Knocking the Rust Off

Knocking the Rust Off


Real life (and Facebook) have been getting in the way of posting here lately, that and today’s rain.

My daughter has decided that I should keep the rack on my 1999 Tacoma pickup that I’ve been planning on getting rid of until recently because it offers the proper support for her two-person kayak. However, the rack has been dripping rust for several years, and I’d finally decided that I would fork over $500 bucks and get a shiny, new rack.

Now that I’ve decided that I should probably keep it, I spent most of the day prying off rusty bolts and washers, grinding and wire-brushing rusty spots, and spraying the inside of pipes where I can’t reach the rust with Rustoleum. Oh, and a couple of hours at Grovers where a great employee helped me match the oddball bolts required to put it back together. I’m only half done after five hours of work, but what I’ve finished looks remarkably good. Not a bad way to save $500.

If it had been sunny today, and it hasn’t rained here for 49 days in a row, I would have been off to Theler wetlands for a much-needed visit. But the rain gave me another good reason to stay home and work on the truck. There suddenly seems to be a rash of small jobs demanding attention. I’ve only got 30 pages left to finish Tess of the D’Urbervilles, but I’ve marked so many passages to review that I’m not sure how long it will take to make sense out of it. I’m a little shocked that I wasn’t more impressed with the novel when I read it as a teenager, but the novel brought back all those double standards that were prevalent when I was growing up. Those “good-old-days” certainly weren’t good for everyone, especially for women.

However, I did just order three new poetry books rather than immediately trying to read Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. I can always find time between chores to read 60 pages of poetry, whereas I feel I need to set aside much longer blocks of time in order to read a 500 page novel and write anything sensible about it.

Roses Reign

It was 76° today when I visited the Pt. Defiance Rose Garden; perfectly clear it’s Summer.

The outer beds were filled with passionately-colored Geraniums,

Pink Geranium

and Tiger Swallowtails flitted from bright to brighter annuals.

Tiger Swallowtail

It was clear that the roses were holding court. Whether you prefer brilliantly colored roses

brightly-colored rose

or soft pastels,

pink rose

now is the perfect time to visit the Rose Garden.

Can a Mallard be White?

Although it never really got sunny today, it was bright enough that I wasn’t going to sit around the house all day, or even mow the lawn, for that matter. No, I headed out for Lake Waughop in Steilacoom to get in some walking if nothing else.

And it’s a good thing I didn’t have high expectations because there weren’t too many photographic opportunities. The highlight of the day was probably observing this white mallard and trying to decide if she was or was not a mallard. Though her size and her shape suggest she is a mallard, her color and even the color of her beak suggest otherwise. I wonder if she had somehow adopted these ducklings, but they certainly didn’t give any signs of that. Until proven otherwise, and the internet seems remarkably undecided about this, I’m going to assume that she was a mallard and not a domestic duck that had escaped.

White Mallard? which ducklings

There were very few other birds present today, and the ones that were there seemed more concerned with protecting and feeding young than posing for a picture.

So I had to content myself with taking pictures of the brilliant purple flowers springing up everywhere,

Sweet Peas?

and trying to get pictures of dragonflies who seemed far too busy to pose.


I had even less success getting pictures of the few Swallowtails I saw, but I’m assuming that will change shortly.