LOCAL WALKS: Watching the Weather

1. After sunset, tide running out, Deception Pass. Late December.

Looking back over the past six weeks it seems like we’ve come full circle: in early December the skies were gray and drizzly and temperatures were moderate. Then over the holidays, a long week of sub-freezing, snowy weather settled in. Now we’re back to the cool, damp, cloudy days that typify Pacific Northwest winter weather.

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2. Sunset on a calm day, Little Cranberry Lake. Mid-January.

What a treat the bright, White Christmas was, at least for those of us who weren’t traveling. When icy temperatures continued all week I was reminded of my New York childhood. Everything changed – the air was sharp and fresh, the landscapes enchanting, and the roads – well, our road was hardly plowed. But we’re both cold-weather veterans who’ve driven in far worse conditions so the dicey roads didn’t stop us from going out.

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3. Snowfall on Christmas Day, at home.
4. Our road, snapped with an iPhone between Christmas and the New Year.

But the cold! I’m not used to it anymore! Ten years in the Pacific Northwest has spoiled me. So I bought a pair of warmer gloves and packs of toe warmers that stick to the bottom of your socks and keep your feet warm for hours. That helped, but my fingers were just too stiff with cold to cooperate. The pervasive bright light that snow creates threw me off, too. Many of my photographs were disappointing. Still, I haven’t enjoyed the simple activity of looking out the windows so much in a long time. I would check the little stacks of snow on the deck railing to see if they had grown tall with a new layer or collapsed into pancaked shapes. I admired and worried about the Douglas fir trees laden with snow, their branches bent to the ground. The birds were ravenous, fluttering down from the trees and swarming like ants the minute I tossed seed onto the ground. In the morning there were fine little birds’ foot tracks and delicate wing imprints on the thin layer of snow that blew onto the concrete. The whole house filled with blue-white light, a boon to my mood. Winter is often very dark in this land of towering, dense stands of evergreens.

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5. Ice in the wetland at Bowman Bay. Early January.
6. As above.
7. Looking down from the bridge at Deception Pass. Late December.
8. Grasses underwater, Little Cranberry Lake. Mid-January.
9. Surf scoters on choppy water, Washington Park. Early January.

News stories of atmospheric rivers bringing high winds and extra-high tides became routine but the storms’ effects were anything but routine. One day during a wind event I drove down to Rosario Beach, a rocky crescent of shoreline in Deception Pass State Park. Only one other car was in the lot. The noise of waves pounding the beach was deafening as I carefully made my way down the path to the beach. I could barely stand up, the wind was so fierce. Gulls sliced the air, wooden debris was smashed to bits at my feet, and walls of water tossed huge logs back and forth in a furious maelstrom. When white objects flew past me I thought, what little birds are those? None of our small birds are white. Then I realized the missiles were big chunks of foam the wind picked up from the wavetops and flung high across the trail into the bay on the other side. I didn’t stay long that day but I was glad I witnessed nature grabbing the upper hand with such unconditional determination.

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10. Slideshow: A wind-driven king tide throws heavy logs around at Rosario Beach. Early January.

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11. Logs and a tangle of Bullwhip kelp thrown onto Bowman Bay. Early January.
12. Blades of kelp floating on a calmer day, Bowman Bay. Mid-January.
13. Bullwhip kelp wrapped around a log by a rambunctious tide. Bowman Bay. Mid-January.
14. Red-tailed hawk, Campbell Lake. Mid-January.

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Eventually, the snow was confined to a few speckled patches in shady spots and the lake ice shrank to a smooth necklace on the shoreline. Temperatures returned to normal and numb fingers became a memory. We’re back to drizzly rains giving way to clouds, occasional fog, and sunbreaks (the sun only shines all day in summer here so we enjoy our sun in small doses that we call sunbreaks). The days are getting longer, the holidays are over, and a new year has begun. The dark cloud of discouragement that overtook me toward the end of the year has lifted. In my gut, just as the birds and animals do, I sense the climb toward spring.

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15. Calmer days. A hilltop path through the woods. Photo made with intentional camera movement. Mid-January.
16. Old road on Ginnett Hill. Photograph made with slight intentional camera movement. Mid-January.

