Our Life in the Pacific Northwest

Archive for the tag “Pacific Northwest”

Getting Prepared

Having grown up in California, I’ve been in a few earthquakes. Fortunately, I missed the 1994 Northridge quake that devastated the town I grew up in. My friends and family described it as catastrophic and something they will never forget. That quake was a 6.7 magnitude and considered a moderate earthquake even though it caused major damage. Sections of major freeways collapsed, parking structures and office buildings collapsed, and many apartment buildings suffered irreparable damage. I watched the news for days and saw emergency workers at the Northridge mall, the place I hung out with every day with my friends, trying to rescue people stuck under the rubble. It was heartbreaking to watch the place I grew up in a state of disaster.  The home I grew up in was red tagged (considered unsafe to enter). As a result, we have always tried to be “prepared”.

(Left) Northridge Mall   (Right) My favorite record store when I was a teenager

They’ve been talking about the “big one” for years now. I am referring to the subduction zone earthquake that we are overdue for in the Pacific Northwest. People have been inundated with warnings, scary scenarios and what some would call “over exaggerations” of the impending devastation. Even so, the residents of the Pacific Northwest do need to take notice and plan for the worst.

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Our hidden volcano threat.

Today is the 35th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980. I grew up in California so I missed experiencing it in person and remember watching it on tv wondering if the ash could reach California.  I also recall in 6th grade someone bringing a vial full of ash from Mount St. Helens. I remember thinking that it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I instantly became fascinated with volcanoes and mountains of the world which may have also created  my crazy geography fascination. Anyway that concludes my 10 year old recollection of the eruption of Mount St Helens.

On May 18th 1980 Mount St Helens erupted killing 57 people. Naturally the news media is widely covering the anniversary which lead me to an interesting article about a subject I have heard about before but never really paid much attention to.   Did you know that there is an active volcano in Snohomish County called Glacier Peak? 

bilde - Copy

 (King 5 News image)

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The Little Free Library

 My Little Free Library

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  Every morning as I walk my son to the bus stop we check our little free library and everyday there’s a new book or two and some are gone. This is a great feeling! We’ve had our little free library for about two months now and it’s so exciting to see it being used as much as it is. My neighbor said she has seen cars drive up with kids exchanging books. I love that a little box full of books is reaching so many people!

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Sea Star Wasting Disease

Pacific Coast

Anyone who knows me knows that I have always been fascinated by low tides and tide pools. For years I  dragged my kids and whoever would go with me to low tide, especially the extreme low tides that occur 3 or 4 times a year. I’ve taken hundreds of photos of starfish in the last  7 years and the sun starfish has always been my favorite. I have a particular location in Edmonds that I go to where there has always been tons and tons of starfish during extreme low tides. For more info on that spot click here. A photo I had taken at this particular beach of a crawling sun starfish won an honorable mention in the Seattle Times Photos of the year.  (Pictured below)

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New Dungeness Lighthouse

New Dungeness Lighthouse
Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
Sequim Washington

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New Dungeness Lighthouse is located on Dungeness Spit on the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge in the town of Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula. To get to the lighthouse you must hike 5 miles on a natural sand spit.  A “Spit” is  a narrow point of land extending into a body of water. The hike is long but worth it. You definitely need to time your hike according to the tides. During low tide there is enough sand to walk comfortably. At high tide you’ll be walking on logs and rocks and it will take you much longer. Check out my Dungeness Spit Hike post for more info.

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George and Martha: Lake Steven’s Resident Eagles

George and Martha
Lake Stevens, Washington
August 19th, 2012

Last month I was deeply saddened when I found out that one of our Lake Stevens resident eagles, affectionately known as George and Martha, was killed by a lightning strike in a 125ft tree near the lake.  The news reports had said that a bald eagle was found in the rubble of a tree that was struck by lightning at about 9am July 13th and that a juvenile eagle was spotted in a tree close by.  They believe that the juvenile was the offspring of the adult eagle which made the news even more heartbreaking.

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Northwest Folklife Festival 2011

  

Folklife Festival 2011

Seattle Center


 

I went to Folklife this year with my 19 year old daughter.  The weather was perfect and we had a really great time enjoying the music and the people. People watching is one of my favorite activities and there were all kinds at Folklife this year. Some very talented ones, and some in need of a good bath. 🙂

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Downtown Seattle Wa.

Seattle Washington

Spring 2011 

Slow exposure photography taken from the Jose Rizal Bridge in south Seattle near I9o.

 I have wanted to try this for a long time after reading up on this particular bridge

 which is well known for slow exposure Seattle shots. When I arrived there were

3 other photographers alreadyset up with their tripods and cameras.

I had to find a spot where I wouldn’t be in someoneelse’s shot. When they

had all left I was able to get this shot of the rail which I felt added depth to the photo.

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Back to Picture Lake

Picture Lake/Heather Meadows

Mt Shuksan/Mt Baker.

Mt Baker Snoqulamie National Forest

 

I visited Picture Lake a while back with a friend and was hoping to get a perfect shot of Mount Shuksan reflecting in the lake. Picture Lake is rightfully titled since it is positioned in front of the mountain offering a perfect reflection if the day and moment is just right.   Even a slight breeze would ruin the perfect reflection shot I was after. I also wanted to go when the fall colors were out, so in October I ventured back and tried again. Unfortunately the fall colors weren’t as rich as I had hoped, but the day was perfect otherwise. We stayed until the sun went down and I’ve heard that the evening is the best time for the wind to be calm. The moon was coming up over the mountain too which was an added bonus. The photo above was the result of a perfect, windless evening at Picture Lake.

 If you are looking for information about Picture Lake or Heather Meadows you should go to my other blog post. I have included many photos of the area as well. Picture Lake Path/Heather Meadows

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Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse 12/21/2010

12-21-2010

Time lapse video of Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse on December 21, 2010

Unfortunately, since we live in the Pacific Northwest we were only given a 20% chance of being able to see the eclipse. I am an optimist by nature, so I remained hopeful. When the clouds parted last night and it looked like we were going to get our chance, I was delighted and almost giddy. This was the first time in 500 years that a lunar eclipse would accompany the Winter Solstice. (Winter Solstice is when the North Pole and the Northern Hemisphere are tilted farthest from the sun).  This day also officially marks the beginning of winter and thus has the longest night of the year.

So I gathered my stuff and ran outside to set up. Within a few minutes I had my camera perfectly angled on the tripod and my remote in hand. As I was setting my settings I looked up and those pesky clouds started moving in on my moon! My eternal optmism kept me from packing up as I stood there almost shivering. I waited…and waited…and waited. It wasn’t until a few light sprinkles forced me to give up and retreat inside the house. Facebook called out to me and I announced my defeat. I then found myself chatting and texting with friends as we all kept checking to see if the clouds were clearing. A friend in Reno Nevada had clear skies and described what she saw. I was jealous. We won’t be seeing another Lunar Eclipse untl April 15, 2014.

I love the Pacific Northwest, really I do.

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