Winter is here. Local winters in past years.

Living in the Pacific Northwest (AKA Pacific North-Wet), means mostly rain and not much snow.  However, the Cascade and Olympic Mountains are within a 2-hour drive from most places.  Here are some pictures of the area where I live, from previous years.junco-sparrow

My own back yard bird feeder, with a junco and song sparrow.

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This is the parking lot where I work.  January of 2011, where the snow started around 7PM the previous night, but people were distracted much of the day, admiring the snow-covered trees.

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The ski area at Stevens Pass, along Highway 2 in the Cascade Mountains, about an hour from our house.

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Snow “sculpture” in my back yard.

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Downtown Leavenworth in winter, looking west down Front Street

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This has got to be my favorite winter bird picture. He’s a Townsend’s Warbler, and he comes back every year, even when it doesn’t snow, like here in 2012.  He looks like a little bandit, with his black mask.

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Bryce Canyon, from Rainbow Point

This one’s a ringer!  That picture of Bryce was taken in October, and certainly not local!

Anyway, here’s to Winter, bringer of Cold, but Beautiful!

Weekly Photo Challenge__Local

I am very fond of my car.  I love driving, and look forward to freeway miles when I go out of town.  I also live in the Seattle area, known, perhaps unfairly, for its rain.  One day at work, there was a brief, heavy rainstorm.  Before the storm, the sky was partly cloudy and pleasantly warm.  For about 20 minutes, and very abruptly, we had heavy rain, small hail, and near-darkness.  We are in a weather “convergence zone”, so we often get these little storms.  Half the people in our building were planted in front of the windows, exclaiming over the weather outside (made more dramatic by the pounding rain on the plastic skylights far above our heads).  My car was parked opposite my closest window.

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Mine is the red one.  It’s an Acura RDX.  Below is a car parked a few spaces away from mine.  Notice the hubcap-deep water!

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After about half an hour, the storm was over, and all that water had drained away.  But it was spectacular while it lasted.

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