Winter Diary

Before they get buried in the archives, here is a selection of “scenes seen” in the last few months.

1. Working boats at a marina in Anacortes with steam in the background from a refinery across the bay. The colors have been modified to add a little more drama.

2. Seen in a vacant lot outside a lumber business, in the small town of Edison, WA.

3. Sand patterns at Cape Perpetua, Orgeon

4. Winter fog, same location as #2. Edison has a population of perhaps a few hundred people and a four-block downtown. On that street are a couple of art galleries, a bakery, and a few restaurants, each of which achieves the kind of quality you’d expect in a city fifty times the size of Edison. And they all need electricity.

5. Another telephone pole, by the Olson Building in Anacortes.

6. Calm hands.

7. Several days of snow shuttered the schools and many businesses. The Sword ferns aren’t looking very good after being laden with heavy, wet snow for days. These fronds will gradually recover though, and the plants will send up new shoots in the Spring.

8. A tea cup is a close friend on cold mornings.

9. Citrus is appealing these days.

10. A thrift shop vase with seasonal berries is welcome in the house.

11. Nigella (aka Love-in-a-mist) seed pods, as seen with an in-camera filter. The seeds are dropping out of the pods. Maybe I’ll plant them. A relative, N. damascena, is used as a condiment and according to Wikipedia, its seeds were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.

12. Paperwhite (Narcissus papyraceus) buds are reassuring whispers of hope.

13. Now that the buds have opened, the fragrance arrives like the blessing of a soft-cheeked infant.

14. In Port Townsend, a small town on the Olympic peninsula, moss overtakes a stairway. Port Townsend is in the Olympic rain shadow (which means the Olympic Mountains grab Pacific ocean moisture before it reaches this area). The town only gets about 20 inches of rain a year, compared to the U.S. average of 38. It’s still relatively cool and damp throughout much of the year, keeping the moss happy. This photo was taken in the wettest month, November.

15. The garden Buddha, enrobed.

66 comments

  1. Love this collection of bits and pieces. 15. the garden Buddha is a hands down favorite…
    though 3. Cape Perpetua was cool with the wave remnant swirls and squiggles. I do love the patterns in wet sands.
    9. It seems to be the season for oranges. They’re especially sweet and juicy this year.
    oh, and 2. There’s just something organic about the cracks and crevices of weathered wood. It’s what makes driftwood so fascinating.
    7. sensuous curve of the fern. Nice.
    The weather has been a bit wintry down here. Did you actually get snow? We’ve been promised a lot more rain than we’ve had, but we’ll take whatever we can get. I looked at last year’s accumulations and the rain started out slow before the end of the year, but seems close to average for Jan. We seemed to get the most rain in Feb, so we’ll see….
    I think we may have gained about a half hour of daylight! That’s the good news.

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    • You didn’t think that was fake snow, did you? πŸ˜‰ We had over a foot, over the course of less than a week. Schools & businesses shut down. Since then, we’ve been having rain so the ground is saturated and there’s a danger of landslides – but you know about that! There was a tree across a nearby road for two days. Hopefully, they’re taken care of that by now. The orange was actually a little mandarin-type orange from a bag called “Cuties” with “zippers” – i.e. they’re easy to peel. πŸ™‚ Sometimes just that scent is enough, right?
      It IS noticeably lighter, both earlier and later – a relief, given that we’ve had little sun. But we too needed the rain and I think we’re almost back to normal. I hope you guys get enough rain to return to normal levels, too.
      Enjoy your weekend, whatever the weather!

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  2. It would have been a sin to let these jewels vanish in the archive unseen, dear Lynn! You chose such a charming mixture of winterly impressions.
    Almost impossible for me to think of a typical “Lynn’s Collection” without a fern and some extraordinarily beautiful flowers. These soft Narcissi seem to be taken in the same misty environment as the strange chaotic electricity pole N.4 which has no less beauty.
    To try and put the Nigella seeds into soil somewhere, where you can follow them while growing is a nice idea. Did I tell you they are called Jungfer im GrΓΌnen in German which means in a word for word translation “Maid/Virgin in the open/green”?
    The mossy stairway and the sweet freezing buddha are my highlights in this jewelry box. I hope the citrus fruits will keep you healthy over the rest of winter.

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    • Such a thoughtful comment, dear Ule, I appreciate it very much. That you find the telephone pole as attractive as the flowers, well, that’s how I know we are on the same wavelength. πŸ™‚ No, I didn’t know the German name for Nigella, and now I’d like to find out other names….we should ask Gerda about the Greek name, and what about Portuguese, French, hmmm, Bulgarian? The last time I planted flowers here, they were mowed with a tractor, several times. Sad. I’ll have to think about putting the seeds in pots. I don’t think they would like that, but it may be better than the mower!
      Thank you for the good wishes – we have both had colds so we’re appreciating these little oranges more than usual. I hope all is well with you – enjoy the weekend!

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    • Nous avons eu beaucoup de pluie, ce qui signifie moins d’explorations en plein air. Mais comme vous le savez trΓ¨s bien, il y a beaucoup Γ  voir, partout. Je suis contente que tu aimes les mains – elles appartiennent Γ  une personne proche de moi. Merci IrΓ¨ne.

