Not so Nasty News Oct 4, 2019

Item #1: Snow blanket

The photo I’m using tonight was taken from Phyllis and Cameron’s Mariposa Vineyard on September 30, 2019. Cameron says he was at approximately 900 feet (1000′ ?) elevation. [Need to measure that.]

View is looking west toward the ridges south of the Mission Ridge ski area. The snow line appears to be near 1,000 feet, also.
We live to the southwest of this view line, 25 miles away, at an elevation of 2,240 feet. From our driveway at Naneum Road, we can look north and see the west side of the ridges, to an elevation of 4,000 feet. On our side, the snow line was close to 3,100 feet.

Why the difference in the elevation of the snow line?

Cameron, years ago, noticed the area north toward Wenatchee and that to the east toward Quincy seemed to get more snow than did places farther east, toward Moses Lake. When he was preparing the proposal to have the area designated as a “wine region” – technically an American Viticultural Area (AVA) – he was pointed to a report on “cold air damming’.
It seems the ridges, with Mission Peak at 6,876 ft., are sufficiently high that cold air coming from the northeast flows into the Columbia River Valley and rides up against the ridge. The air can flow south, down the Valley (water level is 613 ft. north of Rock Island Dam and 575 feet south of the dam). The cold air has only a relatively narrow path to escape, and so it piles up against the hills.
The push from the northeast causes more air to rise up, with cooling and precipitation following. In the current case the precipitation fell as snow.

The air mass did, finally, push over the ridges and bring snow to our north. However, having gone up to well over 5,000 feet, the cold air could descend as it approached the Naneum Fan. Cooling stopped as the air came down into the Kittitas Valley. Snow did not reach us.
The snowline, from the end of our driveway, was about 2.5 miles away.
Incidentally, that is very close to the outer perimeter of the Snag Canyon Fire of August, 2014. We watched the fire, along with many others, from the wide area where our driveway meets Naneum Road. The snow did not attract a crowd.

I help prune grapes in the early part of the year – we started in snow this year, 2019. I help with bottling as needed at the White Heron Cellars.
White Heron now has a presence at Pike’s Place Market. Here is a link:
Northwest Tastings

Item #2: Another odd event

We have another temperature related incident occurring on the same day. At the end of the article there is a reference to a warm area of water in the Pacific Ocean called the blob. This could be the path the turtle took to get to the cold water, or maybe it just wanted a taste of the famous food of the region.
You may not have heard of Port Alberni, B. C., but maybe you have heard of or even tasted a Nanaimo Bar, named after the town of Nanaimo. The two towns are located about 40 miles apart on Vancouver Island. This story comes from the part of the world not know for tropical sea turtles.
An Olive Ridley sea turtle, nicknamed ‘Berni Stranders,’ was found ‘cold-stunned’ in Alberni Inlet, Vancouver Island’s longest inlet. Rehabilitation is underway.

Berni Stranders

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News Sept 28th

Item #1: Snow I think the photo is by Joel Moreno of KOMO News – Seattle.
Stevens Pass, WA

We are at an elevation of 2,240 feet and 54 miles SE of the Pass. At this time – Sat. Noon – we are along the edge of the airflow bringing the coldest and wettest air to the region. That is off to our east, in western Montana, with the coldest air now still north of Edmonton, Alberta.
We may, or may be not, have 5 inches of snow by Monday morning. Then it will melt rapidly.
I’m hoping for a nice October so I can do the things I put off while hiking in the Cascades.

Item #2: Nothing is “tougher”

Toughness is actually a technical term meaning a combination of strength (resists being pulled apart) and ductility (deforms without rupture). Spider silk is tough and the silk of a Darwin’s bark spider is twice as strong as any other. The orb-shaped web usually begins as a single strand called a bridge line, it is the toughest and has been seen 80 feet in length.With clothing, the term “silk” is used but that word is most often associated with the material taken from the cocoons of the larvae of the Mulberry silkworm; that is, a moth. [Bombyx mori – if you care to look.]
Now there is a jacket [ Moon Parka ] ready for Christmas sales made from silk from bacteria. My guess – I can’t afford one.

