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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I am heading to the beach for a couple days.  I am hoping to enjoy some stormy weather, kite flying and lazy hanging about.

I will be taking my weather proof hiking gear and testing it out.

This morning I saw the linked video and felt it was something I wanted to share.  A 360 degree fly around of Mt Rainier with all of the landmark names and placed on a map for you.

Mt Rainier is THE icon for this state.  A majority of the population can see it , to some extent, from their home.  When we can see it clearly, we say "The Mountain is out."

Now all is gray and The Mountain is working up a new layer of white.

Willis Wall, a poster on a hiking forum I participate in is the photographer and creator of this excellent work.

Enjoy this stunning flight.  Willis Wall itself has always been my favorite landmark on the mountain.  It faces north and we can all clearly see it on a fair day.

Mt Rainer Overflight by Willis Wall


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Falling for Orange

When looking for ideas for exploration I am usually driven by several factors.  I am enjoying Geocaching in a low key manner and if someplace I am heading has a geocache or two, more the better.   My Flickr photography projects are never far from my mind. 

Currently I am doing two projects; "The Monthly Scavenger Hunt" and a 365 Project where I take a photo every day and post it on line.  The Monthly Scavenger Hunt lists 15 topics, concepts or ideas at the beginning of each month and we try to convey them with our image.  For the 365 Project we receive a "color of the month" and each days photo must feature that color.  Inside the 365 there are some who try to capture the same type subject every month.  At the end of the year you will have 12 images, in different colors, of the same type subject.  I have almost completed a full year of this project and my monthly special subject capture is a house.

This months color is orange.  With Fall colors slipping away I went out yesterday and today to capture some foliage shots.  It is rainy and the dreary gray skies make many things look dull.  How some of the trees would be glorious with a bit of sunshine lighting them up.

I set out for the Chinese Garden at South Seattle Community College.  I knew the garden opened at noon and figured I would visit the Washington Park Arboretum first, then the Chinese Garden in West Seattle after.  Of course in my easily distracted morning mind, I drove out on I-90 and soon found myself in West Seattle at the campus... at 9am. 

I was happy to find a little arboretum right there and since it was always open to the public, I put the Chinese Garden aside for another day.  I strolled around enjoying the nice collection of conifer trees and shrubs of all types.

I always love gardens when they have water ways and bridges.  They always add a photogenic touch.

 I found this Pinus contorta "Chief Joseph" by the little waterway.  This is its normal Fall and Winter colour.  In the Spring the needles will green up again.

Another conifer changing color.  This Dawn Redwood will drop its needles.  I love the disgruntled face in the little cone.

In the entry garden I could not resist trying to capture the raindrops.  Here on a berry.

and an explosion of Dalia

Heading back to visit the Washington Park Arboretum as originally planned, I missed a tricky ramp exit off the West Seattle Bridge.  Ah well, I figured, I might as well go via 23rd Avenue up the heart of the oldest neighborhoods in town.  Along the way it dawned on me that for this month I was going to have to find an orange house ( oh no an ORANGE house).  I eyes instantly started swiveling around as I knew many of the neighborhoods I would be passing through were given to some pretty colorful takes on house decor.  It was not long before I found this little turn of the last century gem.

I ambled around the arboretum for a while and know that I must come back here in the Spring when the Rhodie's are in full bloom.

Today I set out for a good solid hike around the Cougar Mountain Wilderness Park .  At 3100 acres it is filled with many trails, most barely two people wide.  Some trails are open to horses and it is a highly popular with trail runners.  The parking lot was filled at 8am with people who likely cannot accept that "Fall Back" = sleep in.  Hikers, runners, dog walkers, the lot was full.  I thought I was in for a busy day.  I headed out and quickly found myself in wonderful solitude.  I had loaded up about 10 Geocache co-ordinates and I set off for what turned out to be a 4 hour loop hike.  It was drizzly a bit but most of the moisture came from heat arising from wearing my waterproof coat.  I soon opened the vents of my coat, but my glasses were happy to steam up.  I need to keep up these distance conditioning hikes for my vacation next year.  The complex of parks here in the Issaquah area ; Cougar, Squak and Tiger have miles of trails and ample opportunity for long flat distances or good stiff climbs.

The Big-leaf Maples  are dropping their leaves in abundance and the trails big and small were paved over.  A person not savvy to finding their way on the smaller trails might get a little confused, but I had no issues today.  This is the wide main trail that runs down the middle of the park.  small side trails take you off in every direction.  Many of the old coal mines, the old town and community that flourished here are discussed with helpful signs.

But for the most part you wind you way around on little trails that take you to nice waterfalls and viewpoints.  Coal Creek Falls were not running heavy, even though we have had a fair amount of rain.  I have to wonder if the ground and trees are still soaking the water up following the extra long dry season we just left.

The fine drizzle left a lot of pretty drops on the mosses.  I cannot resist moss communities.  For my monthly scavenger hunt, one of the subjects is texture.  I think this photo conveys "mossy" texture pretty well.

Drip drip drip... The Fall continues