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    • I was reminded yesterday that the Buddha, which is very heavy, was something I brought home years ago from an estate sale in New Jersey. (I don’t remember what I was doing there.) After living in an apartment for years it now is outside, where I think it belongs. It just took a bit of time to get there. Thanks, Melissa. Enjoy your weekend. πŸ™‚

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      • Thank you, you as well πŸ™‚

        I agree about the Buddha. He looks at home there. I have a small Buddha statue that lived in the garden but he began to delaminate and then the dogs knocked him over and he lost an arm. sigh. He’s in the studio now (what’s left of him) and I’m hoping to find another for my garden one day. Maybe I need to visit New Jersey.

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  3. A fine eclectic collection, Lynn. I do have a couple of favorites with the sand patterns and garden Buddha near the top of the list. But I really like the stair steps and could spend hours (maybe a slight exaggeration) making compositions of the activity there. I love seeing nature consume human creations. Well, not my house but you know what I mean.

    Now I think I’ll go have lunch followed by a nice clementine chaser. πŸ™‚

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    • I too am fascinated by what happens in places where nature interacts with human-made things, unintentionally. When I lived in NYC I saw many wonderful examples, things other people walked past. You would notice them, too, and many are like this one – plant life slowly making changes to the built environment. Before the High Line was made into a park I sometimes would sneak up there to enjoy the abundance of weeds/wildflowers growing among the cans and bottles and garbage.
      But not our houses, yes. πŸ™‚
      The town where the steps are is reached by ferry – next time I go over there I should find them again, and make another photo. That one was a quick phone photo. Thank you, Steve, enjoy your clementines (ours are called “Cuties” on the bag) and stay warm!!

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    • I will have to take a look at your story….after living in NYC and visiting galleries there many times, it’s a comedown to move to a place without those resources. But Edison is a special place and their galleries are both very good. So glad you enjoyed the post, Don. Enjoy the weekend!

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  4. I think nr. 4, 6 and 11 are my favorite pictures and of course, the mossy steps πŸ™‚ A wonderful idea to create patterns on purpose. – You have a talent to turn everything into art Lynn! The hands are beautiful, touching. I like the “wirrwarr” – the chaos – of the wires. These nonpatterns always tickle my brain πŸ˜‰ About nr. 11: the filter is interesting! Nice experiment / effect. What is it called? It reminds me of a reduction of colors. – And you don’t have a little place to plant your flowers? Can’t you talk to your landlord just for a little space for yourself? I am sorry to hear that you had a bad cold. I hope you feel better and everythings okay!

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    • That’s a real word – “wirrwarr” – wow, I love that. And I like that you call it tickling your brain, too. The hands belong to Joe. The filter is called “Key line.” I’m not sure why. There are filters on Olympus cameras called “art filters.” I don’t use them often but they can make some very nice images. There’s a grainy black and white one, a dramatic tone one, a few that give softer colors and focus, a pinhole camera one, and more. I don’t know what they’re called in Germany but if you google Olympus art filter there are videos that show them (at least in English). The planting space situation is complicated – I’ll have to explain in an email. And the cold is much better, thank you very much!

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  5. Anacortes has a port with big boats! I never picture that. With the refinery in the background, this is quite a contrast to Anacortes’s serene nature scenes that you usually present to us. . . . I love #2 for the weathering of the wood and the orange accents, but mostly for the way it reminds me of some African fetish objects I’ve seen. It’s the nails. Here is what I mean: https://www.authenticafrica.com/congo-nail-fetish/. . . . The radiating pattern of #3 and your framing of it make this photo special. . . . In #4, I’m taken by the contrast between the power lines and the lines for the winter tree branches. And the fog tying them all together. . . . Number 5 could be a still shot from an old movie. Well, except for the canister thing on the telephone pole; I don’t think they were around in the ’30s and ’40s. . . . The zebraness of #7 is quite pleasing, especially arcing over the dark object in the snow. Good exposure on the snow, BTW. . . . The lighting in #13 is particularly nice. . . . Your mossy stairs are wonderful. I like the camera angle and framing. I would hesitate walking on them for fear of disturbing the composition. . . . The snow isn’t bothering the garden Buddha at all, is it. How Buddhist.

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    • My “reporting” on Anacortes and Fidalgo Island is very skewed! I knew that and sometimes I think I should show more of the reality – the city of Anacortes, for example, is not terribly attractive but one of the things we love about it is that marine businesses are still viable here. Fishing and crabbing boats are around, admittedly in small numbers. There are a few good-sized boat repair companies, a seafood company, a rope company, marine hardware, etc. But I think they hang by a thread. And there are loads of pleasure boats around. No Walmart or other big-box stores so far. Only one Starbucks but two book stores. I know about the African fetish pieces you mentioned and also have always been drawn to them – they’re so powerful. “Zebraness” – yes, that’s what’s so great about ferns, repeating patterns. πŸ™‚ I agree about the garden Buddha – equanimity in action. πŸ™‚ Thank you Linda!

