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Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Walk on the Wet Side

What a quick two weeks it feels to have been. All of a sudden, February is just around the corner.

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.

The Grange Cafe was established in 1960 in the old Cherry Valley Grange.

Baileys Country Cupboard, CC Espresso and Ice Creamery looks like the place where you can stop in, get a snack and all the latest news. This week is Random Act of Kindness Week.

There are a lot of little artistic embellishments.

The crosswalks are etched in a simple waves and salmon theme

Information kiosks and bus stop shelters have wood carved panels

I like this barber pole.

I could smell wood smoke as I walked along. Only one thing could produce that smell

The Armadillo BBQ... the best place to stop for take away when returning from a long hike in the mountains. Their smoke pit is right outside, right on the street front. A sign on the wall promises free dog bones ( "dog bones pro bono" )

The Quilters Garden is one of those stores for hard core fabric buffs. They sponsor the Outdoor Quilt Show every September and participate in many organized quilters events. I love the bubble fabric.

I drove south to the Snoqualmie River Trail and walked to see some of the flooding. The river is over the banks here but not threatening the town yet. Further downriver the city of Monroe is bracing for more water. Forecast says not to expect relief for almost 48 hours.

For now the cross valley roads are open, but 124th, my usual route, has been closed in recent days. The fields here have water almost to the edge of the road.

Going home this way I knew I would stop to get pictures of a little delight for you.

Several years ago I either saw an item on TV or read something in the paper about a gentleman who made carvings and posted them on trees. He finds cut stumps or limbs and makes a precise measure. He then makes a custom "endplate" for the exposed wood. He returns and places them, randomly.

I found one not long after having heard the story. It was the only one I knew of until early last year when one appeared not far from where I kept my horse.

So I stopped to take a picture on the first one, which required a hike along the road about 1/4 mile from the pull off place.

The second one was more conveniently located.

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.

I researched for today's entry and I FOUND HIM!!!

Artist Daniel Cautrell and his "Offerings to the Wind" http://www.offeringstothewindproject.typepad.com/
See more examples of his tree caps, above.
His home page
His work looks familiar and sure enough, he carved the kiosk posts I showed above!

So now I know, when I feel like a treasure hunt, the Woodinville / Duvall / Carnation triangle is a great place to seek little treasures... Just keep away from the BBQ joint.


  1. Are you kidding me? The BBQ joint is the first place I'd head for. I've been reading about the weather out there. I think I'll take our snow. By the way, it got warmer. It's all the way up to 16 F now, and tomorrow it's supposed to top freezing.

  2. Hi! Fenway Bartholomule and I have seen fit to bestow upon you the Stylish Blogger award! Find the details here:


    If you choose to accept this accolade, the powers that be ask that you do the following:

    1) link back to the blogger that awarded it to you (in this case, Fenway);
    2) list seven things about you that we might not already know;
    3) pass the fun on by recognizing, on your blog, up to 15 of your favorite newly-discovered bloggers;
    4) let your nominees know by posting on their blogs.

    Thanks, and keep on bloggin'!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hey, I just found your blog and I absolutely love it!! My mom and I are planning a trip to Washington this spring and I was wondering if you had any tips on where we should go to maximize our birding/exploring experience. My mom really wants to see a pileated woodpecker, we've been chasing them around our state to no avail.

  5. I will be happy to help you out with your planning.

    One venue on my blog for Spring would be Washington Park in Anacortes

    EXCELLENT wildflowers and view. Both hikable and drivable. Piliated potential.

    write me at

    scubs @ comcast . net

    and I will help where I can

  6. My kind of town for sure. There are so many nice places there. We spent a vacation on Orcas Island and visited many places around the state a long time ago now. I love to find out what you have been up to. Take care, Inger

  7. i live in duvall and its a really good place; it has many small family-owned businesses other then major franchises