[Tweeters] Did You Fall or Was You Pushed

Teresa Michelsen teresa at avocetconsulting.com
Thu Nov 29 13:48:51 PST 2018

Ha – you were more intrepid than me. I stayed safely in my house all day Monday. It was quite a view of the neighborhood amidst the howling winds…

Teresa Michelsen
Port Townsend

From: Tweeters [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jeff Gibson
Sent: November 29, 2018 1:10 PM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] Did You Fall or Was You Pushed

On Monday morning, after my midnight low- tide adventures, I woke up to howling winds - the Sound wild with waves. So I thought I'd go down to Pt. Wilson to check out the scene - to see how those fir tree's down there achieved such wild shapes. Well the answer my friend is blowin' in the wind and you don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows if you just take a walk.

My first stop, as usual, was the Marine Science Center pier, which was exciting. The tide was pretty high by now, and the waves pretty big, for here, and thrashing in at a rapid pace. The beach was loaded with all sorts of flotsam and jetsam at the high tide mark.
I was trying to judge the wave height, which was difficult by eyeballing - a lone Pelagic Cormorant was the only bird I saw on the water and provided somewhat of a size reference - I guess the waves were around 4' tall or so. Despite the conditions, the cormorant kept diving around the pier pilings.

The wind was pushing and shoving me around as I walked - didn't fall over - and a little kid on a little bike having fun on the pier was achieving impressive speeds without pedaling, just by being blown downwind. It was blowing steady in the low 30's with higher gusts.

The high winds didn't deter the pier Rock Doves from flying in formation, though they did have problems on the ground. In one of those 2 or 3 second visual vignettes, I saw one Pigeon valiantly grabbing onto the turf to keep from blowing up up and away, while it's neighbor just plain blew over. I've never seen a Pigeon pushover before, that I can remember.

The fairly good-sized firs out on the point are fine examples of non- resistance while holding your ground - sort of a tricky thing. Wind stress makes them stronger, but one can only be so strong in the face of raging winds - sometimes they gotta drop a branch to let the wind blow through, creating the open forms of these trees.Quite beautiful, these wind - pruned trees.

Out on the Strait side of the point the vast incoming tide had flattened out all that wild Puget Sound stuff, The Red-Alders protected by the tall till bluffs along North Beach were still showing alot of green leaves, but those on the windward side of the hill had lost alot of 'em in the wind. Back at the ranch, the hedgerow Douglas Hawthorne had most of it's orange-red leaves pushed off by the wind finally, while the gold willow leaves mostly hang on.

Also at home the wind was no detriment to the neighbor Eagles in the air, but they avoided their exposed viewing tree and hung out in more sheltering trees by the nest. In the evening a single dark Merlin zoomed through the 'hood, as the Eagles provided loud background music.

Jeff Gibson
hangin' on, in
Port Townsend, Wa
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