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It rained off and on all day yesterday and poured down hard in the evening. It rained so hard I could not see lights across the valley for a while. I don’t mind that. But then, I woke up at 2 am and the sky was clear and full of stars. I laid there for a while and finally talked myself into getting dressed, gathering my camera gear and going out in the dark. The dogs were confused and wanted to go out too but then they wanted in. Ken was out of town for work.

The moon had already set. The stars were uncountable. The night was dark. I ventured down the driveway and up the road a bit. I heard sounds of animals moving in the brush and hoped that none of them were cougars or angry deer. For the most part it was quiet except for the occasional vehicle on the highway down below. I saw a few shooting stars but none crossed my images.

When I was done, sleep eluded me for the longest time.

I’m still working on the process of processing these night sky images.

 

Last week’s hike – a mixture of fall and winter.

Sky is pretty excited to be out in the snow

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Luna knows it’s good to have a more sedate pace

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But it sure feels like it, looks like it, smells like it. Temperatures have plummeted and there’s been significant rain for the last week or so. The dust is gone, replaced with dampness and even mud. Some things seem greener but maybe it’s just that the rain rinsed off the dust and debris of summer days. It is good hiking weather as long as I remember a hat and gloves.

It was 41 degrees when we got out of the car today and everything was wet from yesterday’s rain. Skies were kind of blustery looking with no real patches of blue. The sun made a brief appearance on the uphill part of the hike. There was no need to carry water for dogs today. I wasn’t planning on Sky going swimming today but she rolled in something unmentionable and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

A family of Canada Jays had a fondness for dog treats and when they dropped them, Sky and Luna managed to get them before another bird scooped them up. Don’t tell the Audubon Society.

I grew up visiting the San Juan Islands when they were less well-known and not so developed. My grandmother had a primitive cabin (no electricity or running water) there and I learned to love eating Dungeness crab, steamer clams and other seafood. I thought everyone did that. It wasn’t til I was older that I realized how lucky I was. Visiting Lopez is like a taste of that life as a youngster and a chance to eat fresh Dungeness crab again. We had three days of crabbing last week and did pretty well. I think everyone had enough crab to eat and a bunch was taken home too!

A few scenes from Lopez Island

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