Saturday, December 30, 2006

On Watch

Ever vigilant, Charlie watches over the frozen hillside. I was pleased to have a crisp, clear day as I planned to help a friend move. As often happens in the mornings, I wasn't putting together what I was seeing. See that ribbon of fog shining brightly in the valley? My friend lives out that direction. I spent the day in freezing fog, digging plants and moving bricks. Fog really is much prettier from above. Hopefully Charlie enjoyed the sun. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

White on White

The beauty never ends. I am, however, glad I'm on the ridge above the fog. It's much more beautiful from above than from inside.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dark Plume

Once again the beautiful sunrise compells me to share the images. Mt. St. Helens greeted the day with a huge dark plume.As the skies lightened, the plume was backlit and shone purple. The patterns of the clouds, the light limning the mountains, the plume rising apparently in slow motion all made for another magical morning.

Once the sun was up everything again became the still white and light blue of a winter's day, with no evidence of the mountain's morning exuberance.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

More December Skies

I can't help myself. When it isn't raining, snowing, or producing gale-force winds, the sunrises and occasional sunsets have been stunning. I'm filling up my blog with photos of the same piece of sky, but it has held my attention many mornings and a few evenings. I can't resist sharing these pictures.

This deep, firey red laced with gold is a December specialty.

These two are from Dec 8, when the clouds kept changing color and pattern.

More red, purple, and vibrant gold.

The two above are from the 16th. The sun is like living energy, barely contained by earth and clouds.

The beginning of sunset. The fog in the valley turned purple and then blue. And when I turned to the west...

Mount Rainier was glowing white and then pink against a rose and lavendar sky.


Events of the past week have shown there is indeed a weather Replay button. The one for "Northwest Wind and Rain" got stuck on for a few days.

The Northern Pacific coast of America was hit by a fierce storm that brought up to 100 mph winds and driving rain. It is reported that around a million people were without power Thursday night. I was one of them. My power went out Thursday at 5:00 PM and came back on Saturday around 8:30 PM.

I learned that I'm not as well prepared for emergencies as I should be. I have a well, so no power = no running water. The impressive amounts of rain filled the outside animals' water containers, and lots of buckets that I also used for water. No water for washing, flushing, or watering my inside birds though. And, of course, after a storm that put a million people out of power is not the time for buying water, lanterns, or any other emergency supplies.

It was cold, dark, and lonely without my computer or phones. I'm very glad to have power back, although I'm not thrilled with just how dependent on it I am. The land line phone was out much of the time, and my cell phone still doesn't work.

I will get better prepared for future emergencies, especially stockpiling more water, and setting my generator up to run lights and maybe some heat. It's so easy to put things off, to become complacent. There were trees and power lines down over the roads. While the roads were cleared quickly, that might not always be the case. Living remotely I need to be better prepared for survival without support.

Now lets see if we can disable that Storm Replay button...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sound and Fury

I open the door to sound, as the winds that recently brushed Hawai'i's shores rush past. Air moving past air makes a deep roar. When it gets caught up in fir trees they break it into flowing waves of sound, the string section, violins and cellos coming to mind. The bare limbs of hardwoods emit the higher tone of woodwinds and flutes, accented by rattling branches. The aerial symphony changes in volume and tone as I move up and down the hill, feeding birds and sheep.

I stand at the top of the hill, arms out, feeling the wind under my wings, wanting to join the ravens playing in the updrafts. The air down here is moving much faster than that pushing the clouds above. Perhaps that is what causes the roaring.

It is warm for a Washington winter day. The wind feels good against my body, but I can't fly off, I'm working from home today. I come inside and sit at the computer and notice that the wind has stilled, and the sound of rain on the roof fills the room. A tropical rainstorm visits briefly, and then moves on.

I think of my friends in Hawai'i, the daily rains watering their gardens, picturing the orchids, the pumice soil, feeling the heady humidity. I've been sent a non-electronic Christmas card, a morning greeting from the warm pacific isles. I wonder if there is a replay button.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Morning Magic

I was listening to a very depressing story about global warming on NPR this morning when I noticed a strange quality to the light. The next room was bathed in orange light that was pouring in through the windows. I grabbed the camera and went out on the porch, to stand under a stunningly red-orange sky. For a short while the human world went away and the natural world once again overwhelmed me. Slowly the responsibilities and realities of my everyday life settled back around me; I would be late to work again. A small price to pay for another magical morning.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Gift of Gold

December has begun with rainless glory. After a month of constant rain and cloud we are having some very lovely days. This morning the sun formed a positive image of Mt St Helens, drenching the sky in golden light.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Moon Over Mount Rainier

After the wettest month on record it is a delight to see blue skies, full moons and mountains.

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