A Walk in the Rain at Soos Creek Botanical Garden

Our first storm of the fall season was supposed to land today, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds up to forty miles an hour.   It still may.  But this morning I decided to brave what looked like ordinary rain and headed to Soos Creek Botanical Garden for a walk.

I’m so glad I did. It was exquisite.

~ Susanne

Football Magic

I suppose I should have been watching the game.  After all, that’s why we had ventured out on a cold and rainy afternoon.

We had bundled up in rain gear, and as we pulled out of the driveway I texted this to my step-daughter, just in case.  “Hi!  We’re coming to the game.  Do they ever cancel due to weather?” The reply, “Unfortunately not.  We will see you there.”  Haha.  This ain’t baseball!

As we drove the thirty minutes south to the school, the weather improved slightly and by the time we arrived it had stopped raining.   Still, everything was wet and the outdoor bleachers had no cover. We wiped down a spot on the top row and put down the blanket we had brought for cushion. We settled in for the duration, 4 quarters, 8 minutes each.

Our team scored first on the kickoff return.  Six points.  It was all they would score.

Okay so I’m not that much of a football fan.  And I began to notice the lovely fall colors and how the purple uniforms (our team) blended into the scene; and the red track circling the field made a nice accent.

Periodically the heavens opened and our big umbrella was our refuge. Exposed parts of the blanket became soggy. Then as the sun was setting, this rainbow appeared over the field.

When it engulfed the tree I couldn’t tell you what the score was or who had the ball.

Too bad I only had my phone with me.  This scene deserved a real camera.

By the second half the sun was down and I began to pay proper attention to the game, only to realize we were watching a rout. But the rainbow is what I will remember.

~ Susanne

Alaska Cruise: Ketchikan

Well here it is already, my last post on our cruise to Alaska with our final stop at Ketchikan!

Ketchikan is in fact, the first city you would normally encounter cruising north into Alaska’s Inside Passage.  Our itinerary however, took us to Juneau first, then to Glacier Bay, followed by Sitka and lastly to Ketchikan.  Of the three cities we visited I think Ketchikan is the most colorful of them all.

And the rainiest, it turns out.

202 inches in 1949?  That my friend, is some serious rain!

And then there’s this, taken from the ‘Alaska Cruise Handbook,’ by John Upton:

“Ketchikan visitor to child: How long has it been raining?

Child: I don’t know;  I’m only five.”

So yes, it was raining in Ketchikan and we pulled out our umbrellas and explored the town on our own. I headed for colorful Creek Street, a historic boardwalk along the banks of Ketchikan Creek .

Creek Street used to be the red light district of this rough and tumble fishing and logging town. Its colorful buildings now house shops, art galleries and restaurants. Salmon still swim upstream in the creek to spawn.

Most of the sawmills in Ketchikan have closed down but you can still see the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show on the pier. The show is fun and also demonstrates serious logging skills by young athletes.

We finished up our shopping before returning to the ship to start the journey home. The next two days we would cruise south under overcast, but beautiful skies.

While walking the promenade deck, or gazing out the window from our balcony I liked to watch the sea, hoping to catch more of this.

And this.

No, not a sea monster.  A humpback whale!  Yes, we saw them several times on our journey and every time it was a thrill!

After a week of sailing we arrived back in Seattle, happy to be home again but also happy to have finally seen Alaska.  In fact it left us hungry for more.  And though I can now cross Alaska off my list, I’m sure we’ll be back someday to see more of this wild and beautiful state.

~  Susanne

They’re Back

After an interminably long and dry summer the rain and clouds have returned to the Pacific Northwest just in time to welcome fall. Though we desperately needed the rain, the change was rather abrupt and will take some getting used to.  Still, I love the clouds.

~ Susanne

Rainless in Seattle and the Orange Sun

As if it wasn’t enough to break the all time record for rain earlier this year (144 wet days, and almost 45 inches of rain between last October and April) we are now set to break the record for most days without measurable rain (51 days) tomorrow. To top it off, the uncharacteristically hot weather and the smoke from wildfires up north have made for vivid orange sunsets.

About an hour before the sun went down tonight it hovered low in the west looking like a blood orange.  I don’t know how to capture that kind of color; maybe some day I will.  In the meantime, I found the glow through the trees quite beautiful.

But I sure do miss the rain.

~ Susanne

After the Rain

After the promised high temperatures enjoyed their run for little more than 24 hours, they left abruptly and thunder and lightning and heavy rain took their place. We sat inside, watching and listening, occasionally poking our head out to see the jagged spires light up the sky.

After the thorough pounding and rumbling and crackling for hours on end, the rain finally took a break and I ventured out to see what the storm had done, which was to make everything cleaner and fresher and greener.

Looking up I was most impressed by the clouds which hung dramatically and beautifully every direction I turned.

I hurried back inside before the next explosion of thunder and rain occurred, bringing with it a flicker of power outage while writing this post. Through my office window I capture the last image of the day. Oh!

That’s enough for tonight.

~ Susanne