Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guys Waving Their Arms Around

...and other signs of potential action plainly visible on the West-Quileute webcam. Are they really going to raise the barge? (or is it the dredge?) (I have to go out, going to miss it...)

Saturday 5:02 PM (Click for larger image.)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Barge Retrieval

...appears to be in progress... (the Quileute--West cam:)

at 2:17 PM (Click for larger image.)

Hope they have chosen their moment deliberately. Going to be a minus tide -0.8 at 04:59PM.

3:12 PM. No change.

4:12 PM. Don't think anything is going to happen, other than the tide going out. Maybe that's not the barge, and whatever is going to happen is happening off stage right...

at 4:15 PM (Click for larger image.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Regarding the Wild Coast

One thing I had not told about yet was discovering that the river mouth at La Push was being dredged, and the sediment pumped out over the Rialto Jetty. When I drove around to First Beach the day of the big surf, February 14, you could see all the equipment, the pipes and floating platforms, though not the dredge that day (too much surf?). So I hunted down news articles, and by Saturday this weekend was at least prepared for the sight: on the Rialto side you could see the pipe pumping at the far end of the jetty. On the beach at Rialto there seemed to be fresh, unconsolidated unsorted sand and cobbles accumulating over the last couple of weeks (though perhaps it is also the normal cycle of beaches being shifted around by winter storms, changing their profile each winter, rebuilding each summer.)

Dredging operation, La Push (pumping over Rialto Jetty, February 20, 2010 (Click for larger image.)

Still, the dredging is something which apparently happens every few years and was grandfathered in since before the establishment of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

I decided to think of it mainly as returning the sediment to the beach, a process which has been obstructed since the construction of the jetties confined the river from its former freedom to flow north or south of James Island as it pleased, delivering sediment to Rialto or First Beach at different times. Not alien material, but the rock and sand brought down the Sol Duc River and the Bogachiel from the heart of the Olympic Mountains, delivered to the coast by the Quillayute... as so it is.

I decided not to think too much about the irony of the "Wild Coast" sign by the path from the parking lot at Rialto, my favorite sign in the whole world. I started intensively reading up on beach processes. E.g., "Gravel Barrier Morphology: Olympic National Park...", by Patrick J. MacKay and Thomas A. Terich, Journal of Coastal Research, v. 9, #4, Fall 1992. Lovely new vocabulary, 'beach nourishment', 'barrier stretching', 'storm surge overwashing', and so on.

But that was before the damn barge overturned in the river mouth this morning... Barge with dredge sinks near LaPush -- Peninsula Daily News ; Dredge aided but barge sinks near La Push KOMO News. <<-- that second one has a really depressing picture.

Some places are wilder than others, but no place is wild.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rialto, Rialto, and Second Beach

We got in enough walking time for M. on Sunday by going to two beaches, first back to Rialto and along to Hole in the Wall (where I had been the day before, doing the February survey for COASST); then drove around to the trailhead for Second Beach, hiked down and walked that one.

Talked the whole time. Spectacular weather. We were very Happy and Contented, and I am very sad she is leaving.

The tiny person in the Hole in the Wall picture is M. heading for the further beach. I started back at my ambly pace; that way when she caught up to me she had had a good leg stretcher along the beach, and we had time for our chapter 2.

Hole in the Wall, Rialto Beach, February 21. (Click for larger image.)

Second Beach is spectacular. Thankyou to the Kalebergs for reminding me to go there.

... (Click for larger image.)

There is a huge log jam at the foot of the trail. Getting onto the beach and off again is extremely fraught with whining and instability (for fat old me). I ended up crawling over logs where everyone else was stepping confidently, and strangers kept offering to help me. I want to be young again.

On an amazing sunny warm day in earliest spring (and in a National Park), you have to share. Many many people on the beaches, even the walk-in beaches like Second Beach. That's ok. Better that people know and love the beautiful places.

Footprints on Second Beach. (Click for larger image.)
At Hole in the Wall, February 21.
At Second Beach, February 21

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Close-Run Thing

I don't QUITE just natter on about daily stuff either on the blog or on Twitter, but nearly. If I did, it might go like this (redacted) email to a friend:
I am finding it surprisingly constraining to have only Saturday-Sunday 'off' unless I steal a day from the tribe. Every Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday to the college, Monday-Friday to the tribe. The weather is gorgeous, and I'd go to the beach or something today, but I haven't been to the tribe for a week because Monday was a holiday.

Anyway this weekend must go do my beached birds survey Saturday, and Sunday have a date with MP to go to Second Beach. Bye bye weekend. Then Monday to the tribe.

On formerly flexible schedule, I'd not have done those two things on adjacent days. Even when I was on contract at Elwha I pretty much ran my schedule to my own comfort, a four-on three-off week for starters, plus I'd simply announce not being there when I wanted to. (All the money I saved the tribe by not working the budgeted hours I'd turn around and spend on materials while we still had that lovely grant money to spend.)

That was far better than _having_ to go to the college when expected; and feeling in arrears at Elwha on the other days.

