Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Midwest Moppets

A bit ago, I put out a call for UFDs, and our Ken responded with some stunning photography. Even if you’re all like, “Oh, pfft, Dana, these are simplicity themselves!” you are still going to love them.

Here’s our first UFD. Ken manages to make it look lovely despite its poor bald head: [Read more…]

Epic Cheesy Horse! Plus: What Ground Combat REALLY Looks Like

We made it to the Snohomish Pumpkin Hurl and Medieval Faire! Alas, we didn’t have a chance to see Trebuchet, but we saw him launch his trebuchets, so that was something. Starspider and I were waiting for her funnel cake and missed the black powder cannon, but others in our party made it. We got kettle corn and the beef jerky I’ve been waiting for all year. Starspider let me nibble on her venison jerky, which was my first deer ever, and delicious, even though it’s like chowing down on Bambi’s mom. We saw the jousting, and I got to hang out with Paladin, who is one of my favorite horses, so that was most excellent. I will have pumpkin hurling awesomeness and some jousting excitement, despite my camera suddenly becoming old and crotchety and having trouble focusing, and being at a not-so-great angle. I managed to shoot lots of video and some really good still photos. Some of it has Mount Baker as the backdrop, which looks really amazeballs. You will love it.

But first, people, I have to post this epic photo of Eowyn and Sir Cedric. I think we have achieved peak cheesy-horse. [Read more…]

Erratic Times on the Burke-Gillman Trail, Incl. a Mighty Bronze Croc

Have I got a crocodile for you! Also a sweet glacial erratic! Funny Diva and I went out for a nice Thursday evening jaunt along the Burke-Gillman Trail. Since I had to bring pizza to S, we parked at Log Boom Park and took the trail towards Bothell, so that we wouldn’t have to hoof it all the way back to Ballinger Way with a pizza box.

On the way, we encountered a crocodile. [Read more…]

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: My Little Chickadee, plus Bonus Water Bird

Juanita Bay was one of the first parks I ever went to when I moved to Seattle, and remains among my favorites. It’s got some really bonza birding opportunities. We see something good almost every time we’re there.

Back in early July, we took a walk there near sunset, and came across a little chickadee having its dinner. I was amused by all the pollen it knocked loose – you can see it kicking up clouds in this video. Chickadee don’t care! [Read more…]

Mobbed by Adorable Baby Birdies!

So one of the things I’ll miss the most about living in Bothell is having baby duckies within walking distance. This spring was the best. There were lots and lots of babies, and most of them had absolutely no fear. When they saw a human with food, they were all over that. B and I got completely mobbed several times, and it was completely delightful.

Image shows me squatting down hand-feeding a crowd of brown baby ducks. They're eating right out of my hand.

Moi being mobbed by baby duckies.

The parents would keep an eye on us, but they weren’t really concerned. Apparently everybody who comes through there is fairly kind to the waterfowl. They don’t even mind the noise and chaos of the ballgame crowds. They’ll go right on up and beg from the spectators. [Read more…]

The Beauty of the Storm

I meant to have the next chapter of Escape done, my darlings, but I got busy cleaning and didn’t stop until it was time to meet up with Funny Diva. And once I got groceries, got home, and finished making the bed and packing book orders, my body decided it needed a hot soak before my muscles ganged up and murdered me. Then my computer was being an asshole. So what you’re going to get today are really pretty photos taken from the Burke-Gilman trail while storm clouds built. You are also going to get an awesome video with a bathing seagull, a seaplane, and a kayak.

Right, then. So you can actually walk from the Town Center in Lake Forest Park all the way down past Log Boom Park and over to Pagliacci Pizza, which is just what we did. It’s quite a haul for someone who’s been rather sedentary up until a furious cleaning spree, and it was raining intermittently, but it was worth it. Here’s a glimpse of Lake Washington from between trees as we got to Log Boom Park:

Image shows Lake Washington framed on the sides and bottom by dark trees. It is near sunset, but the sky is still very blue, except for some fluffy white and dark gray storm clouds piling up. The water is a lovely mottle of gray and blue.

Lake Washington and storm clouds.

When we reached the docks, we were extremely fortunate to get there just as a heron was flying past.

Image shows Lake Washington looking south. Storm clouds loom from onshore, reflected in the water. There is a gorgeous streak of blue down the center. A heron is flying to the right.

Heron on the wing over the water.

How fabulous is that, with all those subtle colors? I’m astonished the shot came out. I’d just started turning the camera on, and it wasn’t yet fully booted when I spotted the heron, aimed, and fired. It didn’t even have a real chance to focus. Yet it turned out wonderfully.

Here is a crop of the heron:

Image shows the heron winging low over the water, in the cloud shadow.

Heron on the wing.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing great blue herons.

As we reached the end of the dock, we spotted the rotting piles of the old pier. The colors were lovely.

