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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

This is the third year in a row we have camped at Lopez Island during the first week of September. We like it and we will keep doing it. This year three friends and Ken’s brother and his wife joined us along with a couple of strawberry blonde dogs. We had dinner parties every night, caught Dungeness crabs on three days, Ken and Carl and our Lopez friend David, fished and caught some salmon, played with dogs and we relaxed. It was a good time.

Last night I spent two hours at Washington Pass with three other people practicing night photography. It’s still a work in progress for me with much to learn. It was a lovely night and hazy clouds came and went sometimes obscuring many of the stars or the Milky Way. We did get a little bit of the northern lights though.

Do you like dark night skies full of stars? Support efforts to preserve them like this one happening in our valley.

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