Another Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is inspiring people with the simple idea of “Fresh.”

For much of the US, freshness is probably not the operable word in these days of heat waves, wildfires and general bad weather. But here in the Pacific Northwest, summer is definitely fresh, and its what everyone lives for – for a few months the gray lifts and we have clear blue skies, warm daytime temperatures, and cool evenings.

Often there’s a fresh breeze blowing, too…

(Forgive me if you remember seeing the rags tied to the barbed wire fence before, but I think it’s been a long time since I posted any of those photos.)

Here’s another local sign of freshness: a handful of just picked blackberries. If you don’t have a bag you could grab some fern fronds to keep them from squishing. But I bet they’ll be eaten by the time you get back to the car anyway.

Then there’s fresh-out-of-the-oven.

These chocolate chip cookies were made by our master baker friend Pat Hains, who runs a comfortable  B & B in Olympia, WA where no one ever goes hungry.

And while I’m thinking of food, here is the Excaliber Burger, a very fresh burger served at the 101-year-old Ozark Cafe in the tiny town of Jasper, Arkansas, which is (happily) many miles from any cities, but close to the scenic Buffalo River and even a herd of elk.

But enough about food – let’s get even more fundamental.

What about water?

What’s fresher than a waterfall on Mount Rainer, tumbling down over mossy rocks from the glaciers above?

Or what about fresh-off-the-press?

This linoleum block artwork is being transferred to a small cotton flag. The print commemorates someone who was killed in the 9/11 attacks. Their family will receive a paper print of the artwork. The project is the brainchild of Dianne Brudnicki, an artist and teacher who lives in a small town in Washington, far from the center of the attacks. For over a decade Dianne has been inspiring local artists, students, and anyone willing to try their hand at designing and carving, to create linoleum block prints for families of people lost in the 9/11 attacks.   Each year she travels to New York to present the latest batch of prints to a new set of families. A fresh idea!

And the always appealing old standby, fresh-as-a-daisy:

I never tire of seeing daisies in a field.   More fresh entries in this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge are here.


…your making.  Jake’s Weekly Photo Challenge subject  is “Simplicity”.

The simplicity here isn’t necessarily in the form or content, but in the context. The context seems to be a story that weaves in and out of everyday settings at home and beyond. It’s a simple story that I invite you to narrate.













Shells probably from India; moon shells from East Coast beaches;  bed in a small cottage in Connecticut; cream pitcher made in 1998 and signed HP; boats in New York Harbor; curled skunk cabbage leaf at Mercer Slough, Bellevue, WA; aprons at Hains House, a Baking School and B&B in Olympia, WA;  Tateuchi Viewing Pavilion at Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue, WA; aloe leaf in the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle, WA; the flowers are Forget-me-nots.

More responses to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge are at:

Delicious Weekly Photo Challenge

Jake’s sunday post challenge for this week is “delicious“. Context can be key in creating deliciousness:

Who can resist? Pat Hains, of Hains House, outside Olympia, WA, is a baker par excellence. And she has love and warmth to spare. Staying at Hains House means dining outdoors on hearth baked pizza (that you helped make), waking up to a spectacular huge breakfast, and getting a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie send-off.

What rain? Food truck dumplings in Chelsea, NYC, taste even better in a downpour.

Turkish coffee – smooth, intense, and satisfying – especially when attended to with gentle precision and served with care.

Fresh picked herbs – delicious. Even more so when plucked from a kitchen garden scratched out of the earth on the grounds of the Buddha Ariyamett Aram Temple in rural Connecticut, and offered to a passerby (lucky me), roots and all.

Baranek Wielkanocny , a Polish Easter custom, here embodied in a little lamb made of butter. Made more delicious from the warmth of families sharing Easter dinner.

Cheetos aren’t usually my idea of delicious, but really, it all depends on context – the right time, the right place and so many other variables come into play to fire those delicious neurons on our brains.