Summer is beginning to wane, though I have high hopes for a wonderful Indian Summer. While fall is just around the corner as the days grow noticeably shorter, we are mollified by the wonderful variety of late summer harvest. So yes – tomatoes, summer squash, white corn (oh, the white corn!), peaches and pears are the trade off for school starting and vacations ending. And so it was that we made a quick trip to Hood River and the wonderfully named ‘fruit loop’ to see what there was to see.
We were in search of blackberries, which we didn’t find. We did however find Alpaca babies, sunflowers, and lots and lots of lavender. What else can you ask of a hot August day, unless, perhaps a potluck picnic under a tree. It was a lovely day, made all the better by good company, good weather, and a couple of squabbling hummingbirds.
This little one and friends were at Cascade Alpacas. Another large group was relaxing in the barn, the favored spot was an area right in front of a large fan. Inside the shop we all oohed and awed over the incredibly soft yarn that comes from Alpaca wool. So much so that, as usual, I contemplated trying to learn to knit again. I haven’t been successful in the past most likely due to a lack in concentration and my inherent impatience with things that need practice to perfect. There is something so wonderfully Northwest in the notion of carding and spinning my own yarn before knitting it into some stylish garment and yet – practice and attention. Oh well.
Hood River Lavender farm was fragrant. Lilac trees added a sweet floral note to the more astringent lavender. Big, fat, striped bees were hard at work here. I never mind the bees at these places. They are a lazier, mellower bee; you get the notion that stinging someone would be, well, bad karma in their multifaceted bee eyes. Besides, with so much food at hand, what would be the point in being all aggressive? I love the low hum of them, their soft and fuzzy look, and their very industriousness. We were also treated to some hummingbirds arguing over who’s turn it was at the feeder. I love how outraged a hummingbird can sound, sort of the antithesis of the bees in the field.
Another stop was at the Gorge White House with it’s large U-Pick flower fields. Beth reveled in the huge stands of sunflowers while TK made her way up and down all the rows. I split my time between the two, taking my own pictures, loving the scent of the place, enjoying the sunshine.
It was a low-key day. Lots of laughter. Lots of pointing out the window at things. Some getting lost and found again. It is becoming an end of summer trip. So many of these trips, these places seem to find a mark on the calendar – these places that we go back to again and again, the experience all fun but always a bit different. It keeps me looking forward, and that is not a bad thing at all.