Monday, December 12, 2005


Some shots from
Saturday. Sunrise over Santa Monica; sunset from Ventura. Quite a contrast to Puget Sound!

Santa Barbara Channel

I flew down to LA this weekend and drove up the coast for Leal's Memorial Service. I took this picture later in the day. Somehow it seems right for Leal - it's got a river (I admit, it's not the Amazon) and the Santa Barbara Channel. I hope there's a river wherever she is.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hood Canal

I didn't get to the field this week, so we'll borrow from October. I liked these shots - drift lines of leaves and oyster shell at Twanoh State Park and a full rainbow from Alderbrook.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cama Beach

North end of Cama Beach, a couple falls ago. North breeze. Mid tide. Net shore drift is to the north - the direction we're looking. Gravel and sand bands reflecting previous higher tides. Large wood is combination of drift logs and debris from a small landslide - note how branches take over new growth after main trunk falls. I don't know what a typical Puget Sound beach is - but this may be close!

Friday, December 02, 2005


One of the least known shorelines on Puget Sound lies only a mile or two west of I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma. Thanks to the Northern Pacific Railway, the Army, and the legacy of munitions manufacture at Dupont, the bluffs aren't lined with houses as they are just about everywhere else on the Sound. The cookie-cutter gray and beige houses of Northwest Landing are getting awfully close and it was their public pathway that brought me to a wonderful overlook of the Nisqually Delta. If you walk a mile north on the lane between the fence and the bluff edge, you catch views across Nisqually Reach toward Anderson Island and the Olympics. I scrambled down the bank and across the tracks to the little cuspate beach that has formed where an odd breakwater-tombolo like feature occurs. I've seen it from the water and in aerials - but am still not quite sure of its origins (it was built, although waves and time have reshaped it). At low tide, one could walk probably walk out to the barge that's grounded at the end. At high tide the beach ends pretty quickly. Both north and south, the beach vanishes beneath the riprap that holds up the railroad as it climbs south into the Nisqually Valley.

Glass Beach

Northwest of Port Townsend folks used to dump their garbage over the edge of the high bluff. Now it is houses. The beach is what I call a wild beach - when you walk along it, you are unaware that suburbia is lurking just out of sight 100 feet up and 50 feet back. No seawalls, no stairways (or very few), and you don't actually notice the rusty metal until you are on top of it. Just some scraps and a boulder or two that look like slag. Not as bad as at Port Angeles where the refrigerators and the engine blocks are tumbling out of the bluff and where the city seems willing to spend millions of dollars to protect its mid-century midden from the sea.

Rusty iron on the beach isn't a great thing but there will be less of it every year. Maybe someone will even come in and haul it away. Trouble with trams and stairs and seawalls is that there will be more of them every year. Wild beaches are few and far between on Puget Sound.

The Trailhead

An experiment. Maybe a trial. An opportunity to capture my thoughts on the places I visit on Puget Sound. A venue for musings about issues and topics that seem of great importance today, but that will be diminished by the significance of tomorrow's events. A personal outlet for observations that arise at work - where they may be neither relevant nor judicious - but where I find myself immersed in a world that I have come to know well and to love deeply. Where the line between vocation and avocation becomes blurred.