Moon Parka 1

Moon Parka 2

Item #3: Cute

A photographer had an idea. Worked out well.

Follow this link, if you haven’t seen the sequence.

Item #4: I hope he was dressed!

Rescuers say the man somehow survived despite only carrying a pocket knife.


In various ways the items in the photo below are called hiker essentials. Don’t hit the trail without them.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News Sept 13th

Image above is from the web. {classic cars dot com}

Note the non-metal roof — oak wood covered with water proof material.

Fordy was a 1935 Ford belonging to Nancy’s dad. We had her until sometime in our Idaho days. She needed costly repairs from age and nasty weather and we did not have a garage. We could have paid for restoration or build a garage – but not both.
We knew a lady that wanted Fordy. While a young girl living in San Jose, her father had a dealership and they owned a car like this one.
So we sold the car to her. She sent it off to SE Oregon (I think) to have it restored. Two years and ten thousand dollars later, she got it back. We’ve lost track.
Nancy learned (young) how to drive Fordy from her dad. At 16 she used it as her ‘around town’ car. And we used in for our honeymoon travels.

So what brought back this memory.
Well, recent Hurricane Dorian did a lot of damage but missed an opportunity to follow the path of the 1938 New England hurricane.

While searching historical storm damage, a fellow found the following image. It made me sad to see the cars – new then – standing in water. I’d bet that in the water somewhere there is a 1935 Ford.
They were made of steel, and quite heavy. New cars float.

Toowomba, Australia – January 2011

The 1938 storm did not have a name. The US began using female names in 1953, and in 1978/1979 names came from both female and male lists.

Item #2: Going fishing

Not really, but we are going to be busy the next 3 days. I haven’t run across really neat news to report, and – come Sunday evening – it is doubtful I’ll be feeling like working on Nancy’s entries for the week. I’m thinking Monday, but, who knows?

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News Sept 6

The Cascade Mountains of Washington ~3,000 ft., fall has arrived. September 6, 2019. Talapus Lake Trail.

Item #1: Lines. What Lines?

Washington State license plates get 2 stick on tabs. On the left is one indicating the month the license has to be renewed. On the right is one that changes color and year# – each year. The change this year was from green to black.
The photo shows such a sticker (very poorly) converted from the 2018 green to the 2019 black. This would not have fooled a 3rd grader.
It did not get by a Snohomish County trooper, either.
The driver was fined $228 for an expired tab violation. Maybe later they will think of something else to charge him with.

Item #2: Guilty
This English lady (?) has a problem with a neighbor. There has been a long running dispute so she placed a large potted plant in front of a fellow’s kitchen window. He can’t open it nor see through it. She also put up CCTV cameras directed toward his windows.
de Jong versus Johnston

She claims to be a victim but the judged sided with the neighbor.

We don’t feel “urban” enough to live in such close proximity to our neighbors.

Item #3: He missed the door It appears he missed the yellow hydrant.

They think the man had been without coffee too long. The Common Ground Coffee shop paid the price.

Renton, WA

Item #4: Fall color
Few things still bloom here in September. This yellow bloomer is a Rabbitbrush (Gray; Asteraceae Ericameria nauseosa – I think)
Left: probably Coronis Fritillaries; Right: a small bumblebee (?)

Item #5: Fall color 2


And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News Aug 30th

Item #1: PAX West

Labor Day weekend in Seattle brings Penny Arcade Expo (PAX West). Tens of thousands of people arrive in strange costumes to the Washington State Convention Center.
I have no idea what this is about but there are many photos here.
Seems to be a convention solely devoted to showcasing new video games. Do you care?