In the distance, piles of an old pier stand out of the water in parallel lines. They seem to point at the storm clouds rising over the lake. The reflected clouds and the blend of dark and lighter blues in the water make it an almost brooding atmosphere.

As we walked past the industrial buildings, we spotted a cloud raining into the sky, but the rain evaporated before reaching the ground.

Image shows a white storm cloud in the background, and a small, dark-gray raincloud in the foreground. The small cloud has dark streaks of rain coming down from it, but they have faded out long before it could reach the ground.

Raining on high.

And then there was a crow that looked like it was trying to out-fly a roiling, boiling steam eruption, but it was actually just lazily flapping towards where it roosts for the night. There were a great many crows all doing the same.

Image shows a crow flying almost off-image to the left. Above and behind it is a huge thunder head looming towards it.

Fly for your lives!

(Speaking of crows, I spotted one playing lifeguard at Juanita Beach just a couple days ago. So adorbs!)

Image shows a crow perched on top of an empty lifeguard chair, staring off to the left as if looking for distressed swimmers. The lake is in the background, with dark storm clouds piled overhead.


Funny Diva and I crossed the road and had ourselves some pizza at Pagliacci before heading back. While we were inside, it poured rain. It had stopped by the time we got out. Our luck was very much in, and it was a delightful time, made even more delightful by this seaplane landing while we were at Log Boom Park. How often do you get a chance to film a seaplane, a kayak, and a bathing seagull all at once?

First time for me. Loved it. And I deliberately made the title sound like the set-up to a silly joke, so you lot can have at in the comments if you think of good jokes to tell. I’m going to go finish Chapter 4 of In the Path of Destruction and pass right out. Oy.

New at Rosetta Stones: Liveblogging In the Path of Destruction!

So the results are in, and you were all like, “Yeah, Dana, do whatever, JUST GET US YOUR MOUNT ST. HELENS BOOK!” I hear you! So what I’m doing is reading Richard Waitt’s In the Path of Destruction because it’s rather necessary to see what he did so I can do something different. I’m really ADD at the moment, so I was sewing and my brain was popping off with, “LOL it sounded like this, you should write that down on Facebook!” And so I kind of started liveblogging it on Facebook anyway. And then I was like, “Hey, don’t Rosetta Stones readers deserve to be able to follow along, too?” So then I put everything I’ve got so far in a post, added some more, and published it for those of you who hate Facebook with a fiery passion, which used to be me before I became addicted to it.

It was really kinda fun…

Anyway, we’re up through Chapter Three, and I will continue doing this throughout the book. Hopefully by the end I’ll have figured out why the book image is ginormous instead of a sensible size like this.

Photo of my copy of Richard Waitt's In the Path of Destruction, which has a black and white photo of Mount St. Helens erupting.

I really sort of hate our new blogging platform over there, but it was necessary.

Anyway. Just to remind you:

Image is a slightly expanded crop of me with Mount St. Helens from May 2007. Caption reads, "Yes, I am indeed writing a Mount St. Helens book!"

For serious, folks, I am.

Even though I am also reviewing this one.

You Get to Shape the Future of this Blog!

Well, parts of it. Plus storm damage! And kitties!

So, last night, I really dug in to Richard Waitt’s new Mount St. Helens book:

Photo of my copy of Richard Waitt's In the Path of Destruction, which has a black and white photo of Mount St. Helens erupting.

This is like magic and I’m loving it so much! A geologist wrote about all the human drama, so my book can focus mostly on the geological drama, and I can point people to this book as a companion if they’re like, “But what about teh hoominz?!” It’s so incredibly nice to know I have a meticulously sourced, thoroughly researched, and well-written book penned by a USGS geologist who worked on Mount St. Helens during the 1980 eruptions. I’m only a few chapters in, and it’s already delish. I’ve learned things about the people involved I never knew before. The seismological drama is intense! And there’s a nice interweaving of the geological and human aspects.

So, here’s where you get to decide the future: [Read more…]

Seahurst with Silver Fox, Plus Cryptopod: Why Did the Green Bug Cross the Road?

It’s been a busy social week for this introvert! On Wednesday, I drove down to pick Silver Fox up from the airport and take her to Seahurst Park on her layover. Since I-5 has basically been a parking lot between my new place and downtown Seattle, I took Highway 99. This meant I had to go through the Viaduct. I always white-knuckle it through there, begging the Cascadia subduction zone not to rip right then, please. Then I took a wrong turn and ended up on I-5 anyway, which was okay because it was below the jam. Then I took a wrong turn out of the cell phone waiting lot at the airport and had to drive around trying to find a way back to the terminal. It was a comedy of errors, but I did at last manage to collect Silver Fox, and we found our way to Seahurst without incident.

It’s a lovely park with lots of beachfront. [Read more…]