Monday, March 31, 2008


First in a series

Tahoma Creek

Odd Shots Monday--tree

Click the logo in the sidebar. It will take you to the Odd Shots details.

Sorry folks, I have to make the exception to my own rule this time. I have a second photo that makes clear what is odd about the first. To start with, take a look at this forest picture from our hike last Monday.

Probably everyone but Paulie thinks we're nuts for hiking in that snow. She understands. But that is not what is odd--that we would go out hiking in many feet of snow cover. Do you see what is odd in that photo? It doesn't show as well as it did in real time.

That tree looked perfectly normal at the top. Nice green needles--lovely form. I don't know where it fell from or how it is hanging. There don't seem to be any matching stumps or snags.

But there it is.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why do you click?

Here is the question, and I would love for you to think about it and answer either as a comment here, or in your own blog and link back here with it:

What is it in a blog that keeps you going back?

I'm doing my thinking about it and here are some of the things that get my click:
1. Witty, well written look at daily life that includes humor, character, concern.
2. Thoughtful insights into issues--but not rambling on and on.
3. A picture is worth a thousand words--good choice of pictures to illustrate or enhance the thought.
4. A meaningful visit around the world.
5. Helpfulness to others in the blogosphere--to readers and other bloggers.
6. This might seem to be a repeat of number 5, but I think it is different. I like a blogger who offers thoughtful comments on other's blogs.
7. A clean crisp look that is easy to navigate.
The other day CrazyCath awarded me the E for Excellent Award. Then, a day or two later, Ginni at The View From My Garden offered me the same award. There must be something here that they like.
Here are the rules that are passed along with the award:
By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you agree to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please try to award at least 10. You deserve this! Feel free to recognize blogs that have already received this award.
Here are my ten, and my reasons:
David McMahon at authorblog is on my list for all of my categories. There is no question about his writing and photography, but I would like to point out one of the things he does to help other bloggers. From time to time he offers insightful explanations of how he captured certain photos, and how that method helps to make them effective. His photography lessons have improved our photos.
Like David, Leslie, my neighbor to the north at The Pedalogue, also encompasses all of the categories. Pay her a visit and see if you don't agree.
Jackie, The Mother of This Lot at motherspride and another blogger I've found recently, katydidnot are masters of category number one. Their looks at daily life with kids will keep you in stitches.
I could visit Max E every day just for a look at the header on The MAX Files. What I find below the header are thoughtful posts, beautiful pictures, and a delightful visit to a different part of the world. I enjoy it immensely.
Inland Empire Girl blogs at Gathering Around the Table and is a teacher like myself. She doesn't blog a lot about her classroom, but somehow I can see the teacher behind her posts, which excel especially in categories 2 and 3. I particularly like her sibling assignments, done with her brother and sister in looking back at moments in their early life.
Another teacher I've known for a while before blogging and before she retired is Paulie, at Postcards from Paulie. Helpfulness is one of her special traits, along with nice photos from her wanderings about her community. It was Paulie who lured me out of the blogging woodwork. I had a blog, but until Paulie discovered it, it was hiding. It took Paulie to drag this shy blogger into the community.
Daryl E at Out and about in New York City has an all round great blog. Sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtful (sometimes both at once) great pictures, nice comments from her at other blogs. This rural girl gets an insight into urban life that I wouldn't be able to imagine from her.
Finally, in the picture is worth a thousand words category, there are three bloggers among many who help to encourage other bloggers to share their pictures , so they fit into the photos and the helpfulness categories. TnChick operates Saturday Photohunt, which now has about 250 participants. Mrs. Nesbitt started the ABC Wednesdays last year and it is midway into its second round and growing. RuneE has established Broer som Binder on the first Monday of each month. That translates to Bridges between... I'm linking to his Visual Norway blog, because it is in English.
Well, that's eleven from the list that I visit regularly. I could keep on adding to the list because there are others, but I have to stop sometime. I will stop by and tell them about the award tomorrow. For now, good night.