Item #2: Foxglove
Medical folks and others know this plant as Digitalis purpurea .
There is a small entry here:

These do not grown in our dry and winter-cold environment, but west of the Cascade Crest they are found in abundance. I took the photo on Monday of this week at an elevation of about 4,000 feet. Do a search using the ‘images’ tag and you will see this pink color is common, but there are many others, including white. Thus, while very pretty, it can be very deadly to people and animals.

Item #3: Keeping with Pink
Quincy (town on our way to the White Heron Winery) has grown, and through-town traffic has increased greatly in the last 30 years. For traffic flow improvement, they built a round-a-bout. It seems to be made of pink concrete. Photo is a few days before it opened.

Thus, while very pretty, it can be very confusing to people and animals.
Here is a link that shows how complicated such things can get.
Magic roundabout

If you can see the URL link to this, note the spelling of circle as “cirlce.”

Item #4: Chew Valley
This story involves a metal detector and a place called “Chew Valley.”
A few years ago I borrowed a detector to look for metal posts that might, or might not, be along a boundary of our property. Turns out none were there. What I did find were a few metal pieces that had been thrown into, or knocked off of cars and trucks when such missed the turn and bounced into the ditch.
The side story of that search was that I could get a surveyor to locate the points I wanted, but one of them would have been a corner marker involving the County, a neighbor, and us. The county requires a surveyor to “register” such a point – and the landowner is charged a $600 fee for the privilege.
I figure the County should pay the landowner. So no go there.

Wikipedia describes the Norman conquest thusly: “… the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton, Flemish, and French soldiers led by the Duke of Normandy, later styled William the Conqueror.

If you are interested in old coins, reportedly worth up to £5m, about $6 million dollars, the story is: Norman coins

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News August 23rd

The theme this week is “Before & After”.

Item #1: Need lunch?
Pioneer Square in Seattle is a fun place.
{Sorry about those injured; none real seriously; maybe one}
Careening truck down James Street

Item #2: Lucie goes to school

I found this item a few days ago. Now it appears on many sites. Every place on the web is searching for items that will bring attention. Interesting! Fun first days at school in East Renfrewshire, England – almost in Scotland.

Item #3: Back to Ohio Last week I heard from my sister about the animals in her neighborhood. Now comes this not so shaggy dog story from 25 miles away from her.
Spunk stuck under grate

Apparently the wide spacing of a storm water grate was enough to allow the small dog to slip through. There must be a second finer-mesh grate in the buried box. Not enough information provided in these short Facebook postings. Found more info here: Who is the doggy?

Item #4: Ariana Grande?

The small town (under 400 folks) of Maple Falls, WA looks like it did when carved out of the forest in 1888. Nevertheless Ariana Grande {I had to search her up} must have passed through and engaged a local man in serious conversation.
The Russians were involved

The man was cutting power lines and disabling meters to prevent Russian KGB agents from poisoning the U.S. with nuclear toxins that were being transferred from the power lines.
Say what?
Not only that, but he said Ariana Grande told him to do this.

The fellow needs help.

I wrote the next piece after hiking and working on a trail.

Logging & Trails The photo shows a tree on a tree. The notches in the old tree were for “spring boards.”
Here is a 6 minute video from 2010. Brad Attfield uses “spring boards” (poles) to be able to cut above the “problems” of the tree trunk close to ground-level.

Big tree, nice scenery

I have a saw and an axe, but you won’t see a video of me doing what Brad does in that video.

My picture shows a stump that appears to be buried more than it was when it was cut. I’m on the Denny Creek Trail, and such trails spill soil off to the sides, both naturally and when trail repair is necessary.

Historically, as the USA was developing, folks looking for minerals usually followed the explorers and trappers into mountainous regions.
The natives roamed these mountains too. Trails lace the mountains.

Old photos (interspersed with ads) are in a Seattle newspaper file. Photo #44 shows notches cut with an axe for springboards. A crosscut saw is leaning against the tree on the left side. Interesting photos.
historic logging

Below are before and after photos of one of the things we did on Sunday. The red circle is centered on the corner of a large flat rock in two of the photos.

