece of paper, in skilled hands, can change and morph into birds, planes, seeking new worlds and not bound by its limitations.
A little further into the alley, another young woman is holding a jumble of petals, leaves, maybe flowers. These seem to slowly combine and change into dragonflies, which fly off to explore new places, to rise above their origins. Again, a symbol of hope, of change, of transition.
Just, random acts of art.
I was interested in the artist, Gretchen Leggitt, and found some information about her. Here's her website, and a few articles: www.gretchenleggitt.com
There was another mural more in keeping with the alley behind the Horseshoe Café, a Bellingham institution. No idea who the Rowdy Buckaroo might be, possibly the original rider who lost a horseshoe, or something like that.
Along with our Washington mountains painted on a giant dumpster.
As I said, not a lot is happening. Sort of our same old stuff that we take care of each summer. Richard is coming along well and his back is improving. We're not sure what we'll do by the end of September, but we try not to stay up here too far into October, when autumn begins in earnest.
So, we'll keep our readers posted. Oh, and we've had nearly 200,000 hits in our now seven official years of travel! I find that amazing! Read on, stay connected, and who knows where you might find us next? (Hint: we don't know any more than you do.)
A few more photos, just because the scenery and sunsets are that pretty.