Adams Leaning Wheel Grader #3, Redux

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I photographed this old Adams Leaning Wheel Grader #3 back in 2012 and decided to photograph it again for all the Adams’ fans who have visited that post. I would never have guessed there are so many of you out there!

Many thanks to the 300 grader aficionados who have stopped by over the past 3 years. Have another on me!

I Should Have Been a Bear

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The land sleeps in winter. Snows will blanket the Flats until late April or early May and the life below will rest until its rebirth next spring. Yet, a few rose leaves and an occasional hip will cling to branches all winter long and I often stop to look at them.

Like the earth, bears also rest. They hibernate. I have always thought that a long winter’s sleep would be good for us all. The older I get, the more I like that idea.

I should have been a bear.

Witch’s Glass

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Snowed last night and all day today. Tiny crystals, slow and steady. Some believe that deeper snow somehow keeps the severe cold at bay.

There really is a connection between snow depth and temperature, but the cause and effect are reversed. Most snowfall occurs at moderate temperatures (around 15 F / -10 C). Colder air holds less moisture and really cold air usually doesn’t contain enough wet stuff to make snow.

It is the Hallowed Eve. There will be goblins about tonight, snow or not!

Frosted Hips

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Everything happened at once. We fell below the zero mark for the first time this morning. The mercury registered -3 F (-19 C) as we left for work. Ice fog had begun rolling in off the river, swathing our village in frost. It remained all day and many of my students elected to brave the cold to get some pictures this afternoon. What dedicated photographers!

This is the frost season, my favorite time of year.

Eye Of An Artist

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Aquinnah has the eye of an artist. No pun intended. She just framed the leaves she pressed for our science class. Well, “framed” is the wrong word. She composed her leaves; the result was pure art of a high order!

Aquinnah normally shies when a camera points her way but not this time. The pose is her own composition. The mind of an artist at work!

Young Willows

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There is a place across Yolanda Slough where young willows grow. They are dormant now, fast asleep before the coming winter. I walk here often and have seen these before, last spring, when they were wee shoots. This winter the snowshoes will feed among them.

A Tree By the River

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alder cones, winter 2014

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alder cones against snowbank, winter 2014

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red alder, fall 2013

Alnus rubra. Red alder grows all along the California coast and northward all the way across the Yukon Flats in the Alaskan interior. Look for it along sloughs and riverbanks where soils are damp and gravelly.

When fall arrives it becomes one of the prettiest trees in the region, as its heavily textured leaves adorn themselves in cinnamon red. Little cones, dried long before winter sets in, remain on the limbs until spring when new ones replace the old and catkins appear everywhere, hanging like caterpillars.