Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pacific Northwest Visit

I've been remiss in posting much lately because the past several weeks have been pretty eventful. Aside from (accidentally) butchering my cat and playing catch-up at work, I'm now in full swing with literature searches, reading, and other prep for graduate studies this fall (hooray! woohoo!). Planning a cross-country move for September to boot. Busy isn't necessarily interesting, but I'll try to weed out the post-worthy.

For now, here are a few more pictures from my recent 12-day trip to the PacNW. I posted some on it here, too...

Progressive potties. Portland, OR airport.
...Just one more reason to love the Pacific Northwest.

These toilets have been at PDX for a while now, but this time I had my camera with me. As the flash went off in the stall, the recent indiscretions of a certain Republican politician came to mind. Prolly not such a good idea.

Mt. Rainier (left) floating over Safeco Field in downtown Seattle.
Mt. Hood (right) near Portland trying to hide.

...Within three days of arriving, I was criss-crossing Washington and Oregon getting in visits and views. Temps peaked in the upper 50's for the first several days. Bring on the cords, clouds, and rosy cheeks! I've missed it. Won't be much longer now.

The Columbia plateau, north-central Oregon.

This train depot is less than a mile from where I'll be spending my next two summers while conducting my graduate field research. Trains, trucks, and agriculture (including a burgeoning wine grape industry) dominate the landscape. Stay tuned for posts on drunken train-hopping.

The Columbia River curving West.
Oregon on the left, Washington on the right.

Driving back from a 5-day visit w/my graduate advisors at the research station, I stopped to take a short hike up from the river. It was the first real sunny day, but still with a chill -- perfect. The "short hike" to stretch my legs landed me on top of the Columbia Gorge, where the winds are quite something and the views are spectacular. You can see the white-caps on the river for most of the way up. Wind-surfing capital, indeed!

Some of these waves are as big as bugs... The VW kind.

Field cricket, Gryllus sp.

A wriggling field cricket in high winds atop the Columbia Gorge. Expleti -- er, exclamations of awe at the high winds were lost on my own ears. And then there were the gusts...I could barely keep my balance while taking this photo. All things considered, not a bad pic. But not my doing -- it's the new Ricoh!!

A gossamer-winged butterfly, family Lycaenidae
(subfam. Polyommatinae, "the blues")

This butterfly took a rest in a warm, protected and sleepy meadow of lupines atop the Columbia Gorge. Probably glad to find a substrate that's steady!

Niece Kya

I hope (but doubt) that my forthcoming graduate studies in entomology at OSU will allow an occasional moment with this 4-yr old little bug.

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