Friday, December 31, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Dawn at Broadway Park

When I saw the pink-tinged clouds this morning, I piled on the layers and ran down to Broadway Park for some sunrise pictures. Dogs were rushing after the balls their people were throwing for them. I hovered at the edge, trying to dodge tennis balls, trying to not get run over by enthusiastic retrievers, and trying to stay warm in the 23-degree morning. My fingertips were starting to freeze after about thirty minutes in the cold, so I didn't quite make it to actual sunrise, but I did get some pretty shots anyway. Plus, I made some new doggie friends, and isn't that even better?

Happy Last Day of 2010!

P.S. Look, Chad! I didn't use "sunset" mode!

Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The little girl felt bad for him,
the different one.
She called out from the shore
stories of aberrant characters,
told him about Rudolph
and the Ugly Duckling.
Startled by her shouting,
he swam to join his darker brothers
and noticed
for the first time
he was different.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"B" is for Bellingham

No, this graffiti isn't mine, despite my blog header. This was painted on a dumpster lid in the alley behind the YMCA. It sounds so seedy when I put it that way... but still, something about it is beautiful to me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Walk-Up Window

This being the Pacific Northwest, you can find a coffee shop just about anywhere-- even in the middle of a park. There are lots of Woods Coffee locations in Whatcom County. This one is in Boulevard Park, and I find myself frequenting it no matter the season. In summer it's a great place to stop after a jog, get a cool drink, and sit on the patio with the breeze and the view of the islands. In the winter the girls play on the playground for about five minutes before they say "I'm coooooold" and then we go inside Woods for some hot chocolate by the fireplace.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Ripples

I was walking in Bellingham's newest park and came upon two reconstructed ponds with stunningly blue water. There were no obvious feed to the ponds, but I didn't think much of it at the time. Reading about the park this morning , the area was known to native Americans as Wh-mahl-ut-choo (place of many springs). Amazing that I can live in a place for 30+ years and not know there is spring field in the middle of our town!

Click to see the rules and to take a badge for yourself.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Waiting for St. Nick

This chimney, silhouetted against a wintry sunset, waits patiently for Santa Claus to come visit.

I took this picture on Wednesday, December 22, at 3:55 PM. The sun sank below the horizon at 4:16 PM, but gave us 2 more seconds of daylight than the previous day, the shortest day of the year. Longer days are already here! ;-)
Skywatch Friday

Thursday, December 23, 2010


She could play but nothing is ever more interesting than what big sister is doing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two Leaves

two abeyant brother leaves
faded and frail as old men
suspended still though fall has ceased
when one releases
so will his friend

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

James Street Estates

If you love Christmas lights, the best place in Bellingham to visit is the senior neighborhood James Street Estates. Almost every house participates in the Christmas light extravaganza, and it makes for three streets of twinkle. It's best experienced with children (as are most Christmas activities) because they get so excited. We turn up the Christmas tunes, ply the children with hot chocolate, and cruise the hood.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Bridges: Under the Bridge Downtown.. where some ivy finds a home.
And, it appears, where the homeless have occasionally found a home.

For more Sunday Bridges visit San Francisco Bay Daily Photo

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Light Rail

Here in Bellingham we tend to get pretty excited any time development claims a new piece of land so it's easy to forget that the process goes both ways. I always find it fascinating to watch developed areas return to nature. Here, in front of a brand new industrial park, Squalicum Creek takes back a little piece of creek bed in exchange.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Skywatch Friday: the Pacific Range

The setting sun lights up some of the peaks in the Pacific Range in British Columbia, Canada. I couldn't figure out which peaks, exactly, these are-- so I'd love to know if anyone has the information! (Margy?) I delved into Canadian geography enough to know that they are part of the Pacific Range, which in turn is part of the Coast Mountains. This was all illuminating to me, as I'd always referred to them as the Canadian Rockies, which are apparently a continuation of the American Rockies, not the Cascades. That should have been obvious. ;-)
Anyway, whatever their names, on a clear day I often admire these lovely almost-twins gracing our northern neighbor. Thanks for sharing your beauty, Canada! In thanks, we will grant you an inspiring view of Mount Baker.

