Tag Archives: Vashon Island

The sky is the view

These are all taken from a little deck off the spare bedroom at my Dad’s house. We were there today and I took pictures, from about the same vantage point, of the changing light and clouds from mid afternoon to after sundown.

The tree and land do not change, but the clouds move and alter the amount and angle of light, and therefore the colors. It is interesting to me that the one taken mid-afternoon looks almost like a black and white and the one taken after sundown has vibrant colors. Maybe that is a metaphor for life in some way.

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: View

Delta Analysis

Back when I worked as  stress analyst I did a lot of “delta analysis”. The basic system was in place, but things change: a part might be built of a different material, a particular mission might have higher loads than the initial predictions…The question we were answering is “is it still okay?”

There isn’t a  picture to go with that…but the beach where I spend a lot of time is also a delta for a creek. Over the years the silt has built up and the landscape and animals one sees have changed. One thing I find really cool is that every year the path of the creek through the delta shifts because of winter storms…so it is an example of both fast and slow changes, and yet when the tide is in it looks the same as ever.


Delta

Yesterday’s Post-Calm After the Storm

Thanksgiving was stormy. Yesterday dawned clear and gentle and a little lazy.

A lovely pause after the storm, and the busy rushes of being present for my grandmother after her fall and feast preparations.

A walk on the beach before someone had to drag the branch  off of the driveway so I could get out…what luxury it would have been to be stuck in that peaceful morning! I’ve never had Paris, but at least I had Vashon.

There is snow on the Olympics that wasn’t there before:

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Winter peace to all.

Sniping at sandpipers

I’ve been feeling kind of beach-y this week. Between the noise and dust from a nearby construction project  starting about seven in the morning and a seasonal allergy that makes it difficult to breathe so I have trouble sleeping and am prone to sneezing fits, I am a bit crotchety. It’s not really a Crisis, but it adds an edge to every minor setback in life.

I decided to go to my dad’s (he lives at the beach) and make a project I had in mind: a planter of concrete and beach rocks to replace one that falls over when the wind blows.

Naturally I couldn’t just follow the directions in the book. I tried to add complexity to the project. I came over yesterday to create a stand with feet (I like planters to not be flush against the ground). That seemed to go fine. I came over today to finish up the project. I started working and things were not going well. Then my back started aching.

So Sam and I went for a walk on the beach, Sam fished and I breathed and sniped at sandpipers, and other birds (with my camera not a gun). Sandpipers (actually most of these are Kildeer, a similar species) are well camouflaged, nervous and pretty fast movers, and I am kind of shaky so this is a bit of a sport. The birds, and there were a lot of them, don’t seem to mind Sam.

KSM20160727-DP-Crisis-02After our walk I went back to work on the project, building up the sides of the planter like a rock wall against a trash can. There wasn’t enough wall thickness between the base I made yesterday using an old 5 gallon bucket of my dad’s and the trash can I had; I made the mortar mix too dry and it couldn’t get into the nooks and crannies of the rocks. Being stubborn I persevered until there was a mini landslide.

 

KSM20160727-DP-Planter-01I washed off all of the rocks and decided that, instead of giving up entirely, I would try (gasp of horror) following the directions, and use the remainder of the 5 gallon bucket as a form.

So far the follow-the-directions one is looking okay…fingers crossed. It won’t be big enough to replace my problem pot, but if it turns out I can plant a few pansies and think of the beach.

May Day at the Beach

May Day, last Sunday we went to the Beach for the first time in a while. I had just arrived home from a trip to China, where the weather wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t truly clear, except the one day after it rained (see  Kites and Umbrellas about the rainy day and Kites and Kids to see the clear day).

In the Puget Sound region we take a lot for granted, beautiful scenery and clear, clean, extremely breathable air come immediately to mind.

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Are we there yet?

We picked up our friends, Ginger and Asta, and took them over to visit their friend, Sam, who lives on the beach with my dad. It was more like July than May, in town I think the temperature got over 80 deg F, but there was a nice breeze at dad’s place.

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Brave little Asta.

Hard to believe that one year ago little Asta was so nervous that she always got car sick and had never, to our knowledge (she was a shelter dog), been out of the desert. She hit the beach running after the two other dogs when she arrived in Seattle last May, but now she heads out on her own. Not afraid of anything: she even will chase a Great Blue Heron (more brave than wise). I have sometimes pondered whether she somehow senses that my uncle’s ashes were spread on the beach there and it somehow makes her feel at home, he was her person).

Richard went sailing, the dogs and I explored the tide flats, Dad mowed, Sam went fishing. A one day slice of paradise for all!

My new car seat cover earned its keep:

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Tired dogs are happy dogs!

Happy May to all.