Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sun, Here it Comes

MORNING STROLL: This morning brought patchy blue skies and dappled sunshine. Lovely! When I hopped online this morning, my Facebook feed, I could tell from others' photos that Mt. Rainier was more visible than usual today. 

I wasted no time in telling the kids (and dogs) to get their acts together, we were going for a walk. And I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Thousands and thousands of times we have driven across the "Magnolia Bridge"  - the bridge leading to our neighborhood's southernmost part. It's a long, high span, sloping upward to the peak of our hilly 'hood. 

We parked at Ursula Judkins Park, which overlooks the city ... We hadn't been out of the car 1 minute when we were buzzed by a bald eagle. I didn't even have my camera out yet! :/

The park has a great view of the city ... 
and the bay.
The bridge we walked offers a view of Mt. Rainier ranging from 'barely there' to 'which is why I wanted to go there. What with the recent cold and rain, I figured the mount would be covered in a think blanket of snow, and that it was.

As we walked down the bridge, we had a good view of the former Port of Seattle net yard that going to be turned into a park in the not-too-distant future. 
It's not much to look at now, but it will be a great waterfront spot once it's developed.

Here's a Port of Seattle photo (by Don Wilson) shooting back toward the park - and the bridge we walked today. As you can see, there's a narrow stretch of park by the seawall, but that flat area behind it is screaming for a makeover. :)
Smith Cove Park, 2007.
When we got the bottom of the bridge, over the cruise ship terminals, we found a dedication sign for the bridge. Officially named the West Garfield Bridge, it was built in the fall of 1929/1930. 
The bridge was damaged in the Nisqually/quake in 2001, and it's scheduled to be replaced - but there's no funding for it. Made us a little nervous ever time a truck or bus would go by and we could feel the bridge shake beneath our feet!

On our way back up, we got to watch two ferries pass as they crossed the Sound to and fro.
And near the bridge's highest point, we stopped to ponder a couple of memorials. I had to explain to the kids that the bridge is a magnet for suicidal people because it's high and over pavement and jumpers can be pretty confident they will accomplish what they set out to do. Our three-doors-down neighbor did that about three years ago (just a few months after her young adult daughter hung herself at their home). Ugh. 
We noticed that the "Kory" reference on the bridge had a date of 9/11, 2014. It will be 10 years since Kory last enjoyed the view we had today. 

And as we drive the bridge nearly daily, I notice how often the decorations beneath Tony's name are changed. His demise had some question marks associated with it. Though his body was found under the bridge and people initially assumed suicide, the coroner found that physical trauma was not his cause of death. I read one interview with a family member a couple of years ago detailing his disappearance and it sounded very much like he might have been a crime victim. 

We were just a couple minutes from the car when I noticed a small plane flying over downtown, with a banner behind it.
Neither the kids nor I could read it with the naked eye, but I zoomed in as close as I could with my big lens, hoping we'd be able to read it in Photoshop. 
If I'm not mistaken, the banner read "STOP PUTIN SAVE UKRAINE"

So it wasn't all sunshine and fun today on our walk.

SUN DANCE: Ol Sol was acting up in a big way yesterday. A sunspot (AR1990, specifically) shot out a big ol' blog o' plasma. Check it out in this video.
Credit: NASA/SDO/Mash Mix: Space.com


HARD DAY'S NIGHT: We finished up the Week 2 lectures and took our test today in our Beatles' music class. A lot of the material was on the album "A Hard Day's Night." W elearned John wrote 8 of the album's 11 tracks, with Paul writing 3, and the two of them co-writing one.  

Our professor mentioned that George played a brand new 12-string Rickebacker on the album, and you can really hear it in the very first chord (a flat seventh chord, in case you're wondering!) of the title track. Love this music video (from the movie of the same name) of that song. http://youtu.be/venzPNvge18

John was making an attempt to write more serious lyrics for Hard Day's Night, and some of his songs were "Loser," "No Reply" and "Don't Want to Spoil the Party." 

CJ said he'd "worry about the mental health of" a bandmate writing a bunch of dark songs. I told him John's songs were sunshine, lollipops and rainbows compared to Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, who penned tunes like 
"I Hate Myself and I Want to Die." I also reminded CJ that John Lennon didn't commit suicide (Cobain's fate), he was murdered, outside his home at the Dakota Building, which we saw on our trip to NYC last fall.

ROCK REPORT: Exciting news today out of England. In a Scientific American article, we learned scientists claim to have found the exact source of Stonehenge's smaller bluestones. (The SA article was based on findings published in the February issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.)

A team of scientists looked at minerals which are part of the crystallizing structures forming in the original magna, such as chromiumnickel, magnesium oxide and iron oxide. Based on what they found, they determined at least 55 percent of the dolerite bluestones came Carn Goedog, about 140 miles (225 km) away from Stonehenge.

If the stone I.D. is correct, the question remains, how were the stones transported to their current location? Researchers are looking for evidence of humans working in the Carn Goedog area 5,000 years ago. Theories about transportation include dragging the stones downhill and floating them to the site by sea, and them having been carried close to Stonehenge by an Ice Age glacier. 

Naturally, the story made us think back to our visit to Stonehenge last September. 

All of our photos, and CJ and Annabelle's fanciful fiction about how Stonehenge was created are available in an earlier blog post: http://magnoliaprep.blogspot.com/2013_09_29_archive.html

1 comment:

  1. Stonehenge to Solar flares - with beautiful views of Mt Rainier in between. Archeology, Astronomy, and Geology in one day. Good day for MPA.