The weather has been at the forefront of the news. Threats of Snopocolypse 2011 (long forecast in this La Nina year) came and passed us by with almost no notice. Well no, a lot of media attention.
Professor Mass had a wonderful series of "nowcast" entries on his blog which followed the forecast . On the day of the possible storm ( which he correctly predicted would really miss us)he posted a blow by blow account of the storm front and its shift away from the population center. A last minute shift of air flow carried the cold far to the north and made many ski bums in Canada happy. Here at home our own ski areas are packing them in with a wonderful full season of snow, just as Professor Mass predicted for La Nina Year. Our local weather bloggers are reminding us now that in La Nina years, snow in February and even early March can be expected. So we are not finished with our Winter. We have already had two snow events here in the greater Seattle area. They only impacted me once, that small delay on my Thanksgiving get-away. I am , however, in contact with a friend in California for some suggestions for a February escape.
The rain, wind and clouds feel unrelenting. The shift in the air-stream has us getting another weather river flow, the Pineapple Express. The river of moisture and clouds stream continuously out over the Pacific all the way past Hawaii. Locally all our land rivers are on Flood Alert with many already having jumped their banks. It is hard to get out and about when the winds are gusting 40 mph plus and rain seems to never stop.
But I had to get out today.
I started in the town of Duvall. This small town is east of where I live. Founded in the late 1800's by the Duvall family, the main part of town was set up to take advantage of a railway spur line. Timber was the main industry as was with many of the communities in the east half of King County. Later the town of Carnation was established to the south and dairy , including the famous Carnation Research Farm became a mainstay.
Today the area hosts many small farms including a lot of organic production. Several larger commercial farms host U-pick lots, particularly strawberries which come into peak season at the end of June. Duvall gained popularity in the 60's as a community for artists. Slowly, suburbia has edged in with many new shopping and business areas south along the highway. Still the population remains about 6000. Its slow growth might be due to the somewhat complicated access to and from the area. Roads west to the Greater Eastside and Seattle area are limited to two long and congested highways. Most of the highways are two lane and when accidents or weather snarl traffic, there are almost no options to work around the problem without detours of fairly great distance.
The old core of the main street has character and charm. It is filled with a diverse number of shops with an amazing number of eateries springing up. I strolled along today enjoying the colorful sites.
Duvall Books has been here over 30 years. The shop is one of those full to the ceiling types. Out front is a bench made out of books and the Official Mascot, Uncle Wiggily.
When I parked and looked over, the original piece had been joined by a second. As I walked closer I noted a third cap had been placed.
Artist Daniel Cautrell and his "Offerings to the Wind" http://www.offeringstothewindproject.typepad.com/