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Showing posts from December, 2012

Merry Christmas!

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I found this photo while transferring files to a new computer.  It is one of the first photos (number 11 to be exact) I took with my first digital camera.  It was a Canon S2 IS with 5 megapixels and a zoom lens.  I thought I was fixed for life and it served me very well.

This is Skagit Bay on December 22, 2008.  We would end up with about 14 inches of snow.  Western Washington roads between the Canadian and Oregon borders were pretty much shut down.  Mountain passes were closed and the ocean beaches had blizzard conditions.  Unlike other parts of the country, spring and summer weather is usually pretty dull here.  Fall and winter, on the other hand, are always interesting.

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!

Loggers in the Garden

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When people purchase wooded property to build a home, usually the first thing they do is cut down all the trees.  Not me.  I wanted to keep the trees.  I wanted big Douglas and Grand Fir trees in my garden.  Perhaps you can understand why from this photo taken yesterday during a brief, late-December sunbreak.

They are a mixed blessing.  Gardening beneath them is much more difficult than I anticipated.  They are big, greedy resource hogs.  A far-reaching network of rootlets sucks up all available moisture and nutrients.  I always have needles tracked into the house, in my truck and in the gutters.  When the windstorms kick up, there is always a worry about them coming down.  Nevertheless, I have no regrets.  After 25 years, they are like very good friends with just a few bad habits.  I think they also allow wildlife to feel comfortable visiting the yard.


Like any plant in the garden, the big trees need tending.  For this I engaged an ISA certified arborist.  He recommended removing th…

High Tide

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High Tide occurred at 8:43 AM this morning.  With an astronomical tide of 11.9 feet (3.63 meters), the water level should have just reached the driftwood line.  We also had a storm pass through overnight.  At 1:39 AM, barometric pressure bottomed at 28.908 inches (978.94 mbar) giving us the lowest value for the year.

It was quite windy here yesterday evening and overnight, but at the time of the high tide this morning, winds were calm.  The trailing edge of the storm produced northerly winds.  We are usually sheltered from north and west winds on this part of Fidalgo Island.  Nevertheless, the combination of low atmospheric pressure and wind added one to two feet to the tides throughout Puget Sound.  A flock of Canada Geese seem to be enjoying the neighbor's flooded lawn.

This could be a look at our future under a regime of global climate change and rising seas.

West Seattle also experienced an unusually high tide this morning:


Next up, a promise 2-4 inches of snow tonight and tom…

Windows 8: It's Not Bad

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This is my first blog post written on a brand new computer.  As some may notice, I am also marking the occasion with a new look for the blog.  After doing some shopping and checking reviews, I have settled on a new desktop machine rather than another laptop.  With an Intel i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 2 TB of disk space and an IPS monitor, it is a truly great photo editing and blogging machine.

A new computer meant considering Windows 8.  After reading all the negative reviews, I was apprehensive about the prospects of the the new OS.  Then I noticed something about all the bad-mouthing.  It sounded vaguely familiar.  When Microsoft adopted the ribbon menu for Office, I heard the same complaints, "confusing," "bewildering," "incoherent," "disappointing," "annoying" and the like.  Once I located the first tool in the ribbon menu with a little help from Google, I discovered that it was easy to predict where to find everything.  The ribbon…