new life for k.d.
The boys and I toured the Burke Museum (of Natural History and Culture) for a couple of hours Sunday morning, our first visit since it reopened in the brand new space which is rustic modern on the outside while the inside resembles several intramural racquetball courts stacked on top of each other with floating stairs and towering walls but the museum as a whole is quite impressive, the “public” laboratories are a trend I’m glad the Burke has adopted. There was something unsettling to both Adam and Oliver Fern about touching any number of taxidermied flying squirrels neatly displayed about the table featuring a wide array of sizes and shapes of those soaring, sorta cute critters but no amount of cajoling by the curator could cure their queasiness. On the other hand, they watched rapt with attention through plate glass window as a laboratory preparator concentrated hard on viscera and bone of the Komodo dragon which lay supine on the metal table, having died of old age after residency at the Woodland Park Zoo (that’s one mystery finally solved for the boys, frustrated the past couple years at apparent reptilian aloofness). Particularly appreciated by Oliver Fern this visit was the giant ground sloth fossil which was found during construction of Sea-Tac International Airport (we’ll never look at the B gates the same) and that was just about all she wrote for our terribly aching feet on the marbly cement museum floors.
This scene is from last month when the boys and I spent a Saturday afternoon on the Whulge for a minus tide, it was far quieter than normal here I think maybe because everyone thought it would rain. After mild protesting (from me) instead of the trail to the lighthouse we took the usual shortcut down the south bluff, an extraordinarily steep descent through the forest and the night before it rained quite heavily so the Lawton Clay under our feet gurgled like the Bog of Eternal Stench. The hillside above this beach has become so saturated in places with seeps and rivulets of water that encampments and other grimy lean-tos show evidence of recent abandonment, we would examine the usual moldy sofa cushions, broken poly-vinyl beach chairs and butt-beer cans sitting in the middle of running water. The boys know they would never enter this woods without an adult (whether that risk is greater of being subsumed by the hillside or harassed by someone lurking in the thickets is a measure for some debate). At any rate, the pictures I took this day are brought to mind after our visit to the Burke Museum. It’s here on the Sound where the dilly-dallier can observe one of the region’s preeminent fascinating geologic cross-sections related to the Puget lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet which will among other things, explain why riding a bicycle across the city requires strategic planning or steely determination. These boats and Bainbridge Island (with the Olympic Mountain range shrouded in clouds) looked close enough to touch. We spent several hours whiling away the time and golly did Adam ever find a big kelp crab!