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Welcome, Returning Light!

The winter solstice “occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, the term is also a turning point to midwinter and the first day of winter.”

That moment will occur this morning, December 21st, at 10:28am Central Time, which is my time zone also known as UTC 16:28.

Snowy Owls and Trumpeter Swans are Snow Birds to the Pacific Northwest

Juvenile female Snowy Owl, Sandy Point WA

 

November/December, 2017

At the Edge of the Salish Sea

These two snowy white birds have recently returned to our area after summering and breeding in Alaska (Trumpeter Swan) and the arctic tundra (Snowy Owl). One does not have to be an avid birder to celebrate their annual arrival as both are real showboats with their white feathers and their relatively large size. The snowy Owl is the largest by weight of the NA owls  and has a 50” wingspan while the Trumpeter Swan is our largest native waterfowl, stretching up to six feet and weighing up to 26 lbs.

VNV Tuesday: Giving Tuesday 11/28/17

Giving Tuesday is not just a marketing ploy like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It was started six years ago:

Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y—a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back—#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces, collaborating across sectors, offering expertise and working tirelessly, to launch #GivingTuesday and have continued to shape, grow and strengthen the movement.

#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another. givingtuesday.org

The last Sunday Breakfast

I regret to say that this will be the last diary in this form. The immediate reason for this is that I have other engagements on the next two Saturdays which will preclude my being able to do diaries, but above that is the fact that compiling these has stopped being fun and become a chore.

Just as in the UK, 2017 has been a year of governmental non-achievement. The incompetent bunch of crooks, ideologues and nitwits who occupy the nation’s highest offices huff and puff but all they’ve actually managed to do to the law is cancel some regulations which threaten the pecuniary interests of some of their donors. While this is perhaps a relief given what they would like to have done if they could muster the votes, it doesn’t make for riveting pundit commentary.

#MeToo

In my pre-teens, I was groped by a teenager.

In my thirties, I was groped by a stranger on a plane.

In between, I was raped by a co-worker.

It has only been in the last year that I labeled the actions of my co-worker as “rape.” In my head knew he had forced me but to say “rape” meant something I wasn’t ready to face. I’m not sure I am now. But I am compelled to write it down, to get it out, to make people see that when you say, “why didn’t she come forward sooner” you are part of the problem.

Fall Colors and Mountain Goats in the Mt. Baker Wilderness Area


North Cascades Mountain Goat (Oreamnos america) grazing on huckleberries and grasses on a warm October afternoon. What a beautiful specimen, well muscled with thick lustrous white fur and appearing very well fed.

Mount Baker Wilderness Area,

North Cascades Range,

NW Washington State

October 5, 2017