Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

Summer Nights

I’ve neglected this blog the past few weeks. I’ve been busy with major household projects and boosting the local economy with my plant purchases. 😦

My brother Tom and I tend to talk on the phone in the evenings and compare dusks. He’s in Ojai, CA. Up here at the 45th parallel, dusk is a prolonged affair.

I attempted to take timed photographs to illustrate the point. Of course this is very haphazard … exposure times varied, etc. I tried to pick photos with the least distortion.

At 8:15PM there is still lots of bright light on the trees and higher ground/objects.

At 9PM the sky is still quite light and there’s lots of visible color.

By 10PM it’s a very dark dusk … with some western light still visible in the sky.


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It’s raining!

This is the first time in the two years I’ve lived here that it has rained nearly non-stop, during the day …  real rain … like, heavy raindrops … for over a week. There are pools of water everywhere!

This image off my back porch illustrates why I’m hiring “drainage experts” to pull the water away from my home. Tsk! Tsk! Home was built in 1989 … apparently before drainage regulations were in place.

I’d been babying little tomatoes I bought in 4″ pots and stair-stepped up to 1 and then 5 gallon pots. I took them off the porch just before the deluge started. Chances are they’re “shocked” past redemption by now.

Irises on the other hand, are like ducks. They’re perfectly happy in the rain!

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Yes, it’s been darn cold at night – in the low 20’s. The air’s been so dry that there’s barely any hoarfrost on the ground. But my birdbath had a solid sheet of ice on it.

With the clear skies there’s been lots of sunshine. I feel as if my fellow citizens and I are drunk on light! The neighborhood is abuzz with outdoor activity. I thought I’d take a few shots of the trees while they were still bare.

Here’s my Chinese Elm — always reminds me of a dancer.

With this El Nino winter, the cherry tree is studded with buds.

The little daffodils I bought last weekend are charming in the morning light.

I’ve been out gardening the last few afternoons. American Goldfinch have returned. Tonight I even saw a Townsend’s Warbler — stunning! (here’s a web photo)

Birds don’t lie. Spring’s a coming!

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Poem for Winter

I grew up in southern California where “winter” was barely more than a hiccup in the balmy clime. Pacific NW winters — though relatively mild — offer more seasonal punctuation than California. Here’s my 2010 tribute to winter … (alas, sans photo)


In this quiet
Womb of winter
The sky and earth embrace.

Damp folds of white and gray
Accumulate and spill
In dank fecundity.

Pressed low upon the earth
Clouds kiss the weeping bough
And quench the open ground.

Nude limbs belie the coursing life
Toward the swelling bud,
While ‘neath the sodden earth
Life nudges darkly upward still
Embryos of daffodil.

In this hush of winter
Under deep obscuring skies
And silhouetted limb
I sense a great becoming
Tremulous and sure
Of things to be another time
But growing now

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Here in the outskirts of Vancouver, we don’t get street sweeping service. In the summer weeds choke the gutters and down spouts. In winter, well you can see for yourself.

As lovely as the leaves are … (sorry no pix of the weeds)

… they get blown and washed into the lowest places. This downspout is thoroughly choked. In the summer I go out with Roundup and my battery powered weed-whacker and clear the gutter and downspouts on my block. (If for looks alone.)

Another puzzlement is the purposeful covering up of downspouts with heavy construction clothe (?). There’s a newer housing development nearby and all the downspouts are heavily covered up — perhaps to keep construction debris out. ???

I came across several ‘ponds’ on my walk.

You’d think that here in the Pacific NW the sewer system could handle rain! I grew up in Los Angeles where as a kid I played in the flooded streets that resulted from inadequate storm drainage. I liberated one pond, but I sure don’t understand what’s going on.

PS — you might note that I was out walking on what was deemed a rainy day. It’s been my experience that 1) it rains mostly at night and 2) rain comes in bursts. It’s a rare day that I don’t experience bouts of blue skis and/or long periods of workable outdoor time.

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It’s that time of year again. It’s dark by 6PM. Here’s the sky just after 5PM.

I drove around trying to catch some of the Halloween decorations. One house turned off their lights just as I drove up (at 10PM on Halloween). Oh well.

I was able to catch this house still “haunting”.

This house left up their “tombstones” but deflated the giant, illuminated pumpkins.

This fall is a lot wetter than last year. I tried to catch the raindrops on the cobwebs along my entry way. It’s tricky business trying to catch the light and still get a background with contrast.


The symetry and regularity is amazing! It does make you wonder.

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This part of the country is all about trees. And this time of year is all about leaves. The fall color display is our terrestrial northern lights.

I like the odd places single leaves land.

And the contrasts in shape and color this creates.

I came across these trailing leaves against a wall on a walk.

What says “fall” more than a gutter full of maple leaves? They’d make a good computer background.

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