SUMMER FINALLY ARRIVED HERE with fits and starts. One herald of the season is the hatching of tiny yellow spiderlings that bunch up in tight little knots and… then spread out on gossamer threads–everywhere, like the ones above that I captured as the sun was setting.

Another herald of summer is the beginning of the garden tour season. I went to the Wallingford neighborhood on June 6th where I saw something new, the embothrium coccineum, Chilean Firebush (above) a very tall and flamboyantly flowering tree. I was dazzled and saw a second one near the end of the tour and then again on the Whidbey Island Garden Tour at the end of the month!

I saw a couple of interesting garden ideas on the tour.This fence employed a clever use of old garden tools.

And this was an attractive and creative way to recycle old mattress springs.

So dear reader, the garden, garden tours and a bit of travel took precedence over my additions to the blogosphere. I managed to finally plant all my pepper, eggplant and tomato starts after the late harvest of fava beans. The tomatoes went into the ground the latest ever on June 26th!!

Meanwhile, poppies bloomed,

We took a trip up the Columbia River and spent a couple of nights at Crow Butte where we saw lots of wildflowers in bloom

including yellow flowered opuntia fragilis, a favorite of grasshoppers.

And our last stop was at Palouse Falls, just north of the Snake River and a part of the Channeled Scablands of the Columbia River Basin.