Showing posts from August, 2011

Ocean Air

7:07 AM, Temp 52.1 °F, Dew Pt 50.7 °F, Barometer 30.04 in, Wind Calm, Humidity 95% Meteorologists call it a marine push , but around here, we refer to it as "ocean air."  Both terms seem to clarify the process.  Cool, moisture-laden air from the Pacific will move inland overnight.  In our case, the Strait of Juan de Fuca provides a direct pathway from the ocean.  Recall that if the humidity approaches 100% and the difference between the air temperature and dew point is less than 4 °F/2.5 °C, fog can form in the air mass.  Generally calm and stable, cool, foggy mornings are common during the summer here. If the system is weak, as the sun rises and warms the air, the fog will begin to dissipate.  Typically, by around 10:00 AM, the fog and overcast will have given way to blue skies and warming temperatures.  This is the pattern that characterized the past weekend.  Sometimes the vanishing fog will reveal stubborn cool spots over the water: 1:01 PM, Temp 66.7 °F,

Pacific Northwest Bloggers Scavenger Hunt

Join us on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 09:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (16:00 GMT) for a Northwest Nature Blog Scavenger Hunt.  The Pacific Northwest region of North America is known for spectacular scenery and a diverse natural world.  We also produce some pretty great nature blogs. Our host will be Patricia K. Lichen , author of Kidnapping the Lorax .  At the appointed time, Patricia will post questions along with a list of blogs where the answers will be found.  The deadline for submitting answers will be midnight PDT, Sunday, July 28, 2011.  The winner of a random drawing of correct answers will receive an autographed copy of Kidnapping the Lorax . To find the questions and instructions for submitting answers, check into at 09:00 AM PDT on Saturday, August 27, 2011.  Get to know the natural world of the Pacific Northwest along with some terrific local bloggers.  We'll look forward to meeting you there.

Autumn Arrived Today

2:10 PM, Temp 62.6 °F, Dew Pt 60.5 °F, Barometer 29.90 in, Wind 6 mph SE G 15, Humidity 93% Though the equinox is still a month off, autumn arrived today on South Fidalgo Island.  The evidence is gray skies, breezy winds, a light rain and a bit of chop on the bay.  After almost a month of sunshine and drought, a weather system moved in delivering the first measurable rainfall since July 25th.  While the Pacific Northwest seems to be known for its rainy weather, in July and August we are actually drier than most other parts of the US.  Seattle's annual rainfall of 38 inches/97 cm is only an inch more than the US national average.  By my reckoning, South Fidalgo is averaging about 21 inches/53 cm annually at the edge of the Olympic Rain Shadow . The classic "Indian Summer," warm, sunny weather after a frost doesn't occur here.  We may not get frost until December, or even January in some years.  Unofficially, our Indian Summer comes after the first blustery,

Walking the Garden

Daylily Hemerocallis 'Whimsical' We spend time weeding the garden, planting the garden, digging the garden or doing whatever in the garden.  Sometimes it is easy to forget to just look at the garden and see what's going on there.  I had the day off today, so I took the opportunity to do just that, walk around and take a good look at everything. This has been a tough spot for gardening.  The soil is glacial and depending on the location, can be hardpan, sand or mucky clay.  All of it is rocky and dry as dust in the summer.  Two plants that seem to do well here are Daylilies and Cranesbill or true Geraniums.  I have decided to plant more Daylilies and Cranesbill in the worst problem spots.  'Whimsical' is a new Daylily just planted this year. Cranesbill Geranium 'Rozanne'  We have a native Geranium, usually regarded as a weed,  that is indigenous to the property.  This may explain why the cultivated varieties do well here.  If you are wondering w

Promise of Summer

05:42 AM, Temp 54.0 F, Dew Pt 51.4 F, Barometer 30.00 in, Wind Calm, Humidity 91% It was starting to look like a year without a summer for us.  While other parts of the country were suffering under heat waves, the Pacific Northwest was getting overcast, cold and drizzle.  In fact, July 25th was the darkest overcast day we had seen in the last four months.   Recall that I also mentioned how slowly spring seemed to be arriving as well.  Now that August is here, perhaps our summer is finally making an appearance.  The sunrise this morning showed great promise for a beautiful day.  Yesterday was magnificent: This late afternoon view towards Saratoga Passage revealed clear skies and calm winds.  Today was a little breezier and it took a little longer to clear off, but eventually we had another nice day: Weather Statistics for July, 2011 Temperature High 75.4° F Low 46.4° F Mean 57.4° F Rainfall 0.94 inches Wind High 21 mph Average 1.3 mph Dom Dir SW Observed at