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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Olympian Perch



I have been as busy of late as the proverbial one armed paper hanger. I am just back from a trip to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, surveying an estate I have been working on for nearly a year. Got back at midnight last night, burning the candle pretty hard lately.

I am not going to get too deeply into my business but my prospects appear to be fairly good on this one. Don't want to jinx my perfect game in the eighth. I'm very grateful.


The Port Townsend area is so beautiful. A series of ferries, floating bridges and quiet country roads led me to my eventual destination, with the help of a wonderful local guide.

We passed a group of purse seiners unfurling their snares in the icy northwest waters, nets they hope will soon be teeming with salmon.


Perched on a remote high cliff over the Strait of Juan de Fuca, across from Whidbey Island, I surveyed the largely untouched view. Bald eagles landed in the tall firs by the residence every afternoon as did a large raptor that is still unidentified, either harrier or goshawk I think.

The trees, buffeted by decades if not centuries of wind, assume twisted and contorted stances of defiance, like gnarled hands of steel.

Occasionally a large container ship would pass silently through the strait.


Mt. Rainier was unusually clear the last icy morning.  My hosts tell me it is usually shrouded in the weather that it creates. Snowcapped Mt. Baker chiseled with the first light of the sun to our left.


I was working and cataloguing and didn't have much time to take pictures but managed to snap off a couple.

The days were perfect, cold and gorgeous. The water that lay resting at the foot of the jagged cliffs below was clear and near transparent. Large driftwood logs littered the beach.

The rhythms are different up north. my housemates were up hours before I was, busy in the darkness. The day is short and the sun is perched low on the horizon this time of year, right in your eyes. I found myself falling asleep hours before my normal bedtime, a victim of both the darkness and exhaustion, I suppose.


People dress differently up there too, plainer and darker. Not much flash, an occasional green Seahawks jersey peaking through. I think grunge is a natural reaction to incessant rain and conspiring seasons. Take that creator. Think you can break me? Not a chance...

Didn't see that many tattoos or religious bumper stickers. Lots of homeless though, tents all through Seattle, hippies from the bay apparently returning perennially every year like the swallows to Capistrano.


My guide had a friend seriously injured recently when a homeless guy fell off a bridge and crushed his hood roof. Caution, watch out for falling indigents.


I took a few obligatory snapshots on the way back to Seattle. 


The ferry, the old Rainier Beer building, probably the most famous shot in Seattle, the Space Needle through the doughnut trick.





Tried to make it to Bruce Lee's grave but was nine minutes late to the graveyard. I look forward to returning to the area soon and getting to know the place a little better. Have to thank my gracious hosts for taking such good care of me.

7 comments:

Ken Seals said...

I enjoyed the story and how you always find something to turn into magical images. Ken

Anonymous said...

OMG Robert Those photos are fantastic. I would love to rent a place up there for a couple of months B

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Robert! You always have an interesting perspective on your subject.

ggh

WICKI VAN DE VEER said...

You have magic eyes!

Karon Cartwright said...

Yup, you've got "a knack for writing". I'm always wishing your blog continued. The north is different. We could always tell the locals as they walked comfortably in the rain, no umbrella, no scrunched up shoulders. Your photos are fantastic!

North County Film Club said...

Some of your nicest photos!
Barbara

Anonymous said...

I loved the photographs from Washington on the Blast. I think you raised the bar here ...

rb