17. Fog on Lottie Bay. Mid-January.
18. Fog at Lighthouse Point. Mid-January.
19. Fog, Deception Pass Bridge from Lighthouse Point. Mid-January.
20. Ice on Pass Lake. Late December.

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86 comments

  1. Happy New Year! Feels good to see photos of the Pacific Northwest. I miss Seattle and the water. I have travel plans for March or April, hope it’ll work out. All the best for the new year, hope you are well. xo, Jutta

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    • Wow, a blast from the past, as they say. It’s good to hear from you, Jutta. I can imagine if I moved away I would miss the scenery here, too. The pandemic certainly killed travel, didn’t it? We managed a trip to NYC last spring but that’s about it. It’s exciting that you have travel plans – which I’m thinking means to the US, but maybe not. Let’s hope things lighten up soon. Best to you and your family!

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  2. Very interesting, to read about the different wether conditions.
    We say here “biting cold”. I guess there is a different phrase in English.
    Didn’t you experience fear at the stormy coast? I imagine that the harsh wind could throw little objects.
    More to the pics later…

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    • We say biting cold, too. It’s a good description of that feeling. This area does not get below freezing temperatures very much – usually, it snows once or twice each winter but goes away quickly. That’s because of all the water around us moderates the temperatures. I was scared at one point. Even though I stayed back behind some logs, at one point the waves looked like they would crash where I stood so I ran uphill. The bigger danger here is falling trees.

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  3. Ad 1: Wonderful shades of blue
    2: The forest is a bit behind, so not all of it is reflected. Beautiful ripple, makes the sky more delicate.

    7 Delicate
    8 Grass, exploring two worlds πŸ™‚
    9 The water looks somewhat solid
    10 Very impressive, what the water is dragging along.

    12 Again a beautiful graphic
    13 Very impressive. First I saw a girdled horse
    15 Good idea with the intentional movement
    19 The fog seems to make some things disappear
    20 I love the light blue area in the water

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    • Your comment about the grass is brilliant, very poetic. Thank you for that. The graphic quality of those kelp leaves sticking up out of the water and catching the low sunlight was what moved me. Of course, you saw that right away. Intentional camera movement is something I experiment with from time to time. This time I did it differently, by beginning with a very brief stillness, then moving only a short distance, and ending with a little stillness again. The idea is to have some parts in focus and some parts blurred instead of everything blurred, which is what happens if you move the camera the whole time the shutter is pressed. I hope that makes sense! I’m glad you enjoyed the images, Gerhard, and thank you for your comments. Have a good week!

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  4. Winter landscapes in cool colors, huuuh, I think I’ll turn the heating up a bit. But to say goodbye, in the last picture, you treat us to some warm pink, thanks, dear Lynn.

    It strikes me that icy snowy days are also very closely linked to childhood memories for me, even though we had a lot of snow last year and some before that. In memory, these are rather happy, exciting days associated with Christmas and wild activities that were not possible without snow, sledding down slopes and snowball fights. And oh, that special light in the house that tells us what we’re about to see even before we look out the window. You describe so much more of these winter beauties.

    Your ice photos convey that doublet of lure and danger, the question of whether it already carries us or whether we should wait before stepping onto it to be able to walk on the water, always with a trembling listening to an ominous crackle.

    This is more of a quiet winter experience, in contrast to your stormy experience by the sea. You’re pretty brave going through the woods to the water in weather like this – I was glad to read it was just flakes of foam flying through the air. There can also be very close and unwanted encounters with your favorite trees in the storm. But the nature photographer’s passion provides protection, fortunately.

    Every day towards spring lets our spirits grow again, I hear that from you here too. Good. Even if we’re still not through with the winter, the greater amount of light is good for us. In addition, such a series of overwhelmingly beautiful landscape photos from picture to picture helps to put you in a more positive mood step by step.

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    • Those warm pink sunsets in winter sure are appealing, aren’t they? I like hearing about your winter memories, which are so similar to mine. Sledding, snowballs – and best of all now that I’m older, the light that you described so well. That’s is exactly – you know even before you open the blinds that you’re going to see everything blanketed with beautiful snow. Thank you for that observation.
      The ice here wasn’t thick enough to walk on so for me, thoughts about dangerous ice only exist in the past. But you’re right about the danger of trees falling in high winds, probably the biggest danger here. I try to be very aware of my surroundings and (almost) always tell Joe where I’m going.
      You know, I was thinking last week that it was time for a ‘Local Walks’ post that focuses more on beauty and nature than on concepts. I just wanted to give readers a few moments of immersion in beauty – for the reasons you mentioned. We need it. Thank you, my friend!

