Thursday, May 31, 2007

Spotted by Jerry Whiting

Jerry says, "I snapped this photo at the foot of California Ave just where it hits the beach."

For those of you who might not be in on it, the face peeking out of the photo is the work of a local guerilla artist. For the story behind the art go to West Seattle Blog

I have linked Jerry's photography web site to the Post Title above.

Monday, May 28, 2007

"Alki Beach" poem by Richard Hugo

Here is a Richard Hugo poem about Alki Beach submitted by Kreg - a student librarian at the West Seattle Library. Thank you Kreg! More information about local writer, the late Richard Hugo, can be found by clicking on the Title Link above.

Alki Beach - by Richard Hugo
Clams and barnacles clatter
black and white in the first feet
of a new tide. By old piles
perch gleam, slide by flexing
men o’war. Bathers urge
the summer to their skins
and water climbs in air
to hurt their eyes. Gulls
echo in two-note screams to the south
of pioneering winds, the moment
a ferry spawns waste.

Where whites first landed
is forgotten. Spray,
abandoned, falls from the statue
by the marked-off, unused picnic grounds.

A love begins: a beer can, tossed,
stops rolling where waves
can barely reach. And a love is ended
or it never started: one man,
his coat too dark for the day,
where waves will never reach, remembers
what descended where the bubbles are.

from A Run of Jacks (1961)

Incidentally, the West Seattle Library will be hosting a conversation about Hugo’s work next Sunday (June 3) at 2pm. More info at:
Richard Hugo Library Talk

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thom Ross' Art on the Beach

Some pretty fabulous art on the beach this Sunday morning. I'll try to get more specifics to post later. Each figure looks to be at least 10 feet tall and there are 20 of them. When the art is finished there will be 120 figures and it will be exhibited near San Francisco.

More info about the story behind the art work can be seen at West Seattle Blog

View from Lowell's

Unfortunately, this is as close to the beach as I got last week. And next week will be pretty much the same. No beach walks for me.

I have walked over these tiles in the Market for years and never saw this grouping before. Funny what my eyes pick out when I least expect it. The tiles are prominently located near the "Pig" and the Fish Sellers. Anyone who knows anything about Seattle history knows what is behind the names. It's too sad for me to relate here.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

A Cold South Wind

It is very odd. My experience is that our cold winds usually come from the North. The past two mornings the cold wind has come from the South.

I was thinking yesterday how difficult it is for me to put into words what I sense when I am outdoors: the smell of the air, the angle of the sun, the nature of the wind, the rhythm of the waves, the brightness of the light. Every day when I walk I am able to sense a different combination of these variables. I'm not convinced I could ever articulate those experiences.

But this morning I came upon an article that successfully put into words the elusive feelings I am trying to describe. The article is on today's NY Times Opinion Page and titled, "The Scent of Lilacs" by Verlyn Klinkenborg. It is copyrighted so I can't post it here. But it reminds me that good writers can indeed conjure up the ineffable experience of nature using only squiggly lines on a piece of paper.

I will be out of commission for the next four or five days.

Please Pack Out Your Garbage

Robins are allowed to litter

Thank You to whoever did this good deed!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pet Plaque

"To Herbert Barsy
From His Family
Hooray for the Circle of Love
Created by People and Their Pets"

Luna Park

"In 1907 a saltwater natatorium which occupied this space in the complex was built for the Luna Park 'seaside pleasure resort.' Housed in a large airy building, the swimming pool remained in operation until it was burned down in 1931. In the 1950's its cement walls were filled to create the park in front of you. In the 1990's cracks in the walls were repaired. Deemed unsafe in 2004, the seawalls that once enclosed the swimming pool were then demolished. As they were hauled away, so was the last vestige of the original natatorium."

Our Anchor

Gives Me the Shivers:

Historical Point of Interest
"On the evening of November 18, 1906, approximately two miles due west of this site, the steamer, Dix, while traversing from Seattle to Port Blakely, collided with the Alaska Steamer, Jeanie. Forty-two persons were carried to an early watery grave. That tragic collision culminated grief unsurpassed to date, within Puget Sound residents and seamen alike.
Erected National Maritime Week - 1973"
Memorial Located at Luna Park

Spring at its Best

Someone's Coming Back

What a Good Dad!

I was so tickled to see this "Dad" (I assume) with his three young children setting up their spot for the day. It was only 9am on Friday and they were already out getting ready for a day of sun.
I never had a "castle" like that when I was a kid.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Walking Withdrawal

I'm starting to get behind on my walking reports. I have had to catch the bus out of West Seattle early in the morning for daylong sessions in Downtown Seattle. By the time I get home I have so many chores that I don't have time for a beach walk. Unfortuantely this is going to last for a while. But I will try to keep up somehow.............

Here's an early morning view of the water before I got on the bus to head out of town. Sort of a longing backwards look at what I will be missing for the day...

Everyone in Alki knows our crossing guard Marianne. She monitors the crosswalk at 59th and Admiral Way. She does her best to keep us from being hit by the speeding cars that often don't stop for the red lights.

Where is our giant driftwood tree that has been sitting on the beach for the last two years (I think)? Well lookie here...........It has magically turned up. It is now lying in dirt just west of the Alki Bathhouse. Its beautiful tendrils of roots have been sawed off.

Below is the tree a few days later when it had been decorated with plantings and protected by a little fence. At first I thought this was pretty sad - a once great tree of the Northwest Forest ending up as nothing more than a planting prop. But I did take a closer look and decided that in fact it is ok. The City did a nice job saving it. The other option was probably to just saw the whole thing up and drag it away. But I think people would have been upset.

Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the tree when it was sitting on the beach. If anyone out there does I'd love to post it. I will give you photo credit.