Mystery Flora + Cryptopod Double-Header: The Sweetest Little Things

Even the desert blooms in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, of course, all sorts of deserts bloom. The ones I grew up in did, but it was only for a few weeks. Here, you can find flowers just about any time, even in dry country. May is a great time to find yourself some blooms everywhere, because about twelve trillion plants have just gotten some nice spring rains and are feeling pretty perky. You also get baby insects, so sometimes you end up with wee bugs on wee blooms and it’s completely adorable.

When B and I visited Dry Falls, we walked a little ways out into the desert along the rim, and found an abundance of flowers. These little purplish-pink sprays were everywhere.

Image shows three pink stems growing along the rocky ground. Bell-shaped flowers with flaring pointed ends are clustered at the ends of the stems.

Mystery Flora I

They seemed to like stretching out just above the ground. A lot of things in this area stay low down so they can conserve water and not get whammed by the wind.

[Read more…]

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Bird AND a Plane!

I’ve been sorting Grand Coulee trip photos in between doing other necessary things. B’s working on your next Christianist education post, and I’m working on our new pyrite article. Alas, neither will be ready in time for this morning, so I shall tide you over with some more outtakes. Gives me an excuse to post them, doesn’t it just?

While we were at Frenchman Coulee, checking out the ginormous erratics on Babcock Bench, a gigantic plane flew overhead. Okay, maybe not that gigantic, but it was pretty big compared to the usual size of low-flying planes we see. [Read more…]

The Heck is This?

B and I took a walk at Richmond Beach by way of getting some healthy exercise while we plan our Mount St. Helens trip. The tide was pretty far out, so we got to do lotsa walking along the beach between the Sound and the railroad tracks. There’s always fun and interesting stuff to see, like this Eye of Siva somebody painted near a manmade waterfall.

Image shows a culvert under the railroad tracks. There's a tiny stream flowing from a pipe, some driftwood piled on the thick granitic riprap rocks, and on one of the rocks is a painting.

Waterfall and rock art.

Here’s a nice closeup of it for ye.

Image shows the pyramidal top of the rock. Someone has used blue and white paint to paint an eye with fancy curlicues coming out of the top lid and inner corner. Underneath is painted the words, "Eye of Siva."

Image shows the pyramidal top of the rock. Someone has used blue and white paint to paint an eye with fancy curlicues coming out of the top lid and inner corner. Underneath is painted the words, “Eye of Siva.”

So that was nice. We dawdled on that side for a bit, then walked over towards the south, where my favorite rocks of all time are. Well, my favorites at Richmond Beach, anyway. Just beyond them, we saw this thingy stuck on the riprap. [Read more…]

Can You Spot the Dragonfly in These Frenchman Coulee Photos?

I spent a bit of Sunday afternoon sorting photos from our Grand Coulee trip whilst watching Misha explore the porch, and found these photos with a dragonfly. I swear that it’s there! See if you can spot it. You needed an excuse to procrastinate on something, right? I’m here to help.

Image shows a bit of the sagebrush-covered desert by Frenchman Coulee. You can see some of the basalt bones sticking up through the thin soil. There's a big sweep of blue sky with a few white clouds to the left. There's a dragonfly in the sky.

There is absolutely a dragonfly in this picture, I promise!

This is a photo I took when we were hiking the desert around Frenchman Coulee. We’d just come from a delightful shady place against the canyon wall where about six billion schoolchildren were being taught how to climb basalt columns. It’s very hard to navigate a trail full of middle-school kids – they’re so wrapped up in their own stuff they don’t notice you until the last instant. But they were adorable and sweet and did eventually clear enough space for us to sneak through. Poor B gets his anxiety triggered by thick crowds of humans, so it was a relief for us both to emerge into the deserted desert beyond, even though it was super-sunny. There was a nice, cool breeze, and it was only in the middle seventies (that’s mid-twenties to you Celsius-using people). [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Inspirations: (Un)Happy Biblical Mother’s Day!

It’s Mother’s Day today in many countries around the world. Many more countries have already or will soon be honoring mothers everywhere. Moms are important! Whether the moms you’re celebrating today are your biological, adopted, step, honorary, grand, great-grand, friends, cousins, or otherwise admired mothers, they’ve played a critical role in ensuring that a) there will be children and b) those children are (usually) at least somewhat civilized. I’ve watched my own moms and all the moms in my circles parent kids, and I’m incredibly grateful to them for doing that tough job. Some of them even do it mostly alone, which is even tougher! Massive respect, Moms!

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s see what sort of inspiration we can get from the Book of Genesis. Sorry-not-sorry to say it’s mostly really terrible. [Read more…]

The Absolutely True History of Godzilla in Washington State, Set to Music

Come for the comedic song, stay for the unexpected geology at the end of the post.

Trebuchet shared a video that captures the very essence of the cities of the Great State of Washington, and explains what happened when a giant mutant reptile wandered through. Thankfully, the damage had been repaired by the time I came here to live. Alas, they preserved the character of those cities – which is rather unfortunate in some cases.

[Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Moar Scablands Magnificence! Plus, a Robin Reprise Right Here

I’m back. I’m so damn tired. Misha doesn’t seemed to have missed me, except she couldn’t open her tuna cans her own self, so that’s the first and only thing she wanted. But she’s alive! I’m so happy.

B and I didn’t do all we wished, but we did lots today! We saw awesome great things. You can see some peeks here. And guess what? An American Robin was kindly enough to pose at Summer Falls so that you could have a robin reprise. I think it appreciates you being able to identify its compadre. [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Sneak Peeks from Frenchman Coulee!

B and I are on a short but sweet trip to the dry side. We hit up Frenchman Coulee and Babcock Bench, then headed on over to Grand Coulee. We’ve got so much great stuff for you already! Have a taste, and I’ll be bringing you more soon, my darlings!

Image shows me standing in front of a huge chunk of basalt ripped out of the coulee and dropped here on the long bench of land by the Columbia River.

Moi by one of the maclargehuge erratics on Babcock Bench at Frenchman Coulee.

 

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Sweetly Singing

This little cutie was singing its lungs out in a tree on Juanita Bay in early April. It’s drove me crazy. I couldn’t figure out what it was. From this angle and distance, it looks like about ten billion different birds and doesn’t sound like any of them. But I’m sure one of you, my darlings, will know what we’ve got!

Image shows a wee bird with a dark top and wings and pale golden-tan chest singing in a tree whose leaves are still eeensy-weensy.

UFD I

That’s the cropped version, so the birdie looks a bit closer than it actually was. Here’s perspective: [Read more…]

Baby Ducky Season is Here!

Ducklings, people! Ducklings! The baby duckies have started hatching on North Creek. I love this time of the year.

Image shows three baby duckies floating in the creek and one exploring on the bank.

D’aw!

Misha was too busy with sunbeams to give a crap about what I was up to, and the weather was the perfect shade of warm, so I headed out down North Creek on Sunday. There weren’t many ducks out, but I did see a couple of mommy ducks with kiddos. The babies were mostly off exploring by themselves, while the moms kept an eye on them from a small distance. [Read more…]