The autumn weather is just so exhilarating with the cumulus clouds building against the clear blue sky, the sunbreaks and the occasional downpour. The air is cool, the sun appears and warms you just enough to lull you into removing your sweatshirt, then just as quickly it’s cool again and you slip the sweatshirt back on.

The vistas are spectacular and all the volcanoes are ‘out’ as they say in the Northwest. You can see them all clearly and they falsely appear to be close enough to touch. You can even see Mt. Rainier in all it’s 14,000+ feet of grandeur. It’s nearly 175 miles away yet it sits there snuggled up close to Mt. St. Helens from this point of view. It makes one feel so small.

And…Mt. St Helens.


I pass no fewer than three viewpoints on my way to work and can find numerous places in our labs and offices where it is clearly visible. I still get a thrill everytime I see an ash plume rising from it’s crater. It is thrilling to live so close to an erupting volcano and yet far enough away that it doesn’t pose a serious threat.

It is this time of year that I find myself being motivated. I want to get out and enjoy the last of the pleasant weather. The air is fresh and clean and the earth seems to be settling into it’s winter slumber. The leaves start to change, the lawn begins to turn green and everything looks clean and refreshed. Sure, some plants are dying back but others are just coming into their own, their death delayed until winter, and although spring is the season of rebirth, it all starts here, now, with the cleansing rains and cool temperatures of autumn.


6 responses to “Autumn

  1. i still regret the ‘road not taken’ to live in the Pacific Northwest.
    Your photos and essays are cheery for me.

  2. Is the photo of St. Helens yours? It’s amazing. I’m intrigued by your postings about autumn because I may one day end up out your way. My partner is from Oregon originally and wants to retire in the Pacific Northwest. We own property on the Olympic Peninsula. I worry that the weather there will trigger repeated bouts of seasonal affective disorder on my part.

  3. The picture is mine…taken in May of 2005. We took my Aunt and cousin to the Johnston Observatory and not 5 minutes after we arrived this plume went up. Even the rangers were excited.

    I think you definitely have more chance of SAD on the Peninsula than down this way. After all, it is the rainiest area in the upper 48.

  4. It’s not quite that bad. The property is on the east side of the peninsula, overlooking Hood Canal. It’s actually rainier in Seattle, and it comes nowhere close to the Ho Rainforest.

  5. You still have far more rainy/gray days than in the Portland area so I still believe it would would be harder on SAD sufferers. Get a light box or put full spectrum lights throughout the house.

  6. this is why I love Portland

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