Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A day of wandering

One of the first days of the term we broke up into our new clans and went on wanders. Trestle swamp, pictured here, ended up being our destination in the sense that we ate lunch there and more or less started heading back (by a different route) when we left it. It was my first time there and we saw what we think was an otter. We then built a fire, which was quite a challenge since we were in the middle of a long streak of consecutive rainy days in the area, but we finally managed with the proper application of pitch.

We found this amazing skeleton earlier in our wander. We were surprised by how little it had been disturbed. The best explanation we could think of was that it died of some disease which made it unappealing to other animals. Though we had some identification guesses, none of them seemed to fit the skeleton. It wasn't until we got back to look at some field guides that we decided it was a possum.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Just down the road from my house is an overlook of the Snoqualmie valley. This left picture was taken shortly after I moved there in September.

It's been raining quite a bit in the Seattle area lately and now near Duvall many fields are now large puddles. Cherry Valley which borders Snoqualmie Valley near here is affectionately known as Cherry Lake at times like this. One of the fields that borders the highway that runs through Duvall has had several swans swimming over it the past few times I've driven by. The right picture was taken this morning.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Winter Break

I've been away from school for a few weeks, but we'll be starting up again in a couple of days now.

Near the beginning of break I had an enjoyable trip to some hotsprings near North Bend (Washington). I don't remember the name of them, but they were nice, out of the way, run by a non-profit group. There was a long stretch of gravel road - about 16 miles of it - leading up to the trail. We would have had a lot longer to walk if we hadn't had a 4wd truck. There was a log to be driven over, several fairly sizable pot holes, and snow to slog through. Once we got to the parking area there was a short walk to the campground - short if you are willing to wade through a knee deep icy cold river anyway, otherwise you can take the 3 mile walk around.
The campground and hotsprings were in a lovely forest with a creek running down one side. Along with several large trees there is a huge doug-fir on the trail up to the springs. The main pool is set back in a cave that goes back probably around twenty feet. It is difficult to take the heat in that pool for long periods of time, but the middle pool, while much smaller is a very nice temperature, the bottom pool is on the cool side though comfortable and there is a cold water pool off to the side for those feeling adventurous.

After the hot springs trip I drove over to Idaho to spend some time with family and friends. While on the farm I went out with my dad and collected a bunch of different woods to try friction fires with.