Friday, October 19, 2007


While Massachusetts was having an earthquake, Seattle was having a windstorm. The colors had started to turn and the leaves were looking sharp so it should come as no surprise that we were treated to a vigorous storm. We had rare lightning and thunder, drenching rains interrupted by periods of clear skies, and winds near 50 mph. Combined, they stripped the developing color from the trees, leaving the ground coated with the result. This poor Japanese maple, sheltered in our back yard, was pounded with everything else. The downed leaves from the upper half of the tree carpet the deck while the lower leaves cling to the tree.

Monday, October 15, 2007

In the Court of the Crimson King

We each leave a footprint on the land. In the days of King Henry VIII, the footprint of a peasant was small, barely noticed even in the aggregate, but the footprint of the King was grand. Enormous kitchens ran nearly 24 hours a day to feed the nobility and the staff. Enormous wine cellars quenched their thirst. Great herds of animals were slaughtered daily to feed the kitchens and harvests of vegetables and fruits supplied the great tables. When I think of the grandeur and comfort in which the nobility lived, I am awed by the wealth and power that they possessed.

But imagine their reaction to my modern way of life. Great gushing streams flow at my command - in hot and cold temperatures, from ice cubes to steaming showers. The bounty of an entire continent - even the entire planet - is available at my local grocery store. I direct the power of hundreds of horses to make my way to and from a minor shopping trip, and thousands of horses are available to wing me across continents and oceans. Even the finest artistry from the greatest craftsmen and performers is nothing compared to the wealth of energy and money poured into Hollywood and Bollywood.

Is there a word stronger than "awed"? For surely that is what King Henry must feel when he sees my wealth and power. Yet in my bounty I resolve again to live simply.

Photograph of Moonrise over Hampton Court, England, a country castle of King Henry VIII.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

In the Evening

One of the great things about the Pacific Northwest is that outstanding camping and hiking is nearby. The valleys of the Cascade Range have lakes and vistas that delight in the morning and the evening. This is a sunset photo of Lake Dorothy.

I was struggling for something to say, but I'd rather let the image speak for itself.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Cruisin' on a Sunday afternoon

We don't know why, but this ship of the Canadian Coast Guard was plowing back and forth, back and forth for about an hour one afternoon. The season was late, the weather was bad, and the seas were rough, so the bay was empty. In chugged this ship, and it started going back and forth in a roughly 400 meter line. We spent some time guessing what it was doing but came to no satisfactory conclusion.

The best theory I heard was that junior sailors were practicing their low-speed manoeuvring skills.

The Coast Guard is a great bunch of folks but they occasionally do curious things.