Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Decorated pumpkins on display

These jack-o-lanterns were decorated by the residents and staff of the Forks Hospital Long Term Care, and on display at the local grocery store - Thriftway. They've been cheering us up at the entrance for a couple of weeks.

A little greeter at the door...
This is what the trick-or-treaters saw as they turned around after getting candy.

There's a battery-operated candle flickering in the pumpkin that you can't see in the light of the flash.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Naturally Halloween

With everyone putting out Halloween decorations, including fake webs and spiders, this real spider web, sparkling with frost in the sunrise, fit right in. After the frost melted, the web virtually disappeared.
I didn't see the spider - not sure I want to find it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Decorated lawn

This is a lawn we saw decorated for Halloween and Autumn in the Bear Creek area north of Forks.
Halloween is October 31, a night of fun and dress-up, for kids mostly, but also for adults.

Hallowe'en started out centuries ago as All Hallows Eve - the night before All Saints Day, a day for the good spirits to return to earth. Up until midnight the ghouls and goblins walk the earth.

In the U S , kids can go door-to-door, wearing costumes, knocking and crying "Trick or Treat." The tradition is to give out treats, usually candy, or you get the trick.
A safe alternative to going door-to-door that is used these days is for a community to have a party at a central location where kids can be safe, and parents can be nearby - or at least not worried. Another alternative is the trunk-or-treat where a community, sometimes a church, will meet in the parking lot, open car trunks decorated for Halloween, and the kids go car-to-car getting treats. There are sometimes prizes for the best, scariest, funniest, whatever-est costumes, or for the trunk decorating. Pumpkins are decorated by painting and carving. A carved pumpkin with a light inside is a jack-o-lantern.
Many people decorate their yards and houses - and these I will try to photograph and post in the next few days.
All-in-all just fun.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tatoosh Island

The most northwestern point of the contiguous states of the U.S. is Cape Flattery. From the observation point on Cape Flattery, you get this view of Tatoosh Island, Cape Flattery Lighthouse, and the Pacific Ocean. You also get some beautiful views of rugged coastline, and the company of some of the wildlife.
My husband and I made the trek to Cape Flattery this weekend. After driving to the upper coast and onto the Makah Reservation, it's a hike from a parking area that is a lot of up and down, some boardwalk, some stepping rounds (slices of logs) and a lot of roots to avoid. I'll be posting some more pictures this week of the trek to Cape Flattery, and the amazing scenery we saw at the most northwestern corner of the contiguous U.S.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lookout from the highway

This is the lookout from the highway (in a previous post - see it here: ) . The little white shelter at the top of the hill is the lookout. I cropped quite a bit of the lower hill just to be able to see the lookout in the picture.
[I'm posting this ahead of time, because I'm not sure we will have the opportunity to post Saturday.]

Friday, October 26, 2007

Morning dew

Dewy sunny morning sparkling on the autumn leaves.
Testing and playing with the macro abilities of the camera.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Full moon at perigee

We have a clear sky tonight to see the full moon at perigee, the point in the moon's rotations that it is closest to the earth in this year. I like the way the moon through the tree highlights the leaves.
With the clear skies come cold nights - we covered the dahlias against frost, and we have the fireplace going.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dewy spider web

This web is only about 2 inches wide. I was amazed at the intricacy in so tiny a space. I didn't see the spider - it was probably hiding nearby. This was taken just after sunrise - which is just a little before 8 am here.

The sun was lighting everything up and the highlights were different than I usually see. Me and my camera - kid in a candy store.

We passed the century mark with rain here - we have had 100 inches of rain for the year so far, on our way to an average year of 120 inches.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jet fire before dawn

As I stood outside watching the dawn approach,
and the mist collect on the hills,
a jet flew overhead, heading into the east,
its contrail being lit by the coming sunrise.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Forks Motel

Of the half dozen hotels on the main street of Forks, this one has the nicest entryway. We really like the brick framing of the red geraniums and white alyssum.
This was taken during the summer, on one of the few days that there was a vacancy in town. That usually only happens during the week. The weekends are very busy at all of the motels during the summer, we're very glad to say. Winter is a little different, though there are a lot of fisherfolk and hunters in the appropriate seasons. As well as hotels, there are bed and breakfasts, RV parks, cabins, lodges, and lots of campgrounds in and out of Olympic National Park.
(If you want a list of options to come and visit, see the Chamber of Commerce site link at the bottom of the page.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What a tangled web we weave...

