Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pausing, Reflecting, and Gardening

Welcome to Pacific Northwest Seasons! Perhaps you're wondering why I've not blogged much this year?

My absence has been due to a combination of things: My freelance work has dramatically picked up and spilled into evenings and weekends. A troublesome knee has kept me from getting outdoors and hiking/biking/skiing as much as I'd like. 

And I've been reassessing what exactly my purpose is for this blog anymore. As a former popular local food blogger told me a few years ago, "I think the blogging moment is over."

When I started blogging in 2008, I was happy to share my secret places and encourage people to get outside and enjoy this special corner of the world.

2013, on an overly popular peak

Now many of our trails and beautiful outdoors destinations near Seattle and Portland are suffering from overuse. I've written about this before and my struggles with the explosive growth and changes in our region. I've become that crabby lady who reflexively scolds newbies for cutting off-trail between switchbacks. Ugh. I make myself inwardly cringe.

So I'm less inclined to write about it all right now. Instead I've been playing in the garden, just outside my front door.

The beginning, 2012

Some raspberry plants gifted from my stepmother inspired me to start the garden, which I wrote about a few years ago. (Although my eldest sister will claim credit too.) Since then, the raspberries are assertively trying to take over the whole front yard, and I dig up and give away many raspberry starts each spring.

Want any? I have about six thriving little starts waiting for new homes now. (No kidding. Message me in the comments below if you're in Seattle and interested.)

Interestingly, the garden has evolved into a major stress reliever. When I'm out there watering, weeding, or harvesting, it all feels so healthy and natural. Sometimes I get buzzed by iridescent-feathered hummingbirds. This thrills me.

It makes me happy to see things growing under my care, and of course, I enjoy eating and sharing the bounty. I've been having delicate spring greens salads for a few weeks now. Hmmm.

Don't consider me retired from getting outdoors, exploring the region, and sharing the experiences with you. In fact, I hope to go hiking to see the wild rhodies in Deception Pass State Park this weekend with fellow blogger and nature geek Dave of Wild Fidalgo.

I also have lots of ideas about environmental issues to write about, unique Northwesterners to feature, and more. And a blog redesign/update is overdue.

So tell me, what are your thoughts on gardening, getting outdoors, the Pacific Northwest, and/or this blog? Your feedback in the comments below gives me inspiration to continue.

Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons! In between blog posts, visit Pacific NW Seasons on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram for more Northwest photos and outdoors news.  


ashley g said...

Your gardens are impressive! I actually just spent today doing yardwork for the first time since I was pregnant! It is definitely a stress reliever for me and so satisfying to see the results. Evie loves being outside so I just put her in a little chair to watch and she's happy. I hope to still read about your adventures, even if they are not hiking related! Hope to see you on the book club hikes too. :)

jill said...

Aw thanks Ashley! I'm hoping to see you on the next hike. Love that Evie likes to be outside, so good for a growing little human. :)

Anne said...

Jill I need a couple of rasps, from our former home in Oregon, please, and I will take credit for nagging you about this. You now have a wonderful garden and I agree completely about the emotions it elicits, its like a little family outside that only takes a short bit of care once it is up and running and makes you happy. My beets, lettuces of several varieties, peas and carrots are up now and I am ready to start warm weather crops too. And kale, which is sprouting up everythere, the third year from plants that went to seed.

JoJo said...

I lived in WA for 12 years and while I don't miss the traffic and people everywhere, I do miss the climate and scenery. I may originally be from MA, where I live now, but WA will always be home. I may not always comment on your hikes but I do love the pictures you take. Helps me feel connected to 'home'. I would move back in a heartbeat if there was work on the Olympic Peninsula!!! My unrealistic pipe dream would be to buy and run the trading post in Queets.

epiccioneb said...

I enjoy reading anything and everything you want to write about from the Pacific Northwest. Thanks for sharing!

Rabbits' Guy said...

And you still can hear me singin' to the people who don't listen,
To the things that I am sayin', prayin' someone's gonna hear.
And I guess I'll die explaining how the things that they complain about,
Are things they could be changin', hopin' someone's gonna care.

I was born a lonely singer, and I'm bound to die the same,
But I've got to feed the hunger in my soul.
And if I never have a nickel, I won't ever die ashamed.
'Cos I don't believe that no-one wants to know. (an old Kris Kristofferson song)

Surely the blogging moment is over, but it still does a lot of people a lot of good. Keep it up!

jill said...

Hey JoJo, good to hear from you! I love your pipe dream! Thanks for your comment. :)

jill said...

epiccioneb. :) Thank you for your feedback, it's much appreciated! I'll still keep plugging away but maybe not as frequently. but you never know, maybe more often when things slow down! Take good care.

jill said...

Ah thanks Rabbit's Guy! I was imaging Kris Kristofferson's voice as I read that, lots of soul. cheers.

als said...

I love your blog. You are the reason I have been getting back out there after an unexplainable long absence. But it is time consuming. I appreciate all your effort. I'm glad to hear that you're busy with work. As a freelancer, I know those ups and downs.

jill said...

als, oh that makes me so happy hear that my blog has inspired you to get back out there! Because even if I grouse about crowds, I still wouldn't stop for anything. I think being outdoors in nature is essential to my mental and physical health, and everyone else too. :) Thank you so much for you feedback.

Anonymous said...

As a viewer of your blog living in Australia I would be sad to see your blog go...however if you were to say switch to Instagram with all your great photos you would still be sharing your beautiful part of the world but in a less time consuming manner for you. Great pic with brief blurb...would still make my eyes glaze over and dream of visiting your area....and I'd be sure not to cut off the switch backs! Sylvia

jill said...

Hey Sylvia!! Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm thrilled that someone from Australia found and enjoys my blog. I'm on Instagram as @pacificnwseasons now, don't post as much as I used to, but try to at least once a week. Have had social media overload as my work has gotten crazy. But I'll keep it up, here at the blog as well. I've made some nice connections even though I've never gone super viral. Met a second cousin here in Seattle who found my blog that I did on Seattle/family history. And so on. If you ever make it to the PNW, you've got a tour guide here. :) Haha and thanks for minding the switchbacks. cheers, jill BTW do you blog or are on IG?

Anonymous said...

Jill, your offer sounds very tempting indeed however 3 young children limit my movements these days. I'm a total Luddite end user of social media and can't imagine having the courage or creativity to blog etc. I have only just recently discovered Instagram and am wondering why it's taken me so long. You are welcome to check out my account (ssultmann) as I plan to fill it for distant family and friends with pics of my area here in NE Victoria, Australia....maybe that way I can return the delight I get from seeing your area. Sylvia
PS love how you met a second cousin...and to think you could have been passing each other down the supermarket isle not knowing of your shared history.