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  5. The weather changes really make new places and beautiful landscapes “appear”.
    Snow offers a new look at nature, something I’m totally inexperienced because snow doesn’t appreciate central/southern Portugal. I would still like to wake up one day and see everything white around me. It must be something unforgettable.
    As always, this post also has beautiful images, with or without snow. But I especially appreciate details 12 and 13. Beautiful!
    I wish you a great week, even if it’s cold. Perhaps a very hot tea helps to overcome!πŸ˜‰

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    • It’s a very interesting idea – that changes in weather can make a landscape appear in a way you didn’t see before. I like to think the weather exposes the landscape’s true nature. Of course, it’s all true but there’s something different about the landscape after snow or during a storm…thank you for this observation, Dulce.
      I really hope you can vacation – maybe next year! – high up in the mountains where you can experience a snowy week, or at least a few days of snow. It’s magical.
      It’s not so cold now – chilly, but not freezing. πŸ™‚ Biting hot tea in the morning and warm espresso in the afternoon are my weaknesses and they do taste especially good these days. Thank you for your comment, Dulce, have a wonderful week.

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  6. Beautiful series and I particularly like the meditative feel of # 5-6 .
    It is interesting how we need to β€œget used to”
    the cold seemingly every year. We’ve had some bone chilling days here, I think I am still trying to warm up to being out for long.

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    • You’re right, one has to get used to it all over again, but usually, out here it doesn’t last long enough for that. This time, after maybe 3 – 4 days I was beginning to feel less assaulted by it. It was really nice to remember the good things that come with a week’s worth of snow. It’s good to hear that you like the meditative feeling of those two ice photos. Thank you very much, Mark, have a good week!

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  7. So about ten years, to grow nostalgic for Upstate weather? 😊 Just kidding!
    8 and 16 both have very inviting dark pools to peer or walk into. And the rocky serrations in 7 amplify the frosty look, as if the land and trees were part of an ice crystal, just a great, refreshing crispness contrasting with the smooth curls and currents in the water. What a beautiful area to live in!

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    • Yeah, really miss that upstate weather!
      #7 was made from the Deception Pass bridge that you see in #19 so you can get an idea of how far it is down to the water. It was SO cold up there that day! But that view is always pretty and prettier still with the coating of snow. The pass has treacherous currents that can be seen on the surface as boils and whatnot. It’s a fascinating place to watch the water. Sometimes seals pop their heads up. Cormorants are always around – nothing phases them. The bridge is about 10 minutes from home. We saw it briefly when we first vacationed in the PNW, in October, 2011 and we kept coming up to this area on weekends after we moved to Kirkland. Then when we retired we were very lucky to find an affordable place here.
      I appreciate your comments, Robert – your eyes are sharp and your imagination is alive, good things wherever you live!

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    • You’re in southern Maine now, right? Well, dream of summer! πŸ˜‰ But I’m sure you’ll have more beautiful winter snow and you’ll make beautiful images with it. Thank you for the thumbs up on the ICM photograph. It’s always interesting to see how those look when you get home. I listened to an Art Wolfe presentation in which he said he’d been using ICM, mainly to keep loosened up creatively. He described a technique I hadn’t tried before (explained in reply to kopfundgestalt above) and I liked the resulting mix of in and out of focus areas.

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    • Perhaps not unlike your beach grasses – arcs that are blown about or wafted about. I stood on a rock, looking down at the shallow water, utterly mesmerized by the slow drift of those kelp blades. Thank you so much, john.