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  6. A very nice record, you could create a page-a-day diary. The sword fern is just lovely, dreamlike. but that mossy stairs in Port Townsend — that nice velvety moss, making little arabesques. I don’t think I could step on that it’s pretty neat

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      • Thank you, Robert….yes, funny that you and Linda had the same reaction. I need to find that little staircase again someday. I don’t get to PT very often. It’s a 45-minute drive, then a brief ferry ride, which requires a little planning. But it’s a pleasant place, as evidenced by #14 and besides, they have a wooden boat building school and an excellent used book store. You must come out and visit. πŸ™‚

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  7. The Budda in the snow seems to be relaxed! There are many good photos here, nice to see them. The picture which hits me is # 9, such a simple detail form a daily life. Full of colour, full of desire for good food, great! Love # 4 as well, it let my imagination work: are the tree’s branches speaking the the pole or enjoying having wires around? Or not?
    A nice collectin, thanks for sharing with us

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    • I appreciate your thoughts, Robert. The light and color in #9 do seem refreshing – we don’t get a lot of light up here in the gloomy Pacific northwest. πŸ˜‰ I think the branches are whispering to the wires, something about wanting to draw together in the sky…Cheers! Have a good week.

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  8. Wonderful mix of images, Lynn. I love this area- the towns, like Port Townsend are charming and a photographer’s dream. Love your telephone pole and Olsen bldg, the calm hands are exquisite, the sand patterns, the snowy fern and the mossy steps. All connected with a harmonious quietness.

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    • I was hoping there might be some sort of connection, Jane. πŸ™‚ Thank you for finding one. I’d like to do more town and city photography but it just doesn’t happen much these days. Yesterday we wandered through another charming town, a very small one – Coupeville, on Whidbey Island. Wonderful old buildings by the water and a very good bakery. πŸ™‚ We’ll be going back! And maybe I’ll take pictures next time. Have a good week!

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      • We had about a foot at any one time, though we had a bit of a melt and then another batch right on top. It hung around for about ten days. The melt was dramatic and the river high, but no flooding in my immediate area. It’s mostly downstream in Fall City and Carnation where the roads close for flood. It can be great for the farmland as long as it comes at the correct time of the year. I enjoyed this round of snow. Worked from home for 3 days with one day at work in the middle to break up the cabin fever. Nice!

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        • I remember running into road closures around Carnation – I think there’s a landslide over there now, too. What you say about the farmland is true, I know, and they’re used to it over there. Your snow experience does sound perfect – glad it worked like that! πŸ™‚

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        • The big landslide is on hwy 18 which is nearby but goes from I-90 by Snoqualmie Ridge toward Tacoma. There may be one on hwy 202 or 203 in the lower valley, as well.
          I’m glad you got a good bit of snow to enjoy too! And I’m glad it didn’t stay too long for either of us. πŸ™‚

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  9. Your subtle processing to add a little extra drama in your marina photo Lynn seems just the thing to me … one could almost have missed the chimneys and round tanks away in the distance in the tangle of boat masts and radars and so on .. clever πŸ˜‰
    #6 Calm hands .. very apt …
    # Seeing lots of squishy rose hip berries around here at the moment too … never manage to bring any home with being scratched to bits !
    It’s a great set up you made there with the *ghostly bird in the background πŸ˜‰
    Ah Paper whites are a favourite with their fragrance so distinctive . Oh and how I do love your description …
    #11 I read first off that you though you might *paint them … now then how about it πŸ˜‰
    #14 The moss has made a little artscape of its own on the stairway with curlycues hearts , ha more appreciated insitu there than overtaking the garden lawn as it seems to be here @No4 !
    An enjoyable series as ever Lynn x

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    • Thank you for such thoughtful comments, Poppy, what a pleasure! Re the little still life, thanks for noticing the way the reflection “ghosted” the painting. πŸ™‚ Paperwhites…so nice but fleeting. They’re already flopping and drying out. Now we wait for the “real” thing, right? Paint a Nigella pod? Oh, please! It sounds very difficult. You know, I like moss overtaking the lawn, too. I had a house years ago with a section of the yard that was shady and low, and the moss was rampant. I used to go sit there after a hard day at work and slowly pull little clumps of grass out of the moss. I was going for a moss carpet. It never got there, but it looked beautiful where it was all moss and it was very therapeutic work. If I could come over to your place and pull grass out of the moss, I might just do it. πŸ™‚

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  10. The Anacortes marina has a lot of memories for me. In my early years of diving, I did many a trip on a charter boat called the Sea Wolf. We’d drive up, overnight on the boat in the harbor there, dive for a day and overnight in Friday Harbor, then back to Anacortes the next day. The Sea Wolf is long retired, alas, but the memories remain.

    We didn’t get the snow you did; it’s nice to see what you did with it. I like the hands and Port Townsend moss too.

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    • Those do sound like great memories – I think anyone who spends time on a boat in this area is lucky, and I can’t imagine how much more exciting it must be to dive. It’s good to hear from you, Dave, and my apologies for the very late reply.

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