Thursday, October 30, 2008

Feeling the Darkness Approaching

Never mind today's numbers (well, ok, mind: sunrise 7:57 AM, sunset 5:57 PM),

or what happens on Sunday when the time changes (sunrise 7:01 AM, sunset 4:53 PM)(don't let the time change fool you into not noticing the absolute loss of 8 minutes of daylight in three days).

What seems to matter, and I've been running this calculation in my head since maybe August, over and over, is how long before the days are again at least as long as they are right now. And the answer at the moment is that on February 10, 2009, the days will again be the same length they are today. Three long dark months and a bit from now.

Sunrise yesterday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Did Went West Over the Weekend,

(thank you for asking, J.B.) Went first up the Sol Duc River, to see if somehow there were still salmon jumping at the Cascade. No. Much less water flow in the river than when they were jumping before I went to Colorado. Some fish cruising around in the pool below, but nobody jumping. Is it over? Or are they waiting for higher water flow?

The sun crosses much lower in the sky, even at midday the forest at the Cascade has that low-angle-sunshine glow. It made the crimson of the vine maples almost surreal, but I couldn't get a good picture.

The forest at the Cascade

Out at Rialto, the waves came in the way they do.

Rialto Beach. Click for larger image.

Coming home, stopped just behind the beach at the pullout over the Quileute River, to look for ducks and seals and eagles and whatever. I always look for seals because I saw once saw one there. No seals, nor ducks.

Quileute River. Click for larger image.

Sat and read for a while, and heard eagles cry. (They have little voices.) I looked up to see three of them way way up, circling over the river. Too far for a good image.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Olas en el Mar del Nubes

Oh my. This is simply beautiful, Olas en el Mar de Nubes (Waves in the Sea of Clouds)... Filmed on La Palma by meteorologist Fernando Bullón Miró. Offered at, where it says (in Spanish) that the imagery may be used for noncommerical or educational purposes...

Thanks to Our Descent Into Madness for finding this...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Zowie Webcam

Olympic Region Clean Air Agency has a webcam pointing up toward Hurricane Ridge across the houses of town. (Actually, I think Klahane Ridge and Mount Angeles, but why quibble.) A lot of nice leaf color in the foreground at the moment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Going Into A Wild Field, Not Choosing

Crestone Mountain Zen Center, October 9-14, 2008.

Looking Up at the Mountain, Very Light Snow
Teisho Drum
After Morning Service
Morning Light in the Kannon-Do

Thursday, October 09, 2008

En Route

Travelling remote to remote: from PA to anywhere is a production. From there to somewhere hard to get to is an epic... Boulder at the moment, headed to Crestone.

The salmon are jumping, and I'm not there.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

River Mile 59

As far west as I got this weekend was Salmon Cascades on the Sol Duc. It's been raining, I thought, and maybe the salmon have come up the river?? Oh yes. Some jumping yesterday, and it rained all day while I was out there. Today lots lots more water, and lots more salmon. Some of them were really big.

Before the river flow picked up on Saturday and before other people were around, I was standing in a spot where I could actually hear the splat-plop when a fish bounced off the cascade he was trying to penetrate and fell back down onto the water surface. Maybe I saw one make it: he got his front end stuck in and was swimming like mad up through the downpouring water, but almost immediately was out of sight on the other side of a boulder, so I couldn't see if he got washed back down or got through. Sunday, vast lots of water pouring down. Still, occasionally you could hear over the roaring cascade the flitter-flitter-flitter as a 30-inch fish's fins and tail swam like crazy as it landed in the flow. Sometimes one with good jumping power but bad aim would end up in a little deadend pothole on the other side. You'd see it nosing around and thinking about what to do. Then after a while slither itself over the edge and back down into the river to try again.

They spawn a couple of miles further up, between RM 61 and RM 63. So every year some strong clever fish must make it. Go, fishes, go.

Coho salmon slithering out of a dead end to try again.
Top of Salmon Cascades. Vine maples in the background. Click for larger image.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

High Surf Advisory

The radio says, "High surf advisory for the Washington coast."

Need a complete new plan for the day. West. I must head west. Now.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Cyrillic Ship

The end of the story at the beginning: I called the Pilot Station just now and persevered with the guy on the phone until he was willing to look at his records and yes, the bright orange ship with the Cyrillic lettering that I saw in the harbor on September 16th was Russian: it was the "Bereg Mechty". She's a refrigerated fish carrier built in 1982. Good picture of her at She might be for sale, if I understand this market report. She was detained in Seattle in December 2007 for safety issues: "2. PORT STATE CONTROL (Recent Detentions) M/V BEREG MECHTY (Russia) detained at Seattle. DEFECTS: Auxiliary steering gear pump#2 does not have adequate strength to sufficiently steer ship or be brought into speedily action in case of emergency causing undue risk to crew. Stbd lifeboat engine not ready for use after given 30 mins."

Bereg Mechty in Port Angeles harbor, but lettering too small to show to anyone who knows Russian...

The day before yesterday there were two big ships at the Marine Terminal dock down at the harbor. I love the way the tankers tower when they're docked to the west of downtown, taller than any building we have; but because of patchy fog on the water, I had to go right out to the dock to get a picture. While I was taking my snap of the Lawrence H. Gianella and Polar Discovery,

Lawrence H. Gianella and Polar Discovery

I spotted the building that houses the Port of Port Angeles Marine Terminal/Security office, and decided to come back and ask them about the cyrillic ship. Today the fog was thick right down to the water. I bounded up the steps with my question, but the gentleman had no idea, I guess he only knows about what comes to the terminal. He suggested calling the Pilots, who would have brought it into the harbor. Finally, an answer: Bereg Mechty.

Polar Discovery, fog

I should go down there more often. Even when you can't see anything it cheers me up.

P.S. I can't believe I had the Gianella right there at the dock in front of me and didn't know to look at its Antarctic adaptations. The name was vaguely familiar, but I assumed that was because it had been around the harbor on some previous occasion. No. It's 'cause I used to obsessively read about Antarctica, and the Gianella is often in the story of the annual arrival of the ships at McMurdo (1) (2)(3)(4).