For Suzanne

My dearest Suzanne could use some beautiful things right now. So I shall give her (and also you, dearest readers) some flowers and a sunset from Oregon, 2010, when Lockwood took us round to investigate the glories of Oregon geology for the very first time.

Sunset Sprig

I have no idea what this is, but it can be found on the coast near Devils Churn, and makes for a fantastic bit of brilliance against all the green foliage and black rock. Perhaps a more flora-savvy reader can enlighten us.

Yellow Delight

This, I think, might be an orchid, but I can’t run down an identification, so I don’t know. But I love it. It was sitting close to the beach at Devils Churn, nestled in the rocks, lovely as anything. I love finding things like this in unexpected places.

Sunset, Sea and Seabirds

On our way up the coast, seeking dinner, the sun set the sea afire, and so we pulled over in a convenient spot and chanced upon some spectacular photo ops. It’s not a patch on some of Suzanne’s sunset photos, but it’ll do for a finale.

I’ve got quite a few more flower photos I’ve not done anything with. Who else is in need of some flora to sweeten life a bit?

Would You Like Some Geology With Your Coffee? One Mountain or a Range?

I have to admit, when my coworker Mitch told me he’d bought a drive-through coffee stand, I thought he was nuts. He’s rather the last person I’d expect to buy a business of any sort. But then he was smart enough to filch a known excellent barista, and the whole enterprise began to look more sane.

He also had the great good sense to buy the one that’s close to the Martha Lake Airport Park glacial erratic. It’s also close to Highway 96, which leads to some gorgeous views of the Cascades over the Snohomish River valley. So I figured, hell with it. I’ll kidnap Cujo and do a wee field trip with coffee. We’ll start at 511 164th Street Southwest, Lynnwood, WA, head to Martha Lake Airport Park in Martha Lake to ogle a very large rock, gape at the Cascades from Glacier Peak High School, and end in Woodinville at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers.

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Intimations of Spring

Seattle does this. In the midst of a chilly, drab, damp gray winter, a few days burst out with sun and warmth, as if the Pacific Northwest has gotten as tired of the cold and dark as its inhabitants and decided to skip forward a few months. It will go back to being winter again before long. Gather ye sunshine while ye may, then.

I fled the house after some lounging about in a brilliant sunny bedroom with a cat lolling in sunbeams, and headed off on a ramble up over the drumlin to North Creek. I propose to take you with me. There’s precious little geology to be found along this route, but there are a few points of mild interest, and birders may scream with joy.

One of the things I like about living here is the shy little glimpse of Mt. Rainier. You wouldn’t expect it in Bothell, exactly, but over the shoulder of a drumlin, Mt. Rainier puts in an occasional appearance.

Mt. Rainier from a drumlin

There were rather fewer clouds than it appears in this photo, lurking about on the horizons as if ashamed to be intruding. We’re supposed to have more of the bastards tomorrow, but I put about as much stake in the predictions of the weather reports around here as I do in the prognostications of psychics and most economic forecasters. The weather seems to delight in proving them wrong on the fine details.

But I digress.

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Slowly Emerging

Figured I’d better check in and let everyone know I’m still alive. Buried in Agatha Christie, still, but alive.

I’m slowly clearing the email backlog, so those of you who’ve emailed without reply for a while should be getting responses soon. I cleaned up ye olde inbox at last, flagged things needing attention, and downloaded all of those papers that have been languishing therein. They’re all loaded on the Kindle, and the Docs folder is looking pleasantly plump. Pretty soon, I’ll be through the Agatha Christie, and on to the science.

It’ll be a relief. I love her, I do, but this concentrated dosage wears a bit. It’s just that I can’t bloody stop… I’m coping by suspecting absolutely everyone, alive or dead. That way, when the murderer is revealed, I can say, “I suspected him/her all along!” It’s a hollow victory, but I’ll take it.

Writing will probably return soon. I’m getting restless and fretful, with occasional flashes of ideas, which is a good sign. And if worse comes to worse, I can always beat something out of myself with a rock hammer – I’m going down to see Lockwood soon, and I have a feeling that will provide the necessary goad to ye olde Muse.

I’ve been out of the loop for a long time. I’ve no idea what’s going on, aside from the fact that Washington State approved gay marriage, and Gov. Gregoire should be signing it into law. Weddings! At last! I’m proud of my adopted state, and hopefully shall be attending a wedding or two this summer.

So what else have I missed? Let me know the happenings, the awesome science papers, and whatever else comes to mind.

And thank you for standing by while I get my shit back together. You, my dear readers, keep me from giving up. I owe you.