Friends, January 15, 2019
We’ve had several stout Winter storms blow through Western Washington this last month. The most powerful one destroyed a restaurant that sits on the beach near our house. We had a King (high) tide when this storm blew in with 70 mph winds blowing straight into the back of Birch Bay kicking up 5-8 foot waves. The owner of the Bay Breeze restaurant had her camera on as the waves pounded against the glass windows at the back of her dining room overlooking the bay. Finally, the waves won and smashed the windows allowing sea water to flood the place, and the last thing we saw on the video was the furniture drifting out into the bay through the blown out windows. Sad, very sad, and it will take a while to rebuild as the place was red-tagged, or unsafe to be inside. The waves also tore up big chunks of the asphalt road that circles the bay. And what surprised me the most was seeing all the driftwood that was thrown up on the beach from this storm. All sizes of logs, some 10-20 ft long, covered the beach for several miles. Hundreds and hundreds of them must have come from the San Juan Islands which sit out in the distance. Driftwood fans were out there loading their truck from the bonanza on the beach the next day. Our little house sits up high on a ridge (Leslie found out we sit 41 feet above sea level) and we were safe and sound although the howling wind was a bit scary. It hasn’t been really cold; we’ve gotten down to 29 at night, but that’s the coldest temp so far. We’re back to the Winter schedule of feeding the birds – Leslie has feeders up both in the front and back of our house for the little birds, as we call them. And we toss out peanuts for the crows and squirrels – our Winter pets we enjoy seeing on the back patio. The tap water now is cold and very tasty. Our water comes from deep wells and is sweet and without any chemical smell or taste – you can fill up your water bottle from the kitchen tap and avoid having to buy any. Plus, the Dungeness crab season is now in full swing. I picked up a fat boy at the supermarket (they only harvest boy crabs; the girls get thrown back into the water) for $8.54 last Monday and had a lovely dinner with an Oregon Pinot Gris, butter pot, and crusty bread. Both Oregon and Washington vineyards bottle some excellent red and white wines, easily as good as anything coming from Napa Valley, California. The Winter scene on the back roads is interesting and still lovely as all the pastures are green with a new crop of Alfalfa - there are so many dairy cattle and horses raised here they need a lot of good feed. So, in between the blueberry and raspberry fields are vast stretches of land planted in alfalfa and corn. Now that the corn has been harvested, many farmers have planted alfalfa in the stubble fields to get a head start on a Spring harvest. And now that the leaves are off the trees, we can see further into the woods and discover sweet little houses just off the road that were invisible when the Summer foliage blocked them from discovery. And in the distance, snow-covered mountains are a fabulous sight. Mt. Baker looks like a giant whipped cream snow cone in the distance. The snow-covered foothills of the Canadian Rockies dominate another part of the distant vista. And maybe the best part is that there is no traffic – we cruise leisurely down the two-lane farm roads and thoroughly enjoy checking out the farms and scenery at our own pace. The first thing to read in this new issue of Skywatch is the information in the “Looking Ahead” paragraphs on the back page. Difficult changes are just ahead, so this is the month to handle the high priority matters in your life – Don’t wait until March when times change.