Bear Grass above Eunice Lake

Here’s a picture of Eunice Lake, elevation 5,355 feet, from above. And a southeasterly view of Rainier, towering nearly 9,000 feet above Eunice. The depth of field here has a funny way of making Mt. Rainier look like a leftover pile of snow in the Paradise parking lot. The cove Adam waded in is hidden from view by the stalk of Bear Grass on the right. I took this a quarter of the way up to the Tolmie Peak fire lookout. Easily identifiable and ubiquitous in lower open alpine areas of the Cascades, Bear Grass (Xerophyllum tenax), a member of the lily family, has always been one of my favorite plants in the mountains. When I think of places like Granite Mountain (a steep hike close to home by Snoqualmie Pass) I think of all the times I’ve huffed and puffed upward through wavy meadows of whimsical-looking Bear Grass.

Bear Grass

Adam and I were about town a little, today. This morning we took a long walk around Capitol Hill so I could take pictures of old house windows to guide us in our living-room remodel. Our front picture window is rotting at the sill and we’re taking this as an opportunity to put in new, much bigger windows in the livingroom. They’ll still be wood casement faithful to the style of our turn-of-the-century working class Seattle box, but we’re toying with the idea of lead muntins as opposed to the current wood squares. Also, we’re going to tear out the walls to the studs and re-do the drywall. The owner of the house before us (Lynn) dry-walled over the original plaster, let’s just say the results in the livingroom were not pretty. In most places in that room, the walls practically bulge over the baseboard and there’s no profile. And we’re going to add a plate rail above to match the other rooms in the house. Lynn was a rug designer and used the living room as gallery space (complete with track lighting, which we removed long ago). She moved to Chicago and bought a huge place in Wicker Park, a gritty but trendy neighborhood that at the time was up to the standards of urban pioneers.

After rest time, Adam and I hit Goodwill for some impulse shopping on our way to do some other errands. I found a humongous John James Audubon The Birds of North America. I bargained with the manager since the book was chewed up pretty bad on the top edge of the binding and got it for $2.99. This is a book that cost $75 in 1966. It has reproductions of all the original paintings. It’s worthless as a collectible, but I’m sure a lot of people would have paid $10 or $15 just to have it. Or maybe it’s not worth $.99, I dunno. I suppose I got it mainly with a craft project in mind, I’m thinking of hanging some of the pictures in Adam’s room. Or do you think that’s a bad idea? Should we keep the book intact as a dusty-but-trusty reference? Following Goodwill we stopped at the branch library on Yesler so I could get some guilt-reading (a half dozen Sports Illustrated). Then we visited City People’s Nursery and got a bunch of Thyme for the garden by the front porch.

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