March 2, 2016
February ended with the last ice disappearing from Spirit Lake, and
March began a bit like a lion with an inch of rain and strong winds,
chilling enough overnight to coat the trees with some fresh snow, which
is almost the last snow in sight... The lake is up to full
pool, and probably spilling over the two foot dam at the outlet.
One of the interesting things about Spirit Lake is that the outlet is
over gravel and the water that comes out of the lake for a couple
months in the Spring disappears with a mile or two into the aquifer.
I've made a new pottery ad called
The Meaning of Life. It's not really a pottery ad, more a
conceptual art piece. It took about 10 minutes to write the ad,
an hour to film it, and an hour or more to edit it with Windows Movie
Maker, which likes to crash regularly on my laptop.
Two new ads: The Evil Twin and a rocket scientist buys Sondahl Pottery.And here are the bloopers
Lately with the early departure of the snow pack I've seen two animals
that might have been overlooked, both in white fur.. Snowshoe
hares are fairly common here, but stand out now... Then
just a few minutes ago I saw a least weasel run across the railroad
grade in front of me. It was all white except a black tail tip,
and so small it had to be the "least." Does make me wonder what
triggers the color change, and whether species like these are imperiled
by global warming...
We got 1/3 inch of rain today, and I spotted the first buttercups in
our back yard. The chickens are scrabbling for worms. Looks
a lot like Spring...
The first Spring Beauty flowers are open on our west facing hill
today. We got another 0.8 inch of rain over the weekend, with
more expected tomorrow... The last piles of snow are still
draining away slowly, with night time lows below freezing...
After unloading a ton of clay, we went for a bike/walk on the new
Empire Trails, the first time we've ridden the whole 5+ miles...
There's a lot of uphill that we push our bikes, and gave Butters a
chance to catch his breath... The first grass widows were
blooming at Vista Point
The small creeks were full of freshets...
We're just back from a vacation to the Washington coast. Usually
we think Oregon coast with its sea stack rocks and tide pools, but the
area along the outer Olympic peninsula was unknown to us and thus
appealing... We planned our trip by the forecast for sunny skies,
but had to leave a day early for scheduling purposes so we drove across
recently snowy passes and through frequent showers to reach the sea at
Westport WA. The sea was still high from a windstorm that
swept the area the previous few days...
The Twin Harbor State Park we planned to stay at was closed from
flooding (and related sewer) issues. We had to drive through 4-6
inches of water to reach the beach there, but it was worth it.
The beach was strewn with sand dollars, which we couldn't resist
collecting by the shopping bag full (got over 200). We may
refinish a shower with them... I was curious enough to see if
they have any value beyond sentimental and found that they do sell on
Ebay for around $1 a piece, mostly as wedding decorations/favors...
So we went to Graylands State Park, a few miles south of Westport.
I saw these working the pools in the sand the morning after our
arrival. Graylands seemed to have a lot of pools between the
camping area and the actual sea, but that may have been a byproduct of
the biblical inundations they'd experienced there recently...
This was our campsite, with the picnic table partially in a pool that wouldn't normally exist there...
We went back to Westport, hoping to take a whale tour, but they'd been
canceled due to choppy seas... In the harbor were seals, otters, and
lots of sea birds which were foreign to us and hard to identify... This
is probably a rednecked grebe in winter plumage.
This is also a grebe but the reflected color of the boats made it an artistic shot...
The seals are aptly ensconced by their would-be annihilator (if
not federally protected--fisherman feel in competition with them for
salmon). I read that the nearby port at the mouth of the Columbia
is trying those annoying dancing tube stick figure fan blown
plastic ad deals to use as scarecrows to keep them from taking over the
We went back to get more sand dollars before leaving the area, and I
got several artsy photos making the flooded picnic area look like a
Japanese garden. The picnic table belies it a bit...
We decided to explore US 101 up the outer edge of the Olympic
peninsula, and stopped at Ruby Beach, which has as pretty sea stacks as
are found in Oregon....
As dusk set in we took a less traveled road toward Port Angeles, and
discovered this unmarked Beaver Creek Falls as darkness
approached. After experiencing frost while camping, and sleeping
in all our clothes to stay warm, for some reason we opted to stay in a
motel in Port Angeles the second evening...
We had a short visit to Dungeness Spit, the longest sandspit in the world and a wildlife refuge... I think this is a loon.
I'm sure this one is...
At the end of the 5 mile spit is this lighthouse, probably about 3
miles away as the crow flies, and on the beautiful blue sky day we
could see Mt. Baker looming behind it 76 miles away...
After that we visited our goddaughter giving a slide show as part of
Harbor Wildwatch, and enjoyed walks and food with two sets of relatives
in the Tacoma area, then drove home arriving at 3 am, making one glad
to be on vacation, and glad to be home.
Butters and I had to go no further than Spirit Lake for some beauty today:
We also found a small shed antler at the same time (I picked it up
first, though so he can have his old one, that he's chewing on
now)... The spring beauties, grass widows, and buttercups are all
in full bloom...
Books read and other media of note
by Terry Prachett Worth rereading, three years after I read it
initially. Adventures of a tosher in London in what is called
historical fantasy, clearly derivative of Joan Aiken, that excelled in
both stories about a tosher and historical fantasy...
Dead Center by David Rosenfelt. He has a tendency to name books
slightly misleadingly. From the protagonist's love of sports, one
would guess it was a basketball murder, but it was actually related to
Wisconsin, which is sort of dead center in the US, although Belle
Fourche SD claims that title...
Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett. A lovely coda to a literary
life based on a joke from the sixties about the world being held up by
four elephants standing on a great turtle. When asked what was
under the turtles, the answer was "It's turtles all the way
down..." I guess you'd have to be there...
Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt. A football player accused of
murder makes this title appropriate... A fine mix of fun and
Promise by Robert Crais . Crais started as an imitator of Robert
Parker's tough PI, but he's gone on to weave tougher suspense detective
plots than Parker settled for.
First Degree by David Rosenfelt. Another tightly plotted mystery, with a Carpenter instead of Perry Mason...
The Hollow by Agatha Christie. Similar to A Little Night Music, a weekend in the country turns tragic...
Rumo by Walter Moers. This is a rereading of the quest fantasy by
Walter Moers, who is compared with Douglas Adams and the Harry Potter
series on the cover but really is the super deluxe expanded edition of
The Princess Bride...