Tuesday, July 22, 2014



It is fire season in the Northwest. Fires rage in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. the largest is the Carlton Complex Fire in North Central Washington. At 381 square miles it is the largest in Washington history.

The town of Pateros was in the path of this fire. You can click to get an idea.

The opposite of chaos is the courage and organization of firefighters from across the country coming in to fight this fire. The opposite is the outpouring of help to those affected.

I was considering using this image from the area affected by the Milepost 24 Fire near us last year.

But it is nothing to compare.

So I will leave my header without an image this week.

Our little group challenges each other to post a header to a theme each week. The others are listed in my sidebar.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


God called the dry land "the earth,"
and the basin of the water he called "the sea."
God saw how good it was.  Genesis
one of my favorite fountains in Seattle
Knowing that I live in the Pacific Northwest, the impression might be that I live among abundant rainfall and a wealth of water. That is a stereotype of our state.
When it rains, it pours.

It is true that our state contains at least two temperate rain forests, several year-round snow covered peaks, more than 25 glaciers, snow and water skiing, and a variety of other evidences of an abundance of the H2O.

But the truth is, I live in a desert.
while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, Genesis
It almost seems like wherever we go in Washington, we have a view of one of the mountains. Do you see Mt. Adams peeking over the hill in the distance?
 Webster's: 1 a :  arid land with usually sparse vegetation; especially :  such land having a very warm climate and receiving less than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of sporadic rainfall annually

Washington has two main ranges of mountains which are oriented from north to south--the Olympics and the Cascades. By the time the moisture coming in from the Pacific has fallen in the rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula, on the cities of the Puget Sound, and climbs the Cascades with a dusting or dumping of snow, there is little left for us in the valleys of Eastern Washington. (Eastern Oregon is similar.)

The Header theme that Mac gave us for this week is

While my home in the Yakima Valley is literally a desert with around ten inches of precipitation falling each year, it is a rich farmland due to irrigation. 
Mt. Adams in the distance beyond the sprinklers
 To enrich the waste and desolate ground
till the desert blooms with verdure?  Job
Grape vines overlook other crops and another set of sprinklers and the Horse Heaven Hills beyond.
Seed production in the Mid Columbia (and the sprinkler lines beyond.)

Circle Line Irrigation rig. (and another mountain view in the distance.)
 The computerized circle lines are a great improvement over the hand lines--looks like these are no longer in use.
These were idle in Eastern Oregon, but it WAS February.
These look more like they are getting ready for the season in early May. I like this image simply as a graphic.

So where does all this water come from?
but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground    Genesis
I don't have a picture of Grand Coulee Dam, but it is only one, and one of the earliest of the projects of the Bureau of Reclamation that make irrigated agriculture a possibility (and provide many megawatts of hydroelectricity.)
Just at the far edge of the visible water you can see Wanapum Dam on the Columbia.
It is one of a series of dams downstream from Grand Coulee.
What happens when the structure of a dam is compromised?

We took the above picture of the Columbia River when we climbed up to the Wild Horse statues near Vantage a few years ago. If we made the climb today--well, we would definitely not do the hike TODAY as it is 101º F.--desert anyone? Nevertheless, the view from this spot now has much less water, as some months ago the Wanapum Dam was found to have a crack. The water behind the dam was drawn down to relieve the pressure on the structure. The "beach" extends about halfway out into the river. The State Park at the upper right of the photo is closed to protect the environment and prevent people from illegal digging for artifacts. Additional efforts are made to insure the migration of fish.
Other dams
Shasta Dam in Northern California (Mt. Shasta in the background) is part of the irrigation system for California's Central Valley. From the water level of Lake Shasta, you can see part of the effects of drought.

Hoover Dam on the Arizona-Nevada border controls the Colorado and provides hydro power for a large area.
Lake Mead, behind it is even lower than Lake Shasta. Lake Powell, behind Glen Canyon Dam near the Arizona-Utah border is lower still.

Back in Washington, water from those series of dams is diverted into canals to serve the various irrigation districts in the Yakima Valley, the MidColumbia, the Wenatchee Valley, etc.

Diversion dams like this one control the irrigation canals.
There is not much of wild water left. We have done so much to control it. What might have been if we hadn't?
Control of the water provides irrigation and hydropower.
It provides flood control.
It also makes available habitat for wildlife.
 Then God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky." And so it happened:   Genesis
It provides abundant recreation.

And in some areas provides transportation.
One of the Washington State Ferries approaches the dock in Seattle.

Here in the desert we are not slave to the ferry schedule. When you live on an island in the Puget Sound, you are. Yes, that ferry has just left, it is not just arriving. We waited an hour for the next one to get off the island after visiting a friend.
"May God give to you of the dew of the heavens
And of the fertility of the earth abundance of grain and wine."  Genesis
Headbanger Challenge--WATER
Visit my Headbanger friends from the links in my sidebar and see what wonderful views of water they have found.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pup Heroes

I am looking through photo archives in preparation for this coming week's Header theme and found this picture, which I remembered but did not search out last week.

We were traveling by air a few years ago, and while awaiting our plane in Ontario, California we were graced with the presence of these service dogs in training. They were on an excursion to practice being in various situations without getting stressed.

It has been over three years since we met them, so they are now working dogs in service to persons with disabilities.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Craver gave us the theme of "PUP" for our headers this week.