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    • I think you know it pretty well yourself, Jo, considering all the places you’ve been. But the funny thing is that we are very, very far from the actual ocean. We’re surrounded by saltwater but the ocean is 90 miles away. When tides and storms barrel down the wide strait between Washington and Canada, they slam into the islands’ coastlines with quite a fury. It must be extraordinary out on the Washington coast.
      I’m really glad you mentioned the bridge in the fog – it was so beautiful but it can be hard to figure out how to process those foggy photos – too much? Too little? πŸ˜‰ Thanks, Jo! Have a great week…basking in the sunshine, I suspect. πŸ˜‰

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  8. Quite a ride through varying emotions in your series, Lynn. I have forgotten how challenging shooting in such cold weather is. Your calm start- Ice in the Wetland is a stunner- then bam! Your images of the violent waves (I smiled at the foam blowing at you) then back to calmer moments, the kelp, and the bullwhip kelp wrapped is terrific. Your last three landscapes are so beautifully seen. Fog at Lighthouse Point is marvelous in its composition, shapes and subtle coloring. Way to brave the winter weather! πŸ™‚

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    • At least the camera works well, it’s just my recalcitrant fingers that held me back! I tried to make a video with my phone – oh, it’s terrible! The foggy day was far easier and SO beautiful. That day I saw 4 Marbled murrelets, an uncommon, endangered seabird. My first, so exciting!
      Re #18, that is a very dramatic spot that the fog enhanced. And I’ll confess to beginning the processing with a preset that enhanced the scene further. It’s one of a set given out a while back by Adobe for free as a teaser, if I remember correctly. They’re called WithLuke and that one is “Desert Gold” believe it or not. πŸ™‚ I used the same preset for the first wetland ice photo. Of course, it’s a starting point but his presets can be great for that. Thank you very much for your comments, Jane. I felt good about this group of images. πŸ™‚

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  9. Wonderful observations about the impact of temperature on type of light and quality of the air — like you I found those clear, cold days evoked my life elsewhere and I loved the brief return to all its sensations. I share your awe at the combination of king tide and high wind, and you captured its power in those photos of surging water.

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    • There we were, enjoying the same thoughts, feelings, and sensations, just separated by about 90 miles. πŸ˜‰ It’s really interesting that you had the same experience. Ule, above, mentions another aspect – the “special light in the house that tells us what we’re about to see even before we look out the window.” You’d like her, I bet. Thanks for your comment, Penny, and have a lovely week. I’ll imagine you exploring Vancouver’s neighborhoods in the rain and then sitting in that cafe with a treat….

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    • They have a PNW look – a little dark and moody. πŸ™‚ You probably do have similar colors most of the year, but maybe the surroundings are brighter?
      I was thinking that the climate here is kind of a hybrid between a northern temperate climate and a Mediterranean one. It’s never really hot and doesn’t go below freezing often but we do have coldish winters, warmish summers, and pleasant springs and falls. It’s the west-coast-pattern rainfall that makes all the difference. Things are incredibly green now in certain places. The mosses and Licorice ferns woke up months ago and look fabulous, and tiny sprouts are pushing out of the soil in the forest. But many, if not most of our plants won’t wake up until spring. And boy does it crunch underfoot by late August.

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      • I guess it’s similar in that there’s a dry and a wet period that are the strongest separators of the seasons. Our dry periods are just a wee bit longer… πŸ˜› I’m happy to hear that nature is waking up nicely for you up there!

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  10. Wonderful, Lynn! Loving the abstract asemic-ness of #12 and the foggy bridge appeals to me a lot also. Interesting tidal slideshow, too!

    βœ¨πŸ™πŸ•‰β˜€πŸŒ™βš–πŸͺ”πŸ•Šβ™ΎπŸˆšβ˜―πŸŒπŸ²πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ

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    • I hadn’t thought of it that way, Harrie, good idea. As I said to Graham above, I was ready to make a straightforward “pretty picture” post. I hope all’s well with you – intense times in Amsterdam – but soon this will be history, right? Let’s hope so!

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    • That’s great to hear, sorry you’re homesick but I’m sure you’ll get over it quickly. There’s a lot to like where you are, for sure. Thank you for commenting, Marcus (by the way, most of these were made with an EM-1 Mark III and a 60mm f2.8 macro or a 12mm f2).

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  11. Your entire post was a feast for the eyes, and in grateful to have observed from the warmth of my dining room while you had to be out in the elements suffering for the sake of Art. Gorgeous photos, all, and your narration was gripping and had me shivering at parts. Although you wrote of being disappointed by the light, I think you captured some lovely lighting, the pinkish skies juxtaposed with snowy scenes especially. My favorites are 13, the Bullwhip Kelp, 16 Old Road, 19 Fog and the ICM in 15. Thanks for posting!

