The first time I tried geoduck was via a gift from shellfish business I did some geology work for. I have since dug for them a few times during very low tides. They are a fun prize to pull up out of the sand. One big goeduck is more than enough for a meal. But those big geoducks take many years to grow. As their value has increased management of the resource has become more important.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Saturday, December 12, 2020
I roughed in the route of a 1824 Hudson Bay Company expedition from Fort George, the former Fort Astoria trading post, to what was later to become Fort Langley via Journal of John Work, November and December, 1824 via T.C. Elliot, 1912.
Part of the scheme was to find the location of a trading center fort on the Fraser River that could receive export goods (furs) from the interior of western North American. Hudson Bay Company (HBC) was already concerned that the lower Columbia would end up in American possession. In part because Fort George was originally an American establishment. In addition, at that time navigation from the sea to the lower Fraser was far superior to the harrowing crossing of the entrance to the Columbia. However, while the Fraser River was a better sea access point, the Fraser River was not a good river transit route. While a fort ultimately was built, Fort Langley, the Fraser proved to be an impossible navigation route from the interior.
The journal is a window to a different time, and for that matter a different place. I have been fascinated by the diversity of the people and interactions that took place in the brief period from 1790 to 1825. The assembled team for the venture clearly had a pretty good idea of the route they should take. The team included several Hawaiians (Islanders) as well as an Iroquois hunter and his slave.
Note the time of year they traveled, November-December. While it does rain in November and December in western Washington, the outer coast and the southwest part of the state gets 'heavy rain', a term that Mr. Work used in his journal of his venture (correct spelling of his name was Wark). This was a hardy group. I contemplate how I would have performed portaging across wet ground and along shorelines, rowing for many miles, and camping in the rain, the heavy rain.
Sunday, December 6, 2020
On the uplands of Crane Island, the bedrock is generally massive metamorphosed sandstone of the Constitution Formation.
Chert is primarily composed of ribbon chert, alternating layers of silica rich
1 to 2 inches thick with thin layers of shale. The chert is derived from the
accumulation of silica diatoms that accumulated on the ocean floor. The shale
was derived from fine dust and silt that also reached the ocean floor. The
layering developed after deposition when the ooze of silica rich and silty
sediment was compacted. The age of the Orcas Chert is between 180 and 280
million years old. The Orcas Chert is part of terrain consisting of the related
Deadman Bay Volcanics, which are ocean floor pillow basalts that are somewhat
older than the Orcas Chert and likely formed the basement that the silica rich
sediment that formed the chert unit was deposited on. The original depositional
setting was an ocean floor area far from
The Constitution Formation was also originally an ocean floor assemblage; however, this unit is on the order of 130 million years old. The Constitution Formation consists predominantly of metamorphosed fine sandstone derived from a volcanic arc. There is some chert and basalt in the unit as well. This formation was also accreted to the edge of North America. A lack of older aged sediment, North America sediment, suggests the sediment may have been derived from an ocean island arc.
The Rosario Thrust Fault and the juxtaposition of the Orcas Chert and Constitution Formation took place after accretion -- note that the younger Constitution is thrust over the older Orcas Chert.
The map pattern shows that Crane Island is klippen of Constitution Formation on the underlying Orcas Chert. Parts of the Constitution Formation have been stripped away leaving the Constitution Formation as an 'island' on the Orcas Chert and as well as the rock formation that makes up most of Crane Island.
Sunday, November 29, 2020
NPR did a brief story on Malden, Washington and the lack of a National Major Disaster Declaration after the wildfires in Washington State in early September (HERE). The wildfires in early September burned nearly all of the town including the town hall, post office, food bank, library and fire station. Pine City, a few miles away also was badly burned and one fire burned across 60 miles of Okanogan County and into Douglas County including burning into the City of Bridgeport.
The NPR story provided no explanation as to why a National Major Disaster Declaration has not been issued. One theory is politics because Washington State votes Democrat of late and the President does not care for the governor; however, Malden is located within a US Congressional District represented by Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, a Republican. The Okanogan area is represented by another Republican, Dan Newhouse. Malden voted 2 to 1 for Donald Trump for President over Joe Biden. So if the reason is politics, it is doubly unfair. Ms. McMorris-Rodgers stated shortly after the fire "I will be working with and supporting state and local officials and doing everything I can on the federal level to ensure our communities have the resources they need to rebuild." She, did sign along with the entire Washington US congressional delegation a letter to Mr. Trump in support of Declaring a Major Disaster (murray.senate.gov/letter).
So far Malden does not have the resources to rebuild. The town had an early burst of development when the railroad came to this location with a rail stop in 1906. After the railroad pulled out their facilities in the 1920s, the town declined. There is no commercial activity remaining, but with over 80 homes destroyed, Malden will have a hard time bringing their community back without help.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
I previously put up a post on the fjord-like feature of East Sound HERE. This fall I had a chance to get some better on the ground perspectives on this fjord.
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
This is my second October living full time at our current home. October is a month of change. Yes, the colors change. Maybe golden leaves on the the big leaf maples. The initial fall rains flipped the brown grass to green.
But the big change that has gotten my attention are the sounds: 1) The early rains brings out frogs. The tree frogs begin some chorus activity before the colder air shuts things down again - no calls tonight as the temperature is down in the 30s and perhaps 20s by morning. 2) One of the abrupt sound changes is the early just as it gets light sound of guns. Our home is near tracts of State Fish and Wildlife lands as well as a hunting club property and farmland that allows hunting. October brings hunters to sit in blinds awaiting ducks and geese as well as a few pheasant hunters that venture to the brushy thickets between fields. I picture them sipping coffee or whiskey waiting for the ducks or geese to fly near. 3) Another abrupt change is the roar of wind through the forests west and south of us. This evening the wind is coming out of the north - calm around the house but very audible from the upper tree canopy. When the wind really cranks up from the south, a flute like sound emanates from the east side of the house. 4) My favorite is the great horned owls calling in the forest at night. 5) The massive flocks of snow geese honking overhead a week ago in the early morning made me think "welcome back from Siberia".