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.

September 2019 - Discovery Park 570

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!

6 thoughts on “new life for k.d.

  1. I love the clouds – yes you want to reach out and touch them – and the misty mountains below, the all those little pointed sails. The driftwood and overhanging tree in the foreground are excellent compositional additions, too often I’ve taken a picture similar to the background layers of yours, but with nothing in the foreground for contrast or perception of scale, so they’ve ended up looking so far away there’s nothing for the viewer to connect with.

    Neat Labyrinth reference too – Dance Magic Dance! The first film I ever saw in a cinema, I went with my aunt and uncle, a partial consolation three years after my dad had crushingly disappointed me by promising if I attained certain marks in my school work he would take me to see Return Of The Jedi, and then didn’t keep up his end of the bargain… The things that impact us as children, but can’t think about too much lest we’d never utter a word to our own children in case we say the wrong thing or don’t say the right thing!

    I thought the k.d. was going to be Ms Lang, but when she failed to materialise I changed my guess to Komodo Dragon?

    • Scale and depth are occasionally a challenge for me, too….. particularly in a spacious setting like this at low tide as I go searching for puddles, ripples of sand or interesting detritus which at the time seem impossibly larger than life through the viewfinder and it almost never occurs to me to take….. just a few steps back. And so do I fully appreciate your remarks on this count!

      And thanks for channeling David Bowie, this morning. That’s a good story about the cinema and Labyrinth (though at the same time I do empathize about Return of the Jedi) and now I’ll be reliving all of the zingy one-liners for the rest of the day. Remember the little worm who says “don’t go that way”? The boys like it when I do that one very publicly in my special voice (to the mild disapproval or consternation of more serious adults). And btw, yes…..k.d. just sounded more lighthearted and upbeat than Komodo dragon, haha!

      • Yes generally I favour close ups, and I know that most of the time the experience of standing somewhere with wonderful panoramic views cannot be captured with any justice in a photograph – especially when that photograph will only at best be viewed on a large computer screen, and more like on a tablet or phone…

        Bowie was a big hero for me, well, he still is.

        Labyrinth seemed to bring many element together for me, Bowie’s performance (who else could have played the goblin king?), Jim Henson’s puppets (I adored The Muppet Show and Sesame Street when a little younger), and the beautiful Jennifer Connelly, who I think was about 15 then and to 11 year old me was perhaps my earliest film crush… Well, after Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia of course!

        My brother and I (he’s five years younger and saw Labyrinth some years later on TV) even now occasionally message each other with a quote from the film, most often “you’re no match for me Sarah, go back to your room and play with your toys…”

  2. I would love to have some decent museums nearby to visit on rainy days. Since we seem to be having a preponderance of them, or perhaps just a normal amount, which we haven’t in a number of years, I would welcome some cultural and intellectual stimulation, (she said in her best Inga voice.–{Young Frankenstein}, and what ever happened to Terry Garr I wonder, knowing that she had MS for a number of years? I hope she is well.)

    It’s nice to have a friend I can ramble on about stuff with TF. You would be the man for interesting rambling, that is a certainty.

    Hope you find plenty of places to go and things to do to keep everyone entertained this fall and winter TF. They are saying mild which we know means wet here, so keep the gutters clean and ramble away.

    • Adam and I watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind last winter with his grandmother and I’m pretty sure the first time I saw that movie (which would’ve been its debut on network tv, remember those days?) would have been my introduction to Teri Garr or maybe it was Tootsie.

      Sometimes my rambles seem more than a little recycled but I don’t fight it. Each time a little bit new comes out and all of this must be adding up to something good though I dunno what exactly. If it gets really wet and woolly this winter I’m going to need more books and that might mean a special trip to Powell’s, maybe we can finally get that coffee unless a mudslide takes out the highway.

      You must have a logging museum down there someplace? 🙂

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