Chainsaw Art

I'm not sure if this was carved by the legendary Steve Backus, but it wouldn't be surprising. He was the inspiration behind Pemco's Northwest Profile #16:

Inside every piece of castoff driftwood is a floppy-hatted dwarf, orca, dragon, or even a mythic thunderbird yearning for freedom. Mr. Roadside Chainsaw Woodcarver, yank that cord and let 'er out.

A Raft of Ducks

I thought the collective nouns for birds were generally silly, until we spotted what is very much a raft of ducks. They're a dense collection of mallards, rowing in a consistent direction together on Lake Washington.

Frosty Hebe

This frosty bush is a Hebe, originally native to New Zealand or South America. I've been looking for something to fill in a few places in my front rockery, and I think this might do quite nicely.

Unhappy Haircut

This young boy was very displeased with his trip to the barber. Perhaps he wanted a mohawk? Perhaps he has nightmares of scissors? Hopefully he'll grow out of it.

Winter Peas

I've planted Austrian winter peas as a cover crop to improve the soil condition for planting next year. Most growers are trying to attract turkey or deer with winter crops like this, but my purpose is nitrogen fixation.

Rhizobia bacteria in the soil infect the pea root system, which supplies carbohydrates and oxygen. The pea (and whatever I plant in the spring) in turn benefits from the ammonia that the bacteria produces. The symbiotic relationship between the two leads the pea roots to invite infection by the bacteria.

Not Much Fall Left

This dogwood will soon lose its leaves, and winter will arrive. The colors of the leaves are fantastic, and the red stalks complement them nicely.

The twigs will keep this deep red through the winter, when very little else is colorful.

Delicious Pomegranate

Pomegranates are lovely - juicy and sweet, and with a fantastic flavor. Separating the kernels from their rind is tough going, and the sticky juice (that goes everywhere) stains badly.

But it's worth it. Yum!

Comparing Technologies

On the left: Nikon D40, 1/400s @ f/10, ISO 400, auto WB, no exposure bias, on a 50mm prime lens with a DX sensor.

On the right: Nikon FE, ~1/300s @ f/11, ISO 200 FujiColor film, no exposure bias, on a 35mm prime lens with a 35mm frame.

Top Pot on Film

It's been two years since I wrote about a visit to Top Pot Doughnuts. The colors and character of the image are quite different here on film.

The coffee remains excellent.

Carkeek Park Salmon

A beautiful chum salmon digs in gravel to spawn after coming up the Pipers Creek in Carkeek Park. Most are hatchery returns, as conditions in the park are imperfect for natural spawning.

Foggy Commute

Fog shrouds the western highrise of the SR520 floating bridge. Eastbound commuters slide into the fog and go to work.

Two story military housing that was built in 1938 has been converted to condo title at the edge of Madison Park to the right. It looks like a lovely community, if you excuse the freeway noise.


Contemporary with the founding of Dick's, Burgermaster started here near the University of Washington. It's a very different place, with a proper dining area and an extensive menu.

At their Aurora location, you can get true drive-in service. And I'd venture that the burgers and shakes are a bit tastier than at Dick's.

Snow Lake

Alpental Valley leads to Snow Lake, at 4020ft. Access is via a saddle at 4350ft or so. Chair Peak looms off to the right. It was spectacular, especially in sunny weather!

Alpental Valley

I may have exaggerated last weekend, which was not yet the last hike of the season. It's possible we cheated a bit, with a new pair of traction devices strapped to our boots.

This is the valley running northwards from the Alpental ski resort.

All Lower 48

Earlier this week, a Boeing 747-800 finished a 18h test flight that touched all 48 lower states. On closer examination, it may have missed West Virginia, but that could be just an artifact of the logged track rather than the actual route flown.

Foggy Jaywalker

Mornings of coastal fog make for a dangerous jaywalk across NE Pacific St. This fellow had the cheek to sip from his coffee as he crossed the median.

This was actually a boundary between clear air and dense fog in the distance. In November here, foggy mornings usually clear up well before noon.

Douglas Fir

This was once a Douglas Fir, but is now cut and seasoned firewood awaiting a cozy night by the fireplace. It burns cleanly and quickly.