Brad's Blog
New  photo by Forrest Stonedahl 2021
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September 19th
Usually September is a month to slow down, harvest the tomatoes after fending off frost a couple times...  That has happened except for the slowing down part.
I got in a performance of  music with Old Plank Road at my local library a couple weeks ago.   Then last week we combined a trip to a new pottery supplier in Tacoma with a trip to Rainier National Park.  The National Parks are mostly suffering from overuse, but by this time in September there was ample camping spots available even with half of the campground getting repaved...
The trip started by going down to US 12, and taking it west across Washington.  Near Clarkston the hills were desert dry, and the Snake river still behind a dam:


Our first view of Mt. Rainier was about 30 miles outside the park.  It proved to be the only view without a clouded top, but since it was backlit looks a bit dark:



In the park were interesting walks to waterfalls, with this deep ravine showing how high the water sometimes comes, depositing trees high above the blue water...



This snapshot as we drove shows the fall colors and some of the volcanic spires along the way to Paradise...


Here's the view of Rainier from Reflection Lake (too breezy for a reflection)


This view shows a dark gray clot of glacier covered with overburden with a small stream pouring down the middle of the characteristic U shaped valley.    (Also a couple of tourist heads)


About a mile away on the glacier we spotted this ice cave...


Finally back home I spotted a coyote crossing a field on our way up to church.  The lighting was poor, but it's the best coyote photo I've gotten...

Sept. 26
We finally made a trip this week to see Upper Priest Falls, also known as American Falls.   We'd hiked a couple miles up the 7 mile trail to it last year, and drove to the end of the road, where a shorter 2.5 mile trail started to the falls.  The shorter trip was down 1000 feet in elevation, meaning you have to climb 1000' to get back to the car.  The 10 switchbacks made it a slow but tolerable climb.  We had a perfect fall day for it, and the rains the week before brought out the "flowers of fall"--mushrooms in all their various glories...


With a record drought this summer the falls was not overwhelming, but pleasant.  My son went for a short swim in the pool (air temps below 70 degrees that day).


We had the whole hike and waterfalls to ourselves, our own private Idaho...

Actually this dipper bird, or ouzel, joined us.  The aquatic bird is equally at home on the rocks by rapids or diving in them.   Usually when I see them they are in dark valleys, but the lighting was excellent.  The above photo catches the wild rapids they forage in.

This photo is the best I've gotten of the bird itself...


books read
The Inspector Graham mysteries.  A fine set of English detective mysteries with a bit of warm human touch and clever denouements...  Available on Amazon Prime.
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