Monday, October 22, 2012

Falling into Autumn

Ahh rainy Seattle, how I missed thee.  The normal rainfall in the Seattle area in August and September is 2.68 inches.  These are normally our driest months and we still get almost three inches of rain.  However this year we have only received .03 inches of rain this last two months.  That's three hundredths of an inch in more than sixty days.  An all time record for dryness in this area. The old record is .19 of an inch in the early 1900's.  Now I know that I spend a lot of time bitching about the rain.  The irony has not escaped me on this one folks. We went 82 days without any rainfall.  You would think that we were in Southern California with all of the sunshine.  However, all of this dryness brought something else that I was used to seeing in SoCal that I did not miss, wildfires.  It was a very long and disastrous fire season in Washington state.  Tens of thousand of acres burned and thousands of homes lost.

But it is October now and the rain has returned.  Fall is in the air and the leaves are changing colors.  Within the span of about a week we went from sunny and dry to cold and wet.  Today is rainy and 45 degrees at 2pm, so I guess that our long, hot summer is officially over.

I have to admit that at some point in the past year, we turned from temporary San Diego transplants into resident Washingtonians.  More acclimated to the weather by far.  We actually hit ninety degrees one day and I thought I would die from heat prostration.  I am most happy at about seventy five these days.  I am thrilled to be in the clutches of autumn.  This is my favorite season here in the Pacific Northwest. The crispness is in the air and the light has an almost golden glow to it.  The trees changing from a thousand shades of green, to red and orange and amber gold.  The pumpkin patches and neighbor hood carnivals are in full swing.  Unlike San Diego, the pumpkin patches here are not fenced off portions of the Safeway parking lot, they are actual farms and you really pick your pumpkins.  And they all seem to have a corn maze.   This one is off of highway 167 and I drive by it each day on the way to work.

A huge farm with all kinds of fresh produce for sale, including one of our favorite Washington fall traditions, APPLES!!!  You have never had a great apple if you haven't eaten one fresh in Washington. I know, you are saying that you have had Washington apples before and yes they're ok. But yours has probably spent some time on the road for at least a few days and then holed up at some wholesale warehouse until they were sold to your local supermarket and dipped in wax to preserve that shiny look that make it more appealing to the eye. And we only send you the rejects anyway, we keep the good ones here. At the farmers market or on the farm at the roadside stand, right off the tree the same day that we buy them.  And the varieties are endless.  Pink Ladys and Black Arkansas, Ambrosia and Jazz.  Not your garden variety Red Delicious. Although they are really delicious here!  Crisp and tart or tender and sweet, yummy. I never knew that so many varieties existed until we moved here.

Another fall tradition is the Burien Brattrot and Bavarian Fest each October. We had a great time at this fundraiser 5k race and festival in Olde Burien.  Conveniently, it was held only a block from the homestead so that there was no driving involved.  The day was sunny and beautiful for the entire festival and brought hundreds of runners. (I was not one of those)  The beneficiaries were the Highline Schools Foundation and SafeKids King County .  The street was blocked off on the main street and there were beer gardens and other tents set up with vendors.  A stage hosted the Three Tree Point blues band.  One of the band members lives right below our old house and we used to hear them practice all the time. As well as on the 4th of July each year at the neighborhood celebrations.  Ran into our old neighbors Jean and Mike and Charlies best friends Lucy and Bebe. So all in all a splendid day and a great start to the fall season, next up Boo in Burien, the Halloween festival.

Here are some pix from the BratTrot----enjoy.

Lining up at the starting line.

And they're off! 

The guy in the maroon t-shirt with the Lab and Golden retriever is our old neighbor Mike and the dogs are Charlies girlfriends, Lucy and Bebe, we were thrilled to see them.

Runners coming across the finish line. Vantage point-Beer garden.

Danny House, the owner of the Tin Room Bar and Theater, presenting the winners with their jackets and prizes.

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