Winter’s Star

Rays of Winter

After a rainy morning in the Pacific Northwest, the Sun, low on the horizon, played peek-a-boo with the forest.  As the ground heated, rising steam created this stunning picture.

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Pacific Northwest Sunsets


Some say it rains all the time in the Pacific Northwest.   And yes, we may not  witness the occasional asteroid belt whizzing high above the cloud cover.  We can even miss a super-moon and viewing Mars at its closest point to the Earth due to some drizzly rain.  But there are times when a treat or two more than make up for the price of missing a treasured few.  

Like in this picture shown above,  a cloudy day suddenly decided to abate and  bow to the sun in respect.  It allowed, even for a minute or two, the sky to change from indiscernible grey monotones to brilliant mauves, crimsons and champagnes sea in which we call the heavens above.  This is the the innate beauty of this majestic place we call the Northwest and much like a weather vane pointing to the unseen wind so does the Pacific Northwest point to our loving Creator who delights in us.  

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Hidden Treasure in Eastern Washington

With wineries galore  in Eastern Washington, L’ Ecole is the one place we couldn’t miss!  Built in 1915,the 100 year old schoolhouse is now a converted winery near Tri-Cities. The owners did well preserving the rich history  when they blended the winery motif  into this wonderful old building.  We would highly recommend a tour of the building and perhaps sipping a bit of wine while you explore.





Directly from their website…


Schoolhouse History

The schoolhouse, built in 1915, is located in historic Frenchtown, a small community just west of Walla Walla, Washington.  Frenchtown derived its name from the many French-Canadians who settled the valley during the early 1800s.  Legend has it, these men of French descent raised grapes and produced wine.  By the 1860s nurseries, vineyards and winemaking had become a part of the valley’s growing economy.  The name – L’Ecole N° 41, French for “the school” located in school district 41 – was chosen to salute these pioneer viticulture efforts. Historical Schoolhouse Photo

The schoolhouse served children until 1974.  The building was purchased by Baker and Jean Ferguson in 1977.  They received Walla Walla County approval later that year to renovate it for use as a winery.  L’Ecole N° 41 officially opened its doors in 1983.

Our tasting room occupies one of two former classrooms, preserving the old schoolhouse character with original chalkboards, light fixtures, fir floors and moldings.  Climb the rolling ladder to select a library book to read at the fireplace or sample your favorite wine at the 100-year-old Baker Boyer bank check stand.

In the cellar, enjoy the hand-painted children’s Christmas pageant mural which served as the stage background in the school’s multi-purpose room.  Don’t forget to take a drink from the children’s water fountain outside the boy’s and girl’s rooms.


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This is a Magnolia Tulip.

However, if you wish to own one you will need to be patient.  Magnolias can live more than a century.  They take their slow, sweet time in producing flowers.  It is not uncommon to wait a decade before a young tree first blooms.

If you have never seen one in person I recommend you do.    They are well worth the wait for they are quite stunning and blossoms can  be larger than your hand.  They have a pleasant smell and is a wonderful tree to experience in springtime.



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Valentine Love

Flamingo Heart

A perfect picture for Valentines.  This photograph was taken in Canada.  Engrossed in taking a picture of the bright orange and pink flamingo on the left, you can only imagine how delighted we were to find another bird walking into the scene.   Just before the two flamingos passed, I was able to capture the well known “Flamingo Heart”

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Nature’s Will to Live

This photo taken in the Sequoia National Forest is breathtaking.

The sun ‘s position in the sky created a slight refraction of light that you can see on the lower left hand side. Gorgeous!

. BW Peeking Through

It is amazing to see the will to live be so strong in nature.

The tree itself managed to find enough earth to sprout in a shallow crevice on a large rock face where the entire infrastructure resides above the soil and exposed to the elements.  What a beauty and a great find.  It was fun to photograph this tree.  Not pictured was a lizard lying on the large root that scampered away as I approached.  Too bad the little guy was too fast.  Probably camera shy.

More fun black and whites can be seen on our Pinterest site.  Come and See!


Split Tree

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