November 2010December 2010 January 2011

12/29 - Dungeness Spit - Tides and Sand

For a while there were terrible hiking tides at Dungeness Spit. If there was a low tide at all during the daylight hours, it was perhaps a foot or two above the high high tide. That meant that there wasn't much beach for walking, high tide or low, so we stayed away. More recently, the real low tides have returned, so we took advantage of one recently.

Sometimes it is hard to hike the spit even at low tide, because the beach is too rocky. When the sand washes out, as often happens in winter, it can be rough going. This year things look better. The tides were low, and there was a good sandy beach for hiking. We didn't go far, just a bit past the one mile marker, but there are some more good tides in two weeks. We'll try again.

The Dungeness Spit as seen on the climb out

Looking north

Looking south

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, winter

12/28 - Antisolar Crepuscular Light

One of the things about the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek is the amazing view of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. It is about 30 miles to Vancouver Island and farther to the San Juan Islands. The Cascades and Mount Baker are even farther, so there is a lot of sea and sky visible. Looking north, away from the sun, one often sees patterns in the shadows of clouds falling on other clouds. This is known as crepuscular light, and it can often be subtle, but sometimes the rays of light are impossible to miss. Just in case you are having trouble seeing them in the picture to the right, roll your cursor over it to see a contrast enhanced version.

Keywords: morse creek, atmosphere, science

12/27 - Because You Can't Have Enough Closeups of Our Cookie Tree

Here are some more of the great cookies, and a little chair made from a champagne cage, that the elves our friends made for our cookie tree.

Keywords: christmas

12/26 - Lake Angeles Trail - Not Quite Winter Wonderland Yet

We finally nerved ourselves and went back to the Lake Angeles Trail. The last time we were there the trailhead was blocked off by snow and ice, and being not so intrepid travelers, we turned tail. This time, the parking lot was clear. In fact there was no snow on the lower 300 or 400 feet of the trail, but as we climbed we started seeing bits of the white stuff. By the time we reached the bridge there was a good fraction of an inch of snow on the trail. This was enough for us to declare winter, but not quite enough to transform the trail into a winter wonderland. We aren't worried. There are forecasts for more snow, and if there isn't enough snow by the bridge, then we'll climb the trail to its higher reaches. We can see snow on the mountains. Winter wonderland is out there.

The bridge

A bit of snow

Some snow pretty

Keywords: winter, lake angeles

12/21 - Christmas Party

We held our big people's Christmas party, and the place was magical. Of course, it didn't look so magical with the flash, so we took shakey time exposure shots without a tripod. Magical means blurry in this context. Still, the party was kind of magical.

Our Godzilla Christmas angel was aglow with atomic fire. Our cookie tree aglow with candles, and our guests aglow with choucroute garnie, bourbon sodden fruitcake, brie en croute with cranberry chutney and, of course, our thermonuclear egg nog. It's the same recipe we use for Godzilla's atomic fire.

Yet another magical, i.e. blurry, Kaleberg Christmas.

A blurry shot of the cookie tree

A blurry shot of our party spread

Our Christmas tree lies in wait.

Keywords: christmas, recipe, kale

12/20 - Moon and Mount Baker

Here's another photo of Mount Baker, this one from our back yard. That's the waning moon before the eclipse that we missed, because we were sound asleep.

Keywords: mount baker

12/19 - Mount Baker from Morse Creek

The air was extremely clear a few days after that pineapple express that blew through here. We had a great view of Mount Baker from the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek. We could even see a bit of the foothills.

Keywords: morse creek, mount baker

12/18 - Alder Wood Bistro Brew 'n Burger

We just tried the Clark Family Farm beef burger at the Alder Wood Bistro and we were really impressed. We've been enjoying a lot of Clark Family Farm beef, but this was our first burger, and it was prepared by a master. It is our favorite burger now, hands down. We also tried Alder Wood's new extra dark, smoked hopped brew. It was extremely rich, and with the smokey notes it reminded us of drinking scotch. It was an overwhelming drink, so we didn't have very much. We really wanted to be able to finish our wonderful burgers.

Keywords: alder wood bistro, clark family, restaurants

12/16 - Morse Creek in Flood

Shortly after the big rain, wetook a walk on the Olympic Discovery Trail, heading west from Morse Creek. The river was swollen, frothing and muddy. We know that the old railroad bridge over it was well designed and lovingly restored, but our perch still seemed precarious. We could feel the river racing below.

Wild waters

More wild waters

Morse Creek

You can see Morse Creek's waters heading out into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca a bit below the horizon and parallel to it.

The trail itself was blocked. What a mess.

Keywords: morse creek

12/15 - Buddha's Hand

Buddha's hand, that's what they call this peculiar looking citrus fruit. In the monkey folk novel of China, Buddha's hand, when he is subduing Monkey who has challenged heaven, stretches to the far horizon. Clearly that was not the reference in mind when this fruit was named. To be honest, we're not exactly sure what they were thinking when they came up with that name.

As for the fruit itself, it has a wonderful scent, part lemon, part orange, tangy and fresh. We tried it with seafood, grating a fair bit on some sauteed oysters with garlic, parsley and butter. We were quite impressed. We also used it in a braided hoska bread along with the almonds, raisins, candied lemon peel and orange peel. It smelled great and it brightened the flavor. The fruit is all rind, so we're hoping to try to find a few more uses for it.

