Snowy conditions in the PNW

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Pacific Northwest weather report summary:

The area is still snowy with icy conditions on the roads. Some rain is mixed in with some breaks revealing the usual clouds.  More snow is likely the way in many areas. Remain extra cautious if driving, and don’t do anything stupid.

– Orion T

 

Seattle’s Snowpocalypse at UW

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It’s snowing in Seattle now, with more to come.

I’m enjoying it, for bringing a rare and peaceful beauty to this busy city. Though, many have to make adjustments to their lives, especially for those driving on the roads. It’s not as cold as the snowy areas of the east coast but definitely can feel an icy chill in the air.

Here are some pics recent from the Univerisity of Washington, in North Seattle. If in the area, do enjoy and explore, but be careful.

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The Depth of Nature

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“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

The picture was at Killarney Lake, in the middle of Bowen Island. This was during my stay in Vancouver, Canada in middle of a nice group hike. It’s a nice, short walk for those who can spare an hour or two (the extra hour for the trail that goes around the lake).

But right now, I wish there was a calm lake easily accessible to my current situation, living in a noisy city. Staring at this picture will have to do, for now.

– Orion T

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marching in 2019

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We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

Today, a beautiful day in honor of the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Many had the day off and joined others at special marches across the US.  Seattle represented itself well where thousands took over many blocks, giving tribute and spreading many of Martin Luther King Jr’s messages on racial prejudice, economic inequality, social injustice and change, the effects of war, the need for peace, education, and much more.

Among them, I felt a great optimism of such strength in numbers, that we can move forward for the better. But, there is still a lot of work to be done, after the marching is over.

– Orion T

 

Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse

The above shot is from about 9:15 AM,  in Seattle, Washington. The occurrence is slightly after the totality of this night’s Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse, a rare occurrence with the combination of the following things…

A “Supermoon,” which happens at its closest point to Earth during its elliptical orbit. This appears to be slightly bigger and brighter in the sky than a “normal” full moon, best shown in the early rise and set.

The “Blood Moon,” which is the red color from the wavelength of light from the Earth’s atmosphere putting just enough sunlight onto the mostly dark lunar surface.

The “Wolf Moon,” which a traditional name from early North American history (likely given by native tribes, and carried on by the colonists, I think) was given to this first full moon of this midwinter time, as wolves would howl loudly for this night.

All that came together on this one special night, for which will not occur again in this combination for another 18 years.  This phenomenon was worth viewing on this chilly night and lucky for the clouds from past nights not interrupting.

– Orion T

Freedom to be yourself…

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“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way” ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The pic above is a moment here at Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada.

– Orion T

 

The Destructive and Constructive Work of Beavers

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A beaver is a hard-working, very intelligent mammal engineer.

When beavers work, they produce noticeable results. There is a grand notice on the materials they use, mainly wood from trees. The environment used, is forever changed.

The above picture is from my group hike on Bowen Island in Vancouver, Canada. This is one forest section well-stripped by beavers, using their powerful front-teeth (unsure of how many beavers, but do work in small numbers). Much of that wood is used to create a lodge; a dome-like house made from sticks, grasses and moss-plastered with mud. One lodge is sufficient for a whole family of beavers, to live comfortably and produce/raise their offspring. Such lodges are built slightly above water level along river and pond banks, like the one seen here.

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Beavers also use that wood to build dams, to better manage and trap water to create large ponds. Beavers also feed off the trees for food, eating the leaves, roots, and bark. They also digest some surrounding aquatic plants. Nothing seems wasted in a beavers world.

I did a little research and reading on the conflict between the tree-raiding troublemakers and the human settlers of Bowen Island. The dam work of beavers has in the past, disrupted homes and yards of private areas, with flooding. The early actions by locals were to trap and kill the little critters. But in the last decade, a more humane solution popularized, to build special fences to prevent the beaver-building of dams in needed areas for water to flow.

That protection, and other solutions to help the island’s natural habitat creatures have been put forth by the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, or Fur-Bearers. For more on beaver fences and the volunteer work of the Fur-Bearers, visit thefurbearers.com.

Meanwhile, here is a fascinating BBC video on the hard work and rewarding results of those busy beavers.

 

– Orion T