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Showing posts from October, 2012

Seeing the Forest

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Autumn has arrived on South Fidalgo Island with cooler temperatures and a welcome bit of rain.  Between showers, it's a great time for a walk in the woods.  Nearby Deception Pass State Park is one of the best places to see both the forest and the trees.  Hang your Discover Pass on your rear-view mirror and join me on a hike in the woods.


Overcast skies paint the landscape in shades of gray now.  Blustery winds will kick up some surf along the beach at Bowman Bay.  Our destination will be Lighthouse Point on Deception Pass.   It sits on the outer edge of Reservation Head on the right in the photo.  This is actually a small island that is connected to Fidalgo by a tombolo or sand bar.  The trail to Lighthouse Point begins just past the fishing dock.


A Great Blue Heron finds the railing of the dock a convenient place to rest after some early morning fishing.


The trail begins with a brief climb, skirts the cliff over Bowman Bay, then descends back down to the beach.  A small wetland …

Civilian Conservation Corps

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Deception Pass State Park was built in the 1930's by the young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps.  This was a stimulus program from another time.  It has been memorialized by this statue at Bowman Bay.  CCC alumnae are justifiably proud of what they accomplished.  My stepfather spoke fondly of his time in the CCC's working in Mount Rainier National Park.  Another photo of the statue appears in a previous post.  The State of Washington benefited from many CCC projects around the state.


Nearby, a wonderful example of "parkitecture" now serves as the Civilian Conservation Corps Interpretive Center.  Anyone interested in the history of the thirties and forties will find it as interesting as I did.  This and several kitchens, pavilions and bathhouses were built by CCC workers from onsite materials.  These are enduring structures created with skill and craftsmanship which have survived more than 75 years.

Deception Pass State Park has been nominated for listing with t…

Skywatch Friday: First Sunrise

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After almost three full months of sunshine and blue sky, the weather began to change this past week.  With clouds rolling in off the Pacific Ocean, my interesting Skagit Bay sunrises have returned.  The changes also brought some very welcome rain to the region.


Home Again

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8:05 AM, Temp 59.1° F, Dew Pt 55.2° F, Barometer 29,86 in, Wind 11 mph G 17, Humidity 87%


Skies are overcast, gusty winds have kicked up and it has rained off and on for the last 24 hours.  After almost three months of non-stop sunshine and blue skies, a change in the weather has arrived.  The weekend has delivered more typical October weather.  I must admit that I am not unhappy about the change.  There is a certain comfort that Northwesterners find in the dark skies, sun breaks, blustery winds and yes, even in the rain.


The Camano Island radar image also reveals something we haven't seen in a while.  At the moment of the screenshot, the Olympic Rain Shadow was in play here.  The brighter sky over Whidbey Island in the top photo is how the "shadow" often appears to us here on South Fidalgo.

As I write this, that rain system is arriving, and the winds are beating the drops against the windows.  The sun is shining even more brightly through the Rain Shadow over Whidbey.  …

Endless Summer

1:46 PM Temp 65.8° F, Dew Pt 56.1° F, Barometer 30.18 in, Wind Calm, Humidity 71%


It's October 1st, but summer seems to go on and on.  I never thought I would say this, but I sure wish it would rain.  These endless days of sunshine and blue skies are becoming tedious.  The rainfall for the last three months here tells a story:

July1.36 in   (35.5 mm)August0.01 in   (0.25 mm)September    0.07 in   (1.78 mm)




I think there are deserts that get more rainfall than this during late summer.  My garden is suffering the consequences.  The average September rainfall for Anacortes, Washington is 1.36 inches (35.5mm).  My weather station on South Fidalgo Island is about six miles from Anacortes and a bit further inside the Olympic Rain Shadow.  For the last five years the average September rainfall here has been 0.87 in (22.1mm).  The range was 0.41 in (10.4mm) in 2008 to 1.91 in (48.5mm) in 2010.

I mention this only to illustrate how unusual the September rainfall amount here has been.  We ha…