Photo Hunt--Theme: High

TnChick hosts Photo Hunt each Saturday.
Click logo to get there.

The Photo Hunt theme for March 29 is high.

Here are a number of pictures taken at Mt. Rainier National Park which illustrate some of the high places we hike in the summer (well, and some in the fall and some winter.) These are in no particular order, so I may have you bouncing back and forth for references to other pictures.

On the way up the hill to Sunrise we could see Mt. Adams in the distance to the south on July 3, 2007. (We see it from home from a different angle.)

Nov. 2, 2007 High above Highway 123--the Eastside Road. The Eastside Road had reopened just days before after damage from the floods of the previous November. (More about that 2006 storm below.)

Also taken on the November 2 hike. A view of Mt. Rainier from high on Chinook Pass.

From high on the Burroughs Mountain trail we can see Glacier Peak in the far distance to the north. The Mount Fremont Lookout is on the nearer promontory. Taken in late July, 2007.

High above the clouds that were blanketing the White River Valley, late August, 2007.

High along the Burroughs Mountain trails at the end of August, 2007.

No matter where you hike the Mountain Peak is high above you.

Is this a winter photo? NO. Taken on May 6, 2007 from Paradise. May 6 the Park reopened, just six months to the day after the park received 18 inches of rain in 36 hours. Repair to damaged roads and other infrasturcture had to be done before the park could be reopened to the public. Repair to trails and campgrounds continued through the summer and there is yet more to be done. As National Park Volunteers, we were invited to participate in the reopening ceremonies on May 6.

High above the Emmons Glacier on the Rim Trail

Looking down from high on the Sourdough Trail you can see part of the Wonderland Trail. The Wonderland Trail circles Mt. Rainier for a hiking distance of about 90 miles. Most backpackers who do the trail in one visit take nine to eleven days. Most backpackers who do this are quite a bit younger than we are. We hope to do a piece of the trail this coming summer, but we must decide which part we want to do for about a three day trip. Although we are avid campers and hikers, we have not backpacked before, so it will be an adventure. Seeing how much snow remained in early July, I think we will wait till August to do our trek.

Taken looking north from Sourdough ridge July 4, 2007. Glacier Peak is among the mountains in the distance.

Atop Mt. Fremont--near the lookout shown earlier. This was also July 4. In addition to the floods of November, 2006, winds connected to the storms blew the newly refurbished roof off the lookout. Repairs had not been made yet when we visited.

Friday, March 28, 2008


We've been doing the tourist thing with family in Seattle.

From the ferry ride

As my visiting grandson said, "We went to the Space Noodle."

Even I went to the top. I've been much less apprehensive of high places lately.

The Experience Music Project building at Seattle Center reflects the rides at the Fun Fair.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh, Dear

CrazyCath has given me an E for Excellence award. I am supposed to pass it along to at least ten people. Goodness! This is going to take some thought and I am not up to much thought yet for the evening. I'm up to putting my feet up and doing some laundry so I will have clothes to pack as we head out early in the morning. I will humbly accept the award and the passing along part may come in a couple of days--when the laundry is done and I have returned.

ABC Wednesday--J

You can find the details of

ABC Wednesday at Mrs. Nesbitt's.

All my pictures of the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise on Mount Rainier are taken in winter. In fact, we made a trip up there on Monday just to get some more shots.

Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson was a several term senator from Washington state. During the 60s, when Jackson was in the Senate, he was instrumental in getting the funding for a visitor center at Paradise, a major tourist destination at the 5300 foot level of Mt. Rainier.
The problem was, in order to get the funding, there had to be a design ready for the building. Getting a new design by an architectural firm would take another two years. The visitor center was needed now.
There was a plan already available, however, recently done for another park. It was borrowed, the funding was obtained, and the center was built and dedicated to Senator Jackson. I'm not sure which park the plan was from--it was one of the ones in Hawaii, so the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center has a twin in Hawaii.
The problem is, while the design was perfect for Hawaii, it has always had some serious problems in a location which annually vies for the record for the most snowfall in a season. Summer is one thing. But in the winter, it takes many gallons of oil a day to heat the roof so that the snow pack will not build up and cave it in. That is one of the reasons, along with changes in fire, safety, and accessibility standards, that this aging building is being replaced.