I took all my paper bits to my tax lady in Sequim Wednesday. She called to say she has to come to town for auto service, and will bring it by. I think she wants to see where I am living because her opinion as a financial professional is that I should BUY a house. (As a lifelong socialist and communard in my heart, despite the surprising way I have found myself living at this certain age, being a property owner is not in it.)(Who-o-o-o would imagine? That's the sound of Tuli Kupferberg. Or were the fugs before your time, or outside your culture zone?)

Well, must get going. I left my jacket and scarf at the college yesterday afternoon because it was so hot in the library and I was so grumpy about it that I just grabbed all my tote bags and fled, never thought about the jacket. Will need it this weekend, so must go fetch before heading to Elwha. Go east to go west.

My beached bird mentor, M-S, is moving to a different job at NOAA. I'm in mourning.

Thick frost on the car. If I weren't leaving early, the sun would reach the car and melt it before I have to set forth. Thank god thank god for longer days.

Particularly Blue Late Afternoon

Thursday. A bit after 5 PM. The sun is shining and the ferry is coursing merrily past the bottom of the street... Thank god thank god for longer days. (And I do love that ferry.)

Coho passing H Street (Click for larger image.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Up There, It Must Be Very Quiet

...since the road is still closed for repairs...

The Camera on Hurricane Ridge (Click for larger image.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Swan in Indian Valley

Swan on the beaver pond wasn't visible on Sunday because it had been stuck there and was rescued the weekend before... story in the Peninsula Daily News.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

High Tide, With Waves

As NOAA promised, the weather cleared up, and there was a 21-foot swell rolling in off the Northeast Pacific, riding on the high tide. It was still raining on the road west. No swans on that swampy bit in Indian Valley, but the posing bald eagle had moved down to a tree between the road and Lake Crescent, and didn't move a feather as I drove by. One other car along the lake, otherwise I had it to myself. There were a few mergansers paddling near the shore. In the parking lot at Rialto Beach, little birds in the trees; a duck flying wildly over the surf, and gulls.

It was grey, then broke up into sunshine.

Gray Glare Towards James Island, Rialto Beach, February 14, 2010. (Click for larger image.)
Glorious Sunshine, Tide Still Rising, February 14, 2010. (Click for larger image.)

More and more people came to watch the waves. We had to stay up at the top of the berm, or behind it. By the time the waves reached the beach they had already broken a time or two, and the whole surf zone was a wilderness of foam out of which you could see the bigger ones form up again, do that plunging-breaker number one last time. Now and again at full tide a wave would wash through the drift and just barely over the berm, chasing the watchers.

Watchers (Click for larger image.)

Twice a wave washed across a lower spot slightly to the north and briefly the surf ran in the woods behind us.

Surf in the Woods (Click for larger image.)

Lake Crescent, on the way home.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

High Surf Advisory

NOAA says I have to go to the beach tomorrow :-)

"Coastal Hazard Message
    ...large waves expected on the coast this weekend...
A deep low pressure system in the east central Pacific has
generated large 35 to 40 foot waves. While most of the energy
is directed toward the Queen Charlotte Islands...a portion of the
swell train...with heights between 20 and 22 feet...will move
onshore later tonight through Sunday. The swell will slowly
diminish Sunday night and Monday." (Click for larger image.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Practically a Sampler of Ducks

Late in the day I went out on Ediz Hook, hoping for ducks and a quiet time to read the journal article assigned for Wednesday night's community education class ("Our Coastal Issues"). There were several big ships in harbor, Alaskan Navigator, Seaservice... the embarassing truth is Ms. Shipwatcher here was not thinking about ships. I didn't write them down, only put the binoculars on two of them to get their names, didn't check the shiptracker websites (1, 2, 3) when I got home.

There were a couple dozen ducks around the small boat docks and under the Pilot Station, a roster of ducky superstars: surf scoters, harlequin ducks, Barrow's goldeneye, buffleheads, maybe a pair of lesser scaup, and some sort of grebe. Need better binoculars, and a better camera.

Pilot Station, with Seaservice in background. (Click for larger image.)

P.S. Coho is back from drydock, makes his first run this morning. It's chilly, nearly freezing out, but I have the window open, so I don't miss hearing the blast of his horn.

P.P.S. I did not hear the ferry. According to the shiptrackers he's well on his way. #disappointment

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Past Is Another Country

Far away for the weekend again, seeing people who were my life, in this case oh, 40 years ago, in the city that was home (as Santa Fe never was in all the 23 years). The last two days seem infinitely long, full of conversations and revelations (you did what then? and after that? I had no idea...); treks back and forth across parts of the city different from the ones we then inhabited; and strangely anachronistic experiences like dead car batteries on steep hilly streets.

Tomorrow I head home.

San Francisco. Downtown from Bernal Hill. (Click for larger image.)
San Francisco. 23rd and Dolores. (Click for larger image.)
San Francisco. 24th and Castro. (Click for larger image.)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Waited Too Long For a Ship to Appear

There were soft sunrise colors out over the Strait this morning, but they faded while I was waiting to catch a picture of a ship crossing the bottom of the street, with the sky beyond. No ships. Mount Baker was quite bright for a while, too tiny for my camera. Still, as most always, there is the water horizon, with the hills of another country in the background.