These power lines, stretching on and on into seemingly infinity,
remind me of a spider's web sparkling in the sun, surrounding and enmeshing us,
totally controlling our lives.
What would we do without our electric lives?
I am not a proponent of returning to life as it was 100 years ago.
I like my microwave.
I do see an alarming inability to survive without so much that we take for granted.
We have a tendency to have power outages during storms out here on the West End of the Olympic Peninsula.
Having a generator is almost a requirement for living here - and we're in the city. Many live in the forests and outlying areas.
So many don't have the luxury of a generator, and 50 percent of us use electricity to heat our homes.
When the power goes out, there is one restaurant open -
the cafe at the hospital, which has a generator.
We haven't tried it yet, but have heard that it feeds a thousand or more people in a day when the power is out.
The local grocery store has a deli, and a generator,
but is limited to what it can sell with a limit on the electricity the generator can produce.
While our local Public Utility District is doing a marvelous job of reinforcing and repairing, sustaining and maintaining of our electrical system, we need to take a look at how we can sustain and maintain ourselves in the ways that were common 100 years ago.
Not just here in the rural areas, but everywhere.
Maybe especially in the cities, where we aren't as well-versed in not having what we need just around the corner.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Shay Locomotive

On display at Tillicum Park at the north end of Forks is the Shay Locomotive, Rayonier No. 10.

According to the sign:
"Locomotives played an important part in timber history for over a hundred years. True 'work horses' of the Peninsula, they hauled huge quantities of timber. But, they took a lot of expertise to build, operate, and maintain.

"The Shay locomotive is named for inventor Ephraim Shay of Cadillac, Michigan.

"Not only could Shay's locomotive run on crude wooden rails, but it had tremendous power and traction to pull heavy loads up hills. It could also negotiate sharp curves and uneven terrain. Shay was one of the first in the United States to use locomotives to haul logs."

There wasn't anything on the signs about the significance of this particular engine. I believe it is just one of the engines used.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Multiple choice tree

We have one apple tree in our yard, which gives two types of apples, due to the graft on one side. The original part produces the small, red crab apples, suitable only for applesauce. The grafted part produces Yellow Delicious apples, suitable for eating, baking, and applesauce, too. It's the time of year for apples to be coming ripe, and decorating the trees in varying colors and types. My favorite is the Arkansas Black, but I can't find them anymore. Next in line is the Granny Smith - tart, crunchy, and great in hand or in pie.
We've already picked some off of our tree, and need to get some more before the storm knocks them off. I may plant another apple tree or two - it's one of the few fruits my husband likes, and they keep well.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Big Girl (or Boy, I guess) Toys

We needed some asphalt removed yesterday, and got some entertainment in the process. It only took a couple of hours to remove the asphalt and do some digging, and we got to watch it happen. My husband actually told me I looked like I was having too much fun watching. Is there such a thing as too much fun? Actually, we both wanted to get aboard and operate it ourselves. I haven't ever operated anything like this and just knew I'd put a hole through the house or something, so, didn't even ask. Fascinating to watch, though. I've seen most sorts of construction equipment in my years, and just never get tired of watching the ease with which a good operator does the work. They make it look like so much fun, though I know it takes practice. I think there is the one guy who does this kind of work around town and has the toys to do it.
We were out watching the Big Girl Toy :~} when the rainbows of yesterday's post happened.

I have been tagged by Durban Daily Photo .

So, here are 8 things you may not know about me (and I'm willing to reveal :~}
1. I own a lot of fabric, and, like Kim of Seattle Daily Photo, sometimes I even sew with it.
2. I crochet and have quite a collection of yarn, too.
3. Well, don't forget the paper collection - for scrapbooking, cardmaking, origami, paper crafts.
(These make me a hobbyist, not a pack rat! :~} Which I keep telling myself.)
4. I can be an obsessed picture taker - my husband and (grown) kids just shake their heads and sometimes stick around. Thank heavens for digital!
5. The thing most people notice about me is my hair - it's blonde with gray streaks, reaches my knees, and there's a lot of it. The longest I had it was to the middle of my calves 1.5 years ago. I cut 12 inches or so every couple of years and send it to Locks of Love ( ).
6. We have 6 grandchildren that we don't see nearly often enough, but none live close, either.
7. I love to read and reread - science fiction, mysteries, fiction, local stories, ... I reread the first six Harry Potters before the 7th came out. We just read the Twilight, Eclipse, and New Moon series that is set in Forks. Mrs. Pollifax cracks me up. Most of my reading is light and escapist.
8. We don't watch TV, don't even have a connection to the house for cable or satellite (which is the only way to get anything here). Don't want it or miss it.

I am tagging these eight City Daily Photo sites:
1. St Louis, MO, USA
2. The other Forks, WA, USA site
3. Luxembourg Daily Photo
4. Oslo, Norway Daily Photo
5. Portland, Oregon, USA Daily Photo
6. Vancouver, BC, Canada
7. Port Angeles, WA USA
8. St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia

These are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger.
2. Post these rules.
3. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
4. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
5. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

and 6. Have fun with it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

At rainbow's ends

Today was one of those beautiful days that kept changing from storm to sun, then back to storm, which results in a rainbow if you are in the right place. We got a double rainbow. The lower rainbow was there for more than half an hour, the double for 10 minutes at least, quite a while on a semi-stormy day. We happened to be outside, so saw it form and fade. I was taking pictures of something else, so, actually had camera in hand.
I like the thought that Forks is the treasure at both ends of the rainbow.