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    • I think it’s often even colder where you are, but as I said, I’m just not used to it anymore. But it was exciting so I ventured out. The light gave me trouble on the snowiest, brightest days, and almost all of these photos were made under more subdued conditions, which is what I’ve gotten used to here. That pinkish glow in the late afternoon is wonderful this time of year – the low light may have something to do with it, I’m not sure. It’s very interesting to hear your favorites, thank you for that. Have a good rest of the week!

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      • You’re welcome. About the pinkish light, when I lived in the SF Bay area, pink skies were so often an artifact of air pollution. I wonder how if the PNW where you are will be seeing enhanced color in the sky from the Tonga volcano eruption?

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        • Oh, that’s an interesting thought – I haven’t heard anything to that effect. I think weathercasters on TV would mention it. I wonder if most of that cloud has dissipated by now…maybe not. I’ll be thinking about that…

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  12. Beautiful winter images from your neck of the woods! And, it’s nice that you had snow on Christmas. I see you have lots of driftwood and kelp washing up on the beach for inclusion in future photographs! Here, when people complain about the cold I let them know it doesn’t bother me because I was born in Buffalo. You have the right idea in being prepared for the cold. I bring lots of layers on my photo excursions. I especially like your last image for the sunset color, snow, and the ice is a plus in adding another element of interest.

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    • Wasn’t that surprising, that we had snow on Christmas? And then it stuck around all week, and there was more. I couldn’t complain because I knew it would vanish before long. The amount of driftwood here is astounding. It comes from trees that grow on shorelines and fall in, from logs that escape logging rafts on rivers, and who knows what else. As a Buffalo girl, I know you’re accustomed to cold and I suspect you have a routine down pat for those winter outings. Wow, it does take time to dress and assemble all the pieces! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for commenting, Denise, and I’m glad you like that sunset – not a brash one but pleasing in its own way. Have a good rest of your week.

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    • But only one part. πŸ˜‰ My son was out near Yakima yesterday and sent me a video of him jumping into a river – I think the Yakima. Believe me, he did not stay in! Also sent a panorama showing the crisp, clear air and beautiful distant mountain view. Thanks so much, Peg, glad you enjoyed the post.

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  13. The last photo is impressive and so much winter-like! Freezing cold but sharp colors. Wonderful. I am happy for you that you could enjoy a bit of winter wonderland. Okay, we don’t like the cold, but it is magic to see the big fir trees sugared with snow. The frozen parts of the lakes together with the grass looks like painted. I love the kelp. I like it in general, but these patterns or entanglements here are special. How did it do this thing in #13?? It looks as if somebody tied it there. The yellow lines in #12 are beautiful and they look like a textile pattern πŸ™‚ I like your experiments with camera movement. In #15 the lines go together with the trees and their branches, which looks cool. In spite of the constant grey weather overhere I still love these photos with the foggy weather, #18 and 19. Very mysterious and atmospheric πŸ™‚ 18 is a color picture right? But very close to black and white.
    I experienced the flying foam when I lived on an island in the North Sea for a year. There was a storm flood and I still remember the spindrift or foam flying a metre above the sea. It was impressive. It must have been very very stormy on that day at the coast! And you walked to the beach? Courageous! Didn’t you fear to get hit by a big log? Well, two weather adventures in a short time. The year has started challenging in the PNW πŸ™‚ (By the way, have you noticed the Tsunami from the vulcano near Tonga at your coast?)

