The text and paintings on The Trowbridge Chronicles are taken from the illustrated journal of Violet Trowbridge, a shrew that once lived in a village deep in the Olympic Rain Forest. Each new post will represent a portion of Mrs. Trowbridge’s journal.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Most of the Trowbridge family reunions were held at Violet's brother's cottage in Huckleberry Hollow. His name was Thaddeus. She often spoke fondly of him in her writings. Thaddeus' nest went deep underground, allowing plenty of room for fun and revelry, and making his nest ideal for large family gatherings.

The flowers in the window box of Mrs. Trowbridge's painting (above) are the Western Bog-laurel (Kalmia microphylla). The yellow flower in the clay pot is the Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa), a member of the rose family. Finally, the Nootka Rose (Rosa Nutkana), pictured above. We've encountered this lovely flower often in open areas of the forest on our way to the high meadows.

The hips or seed pods of the Nootka Rose are edible but a little bitter. They are said to be delicious after being frozen and thawed, which seems to destroy most of the bitterness. Many of you may have enjoyed rose hip tea. Mrs. T was immovable in her fondness for rose hip was her favorite drink on cold winter mornings.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Mrs. Trowbridge had a special love for the lush rain forest world that surrounded her, near the village of Huckleberry Hollow where she lived so long ago. She loved drawing and painting her tiny world, and writing about her busy life in Huckleberry Hollow. On warm summer afternoons she would watch the wind blow through the high meadows, causing the wild flowers to sway to a breezy rhythm. On clear summer nights she loved staring up into the black night sky, star gazing with her family.

She also loved sunrises and sunsets. She painted the above sunrise scene while sitting in a steep mountainside meadow. This scene reminds me of our long trek down the steep mountain meadow from Grand Pass to Cameron Creek on our cross-Olympic mountain trek.

I noticed that Mrs. T included in her painting the familiar flower that we have seen so many times in the alpine meadows, the bistort. These little white puffs dot the high meadowlands by the thousands. Those who know the plant know its nickname: the "dirty sock", because its pungent order resembles a ripe gym sock.