Showing posts from January, 2016


We all know the basic difference between deciduous and coniferous trees.  Deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall and grow new ones in the spring.  Conifers are evergreens that hold their leaves (or needles) year around.  But that's really not the whole story.  In fact, conifers drop needles continuously all year around.  The big Douglas Firs in my yard and the wind like to send needles into the rain collector of my weather station.  These can clog the aperture in the bottom of the collector.  To deal with this, I devised a successful strategy using a kitchen strainer to catch the needles. About a year ago, Davis Instruments revised the design of their collector for the Vantage Pro2 station.  It included a debris screen that fit in the bottom of the bucket.  This looked like a good idea so I ordered one. Unfortunately, as you can see in the photo, the slots in the new debris screen are too large to hold back the fir needles.  Three or four times this winter I

Hoypus Point:  The Fireside Trail

The 2016 First Day Hike at Deception Pass State Park would introduce me to Hoypus Point.  This is a section of the park I had never explored.  On December 30th, I hiked the CCC Crossing Trail  in the Hoypus Natural Forest Area,  My birthday was this past weekend.  To celebrate, I decided to check out another Hoypus trail called The Fireside Trail. Hoypus Point and Hoypus Hill form the largest section of the park.  This may also be the least developed section.  Several trails form a network.   On the map , I count 16 in all with interesting names like Slug Slough, Fern Gully and Big Marsh Trail.  For my birthday, Fireside Trail sounded the most inviting.  I wanted to see why it had been given that name.  Since I also had no idea what I was getting myself into, this hike seemed a reasonably sized adventure. Beginning at the first trailhead off Cornet Bay Road, my route would be the West Hoypus Trail to the Fireside Trail heading east.  Then I would take the East Hoypus Trail b

First Day Hike 2016:  Hoypus Point

Yesterday, New Year's Day, I attended the fifth annual First Day Hike at Deception Pass State Park.  These hikes have become a tradition in Washington State Parks and around the country.  Our destination was Hoypus Point which introduced me to a section of the park I had never explored.  The one mile trek would take us to the site of an old ferry landing that no longer exists.  Before the Deception Pass Bridge opened in 1935, the ferry shuttled vehicles and pedestrians between Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands. We gathered at the State Park docks on Cornet Bay .  Jack Hartt, Park Manager, pictured left, and Montana Napier  (.pdf), Naturalist Interpreter would be our hosts.  Under the picnic shelter, coffee, cocoa, banana bread and pumpkin bread were provided by the Deception Pass Park Foundation . Before beginning the hike, Rick Columbo from the Foundation (with hand raised) spoke about the park and its features.  Sub-freezing overnight temperatures had left everything cove

I Am Groot

I AM Groot.