An October family gathering at Deer Harbor on Orcas Island was met with three days of rain and about a half an hour of glorious sun on Saturday. For the most part, the heavy cloud cover muted the usually brighter fall colors but they were great anyway.
Getting to Orcas Island is always a pleasant trip. The ferry leaves from Anacortes and stops as Lopez and Shaw Islands before depositing us on Orcas. The ride is about one hour total.
Although most of the color was the Big Leaf Maples, I was particularly attracted to the Madrone/Madrona (Arbutus menziesii) as they were shedding their red bark and exposing their yellow for the winter. Also they appeared to having a bumper crop of red berries this year.
Big Leaf Maples at Orcas Landing
The sun appeared briefly just before it went down and I grabbed my camera and took off
to catch some of it on the trees. I was richly rewarded with the following series
of photos taken along a path that overlooks Deer Harbor from a bluff above.
Madrona along bluff above Deer Harbor
Piece of peeled red Madrona bark.
More Madrona showing their skin colors
As I noted above, most of the time there was cloudy and wet. But this makes for some interest as well.
I think it shows the tree structure better against the grey sky.
Madrona against a grey drizzly sky
View of Deer Harbor from our cabin deck. San Juan Island sits across the water on the left.
I did say there were seals
A seal was out fishing and came by to check us out on the docks. This photo looks backs across the harbor to the bluff with the Madrona stand.
This seal was successful having come up with a fish. The gulls were hoping for a free lunch but no such luck for them.
The view from atop Mt. Constitution. Compare this to what it looks like from there when clear
Color and clouds in East Sound
A bumper crop of red Madrona berries., The tree was full of birds.
Last are a few photos of the ferry ride home
Leaving Orcas island at Orcas Landing
Shaw Island terminal with a bit of color
Some pelagic Cormorants at the Shaw Is. dock.
Lopez Island terminal
More Madronas from Lopez Is. to the right of the terminal.
So thanks for coming along on my little tour of the San Juan Islands on a wet October weekend. It was a good trip and we enjoyed the short excursion and the few minutes of sunlight.
I’m not technology-averse, but neither I am a first-adopter. I had a flip phone long after everyone else had moved on to smartphones, and I didn’t add texting to our phone package until 2009, when the Kiddo begged and pleaded with me, using the rationale that her work study boss expected to be able to contact her via text. (I still don’t know if that was true, but she got extra credit for creative persuasion, which tipped the balance to a yes on text capability.) Part of my reasoning for waiting until new tech isn’t new is that I want to wait until the cost of the technology comes down; part of it is a show-me-why-it’s-better attitude; and yes, some of it is resistance to change.
But sometimes that change is forced upon you. When I recently got my new-to-me car, it came without a CD player but did have bluetooth. I rarely listen to the radio, so my music choices had always been dependent on which CD I pulled from the stack in my center console. Without a CD player and with no intention of keeping Sirius radio once my complimentary trial ran out, I was faced with a dilemma. I immediately consulted my personal tech gurus (Kiddo and SIL), and they had two immediate solutions. They added me to their Google music subscription, so I could stream whatever music I wanted. In addition to that, they suggested I might want to add podcasts to my listening choices. Of course, I was aware of the existence and popularity of podcasts, but I had never listened to one. Directed to a podcast app (they suggested Podcast Addict), I was able to search by categories, by what was new or trending, and even for free audiobooks. It was a revelation. I know there are a number of you thinking, “Oh, Do, you really need to start living in the 21st century,” but I bet there are also a few of you who are thinking that maybe now is as good a time as any to explore podcasts. Below are some of my current favorites; please add any of yours in the comments.
An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. The latitudes +L and -L north and south of the equator experience nights of equal length and the celestial equator has intersected the ecliptic in the axial precession.
This year’s Autumnal Equinox, when the light and dark are equal – but moving towards dark – arrived at 2:50am Central Time on Monday, September 23rd.
But seasonal celebrations should not be bound by dates and times and such. In fact, it is a good idea to pre-celebrate Equinox so that you do not miss that last fleeting moment when light and dark have equal time. So …
Let the Fall Celebrations Begin !!
Matching donations begins at 10am central
I don’t know who won the debate. I think they all made some good points, and there’s not a one of them that I wouldn’t vote for. But today, or lucky Friday the 13th, there’s $13,000 in matching funds for the AIDS Walk & I’m asking for donations to get some of that money. My goal is to raise $5,000 & I’m almost to $3,000 with 9 days left. So any amount you can give — starting at 10am this morning, will be doubled. And if you’re all tapped out, can you please share this diary? Maybe you know someone who can pitch in $5. That five bucks will become ten — and maybe that person will share this diary, too.
In what will come as shock to absolutely nobody, I’m a bit of a history buff. I was a history (and German) major in college, and I’ve always interspersed my mystery reading with history and history-related books. What I didn’t do on a regular basis is read history by historians; I would read Walter Isaacson or Ron Chernow, who are wonderful, accessible writers, but not historians. When I started using Twitter, it was a revelation. I somehow stumbled across the #Twitterstorians, and a whole new world of academic historians was opened up to me. It’s been a journey filled with interesting, informative tweets and an ever-expanding reading list. Today I want to feature some of the women historians I follow; some I only follow on Twitter, some have books that are on my TBR list, and some have books that I’ve already read. All are herstorians worth getting to know better.
Starting at 10am central time today, there is $10,000 in donations to be matched for AIDS Walk Austin. Meaning: AIDS agencies in the Austin area can (will?) get $20,000 donated in just one day!