Early Morning, February 4, 2010. (Click for a more realistic contextual image.)

The sun shines more often on the Victoria waterfront over there. While we sit under our lid of clouds, the buildings 20 miles away gleam. Today for a while it was also shining brightly on the snowy mountains behind the bottom corner of Vancouver Island, on the distant tall Coast Ranges on the mainland peeking up behind the middleground. (See map of the line of sight from here-ish to there-ish.)

The truth is that since the 8th Street bridges re-opened a year ago, this apartment is on a very noisy street. The real cost of the wide expanse of windows, the light, and the Strait, is that often I have to tune out traffic. Given the amount of time I spend stopped on my way across the room, simply looking out the window—checking on the weather or the water or a huge passing freighter or Mount Baker 100 miles away— so far it's a bargain.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Epitaph for Santa Fe Poetry Broadside

Here is what I'm proposing we say formally, on our about page:

    Santa Fe Poetry Broadside : Poets of the Region and Beyond has published its final issue.
    The Broadside was edited by Miriam Sagan and Miriam Bobkoff, and was published from June, 1998, to September, 2009.
    We started fairly early in terms of literary magazines on the web; and now we think we are done. Eleven years is a respectably long run, whether we think of ourselves as a very-little magazine or a born-digital epublication. In that time 190 poets, artists and guest editors appeared on our pages, and we thank you all for working with us.
    From the start we did whatever we felt like. If the Broadside wants to publish again, it will. But for now, issue #59 is the final issue.

Here's what I want to say as myself:

On the whole, Mir S. was the one who knew the poets and lined up the issues, and I did the web work. I liked my identity as 'the poets' techie' and used to sign myself that way. There were a couple of times during those eleven years when one or the other of us had lost interest, but we never both lost interest at the same time. Until lately.

Mir S. has moved on. She has umpty publishing/editing venues going, including a lively Facebook life and a blog, Miriam's Well; oversees the community college literary magazine, Santa Fe Literary Review; collaborates with two other New Mexico poets in a small press, Tres Chicas Books; and oh yes, she keeps publishing books of her own work. I think she was ready for the Broadside to stop when I moved to Port Angeles, but I panicked. "No no it's part of my online identity! Who will I be if I can't say, '... and I co-edit a little online poetry magazine...' (And will you still love me if we aren't working together?)" But we both feel that now it's time for it to sail away.

One of our original purposes, beyond the fun of extending our friendship to a joint project, was to help our poets get into the online world. None of the six poets in our first issue were findable on the web in 1998, until we put them out there. And only one of the six had email and sent me their text electronically. All that has changed, and really the 190 writers and artists whom we published in those 11 years don't need us anymore to bump their internet profile.

One of us is a poet and one of us is a librarian, and we are not of one mind about what our long-term preservation responsibilities are. Conceptually, the Broadside was produced in issues and volumes. On the model of the print literary magazines, each current issue would be "on top" at the root address, just as if it had arrived this morning in your (actual) mailbox, and you could page through it, poem to poem.

But I always understood that the real Broadside was a web entity: everything we ever published, all at once. It is archived for digital preservation in LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe), but LOCKKS is a dark archive, not searchable on the web. So I think we need to leave that all-at-once entity online forever, or it doesn't exist anymore. Mir S. says we will leave it online for two years and then re-evaluate. To her, the bottom line is still print: the best of the poems will be republished in the course of each poet's career, we ourselves did a print anthology in 2005, and the rest can after all be allowed to be ephemeral. We'll see.

Grey Weather, Blue Weather

Sunday it rained very lightly for an hour or so when I got out on the beach, then slowly cleared up, and bits of blue appeared. Later the sun came out, and later still it got murky again. The tide seemed to stay high for a long time, which in fact Mr. Bascom (may his memory be ever-honored) explained in last night's reading: the wave of the tides is a sine curve.

There was a lot of foam, all clean and white. It was still rainy-ish at the height of the tide, and I somehow messed up all the pictures taken in the dimmer light before the sun came out.

Rialto Beach, January 31, 2010. (Click for larger image.)

Red alder log, buried in pebbles. (Click for larger image.)

Once again there were no birds anywhere out there, just none; no gulls, no corvids, no little flitty birds in the parking lot. What I thought was a duck out on the Quillayute River turned out to be a fishing float. There was however a large immobile eagle on a tree by Lake Crescent, looking more like an improbable sculpture than a real being; and a couple of swans in a wet area just off 101 east of Lake Sutherland. This is news. I've seen swans out in the Waatch meadows by Neah Bay, and across the Strait in Esquimalt Lagoon, and have been baffled why we don't see them like maybe in the harbor. This sighting brings them closer to town. Lovely rainbow close to where highway 110 meets US 101, which vanished utterly after I made the turn.

No elk. It occurs to me I have seen the west end elk herd once each in three different places. I continue to study the Prairies carefully each time I drive past them, in case there might be elk; but it might make more sense to look Everywhere Else.