The Green Hat is using the mattock (link) end of a tool called a ‘pick-mattock’ to uncover a root so it can be cut. The view is looking up-hill so small kiddies and doggies might have to be lifted at this spot. Coming down, that’s a big drop for most hikers. Many people complain of sore knees and hips. Some use hiking-poles to ease these very numerous transitions.
Our plan is to get rid of such things.
Exactly how is up to the person in charge –in this case me. Our crew leader, LeeAnne, pointed to it and said “fix it.” I said, come back in half an hour and I’ll explain my vision (my initial plan).I felt a ramp was the best concept – there are too many steps on the trail already. There were lots of rocks around, so finding what we needed would not be a problem.
Nearby, hanging into the side of the bank, was just the rock we needed for the ‘vision.’ My guess for its weight was the lowest — 400 pounds. Others guessed higher, lots higher.
My crew measured it, and dug a hole where we intended it to go. Meanwhile, I cut 2 long poles to insert into the handles of a rock net. I also talked to a fellow Orange Hat. We would need his crew to help carry. We used 8 folks. Note at the lower edge of the photo a pole and straps.
The next photo shows the finished ramp.R1 is the rock in the first photo. We made it more horizontal, but otherwise did not move it. R2 is the largest rock in our sidewall. R3 is outlined with red dots. That is the one that was carried (about 30 feet). It is slightly tilted up to meet R2. R4 is a buttress rock, with a few others later added to hold things together.
Below is a close view of the transition from the horizontal trail to the rock ramp. Even the little Yorkshire Terrier coming up the trail had an easy time completing this new section.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News August 16

Our Forester in very early morning sun and a deer having come to our driveway for the heads of a low growing weed. It didn’t like that I snuck (sneaked) out of the house to get the photo. See Item #4

Item #1: Landing We were sent an e-mail with a few photos gleaned from the web with added ‘cute’ captions. By “gleaned” I mean there is no attribution; who took the photo? Neither do I know who added the caption. The photo above came with: Flight ‘Hum-One’ coming in for a landing’.
When I can find the source, I can give credit. In this case, I found the photo, along with related ones, but still can’t tell if it was taken or used by the author of the site; Wild Garden Accents.

The post is from 2012, so 7 years ago, and may be inactive now. On that page is a photo and a note about providing Hummingbirds a place to perch. The site wants to sell you one of its “amazing hummingbird swings” to place within sight of your feeder.

We feed birds, but not Hummers. They do come and inspect the red stick-on bows we have on the windows – those to keep the regulars from flying into the sky reflection.

A search with “images” for Hummingbirds brings up about 70 gazillion photos. You’ve got nothing better to do – go for it.

Item #2: A different kind of landing
Take a swim
A car crashed through the glass wall of a fitness center — the car landed in the middle of the swimming pool. Three people were swimming laps as the car plunged into the water and quickly sank to the bottom.

None of the swimmers was struck or injured. Two of them swam over to help the driver escape from his car.

Item #3: a 2nd car ends in water

I could not make up stuff like this. The son wanted a Jaguar. Folks bought him a new BMW. Oops!

Kid pushed BMW into pond

Item #4: The dear Deer
I sent the photo of the baby deer to my sister in Ohio. She lives in a very urban area. However, about the length of a football field to her east is the upper (small) part of an ever widening wet area, plant habitat, and woodsy place. I think this wetness becomes a small stream that eventually flows into the infamous Cuyahoga River (it once caught on fire).
After receiving the picture, she wrote:

Cute but they are so destructive. I have two very pretty hydrangea bushes in my front beds. No flowers because no matter how much I spray with deer repellent they eat them the instant they bud!
Last week at church I watched a 10 point buck eat away at two bushes and then it laid down and stayed there for over an hour. There was a big one running thru the yards yesterday.
Did I tell you we have a coyote too!!
I love living in the forest.
Oh wait, I live in the city!!

