Needle Ice Mania: Nature Is Art (Even When Attempting to Freeze You to Death)

Ah, winter. Ah, week-of-sub-zero-temperatures. You know, we’re used to chill in Seattle, but we’re not used to day after day after day after etc. of freezing cold. The moderating influence of the nearby ocean generally keeps us from being uber-icy. But then comes a cold snap, and it seems like the whole place freezes solid.

But the neat thing is, in places, our wet ground stays sorta warm, while the air is sub-freezing. And magic happens. Needle ice!

Needle ice at me apartment complex.

Needle ice at me apartment complex.

There it was, rearing out of the ground, tall and bold after having grown for several days. This is up against one of the buildings, at the edge of the lawn, under the rhodies, where the ground has a chance to stay warm and this stuff’s reasonably protected. [Read more…]

At Least It’s Not Snow…

Road damage at Blewett Pass. Photo/Washington State Dept. of Transportation / Seattle PI Photo Gallery

I’m listening to our creek trying its best to imitate the White Salmon River rapids. Western Washington’s experiencing historic flooding due to a tropical storm. This could mean another unplanned day off for Dana, depending on how storm drain clearing went this year. Last year, the city kinda sorta didn’t clear the drains all the way, and our entire business park kinda sorta flooded to the point where the police came knocking on the call center doors to tell everyone to flee.

I should be doing something substantial with my time, but after the emotional wringer of the past few days, I’m just kicking back with photos of flooding. And hoping like hell our little creek doesn’t decide to go all river on us and jump the banks, whereupon kitteh and I would be joining the 30,000 folks already evacuated. Did you know they actually had to close the I5 because a river ran through it? I find that rather fascinating. In Arizona, we usually just closed freeways because a wildfire was playing the chicken who crossed the road.

As long as you’re not trapped or homeless because of flooding, it’s like snow: pretty to look at from a distance.

Snoqualmie Falls thunders with floodwaters near Snoqualmie, Wash. Joshua Trujillo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Wild, wild stuff. As one of my muy poderoso characters once said, “The power of Nature to create and destroy is far beyond any paltry ability I could aspire to.”

This avalanche covered I-90 westbound just west of Snoqualmie Summit. Photo/Washington State Dept. of Transportation

First Day o’ Winter


I’ve been watching snow accumulate all night. The traffic cameras show that there are only strips of packed snow where the roads used to be. And it warmed up enough to start drizzling, which means everything’s formed a crust of ice. Snow should not break, but ours is.

Even the buses have forsaken the valley I live in. Apparently, they’ve decided that even with chains, it’s too much of a gamble.

And I’m supposed to go to work tomorrow. I don’t want to call out due to weather again, but if this shit keeps up, I won’t have much choice unless I plan to hoof it the ten miles or so. I don’t.

I’m afraid that if I hear anyone burbling about the joy and wonder of a white Christmas, I shall strangle them with my bare hands.

I fucking hate winter.