Thursday, November 01, 2007


Various things I haven't mentioned: frost almost every morning, some mornings the windshield requires serious scraping.

An otter at the Sol Duc Cascades, a couple or three visits ago: it was such a surprise, I barely got a glimpse before he went behind a rock. I think it couldn't have been anything else, though I didn't know when I saw it to try to look closely at the tail, which would be diagnostic. This is my third small Olympic National Park mammal. Some weeks ago watched an Aplodontia, the 'mountain beaver' who is not a beaver, near Madison Creek Falls, about a two-minute walk from the Elwha River entrance station. Robert Michael Pyle calls them sewellels. God he was cute, with his itty bitty ears and small twitchy habits. And back when I was going out to Obstruction Point, there were Olympic marmots. The marmots are all asleep now on their alpine ridges, hard to credit on a sunny day like this, but that's what Tim McNulty says: "By October, when the meadow plants have died back, the marmots have safely sealed the entrances to their grass-lined hybernation burrows and snuggled in for another long nap."

New bad bookbuying habits: as I run out of mysteries to look forward to, or facing a few days when I can't get to the library, I read one of the paperbacks I bought at the Goodwill; and if it turns out to be satisfactory, order some of the author's other titles from ABE. Presently waiting for the third of Kate Ross's titles to turn up in my PO box. (It's already listed in 'Reading News' over there to the left. No, I don't change the list every time I pick up another mystery. For one thing, some of them are really not very good, and not worth the trouble of mentioning.) I'm conflicted about buying books, because donating them to the library here likely won't get them in the collection even if I think they need this author. Like mystery readers everywhere, I hate to think of good titles other mystery readers would want to borrow ending up in the book sale. I've considered saving them up and then mailing them to My Former Place of Work, but that would make my reading habit even more complicated to indulge. If I had any sense I would just settle in and read Tim McNulty straight through about four times over—instead of just dipping into it like a reference book—and let everything else go.

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