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    • Yes, the fir trees look fantastic when they’re “sugared” with snow. They get very heavy but when the snow melts the branches pop right back up to where they were. (I’m sure you know that but it’s always a relief).
      It looks like the kelp was tied but – imagine a long strand drifting back and forth, over and over, by the water. If there’s a log near it, one wave can wrap it around the log, then another wave makes it tighter. Then the waves get crazy and two strands wrap around each other, etc. It happens a lot.
      #12 was lucky. It was low tide so the water was still, and it was late in the afternoon so the low sun was shining on the parts sticking up out of the water.
      That foggy day at Lighthouse Point was amazing – I was very happy that it lasted for hours!
      You saw the same thing with the foam or spindrift – that’s cool. Yes, it was extremely windy that day – considering we are 90 miles from the ocean, the waves were pretty big. What must it have been like on the actual Washington coast? I don’t know. Our major highways were closed in places because of flooding, landslides, and avalanche danger. A town in the mountains had a meter of snow in 24 hours. An entire house in Seattle slid down a hill. I should have written about all that!
      https://www.npr.org/2022/01/07/1071499193/pacific-northwest-storm-flooding-landslides-washington-oregon
      That day I drove carefully and kept looking up at the trees. I didn’t stay long at the beach because I couldn’t stand up easily and it wasn’t safe. I was too far back to be hit by a log – I made sure of that! When the waves got bigger I ran back more but I was already behind some logs from other storms.
      We had a tsunami warning the day after the Tonga eruption. There are signs on the island telling you where to go in case of a tsunami. But the waves were very gentle that day. Where we live is too high to be dangerous if there’s a tsunami but we could be cut off from the town so we have a big emergency supply kit with food, water, a radio that works by hand, etc.

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      • Wow, that was a real heavy storm and 1 metre of snow in 24 hours is extreme (we get used to extremes as it seems). I am glad you took care of yourself. Even roads through woods can be dangerous with a storm. Here it often happens that cars are hit by fallen trees.
        This kelp thing is really amazing. Even by your explanation it seems a bit mysterious how it happens πŸ™‚
        So you really got Tsunami regulations. I wasn’t aware of that. I was just wondering, if the sea was different than usual or if there was different driftwood. But better no impacts than damages!

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        • But the town with the heavy snowfall is in the mountains – not down here. Here, the impact was mainly on the shorelines. Yes, we’re all getting used to extremes. The west coast (US & Canada) is overdue for a major earthquake and that is the reason we have a tsunami warning system. Scientists have warned that we could get a very, very big earthquake anytime. The biggest faults are off the coast so if/when it happens it’s likely to cause huge waves. I can’t really say whether the driftwood is different. Someone should tag all the huge logs, like birds with leg bands, and then we can follow them. πŸ˜‰

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        • I understood that the snow was in the mountains, nevertheless it is quite a lot. Ohoh, lets hope that this big earthquake will never come or at least that it won’t be that big! I can’t imagine what kind of waves that will be.
          Yes, follow them and tell me about it πŸ˜‰

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        • “Follow them and then tell me about it” Well, if someone else does the work I’ll let you know. πŸ˜‰
          The big earthquake really could come any time but yes, we hope it will be after we’re gone.
          We saw some nice lichens and driftwood today…maybe a few of the photos are OK, let’s hope so.

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  14. Sensing the first stirrings of spring here as well. I did very much enjoy seeing your wintery spell there. We had a couple of slight dustings of snow, but I barely got up in time to see any before it melted away. In the meantime it seems we’re not getting as much rain as we had hoped.
    1 & 7. truly conveys the cold spell you had…. brrrrr.
    2. you had me with the color and reflections
    8. no explanation. I simply love the simplicity of the grasses and water.
    10. I LOVE being out in storms like that, but glad to hear you were safe and sensible. The slideshow was a thriller.
    11. good example of how the beaches or shores get those messy trees scattered everywhere.
    12. we do love our kelp, though, don’t we?
    19. Fantastic fog shot…
    20… water, pink skies, ice and reflections. What’s not to love?Glad you’re enjoying the season. It’s wonderful when it starts bending towards springtime. My favorite season.

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    • Hi Gunta, too bad you didn’t get a prettier snowfall but I know you’re fine with your world as it is. πŸ˜‰ I think the grass in #8 might be non-native and invasive but it sure makes pretty scenes around the edges of things. Glad you liked that image. You’re right, I was careful during the high winds and didn’t even stay out long. But of course, I was really glad to experience what I did. It teaches you something. And so often you see the results on the beach but not the activity, know what I mean? This time I saw it happening. But about “messy trees” – I know they can look messy but they are really, really good for the beach, just like the one(s) in your creek. Habitat!
      The kelp, yes, it’s such a good character in the drama of the shoreline. What form will it take next?
      Spring is your favorite – mine too. Yes, it’s a slow journey toward spring on the west coast, and that’s totally OK with us, right? Have a good weekend!!