Keywords: oysters, food

12/14 - The Kaleberg Cookie Tree

Every year we draft our friends and their children to help decorate our cookie tree. We always have two Christmas trees. One is nine feet tall and covered with ornaments. The other is much smaller and covered with cookies and lit by candles.

As usual, there are some pretty good looking cookies hanging from our cookie tree, thanks to the magic of 10X confectioner's powdered sugar, food coloring and the hard work of good friends.

Keywords: christmas

12/13 - Winter Eagles

While we aren't the biggest fans of winter, we do like the way it reveals things. Most of the trees around here keep their leaves, but there are enough deciduous trees so that the forest seems to open up for the season. There are all sorts of things hidden in the canopy, like this eagle nest near the Dungeness River, shown with its two proud owners.

Keywords: dungeness, winter, birds, eagle

12/11 - Santa Is Coming To Town

Every year the Port Angeles fire department sends out Santa to spread Christmas cheer and collect money for local charities. As one might expect, Santa rides a firetruck, so we literally await his siren call in early December. This year, it was raining, but Santa doesn't get stopped by snow, so the rain barely slowed him down.

Santa is coming ...

Santa, and his helpers, are here!

Good bye, Santa, see you on the 25th.

Keywords: christmas, port angeles

12/10 - Our Flight Home

We flew home around dusk. Here are some pictures of Seattle at night, suitably blurred by the planes vibration. That last photo is one of our plane's lights.

That's Seattle.

More Seattle lights

The lights on our plane's wing

Keywords: seattle, flying

12/09 - Christmas in Seattle

We made another lightning trip into Seattle, and since it is December, we checked out the gingerbread house show in the Sheraton Towers lobby. This year, the theme was houses, so they had cozy houses, tree houses, farm houses and space houses, all done with gingerbread, candies, icing and other wonders.

Remembering the good old days, before the housing bust ...

Keywords: seattle, christmas

12/06 - Around Port Angeles

We were exploring downtown Port Angeles and dropped into the new Blow Hard Glass Gallery which is down on Railroad Avenue. Railroad Avenue always seemed like the industrial poor sister to Front and First Streets, which was a pity as it is the first street one sees getting off a ferry from Victoria. The new bus terminal and related work seem to have improved things a bit, and the new glass gallery is a great new addition. (Yes, we know, they opened in May, but readers of this site know that we are always months and often years behind the times.)

We also dropped into the Princess Valiant Coffee shop, and picked up some of their fresh roasted coffee. We were pleased to see that they also sell Dry Creek Farm eggs among other things.

We then dropped into Port Book and News, but we've entered the Christmas book embargo. Basically, no one is allowed to buy him or herself any books lest this interfere with the other's gift book buying. There is a reason we call this the most skulkiest time of the year. We really liked the little motorized amusement park in the front window. It's a great holiday season touch.

Click the image for video

Prince Valiant, more than coffee

Lots more than coffee

Blow Hard Glass Studio

More glass

Keywords: christmas, dry creek farm, port angeles

12/04 - Quick Trip Into Seattle

We made a lightning run into Seattle to handle some business. Even though the trip was short, we did manage to get around a bit.
  • We had the Beef Seven Ways at The Tamarind Tree. A vegetarian friend recommended this restaurant, so we were surprised to see this on the menu.
  • We wandered around the International District. We rarely just wander around this part of town. In the summer, it is just too hot.
  • We discovered Hing Hay park. This is another one of Seattle's great freeway parks. It's a community, memorial and mediation garden set hard between the I-5 freeway and the international district. It was a bit past season, but still quite pretty.

That's beef four ways.

We really liked this space available sign.

The view from Hing Hay Park. Yes, there is a bit of climbing.

Some autumn color

One of the lanterns

Keywords: autumn, seattle

12/03 - Duck Confit

We just finished the last of our first duck confit of the season. That's how far behind this web log is. We preserved four ducks in their own fat and ate every last scrap. We even used up all the fat frying potatoes and the like. All that is left is this picture.

Duck confit, duck fat fried potatoes and lacinato kale salad

Keywords: ducks, food, kale

12/02 - The Winter Farmers' Market

It's the winter Farmers' Market, and we've gotten way behind with our photos and updates. Just about all of the summer vegetables are past, but this is our favorite season, so there are finally lots of lacinato kale, all the great local potatoes, carrots, cabbages, and brussels sprouts. Everything was a bit late this year, and it has been a cold autumn, so we have been making the most of what is available.

If you do go, remember that Preston and Tuna Dan have been selling salmon, steelhead and black cod, and Preston has been selling chanterelles and white truffles. It's a great place for food shopping. We get our eggs, Clark Family beef, Bell Street Bakery bread and most of our seafood there. The Mystery Bay folks have been at the market too, selling oysters and clams, in the shell or steamed with butter and garlic. We've been sore tempted on some of these cold days.

Lazy J Farm

Johnston Farm

Nash Huber's Produce

Westwind Farm, a carrot close up because we didn't take an even number of photos.

West Wind Farm

Keywords: autumn, farmers' market, oysters, shopping, winter, clark family, westwind farm, johnston farm, nash huber, salmon, kale

12/01 - Good To Go Is Still Baking

We mainly go to Good To Go for their sandwiches, cashews and Mount Townsend creamery cheese, but they are also still baking. We just can't afford to indulge very often. Besides, we are often there too late in the day and the pastry case is nearly empty. Despite this, we did manage to snap a couple of shots of their breading pudding and some gooey pull aparts.

Bread pudding

Bread pudding

Keywords: good to go, mount townsend creamery

November 2010December 2010 January 2011