Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Strait, River, Mountains. Sand.

Strait of Juan de Fuca under a very windy sky. Monday, I drove out Place Road and walked along the dyke path to where the Elwha River enters the Strait. High tide washing across the new sandy flats (1) and into the river. This all used to be a cobble wilderness, no sediment at all escaped the dams for a hundred years. But the dams are gone.

New Land in the Nearshore (Click for larger image.)

A baffling array of ripples of fibrous debris, well back from the edge of the Strait. Olympic Mountains to the south, whence the river flows.

... (Click for larger image.)

The windchill was fierce. A sunshower blew in for a moment. Sand. There was sand everywhere, burying the cobbles. Sand everywhere. I just couldn't believe it.

Strait on left, River to the right. (Click for larger image.)

Mute your sound before you watch these videos. All you can hear is the wind blowing across the camera.

Elwha River Meets the Salt, February 25, 2013
High tide, the whitecaps washing over the new sandflats, February 25, 2013.

Maybe I'll go back on Friday afternoon. The tide will be lower.

Interlude for Travel Geeks

A look-about on the plane hints that tablets are taking over. Three iPads in my row on the first flight home. Tablets in sight everywhere, in the terminals and in the air. And Southwest seems to have wifi on all flights now. It costs $$, but the Flight Tracker is free and I love it madly.

Waving to my niece in Bradenton (Click for larger image.)
Five states map, over Kansas: Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico (Click for larger image.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

February Ibis Walks Away

Even though I'm not in Florida any more, came home on Saturday, here's another ibis. Also taken from mom's sliding glass door. Well actually, I dart out and stalk them. Him. I'm guessing it's the same bird, though that represents an assumption that ibis have some kind of site loyalty, which of course we don't know AT ALL, nor where they sleep at night, or basically anything else about them...

Late update: I love them because they show, as EW says below in the comments, "the combination of elegance and goofiness is so obviously possible." Though in fact I'm a bit old for either quality...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Florida Does Ibises

Away in Florida doing family stuff. Not much to look at, really. Everything not plastic is paved in inhabited Florida. But there are ibises hanging around the lawns and median strips, perching on the light standards... These are photos from last month. January ibises, not February ibises.

Ibises Leaving a Parking Lot (Click for larger image.)

There is no place wild, yes I know that. Humans have amended and affected everywhere, the air the ocean the swamps and deserts and forests. But I rejected this particular way of tailoring the earth 48 years ago, moved to the west and never moved back. Tho here I am for the moment.

Ibis By Momma's Window (Click for larger image.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Top Dead Center

By the time I made it to the Outer Coast on Sunday, the especially-high tide was at its highest. There was no beach. I sat at the top of the drift behind the first couple of logs, and watched the highest waves sploosh right over the foreground. Whee. In a 9.8' tide, the ocean is at eye level as you sit on the crest of the backshore drift, but since there wasn't much of a swell, those highest waves never washed across or under the logs to flow down into the Rialto picnic area.

I was reading, not always paying attention, so I stayed well back; only once thought, 'maybe I better grab my stuff and retreat...' Never succeeded in catching one of those sploosh events in the camera.

No eagles anywhere along the way. A fabulous red-tail hawk flying low across the highway in front of the car, showing his tail so I'd be sure to know who he was. No elk.

Rialto Beach, February 10, 2013. Variable light. (Click for larger image.)
Soundscape for Cee

Pretty soon, I'll have to start going to First Beach instead of Rialto, in hopes of seeing the gray whale migration passing by. Thank you, Olympic National Park.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Where Water Comes Together With Other Water

Here is Tom Roorda's January 16, 2013, photo of sediment outflow at the mouth of the Elwha River. Thankyou to Mr. Roorda for permission to show it here. The nearshore is being remade all along our part of the Strait as the river brings down the vast quantities of sediment released by removal of the two dams.

The mouth of the Elwha River on January 16, 2013. Photo by Tom Roorda. (Click for larger image.)

I keep meaning to get out there on my own two feet and take a photo from the spot where I have brought so many visitors, the end point of the 'Freeing the Elwha Tour'. But weather and the distractions of life have been against me. It makes more visual sense from the air anyway.

PS You probably already know that the title of this post is borrowed from a Raymond Carver poem. (Here's the text. Lots of people have put it on the web. Thx to Justin Moore for this version.)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Portland Again Again

Two days devoted entirely to modes of transportation, with an interlude in the arms of Big Medicine.

Flew south in cloudy overcast foggy sorts of weather: from Port Angeles on Kenmore Air's Piper Chieftain to Boeing Field in Seattle,

In the Piper Chieftain, February 3, 2013 (Click for larger image.)

van to Seatac, Alaska Air to Portland,

Best view ever of Mount Saint Helens, from the Alaska Air flight; always sit on the Cascades side of the plane, just in case. February 3, 2013 (Click for larger image.)

light rail (MAX) to the motel. Streetcar to Powell's.

The Mother Church for book people, Powell's City of Books (Click for larger image.)

In the morning, streetcar to OHSU

Portland Streetcar N-S Line at sunrise, February 4, 2013 (Click for larger image.)

to be examined by my clinical trial doctor (I'm still a science project), at the Center for Health and Healing—airy name notwithstanding, a 13-story building full of suffering people (and that's all I'm going to say about that). After the appointment, streetcar to the light rail station at City Center,

MAX signage always tells you when the next two trains will arrive (Click for larger image.)

lightrail to Portland-Hillsboro general aviation airport. Hillsboro Aviation's FBO is a 10-minute walk from the MAX station. I just cheerily rolled my roller-bag up the sidewalk and was there.

Waiting at Hillsboro (Click for larger image.)

AngelFlight home to Port Angeles through murky skies on a Cessna T182T Skylane. Not good camera conditions, but I clicked the shutter all the way, just to keep paying attention.

The mouth of the Columbia River, out to the west (Click for larger image.)

Approaching Port Angeles, we had to descend through the overcast below us,

Descending into the cloud, the Olympics disappearing (Click for larger image.)

sliding slowly downward buried in the cloud; then once under the ceiling, looped out to approach the runway from the west. Got a good view of the Lower Elwha Klallam Reservation which is so familiar to me from the ground, and an oblique glimpse of mouth of the Elwha at the edge of the rez, already much reshaped by the sediment coming down the river from the dam sites.

Elwha. No point in artificially straightening the view, the plane was tilting :-). The river mouth on February 4, 2013 (Click for larger image.)

Thankyou to my pilot Hunter Handsfield, and to AngelFlight, for getting me delivered to the airport practically on my own doorstep with such wonderful ease.

Arrived in Port Angeles, February 4, 2013 (Click for larger image.)