OK, the pictures don't line up, and I didn't have the time to do all the fiddling to get them to match. My apologies. The beauty of the rainbow remains. I didn't adjust the pictures for color; the shift in the cloud color was because of the storm. Storms can be very entertaining here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sol Duc Cascades

This is the upper piece of the Sol Duc Cascades - the salmon have to jump the rocks at the bottom right of the picture to make it to the temporary rest in the pool at the top before continuing on up river to spawn.
Aside from the beautiful scenery, we really enjoy the sound of the rushing river tumbling over the rocks. It is such a calming sensation to close your eyes and just listen.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sun in the forest

This is from our trip to the Sol Duc Cascades. We love the way the sun shines down and through the trees, giving a surreal quality to the forest, and highlighting the moss draping the branches.
The forest is so peaceful, the quiet mostly broken only by the sound of wind rustling through the trees, or birds calling.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sol Duc Cascades

You can't see it here, but the salmon are jumping in the West End. This is the Sol Duc Cascades area, where you can watch the fish jump from only yards away, without getting your feet wet. There is a viewing area just above the rocky area in the middle of the photo, which is only yards from the road. The salmon must jump the Cascades to get to the spawning grounds. The pool in the middle is where they take a breather, wait their turn, or for whatever impetus they need to attempt the rocks. They jump over and over until they make it, never giving up, jumping each level again and again, being thrown back by the force of the water to try yet again, or to rest in the pool and wait until they have the strength to begin once more in their ambition to return home and further their species.
(Bring your cameras, but not your fishing pole - No Fishing Allowed here. Unless, of course, you are a bear or an eagle.)
Even without the drama of watching the salmon jump, the area is overflowing with towering evergreens, changing deciduous trees in blazing colors of Autumn, mossy carpeting that spreads to blanket the trees and rocks, fascinating shapes in the branches and the clouds as Nature bends them to her will, and birds calling from all around, flying from branch to branch, watching over all.
We really love living on the West End of the Olympic Peninsula.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

gettin' your elk in a row...

I was interested in the symmetry here. They stayed in "formation" for quite a while. The elk are so interesting to watch!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What are YOU looking at?

This bull elk kept a close eye on us as we stopped by the side of the road to take some pictures of the herd. I was glad we were a little apart from the runway they were on - he has quite a family to take care of! The elk were peacefully grazing at the airport across the road from the activity at the Timber Museum. There were several cars parked along the road, people taking pictures. As long as we didn't get too noisy, or come out of the cars too far, they didn't seem to mind us being there. They are definitely BIG. (grin)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A fly-through birdhouse?

It appears that's what this critter thought. This bridhouse and "crash landing" are almost hidden. Fun, though. We took this picture a month or so ago, one sunny summer day. Certainly isn't summer anymore. We have been having howling winds and sideways rain. Methinks that autumn hath arrived. [Hooray!]

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Museum Open

I really like this sign.
Seems to weather well, too.

Monday, October 8, 2007

More Forks Heritage Days

Cider Pressing at the Timber Museum

Adding the apples to the hopper.
Cranking the apple chopper.

The man to the right sells produce at the Open Aire Market. I wish I knew his name. I think he provided some of the apples.
Winding the screw on the cider press.
Mmmmmm. Fresh pressed cider.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Forks Heritage Days Market

The Annual Forks Heritage Days were going on last week. There were activities most days in different parts of town. The Department of Natural Resources was also having its 50th anniversary as part of Heritage Days.
We weren't able to make most of the activities; but, since we enjoy the Open Aire Markets during the summer, we went to the one they held at the Timber Museum. The sign demonstrates the rain we were having that day.
There were several sellers that braved the rain, including our favorite doll and doll clothes maker. One seller has some delicious-looking baked goods, though we passed those by - quickly.
There are a lot of true artists in this community, using a variety of media - fabric, glass, wood, photography, and more. It's a fun market, with people that we enjoy talking to.
More photos tomorrow.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Duncan Cedar

I asked our neighbor, a longtime resident and a retired logger,

what he would recommend for the website. He suggested this.

The Duncan Cedar

World's Largest Western Red Cedar

The road to this cedar is off Highway 101, south of Forks.

We drove it with our eldest son and his family. He was

an enthusiastic off-roader, and loved the ride to the tree.

We're glad it was his 4 wheel drive, and not our sedan.

I think they've fixed the road since, though.

Friday, October 5, 2007

It started here...

almost two weeks ago with chest pains; then we went to Bremerton to a Cardiac Care Unit. My husband and I are now home again, working slowly at his recovery. I'm sorry I haven't posted for a bit, and that I missed the Theme Day on the 1st. I hope to be able to post daily from here on. I've missed exploring your posts, and sharing our beautiful area with you.
Who was it said, "Life is what happens while you're making plans...?"