Helicopters and storms

Wednesday the WA State fire crews had a training day. I got photos as the helicopters carried water north and empty buckets south. The return-leg was closer to me and the trailing empty bucket was closer.

Many things, both wild and domestic, are blooming this week. I’ve a purple lilac that looks nice. The pines are showing blossoms and each has its own character and color. I have a Western Mountain Ash with its clusters of white flowers. The fruits will be orange/red and bitter. Those hang on the tree through most of the next winter. Then, after multiple freezes and thaws, they will soften and birds will readily eat them. Meanwhile, that tree hums from the many bees visiting it.

I attended a lunch in CWU’s Jongeward Building on Friday. The building has a square atrium (glass walls) in the center with the lunch room adjacent. There is a single large Magnolia tree in the space, leaning out from a corner. The building was built in the early 1970s. I can’t find whether or not the building was built around the tree or whether the building-name and tree follow from the University’s head gardener, Donald Jongeward, hired in 1937. The blossoms have all dropped so this wasn’t a picture-taking event.

Weather this week in Oregon and Washington has been turbulent in the early evenings. Solar energy heats the land and as the air rises above, it cools rapidly and clouds form. Sometimes big clouds with lightening and thunder. Usually these go to my west and follow the ridge tops toward the northeast.
Yesterday, the storm came over me. A late afternoon (5:16 pm) image shows the early development.

I’m the red star, with Moses Lake to the east and Mt. Rainier to the west. The red line is the Washington-Oregon border. Individual white clouds are west and south of me. The massive cloud to the south is moving north and by 8:15 pm my area was getting heavy rain, lightening, and thunder. Just one flash and the sound came almost simultaneously. The action moved north and east quickly. As did the rain.
Over at the winery (23 miles east), Phyllis and Cameron had a great view as the storm crossed the ridges – elevations there are 4,000 to 6,000 feet.

At 3:00pm this afternoon (Saturday) the clouds are growing over the Cascades and the near-by ridges, although I’m in full sun.

The action is to the west of me, heading to the northeast. More rain would be nice.

Keeping Track
on the Naneum Fan