Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Early Evening Lights

Lights from Samish Island, City of Anacortes and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Peninsula are seen from the Chuckanut Range as a mid December storms clears.

Clearing December Storm ©Paul K. Anderson

Heavy Rains and the Streams Run High

Oyster Creek in December ©Paul K. Anderson 12-14-2010
Just a few short weeks ago the creeks and streams flowing out of the Chuckanut Range were flowing at very low levels.  Fall rains raised the water levels and Chum Salmon swam upstream and gave it their all for the next generation. Recent cold and snow caused water levels to fluctuate down, up, and down - then the Pineapple Express roared in.

Chuckanut, Oyster and Colony Creeks are at high levels and have been observed carrying a significant level of sediment based on observations of water color.

Compared to Sunday, Oyster Creek has cleared up significantly by Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"How We Find the Path"

The Chuckanuts hide behind dark moisture laden clouds
of the Pineapple Express above Samish Bay near Edison.
©Paul K Anderson

From his poem "How We Find the Path" Washington Poet Robert Sund wrote:

People in the midst of cities are
driven crazy by where
they are and what they
are doing to keep
themselves there.

Where is the way out?
Right there.
But still it isn't easy
for a person to
take the road
out of town.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

January 2009 Flooding Along the Samish River

Editors note: Todays pineapple express and heavy rains are causing flooding on many western Washington streams.  Below is a blog post I wrote back in Jan. 2009

The Pacific Northwest has more than its share of rainy, gloomy weather in the winter.  

The jet stream changes course, the "Pineapple Express" soars in from the tropics near Hawaii and inches of rain falls in the lowlands and the mountains.

In Jan of 2009, over a 48 hour time frame, 6" of rain fell.  In the foothills and lower mountains the rain melted feet of snow pack, all of which contributed to the flooding of western Washington streams.

The snow over the last several weeks insulated and protected small mammals - voles, field mice, from predation by the raptors - hawks and eagles.

Eight American Bald Eagles worked a flooded field swooping down to the water and throwing out their talons at the helpless voles and mice trying to swim to the only high ground - the county roads.

Thousands of acres of blueberry bushes, were covered.

Approaching dusk I drove into the small village of Edison.  Warm inviting lights of the Edison Cafe, The Longhorn Saloon, Slough Foods, The Bread Farm, and Farm to Market Bakery shone out onto the wet street inviting neighbors and visitors to stop by and get dry and warm.

All photos ©Paul K. Anderson and were photographed near the Samish River at the base of the Chuckanut Range between I-5 and just west of Farm to Market Road near Edison.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Late Fall Evening Above the Salish Sea

The Value of High Places ©Paul K. Anderson
Oil Tanker Waiting Near March Point  ©Paul K. Anderson

It cleared off late yesterday afternoon so I drove up to the launch site on Blanchard to get away from town. When it does clear this time of year, sunsets over the Salish Sea can be deeply chromatic with saturated reds, yellows, oranges, purples and blues.

Others at the site also appreciated these ecosystem services and values provided by the Chuckanut Range.

Mt. Rainier from The Chuckanut Range. Nikon 200-400 f4 Zoom
©Paul K. Anderson

Light pollution from Victoria, Bellingham, Vancouver reflected by low clouds
©Paul K. Anderson