Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Era at Stratum Group

Stratum Group added a geologist for our geology hazard work. Geoff Malick brings some new skill sets and perspectives to Stratum Group. His graduate work was on a large bedrock landslide complex in northwest Washington. Geoff has accompanied me on numerous ventures this summer as well as his own solo ventures. 

Traversing the head of an old slide above Port Discovery

Examining an undercut glacial till bluff at Foulweather Bluff

Notes on glacial advance outwash sand and gravels

Examining a large bedrock failure deposit along the Middle Fork Nooksack Rive 

In a narrow incised channel on an alluvial fan

Checking slope buffers at a proposed timber harvest

Taking in a nice view after a long field day


Monday, August 7, 2017

Firefighters Encamped at Fairhaven

The scene pictured below is very unusual, but does require some explanation. 


The cluster of tents and portable toilets is to support a fire fighting crew based at Fairhaven Middle School in Bellingham. The firefighters were deployed to fight a forest fire on Chuckanut Mountain south of Bellingham. This forest fir was taken very seriously with helicopter water dumps from lake Samish.

The light in the image is the sun. A week of dim light and poor air quality throughout much of Washington State.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Bauermeister Wheat

A modest detour allowed a bit of memory revival along a former familiar road and landscape.    


At least the road name warns about Bauermeisters. Bauermeister Road leads to Bauermeister Farm. This dry land wheat farm is southeast of Connell and I liken these dry land wheat farmsteads as small islands of trees in a sea of dry land wheat and scrub steppe. The nearest neighbor to the Bauermeister farmstead is nearly one mile away.


Dale and Dan Bauermeister were active participants in trials of wheat strains put on by Washington State University. One hard red wheat variety tested on their farm was named for the farm (Red/Bauermeister.pdf).

That variety along with other wheat varieties is changing how wheat is being grown and turned into food (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/magazine/bread-is-broken). Wheat fields in Skagit County are growing Bauermeister wheat and the resulting flour and bread is bringing about a change in bread (new-wave-wheat). New local wheat varietals and baking can be likened to the early days of craft local beers.

From the New York Times article "A couple did not have much flavor or structure, but one of them in particular, Bauermeister, knocked my socks off."