Early November has produced some of the rainiest weather seen in many a year. Some rivers over-ran their banks producing widespread flooding throughout the region . Due to washouts and slides, Mt. Rainier National Park was completely shut down for the first time since the Mt. St. Helen eruption in 1980. The stream behind our home rose and overflowed, advancing a few feet into the back yard before the rains ceased. This was a great opportunity to tap Into and flood the mole tunnels. The White River has been experiencing continued flood Levels as the Corps of Engineers drained down the Mud Mountain reservoir to prevent more serious problems. Hikes through the woods to the river have been postponed for a while. The wettest month of the year has just begun. Although the weather forecasts predict rainy weather, almost every day has its 'sunbreak' which allows venturing forth to carry on the daily routine. One early morning a sunbreak revealed a most stunning double rainbow which was caught on film and home video. Most of the moisture currently is falling as snow in the mountains and the ski resorts are opening early.
On the 17th of the month a visit to the river revealed an altered landscape. The bank from where previous observations and pictures were taken is non-existent. The flood waters of ten days ago are lower, but in their wake are the remains of many magnificent trees that once graced the banks, having been undermined, toppled and stripped of their bark and boughs. One prior path where the waters flowed is completely chocked off with tree trunks piled one upon another. It is still dangerous to approach the water's edge.
If one is observant while walking through the woods, numerous birds can be seen flitting through the trees. A good number of black-capped chickadees scrounge unseen bugs from upper branches. A solitary woodpecker taps out a steady pulsating rhythm somewhere, in pursuit of its meal.
The weather service has declared this to be the wettest month in this area of Western Washington since such records were begun. Since Thanksgiving though, the weather has begun to change. Several mornings we found a dusting of snow in the neighborhood. The mountain passes are hazardously choked with snow to the delight of the skiers and snowboarders. At noon on the 27th the sun was shining warmly while flakes of snow gently floated down in the manner of the "lake effect" found along the shores of Lake Michigan. Further north, the snow fell rapidly. The Seahawks trounced the Packers in the snowstorm and then the entire Puget Sound region came to a halt for a while. By late evening Golden Valley had two inches of snow from the storms swirling about, with one more inch added through the night.
A new neighbor's home has arrived just down the street from us. Workmen are busy assembling the two halves and positioning the house on its foundations. The neighborhood expands. Did I mention that the Maris Farm is selling Christmas trees?
Golden Valley Main Page