November already


A few weeks ago I picked these lovely hydrangeas from our garden. They have aged slowly to rich dusky tones and crispiness and are still gracing our table at a time of few fresh garden flowers.

What a rainy fall we have had and still it continues. Out of the month of October, we had only three days without rain, something of a record. That is more typical for November so we are all hoping for less liquid, more sun this month! Between showers yesterday, I managed to quickly gather lots of geranium cuttings to root over the winter indoors. Lots of work still to be done tidying and preparing the garden for winter if we could have some dry days, please.

this summer’s moth




This morning I found this sadly expired moth on the floor of my studio. I was reminded of past similar photo memorials on this blog such as this one three years ago. Time to do another, just to reactivate my long-too-quiet blog and say ‘hello’ to friends and readers. Summer has been and still is wonderful, though sometimes much too hot for my nordic blood, provoking my inclinations towards much laziness and many books. How is your summer?

for Women’s Day


a fallen phal flower (phalaenopsis orchid)
captured in a scan of course, as I love to do
timely as a gift to all my women friends
and to the women of the world
on this International Women’s Day
thanking those women of the past who forged ahead
and those still fighting for a better world

Related posts: 2007 and 2009

Added later, this excellent article:
Trudeau On Gender Parity: There’s A Lot Of Work Still To Do

Hand with Rose


inspired by the birthday roses
an addition to my photo series of hands with objects
some others may be viewed here

this February


Oh my, we are already entering the last week of February. This is a month of anniversaries and birthdays at Chez Rathje. First of the month saw the 12th anniversary of this blog, now limping along in its old age. Then there was one of those Big 0 birthdays for yours truly (also limping along, heh), alongside Valentine’s/Friendship Day, for which I received a big beautiful bouquet of deep red roses from my sweetheart. His birthday by the way is coming up soon as well. Here are the first of the roses to wither, still too gorgeous to discard and thus captured into memory.

In the garden, the snowdrops finished a while ago, the crocuses came out early, one pot of hellebores is in bloom and the mini daffodils and pale pink camellia are opening up. We have had a mild winter with no snow at sea level though lots on the mountains. Having grown up in Winnipeg, I still marvel at this early spring on the westcoast!

Related: see some photos from February 2013

frost flowers




This rare sunny morning, while I was sleeping in, my husband took several photos of the rare gorgeous frost fractals on the sloping skylights in our solarium. What a lovely gift to ring in the holiday season after weeks of extreme rain and windstorms. Even the mountain tops are capped with white icing. We are to expect more of these storms in this El NiƱo year.

Fortunately so far our neighbourhood has not had the severe flooding nor power outages that are sadly happening in many areas of the Pacific Northwest, despite a warning flicker now and then. The storms are of course stronger over open coastal regions often forcing cancellations of ferries and small plane flights. This happened to dear friends from Victoria visiting us last weekend which meant they had to spend the night with us, and a pleasure it was.

I wish all friends and readers a happy and safe pre-holiday period! We hope that no storms affect your holiday plans. More later….

Sunday’s sunrise



Nature’s art, 7:42 am Sunday, November 22, 2015
No words needed.

November reds





Already the eleventh month of the year and the colours of fall continue to change daily. Leaves fall, the winds blow, sometimes gently sometimes stormy. Lovely days, rainy days, and everything in between. Some snow on the mountains on the Halloween weekend but no frost yet down here near the sea. The sun is lower in the sky, the shadows lengthen, the march of the seasons mark the passage of time.





This favourite orchid (actually all of them are favourites) bloomed all summer long and is now gradually dropping its blossoms. Aren’t they beautiful even as they fade and wither?

almost autumn


a colourful sign of the coming change of season