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  15. Oh this was such a lovely visit to your world – your words and photos taking me on a journey through your area. So many of these photos appeal to me – for the beauty, and others astonish me – like the bullwhip kelp around the tree, as if it had been tied by hand. But definitely best was the slideshow of the waves! So wild. It’s the kind of wild weather that makes me holler and whoop – God’s rock concert!
    We’ve had similar weather of course, and I too am glad it’s warmed up.
    Alison

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    • The kelp surprises us again and again with the things it does, or should I say, the things the water does to it. It seemed to be a good year for it – the beds looked full this summer – maybe that’s why such big piles are being washed up now. It’s actually an annual so it’s natural for the pieces to break up and break down at the end of the year. Someday I’ll do a post about Bullwhip kelp but I’ve hesitated because the “real” kelp is the entire plant (properly algae, not plant) as it lives in the water, a sight I could only see if I dove. Maybe I’ll break down and use someone else’s underwater photo, with credit of course. They are such interesting, important players in the shoreline drama. I’m glad you enjoyed the wave slideshow – how much bigger they must have been at the actual coast!! And as you said, it’s nice that it warmed up, even thoguh I know you thoroughly enjoyed the snow! Thanks for your thoughts, Alison!

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  16. The ocean seems so uplifting. A good way to make it through the days of winter. Beautiful images. I’m waiting for the uplifting feel of spring to arrive here. It’s going to be a while yet.

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    • I think the reason I keep going back to Bowman Bay and Rosario Beach, both parts of Deception Pass Pask, is all the water. Yes, it’s uplifting and nourishing. The amazing thing is that we are 90 miles away from the ocean, but sometimes the weather barrels down the strait and slams the islands here. And always, the water is a mix of ocean and river water and full of nutrients. I know you have a while to go before strong signs of spring arrive but in the meantime, I’m sure you’re keeping busy. Thanks for stopping by, Howard.

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  17. Hi, what stunning photos, light and atmosphere! I’m getting cold, however, when looking at them one after the other. What would be the world without snow and ice, however? I remember a flickr-group already collecting snow photos as there’s less and less now. I love 12 as a motif, with warming orange in it and the seeming motion. Cheers, Petra

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    • Great, Petra, I’m very glad you enjoyed the photos. And don’t worry, the cold has gone and now we have high temperatures around 6C most days or more. But it was fun to have a week of “real” winter. That’s interesting about the Flickr group – wow, it’s sad but it’s a good idea to document the changes, right? It makes sense that you’re attracted to #12 – it’s very graphic, I think, and the colors were nice that day. Thank you and have a good weekend!

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  18. So evocative and beautiful Lynn, both your photos and your prose. I was particularly taken with the winter ocean images – “nature grabbing the upper hand with such unconditional determination” says it all and reminds me of winters when we lived in Virginia Beach and could hardly stand in the wind coming off the ocean. We are finally getting a real winter here in western PA and my bones aren’t happy but the light on the snow is mesmerizing.

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    • It sounds as if you have dealt with the same fierce coastal weather onslaught – it’s exciting, isn’t it? I completely understand your mixed feelings about the serious cold. At least the beauty can distract us from the aches for a while!

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    • The kelp offers new aesthetic opportunities all the time – it’s been a good alga (not really a plant!) to get to know. I’m pleased that you love nature even more after scrolling down, Hedy, thank you. Have a good week!

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    • I couldn’t resist going to Rosario Beach in that crazy weather but I couldn’t stay long, either – the wind was just too much. I’m glad to hear that the “swing toward spring is seeping into your soul” – nice! I was reminded by a blogging friend (he’s Welsh) that tomorrow is the midway-point between the solstice and the equinox, so there you are!

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      • So glad to hear we’re at the mid-point. I’ve been to Birch Bay when the conditions were like you described on your visit to Rosario Beach. It’s exhilarating and somewhat mad to stand on the beach in that much wind, but an awe-inspiring and worthwhile experience in my opinion. Definitely can’t stay long. πŸ™‚

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  19. You gift us so many beautiful, interesting, soothing images! If most readers are like me, they find one that’s extra special and cling to it while scrolling down, then trade it for another.. and then another.. and then forget the numbers of the favorites because we’re so rapt in the experience that we forget to hold the info from the earlier ones — alas we could remember to be more disciplined – so we get a brain exercise as well as a balm for the senses!

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