Sunday, January 30, 2011

Northeasterly brrrr

A brisk northeast wind all day brought bone-numbing temperatures to Bellingham, or can you tell already from Vic's Arctic-ready hiking garb.

The white caps are clear indicators of gusty winds and a wind chill that cut our outing short, retreating to a coffee house sooner rather than later.

It was worth sticking around for a quick shot of the sunset, even when the final product was the result of forgetting our Canon G-11 and using a phone camera.

Can you tell?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Early to bed

If you look around after prime time (which doesn't mean a whole lot anymore ever since we dumped cable TV) and Casey is no where to be found, our farmboy has turned in. He just retreats to his kennel, bundles up his favorite sweatshirt for a pillow, and crashes. It just seems like he never quite got off of central standard time.  

(What?!...It's late OK.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On silent haunches

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

         Carl Sandburg

While the East Coast is digging out from underneath a record-breaking blanket of snow, in our little corner of the Northwest we've been dealing with filtered sunshine, persistent fog, at least for now. The cul-de-sac evergreen matrons have even taken on an eerie chic. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trout feed

What a lucky break today. On the way to our first Whatcom Falls Park trail hike in a while, we noticed a feeding going on at the park fish hatchery.

Thousands of rainbow trout being catered to in front of onlookers, including
Case and I.

Each main pond contained over 10,000 one-year-old rainbows breaching and jonesin' for feed, provided by a B.C. company, Ewos Feed from Surrey.

This hungry feedfest will be released to streams and lakes in April and ought to be about 3/4 pound each by that time. Today they weigh in at about 3 to a pound.

The last pond we came upon contained 500 3 to 4 pound rainbow brooding trout. This bunch has it made, just protected and fed to reproduce year after year. In some genus circles, not a bad gig.

Casey was understandably not quite as impressed as the rest of us, knowing a walk in the woods was just around the corner.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Late night crazies

It's getting late, but the kid's ready for some action.

A simple ball curfew would have worked wonders, if we would have enforced it from day one. Now, we just admire his persistence. After all, in the old days we had to teach our "farm boy" how to play.   

Casey's doing just fine now - thank you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't tell anyone...but

Does this guy look happy, or what?
Casey might have really good reason to be smiling, but we already knew that.

Hot off the presses: Bellingham, one of Casey's worlds, is listed among the top 10 'happiest cities' in the West according to Sunset Magazine in its February issue.

"So depending on what makes you smile, here are the ten best places to live (and find happiness) in the wondrous amusement park of the American West," the article says in an introductory passage. Nearby Salt Spring Island, B.C. is listed based on its excellent conditions for vegetable growing.

Each town makes the list for a different reason. Bellingham is characterized as "a seaside haven 90 miles north of Seattle" with 65 miles of multi-use trails within city limits, plus nearby access to mountains and sea.

Other communities on the list include:

• Eureka, Calif., for its hospitability to artists.
• Salt Lake City, for its friendliness to entrepreneurs.
• Portland, Ore., for its bike- and pedestrian-friendly design that, along with excellent mass transit, enables a car-free lifestyle.
• Taos, N.M., a good place to invest in a vacation home.
• San Diego, for innovative businesses.
• Sonoma County, Calif., for fine dining.
• Scottsdale, Ariz. for its low crime rate.
• Crestone, Colo. for its widespread use of solar power.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Renovation on Pattle Point

Looking southwest from Boulevard Park at Pattle Point

This afternoon Casey and I discovered that the hike from Fairhaven to Boulevard Park was re-opened. It had been closed since October, with its wornout wooden trestle over Pattle Point being replaced with new walkways and supports.

Now with the renovation complete, our straight shot over Taylor Dock to Woods Coffee in the park, one of our favorite outings, is back in commission.

Before Oct 2010


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Flatiron Woods

One of the cooler locations for a coffeehouse in Bellingham is now the Flatiron Building on Bay St. Woods Coffee opened its 10th location in this nearly 7-story former "skyscraper", well, a skyscraper of sorts in 1908, the year it opened for occupants.

And today this newest caffeine pitstop passed with flying colors as another in our list of potential haunts for espresso and conversation.

The wet cappuccinos and hot chocolate - four star; the mocha - not bad; the baristas top-notch. Organic blends would have been a nice touch, but at least the beans were direct trade. 

We'll be back.

Now if only it was only dog-friendly, we'd be regulars.

Friday, January 21, 2011

No clearing anytime soon

Lummi Island mostly obscured, and Orcas Island no where to be seen by southwesterly flow and incoming weather.
Before heading out today on our "get the Border Collie outta the house quick while the rain has let up" walk, it was plain to see that there will be no clearing, no blue skies, anytime soon. The California and Nevada "refugees" will get over it soon enough. Say... July? 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's the holdup?!

The rain letting up this afternoon was definitely a window of opportunity to get a walk in, as far as our Mr. Persistent was concerned. And this ploy worked...again.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nightfall on the southside

Nightfall on the southside came fast while we were distracted with beachcombing and occasional light rainshowers at Marine Park.

Twilight didn't hang around long before Casey and I headed back to Fairhaven and home, which seemed like the best move.

Luckily nightfall doesn't come all at once and the sights and sounds of today's gloaming on Bellingham Bay were excuses enough to just chill and enjoy the return leg.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bellingham's 20th Annual MLK Celebration

Today the city of Bellinghan honored Martin Luther King's birthday with its 20th annual MLK Celebration.

Mayor Dan Pike

Over 400 celebrants packed the municipal court house for this commemorative event this afternoon, but each had to first file past a cordon of banners and signs displayed by local Veterans For Peace chapter members pushing this national organization's new Cost of War campaign.

Of course VFP Chapter 111's favorite peace mascot Casey was there to help out.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Long day's night

Nothing can be so obvious as when Casey and Stella shut down at the end of a long day.

Of course Stella's just recharging her batteries for the "late night crazies".

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Last snow of the season?

Bellingham's snowfall this winter was a little late to blanket the Southside neighborhoods for the holidays, which is often the case, but the winterscapes we did see were memorable. Slush is everywhere today and we'll not be sloshing our way through it. But it was fun while it lasted. The forecast for the rest of week - mid to high 40s.  

The last snowy walkaround of the season. Come on spring!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pecan scones

When Victoria asked if scones sounded good and should she bake up a platter, the first response that came to mind was "Is that a trick question?"

Tonight she wanted to play around with a pecan version of this Pacific Northwest treat and serve up a warm platter. We in turn would try using a little restraint for once, and not devour them in one sitting as Casey endorsed, but enjoy them for a couple of days.

In addition to a Pavlovian response-inducing aroma affecting both man and kitchen Collie, the pecan scones were a total success. Now justifications to scarf them down - lunch, snack, carbo-load, breakfast - are secondary to, OK, how long before the next batch.

   Pecan Scones

1 Cup unbleached flour
1 Tablespoons baking powder
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/3 Cup butter or margarine
1 Cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 Cup milk

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in butter, and mix well. Stir in pecans. Add milk and stir until dough clings together. Do not over stir or the scones will be tough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat into a circle that is 3/4 inch thick. Cut into wedges. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a 425 degree oven 15 minutes or until golden brown.