We haven't had a puppy around here for a very long time. Our dog Babe died at the ripe old age of 14, which is approximately 98, I think, in dog years. And that was nearly ten years ago.

My grandson got a new puppy when we were visiting earlier in the year. It was instant puppy love.

But the ultimate puppy in the family is Spencer. These pictures of Spencer were taken when we visited my brother last Thanksgiving. He was not quite a year old.

Since then we are assured that Spencer has been to obedience school. I don't think Don had had a dog since we were kids.

It's another case of puppy love.

When we visit our grandson again in November, will Kinsey be as big as Spencer?

The other headbangers will be showcasing their pups. Find their blogs from the links in my sidebar.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"What is that!?"

This week's Headbangers theme was proposed by Tom the Fishing guy, who is wondering WHAT IS THAT?

My daughter saw this from inside the restroom when we went to Deep Lake while we were camping. And there was movement. What is that?

Hangry Birds.

Still at Deep Lake.
My daughter was the one with the eagle eye.
Another local resident out for a stroll.
Deep lake was fun.
The kids went swimming and kayaking.
That works up an appetite.
Something is cooking in the Dutch Ovens.
Add another pan with a little ingenuity and some foil.
Pizza for dinner!
Once again posting the evening before Headbanger day as it's another doctor day and the appointments start early tomorrow.
What's that that the other Headbanger challenges have found? Check their posts and headers from the links in my sidebar.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Now why are you taking a picture of that?

otherwise sometimes stated as:
What are you taking a picture of now?
What on earth are you doing lying on the sidewalk?
What in the world are you doing?
Do you always take a picture of your ketchup?

I provided the theme for the headbangers this week, and as we will be camping I am scheduling this post and early posting the header.
 We were stopped for lunch a hundred miles from home. I had a new camera. I was testing out the settings while waiting for my fish and chips. And I hear the voice of Ernie--just as far from home. "Do you always take a picture of your ketchup, Kathy?"

It made me laugh a couple of years later when we were lunching in San Francisco and we had these tiny ketchup bottles. I had to take a picture for Ernie.
 I often take pictures of architectural detail -- airport floors, restroom tiles, this stonework in San Francisco -- I see quilt designs everywhere.
Of course I had to take a picture of the odometer of my Honda when we traded it.
Maybe my best what on earth are you doing shot was taken in Scotland on our first day of hiking in the summer of 2010. The group had really not gotten beyond the first getting to know each other, and our guide, Sean, may have been a bit exasperated with my lagging behind. He saw me down on my knees with my camera.
No one else had noticed this.
We all were a bit more aware of the large and small of our surroundings for the rest of the trip.
On Wednesday afternoon take a look at the other members of our competition who are linked in my sidebar and see what they have been doing when asked a similar question.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Headbangers go underground this week

And so did we when we were in Arizona last month when we visited the Titan Missile Museum outside Tucson. It was pretty much ALL underground.

Here we are looking down at a genuine piece of America's cold war defense. There were several Titan Missile bases in the southeast Arizona area, and this one was preserved to show us the details of life and security in the cold war.

And down down down we go.

Through the corridors and double locks and super sealing doors to the control room where we saw the room sized computer space of the original system which was reduced in size through the years of the missile readiness. Another part of the readiness was something some of the younger members of the tour had never seen--a phone with  a rotary dial.
After a mock launch we returned to the silo--now looking up.

Now, you may be wondering exactly what the header image is. It is a view of the missile's first stage engine.  Now to be frank, it was not down in the silo but was on display on the grounds before we reached the silo, but it is by far too great a visual to pass by.
Did the others manage to go underground?
Check from their links in my sidebar to see how they managed.
Look back to previous posts to see how my search for underground went this week.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oh, dear, what will I do for this week's theme?

UNDERGROUND.  That's what our theme is for this week.  And more than one of the headbangers expressed the same sentiment. Thank you, Lew. You must have an idea for this theme of yours.

As we traveled to Idaho this last weekend, I was searching for an idea for underground. It isn't exactly the easiest thing to take a picture of. I remembered the tour of the Seattle Underground years ago. My pictures did not exactly turn out so well, and no idea where they might be to scan anyway. Pendleton Oregon offers an underground tour--that might be interesting sometime, but wasn't to be on this particular trip.

We camped overnight--testing out whether we would remember everything for our campout with grandkids next week. There were a few sorry possibilities for underground. There are quite a few critters who live underground. The hole above was the largest we saw--about a foot across. Not sure what lives there, And not sure I want to know.

This hole in the side of the firepit seems to be a bit of an iffy location. Of course, there is probably more than one entrance.

Under the tree might be better. I wonder who lives here.

And a warning of what lies below prevents some danger and a blackout. I wonder if the critters follow the rules.

This might have been a possible underground shot, had I got the other side where there are two tunnel entrances. It is a puzzle that I wonder about each time we pass this way.

Well, if you should happen to be looking at this before the new header goes up, let me tell you that I have just now decided that the header post will be totally separate from this one. These follow my search for the underground, but then both my husband and I had an aha! moment. He knew I had pictures, and I knew I had pictures and you will see late tomorrow what we found underground. (Headbanger day is Wednesday, but that is often problematical as it is usually a doctor day for himself. )