Construction on the new visitor center began in 2006 and is going along well with completion expected this summer. We were surprised at how roomy it appears, as the description has been that it is much smaller than the current center.

You notice the steeply pitched roof, which will shed the snow without the extreme expenditure for heating oil. The design also fits in with other historic buildings at Paradise.

Once the new building is complete and the exhibits ready for visitors, the old Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center will be demolished. It will certainly be different.

Just another day in Paradise!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Monday Hike

JC said if you don't like the weather to wait ten minutes.

How about five?
I can see clearly now...

There between the trees...

Just a peek..

Being shy...
Heavily veiled...

The veil is lifting!

All taken today at Mt. Rainier.

Odd Shots Monday--Poetry Post

Odd Shots is hosted here.
Click the logo in the sidebar to find the post with the guidelines.
Regular Odd Shotters are listed in the blogroll.
Comment here to let us know you are playing.

If you do a Google search for "Poetry Post", you will be directed to innumerable forums and websites where people share, discuss, or ask and answer questions about poetry.

You probably won't find this.

Maybe you will, now.


When I took this photo of the post in a yard I pass each day on my way into school, I had no idea what it was. I had passed it numerous times and wondered. I took the picture, thinking it would eventually be an odd shot.


In our staff notes for the following week was a note that the fourth grade would be going on a walking field trip to the poetry post.


Once it had been so identified, I questioned the teacher who was taking the kids to the post. Here is the background: the gentleman who owns the house was an English teacher in a nearby high school who encouraged the study and writing of poetry. He also has, in his home, a printing press--my impression being that it is a vintage one. Anyone can tack a poem to the post. He occasionally gathers them from the post, and has published a book of poems from the post.


I may not have all of that exactly right, but question those fourth graders and they will tell you that they have had their poetry published--on the poetry post.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Photo Hunt--Theme: Metal

Click the logo to go to TnChick's blog.
She is the host of Photo Hunt Saturday.

This is probably the only metal dinosaur you will see today!

Since some have asked, a nearby small community has bolstered its image and cleaned up its act over the last several years by taking on a dinosaur theme. A pond by the river, which had been a serious eyesore and rather dangerous looking place, has been cleaned up and rehabilitated and turned into a dinosaur park. Several dinosaurs "live" in its waters and along its shore, inviting folks to stroll and families to picnic. This dinosaur here is another addition near the freeway exit to the town.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ABC Wednesday: I

A click on the logo will take you
to Mrs. Nesbitt's blog.
Mrs. Nesbitt is the hostess
of ABC Wednesday.

If you have followed my ABC's, you are probably expecting to see some Mt. Rainier wildflowers which start with I.
I am at a loss for flowers this week, and I won't go putting the iris from the garden in my Mt. Rainier theme here on ABC just because it starts with I. Instead, I will feature some views from a winter hike on Naches Loop. Actually, it wasn't winter yet, but the beginning of November when we saw these Icicles on the east side of Naches Peak.

When we got to this part of the trail, we wished we had either started on this side when the sun was still on it, or taken along our snowshoes to use the cleats on the icy trail.

And now, back to the summer, for a peak at an impromptu shelter we rigged up while camping with the grandkids. We were a couple of kids short on tent space last year, so this served well for the more adventurous of the crew. Camping with the grandkids is one of the favorite events of the year for all involved. It is a special time for the cousins. And one grandson told a cousin, "Grandma and Grandpa are expert campers."