Do you need some sunshine? Of course you do: it’s winter for us northern hemisphere types, and as for you southern hemisphere types, you may be getting lots and lots of sunshine already, but it’s not winter sunshine, which is completely different from summer sunshine. Rarer, for one. At least here. It’s been gray for weeks. Weeks and weeks, nothing more than a brief peek of sunlight, usually when we’re trapped indoors at work. This used to not bother me, as I’d gotten topped up on sunshine after thirty years in Arizona, but after nearly six years here, it appears I’ve burnt through my reserves. So on Friday, when the clouds went completely away and the sun burst out, something within me broke. I watched the sunshine blaze for hours whilst being cooped inside, and saw on the weather report that the Gray would be returning within twenty-four hours, and nearly went mad. So I scarpered. Definite mental-health half day.
Almost burst into song as I skipped up the road after birds’ nests I’d been wanting to photograph for weeks. You’ll be getting a medley of those soon. But first, glorious sunshine beaming down all over the place, and other wonderful things.
It being so clear, I figured we’d get a good view of Mount Rainier from the drumlin, and indeed it was so:
That was a lovely rare sight. I’m always afraid that when Mount Rainier decides to erupt again, it’ll do it in winter, and I’ll be standing forlornly on the drumlin knowing I could’ve watched geology in action if only the damned meteorology had cooperated.
So, the sun shone, the birds sang, and it would’ve been a nice hop over the drumlin if I hadn’t forgot my charged camera battery. It’s all right. If I hadn’t had to go back, I would’ve not decided to go up the street instead, and wouldn’t have seen this lovely gentlecrow.
We have scads of corvids round here. And sometimes they like to look all artistic and interesting.
So there’s this thing that happens when you haven’t seen blue skies in many weeks, and that is developing a tendency to stand with your head flung back, looking up and giggling. No one in Seattle mistakes this for madness.
If you’re standing at an intersection waiting for your light to turn green, you might even stare up at the other direction’s green light and go, “Wowsa. That looks purty!”
Yes, I’m a dweeb.
Botany looks rather different in the winter, mostly because it’s nekkid, and it looks even more different still when the sun shines upon it.
When the botany is nekkid, it’s easier to see the little streamlets that abound absolutely everywhere. I love the patterns in the water here as it begins to fall down a tiny little waterfall.
The early-blooming shrubbery is doing the early-blooming thing, and I saw my first bee and spider of the season, but couldn’t get them photographed to save my life. So here. Have some flowers. They have the decency to hold still and be appropriately contrasty..
That’s civilization for you. Always breeding things to do things convenient to people. These don’t seem to mind. On down the way, by the creek, things are all natural and not-yet-blooming. Some remnants of reproduction cling on to bare stalks, and look very artistic in the light of a dying day.
At that spot on the trail, the sun was already behind a ridge. Further down, the ridge peters out, and the skies were bright. So was the moon.
That cloudless sky made a wonderful backdrop to aged rose hips.
Got a very lucky shot near the pond.
And when I reached the pond, the sinking sun gleaming off the water, turning bare trees to gold and then reflecting them, was striking.
And that light in the trees – magnificent backdrop for our Bullock’s Oriole nest.
So of course I had to catch it from more than one angle, and there’s a point where the gold light just glows. Lovely.
Amazing what sunshine can do with low angles and bare branches, innit? And then there was the part of the sky to the north, where twilight was setting in, and wow.
So I didn’t know which would be your favorite, so I selected all three.
By the time I’d reached the stream that flows behind the Brightwater facility, the sun was almost completely down, and the crows were gathering to roost. They always gather in the trees round there, trying to look like extras in a Hitchcock film, and they also confab on the ball fields. Wave after wave of them flew through the sunset sky.
And they flew round the moon. Would’ve gotten you a good video, too, only my one charged battery packed it in.
We had just enough residual power left to catch the sunset.
Note the clouds coming from the west, just in time to lend some interest to the darkening sky. Those bastards ended up inviting all their friends, and the Gray was back by Saturday morning – but we had some interesting breaks and I’ve got a whole ‘nother set of adventures to show you after this. It’s been an excellent weekend for photographs. Not so much for serious research and posting. Hell, I haven’t even finished collecting links on the Siberian meteor. I mean, that was amazing and enthralling and all, but let’s face it, people – the sun was out in Seattle. That trumps rocks from outer space. There will be plenty of time to catch up on the news when the Gray comes back in earnest. Which it will do starting about… now.