I mentioned the deer eating her bushes to someone and they claim hanging chunks of Ivory Soap near the plants will scare (?) deer away. Why this should be so, I have no idea.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Snow Lake Trail – Two

work site Aug 1 & 2

First photo below:
John’s feet are in the trail. It should be 3 times as wide.
In the center of the view, past the people, there is a small cross-trail drain, for when there is lots of water (none here now).
Flat topped rocks on either side allow hikers to step across when, in this spot, the water is no more than 6 inches deep.

A large rock tipping into the trail, with only a small part showing, made the trail narrow. The photo was taken after digging exposed the size and shape of the rock. The rock will be taken out, and the hole filled. The rock will be used as a step, nearby. The person in the purple shirt holds a shovel handle in her right hand. Beyond that handle is a ragged series of rocks, in the trail. Hikers have to go up that small slope to continue. That rough ascent will be cleaned out and replaced with rock steps.
In the photo below – the center (just right of the white bucket) is where the rock was. The hole has been filled and the trail widened and a rock base is taking shape. Sorry, I don’t have a final photo, but may add one later.
Note the small white rocks (chips) scattered in the trail. These, and about 40 more ½ buckets of chips came from about 100 yards away. Years ago a rock fall destroyed the trail. Crews used sledge hammers (aka ‘double-jacks’) to break rocks and make a trail across. The result from clearing a trail across the rockfall can be seen below, follow the red dots.

Snow Lake Trail – One

Trailhead step replacement
First photo below:
No one seems to know when, but wood and rock steps were constructed to connect the parking area to an existing trail.
Farther down the valley the trail had been destroyed by snow/rock falls.
The wood used for the original steps was sourced on-site (nearby), and was not particularly large or robust. This was sort of a fix it with what you got thing.
These steps may have been here for 50 years. Each year thousands of people use this trail, and as the population of the region grows, so does the foot traffic. (John doesn’t think it is a good trail for little kids and dogs. He is vastly outnumbered in this regard.)Someone estimated there are 500 feet of these old steps and gravel platforms.
The next image is a blow-up of the lower left corner of the first step.The wood pieces overlap and are held together with large nails (spikes). The oval shows an end that is nearly gone, with the nail in its original position. The two red stars indicate other nails in the structure. There are hundreds of nails.
Inside the wood pieces, the volume is filled with rock chunks, and then finished with smaller pieces – gravel. That is, tons of stone.

To replace these requires removing all the wood, getting the nails out, removing all the rock and gravel, and digging trenches for new wood.
The photo shows larger wood with half-lap construction. The log is cut to length and the half-cut at the end was done with a folding saw; brand Silky Katanaboy. For this project the cut is farther from the end, to match the size of the piece it will be fit to. A hammer and chisel are used to remove the unwanted part.
When a box is in place, it has to be filled with rock and then topped with gravel, or other appropriate tread material. The US Forest Service is providing the wood, rock, and gravel – to the trailhead.
As the steps are built all of the trips get longer. Rock and gravel are toted in 5 gallon buckets, about half full, weighing about 40 pounds each.
The crew completes 3 or 4 steps each day, depending on the length and thus volume of the platform created. The longer the platform, the greater the digging and removing of the old, and the more carrying of things up the hill.

Not so Nasty News Aug 9th

Tonight I’m just doing photos. After 3 days of work on the Snow Lake Trail, I’m behind and worn out.
However, of interest is that someone -unexpectedly – spent the night up in that alpine area. King County’s Search and Rescue was at the trailhead and they went up the trail ahead of us.
The person was found and was being brought out, but not before we left at 3 PM – having improved the trail for them.

Item #1: Metallica called
I thought the initial story was interesting but did not bother with it.
This week “nice” kicked in, when the young lady got a call from James Hetfield, singer, and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

Cougar doesn’t like the music

Item #2: School supplies Something for your kid’s backpack.

Item #3: Telling the dogs how to play this game The first they heard of that.

Item #4: Rare find And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.