Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Geese and Flying Home

On this Solstice Eve, the Pacific Northwest is getting slammed with a winter storm. And winter storms, we do not need! On Wednesday night Seattle received 1-2 inches (in most parts of the city), and look what happened:

Yes, that is a passenger bus that slid down a steep grade and plowed through a guard rail resulting in a cantilevered installation over I-5. Note the topography in the background. It's a good thing Seattle doesn't get winter weather very much. Susan and I are visiting our parents for the next two weeks, and hope to be able to leave Seattle tomorrow by plane. We also interview in the Bay Area on Monday and Tuesday! We'll be heading to the airport by bus extra early to account for difficulties from the the expected 4-8 inches of snow. If you want to see the view of the weather, here is a webcam view from the NOAA station across the street from where we live.

But we wanted to experience just a little bit of the current snow, so just as this evening's snow started to fall, we took a stroll around the golf course near our apartment. We were surprised to see a flock of about 30 large white birds circle and land on a nearby snow covered fairway. Upon closer inspection, I confirmed that it was a small gaggle of snow geese. I can only assume that they were in transit from the North Slope of Alaska to winter grounds in California or beyond.

At the time of writing, the snow has completely obstructed our view across Lake Washington. Unlike this Seattle-softened Midwesterner, I expect these birds to know what to do in the cold...

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