in a perfect world of yancies: August 2011

31 August 2011

(Getting Ready to) Change with the Seasons

Starting the move to our new place tomorrow! Better get packing, huh?

In the meantime, here's a look at some late summer and early fall fun...

First, I'll be taking the Victoria Clipper up north for a workshop at the University of Victoria. Kind of cute poster:

And in October, the Sisters of Providence have put together a team for the Heart Walk, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

Want to get involved, but not able to make it to Seattle in time? You could help Emily raise money by clicking this badge:
Can't wait to see that line move up!

24 August 2011

Marmots Monitored!

Marmot (closeup)
Look at that thing! Who wouldn't want to spend four days on a mountain pass looking for more like him?

Our marmot monitoring started with a day of training, led by Patti Happe and Sue Griffin. Did you know that when marmots hibernate their heart rate slows to like 3 beats per minute? Wild. What else? Oh, how about this: when they sun themselves, they're actually trying to cool down, since they have so much natural insulation...
Training on Hurricane Hill
After the indoor training, Sue showed us around Hurricane Hill, where marmots and their burrows were almost too easy to spot.

Sue Griffin and a marmot

And then we were off: after a night of camping near Lake Crescent, we headed for the Appleton Pass Trail, via Sol Duc. In case you don't follow that link, let me quote the key word there: "strenuous." 7.4 miles and an elevation gain of 3100 feet—serious stuff, especially with three days of supplies on our backs.

Fortunately, the hike went well. (Feel free to read my trail report on the Washington Trails Association site.)

The hike went well, and the scenery is amazing.

Junction of the Sol Duc River Trail and the Appleton Pass Trail:
Junction: Appleton Pass Trail & Sol Duc River Trail

By the way, I know this is a long post, so I'm leaving out some of our photos. If you want more, there's a set on Flickr.

Luckily we got an early start, so I had plenty of time to catch my breath on the Appleton trail proper, where you gain about 2000 feet in about two and half miles...
Catching my Breath

Trail's mostly snow free, but not entirely:
Snow on the Trail
We even got to practice our "route-finding skills"—exciting!

Worth it, though, to camp in a place like this:
Oyster Lake Campsite
Oyster Lake.
(Can you tell that the snow is melting later than usual this year?)

Here's a view of the campsite and Mt. Appleton from a nearby ridge:
Oyster Lake & Mt. Appleton

Can you spot our campsite? How about here:
Our Campsite at Oyster Lake

So where were we exactly? Well, I posted the map from the Park Service over on Flickr, and I've used their data to create this interactive Google Map, complete with the units that we actually managed to survey and pins marking our campsite and the marmot we spotted:

View Marmot Monitoring: Appleton Pass in a larger map

Here's another interactive map, found at the Hurricane Ridge visitors center:
We Were Here!
I'm also hoping to get the GPS log of our surveying, so keep your fingers crossed!

In any case, not many people make it up there, that's for sure.

On Friday we saw four people, a persistent family of deer who visited our campsite daily in search of—ahem—salty patches on the ground, and one bear (from a distance, thankfully).

Saturday, we saw another bear (or was it the same one?)—it was much closer, maybe only 50 yards away, but it starting running away from us before we'd even noticed it. We didn't see a single person Saturday, but we did, at long last, spot a marmot!

No photo of the Appleton Pass marmot, alas, but here's the occupied burrow:
Occupied Burrow!

And the bear, from a safe distance:
The Bear Went Over the Mountain

We kept at the surveying, on foot and with field glasses.
Emily Surveying

Did some nice day hikes, though a lot of the trails involved snowy patches.
Snowy Switchbacks
Not sure it shows up on the blog-size photo, but see how that switchback just disappears into the snow after a while? Exciting!

Nice summer colors, though, in spite of it all:
Wildflowers Blooming

But if you're wondering why we didn't see more marmots or completely survey all of our units, the answer can be summed up by the phrase that we repeatedly wrote on our data sheets, which is also the title I gave this photo:
Snow Cover; Steep Slope
Snow cover; steep slope.

And for the record: even after three full days, hiking off trail never stopped feeling scandalous :)

But did I mention that we had a beautiful campsite? Here's our breakfast nook:

And maybe my favorite photo from the trip, taken by Emily:
Oyster Lake

Finally, beyond all expectations, check out the awesome shirts they gave us:
Nice shirt!
Love it! And just wait until you see the back!

17 August 2011

Wonderful News!

EJ 11Aug11 08:33:31

Or, to put it another way: did you notice that I changed the quote on the top of the blog?

Here it is:
Plato, Symposium (206c5-8):
ἡ γὰρ ἀνδρὸς καὶ γυναικὸς συνουσία τόκος ἐστίν.
ἔστι δὲ τοῦτο θεῖον τὸ πρᾶγμα, καὶ τοῦτο ἐν θνητῷ
ὄντι τῷ ζῴῳ ἀθάνατον ἔνεστιν, ἡ κύησις καὶ ἡ γέννησις

when a man and a woman come together in order to give birth,
this is a godly affair. Pregnancy, reproduction—this is
an immortal thing for a mortal animal to do

Seriously amazing stuff.

Really growing too—here she or he is on July 12th:
12 July 2011

And here's 11 August:
EJ 11Aug11 08:33:42
Love that leg! And in the one on top of this post (also from August 11th)—that little hand!

Can't wait to see her or him on (or around) February 19th!

All right, reader. Guess that about covers it.

In the meantime, we're off to monitor some marmots!
See you soon.

*Translated by Alexander Nehamas and Paul Woodruff (Hackett, 1989).

13 August 2011

Westland Manor

View Larger Map

Well, reader, what do you think?

Here are some photos from the ad for the apartment we'll be moving into in (gulp) about three weeks:

Probably won't look quite so ornate when we're in there, but we're really excited.

Great location too—just a few blocks up the hill from our current apartment.

(Note: those stairs are in the lobby, not in the apartment.)

Well, I hope you like it!

Oh, and let me know if you feel like helping out & carrying some boxes :)

09 August 2011

What We're Watching

Film Socialisme, the newest movie by Jean-Luc Godard, got one or two strong reviews, so we took a look.
And now, I can confidently report that, well, we saw it. Parts of it were very pretty. Most of it didn't seem to make much sense (and the pidgin, mostly nouns, all caps subtitles didn't help a whole lot). There's some missing gold, some European history, and some children who might be about to declare their candidacy for the French presidency (or maybe not?).

Still interested? Apparently Godard himself posted this high-speed version online—the entire movie in only 4 and a half minutes!

Honestly, the experience of watching that is quite close to the experience of the movie at a 'normal' speed.

On the other side of just about everything, I've been watching MTV! For the first time in like years! We'd heard that Awkward was worth a look, and I definitely agree.
Funny, clever, with good acting and even some character development. I really like some of Godard's stuff, but in this particular case I'm not afraid to say that my heart is with MTV.

04 August 2011

Let the Weekend Begin!

What are you up to, this weekend, reader? We might see another movie in Cal Anderson Park, thanks to Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema. This week: Labyrinth!

Also hoping to get a hike in, just to make sure we're in decent shape for our upcoming marmot monitoring.

Not sure where we're headed yet, but maybe one of the spots from the story about wildflower hikes in last week's Seattle Times.

Went on a nice sunny hike last weekend, speaking of. Kachess Ridge. Even had a nice little tower (or is it a beacon?) on top of the ridge:

Great views up there too!
E & Rainier

Oh, but before we leave the week behind, how about a quiz? These New Yorker quizes are quick and pretty fun, even if I had to make some lucky guesses in order to get to 50%...

All right, reader—have a great weekend!