Skywatch Friday

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not Reading a Book on a Bench

She sits on the bench and looks at the book.
Her fingers are red with cold
the wind stings her cheeks
and she can't read the words.
It doesn't matter.
Impervious to weather and reading ability,
she's captivated by the world in the pages.
Her imagination is free from the manipulation
of the author's carefully chosen phrases.
This is not his story, it's hers.
Her story, her world, her universe.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Frosty Morning

I took this frosty, peaceful picture a couple weeks ago. It's particularly nice to look at today since we're having quite the opposite weather right now. It's been unseasonably warm again and raining heavily for days (although yesterday we had a few brief, fantastic hours of sunshine, which my girls and I took advantage of with a picnic at the park. In DECEMBER.) and rivers all around us are flooding. Just a few minutes ago, a thunderstorm kicked up. If it doesn't let up soon, someone's going to have to build an ark.

P.S. I just came back inside from letting the dog out, and it's hailing like crazy. And MAN, that lightning is getting close!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bellingham Jingle Bell Run 2010

The Jingle Bell Run is an annual fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation.
The band kept us warm with lively tunes while we waited to start, and played on while we ran the 4-mile course.

Dogs, kids, and even a pig(!) joined the run this year.

Here I am at the finish, waving to my girls who were there to greet me with big smiles and hugs.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter at Hovander Park

My friend Lorelle holds her daughter Emilyn's hand as they cross the bridge. Unseen, Lorelle's new baby Hazel is snugly wrapped to her front.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Sunrise at Deception Pass

Last Saturday I drove from Bellingham to Hedgebrook, a women writers' retreat at the south end of Whidbey Island. It was a fantastic day, but one of the best parts of it was that I got to drive over Deception Pass at sunrise. It was a beautiful beginning to a glorious day!

Skywatch Friday

Thursday, December 9, 2010


His seagull stomach full of crackers
bits of cookies
a little cheese...
He pays for his dinner over
and over
and over again,
chased repeatedly by cackling children.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gingerbread House Competition

There were so many amazing entries in this year's Port of Bellingham Gingerbread House Competition! There were some very clever entries, but I thought this one was just incredible. It's called "Chuckanut Dreamin'" by Jim Hildenbrand. I recommend clicking on the picture to enlarge it so you can check out the detail.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Santa Sandwich

These three serious cuties were waiting in line (as were we) for a fire truck ride at the holiday celebration at the ferry terminal. I love the way the sisters are flanking their Santa-hatted brother. Besides the fire truck rides, the festival featured horse-drawn wagon rides, a gingerbread house competition (tomorrow's post!), dancing, singing, hot cider and cookies, and crafts for the kids.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Zodiac II

If you compare my latest image of the Zodiac schooner with the last one I posted, you'll notice something is a little different. Okay, a lot different. If you haven't clicked on the link to the other post yet, you may be thinking to yourself "Don't schooners usually have masts or something?" Bingo!

In late September the Zodiac had a boatload of kids on a sunny, windy day. Suddenly-- CRACK!-- the mast broke off and fell in the water, and the boom crashed down to the deck. Luckily, there were only a couple minor injuries, and the trusty Coast Guard helped everyone get home safely. For now the biggest working schooner on the West Coast is not a working schooner at all, but I'm sure she'll be sailing these blue waters again soon. Until then, she looks pretty even with a haircut.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Stephanie Kallos' Still Life

Yesterday I went to the first annual Women Writers Salon at Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island. It was a day of communion and adventure as we ate fantastic food, talked about the issues women writers face, and took workshops on a variety of topics. Best of all, for me, was making new friends.

This selection of items was on a wicker table at my morning workshop with Stephanie Kallos. The tableau was so enchanting with the streak of morning light across it, I took a picture of it as soon as I got the chance. The little mirror is reflecting a sprig of evergreen in a pottery vase, and the fabric bowl is filled with folded pieces of paper with our hopes for the day written on them. The letter tiles were for us to play with if our fingers got fidgety. Luckily, my fingers were busy writing most of the time... because after all, that's what I was there for.

Click to see the rules and to take a badge for yourself.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Old City Hall and Blue Sky

Ah, the blue skies and (mostly) leafy trees of a month ago. I miss them already!

You'll be happy to know I got my days straight today. It's Thursday, right?

Skywatch Friday

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Run

He runs again past the mystery ship,
always moored along his route.
It's in his mind till dinnertime,
then just as quickly out.

P.S. I just realized it's Thursday, not Wednesday. Oops! Leaving the Watery Wednesday badge anyway!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Theme Day: Time

In the Pacific Northwest this time of year, daylight hours are precious because they are so brief. In the summer, the sun casts light through this channel between Whatcom Creek and Bellingham Bay right before it sets for the day at 9:30 PM. Alas, the winter sun is an early-to-bed type fellow. I took this picture of the last rays of sunlight just before it set at 4:19 PM. All time is precious, but daylight time is the sweetest of all.