Friday, October 24, 2014

Cascades StreamWatch

Cascades StreamWatch is a unique place to see salmon. I'm sure we've passed by this spot dozens of times without knowing it was here, so I'm glad to have discovered it.  It's very easy to get to within the Wildwood Recreation Area at Mt. Hood. There is a $5 parking fee.  A paved trail leads along the Salmon River and to an underwater viewing area built into a small stream that feeds into the river. There is neat artwork, a terrific relief map of Mt. Hood, lots of benches, and access to the river bank. We did not see spawning salmon when we visited, but we did see babies up close in the stream.
Underwater viewing.
Salmon River.
Banana slug.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BrickCon 2014

BrickCon is a must for any die-hard Lego fan in the Pacific Northwest. There are more amazing Lego builds than you can stand to look at!  This year the theme was "Invasion", based on the tradition of sneaking up to someone else's creation and adding invaders to the scene.  Naturally this year the invasions were completely epidemic!  Our favorites were the thousands of tiny green eyeballs from outer space attacking nearly everyone,  and some foolish looking sheep that kept appearing in strange places.  
Photo by Jasper.
Pagoda of Tomes by Nannan Zhang.  Photo by Jasper.  The minifig in front of the tower is sporting a green eyeball invader on his head.
Photo by Jasper.
Photo by Jasper. 
The Last Day of King Ulric's Reign by Andrew Schultz.
The Last Day of King Ulric's Reign by Andrew Schultz.
Sun Salamander by Sean Mayo.  I suspect the original build did
not include a sheep.
Tintin Land of Black Gold by Paul Hetherington.
Godzilla:  60th Anniversary by Daniel Gallegos. 
Rat Fink by Tim Inman.  I love the flies buzzing around his head.
The Island of Berk by Alice and Thorin Finch.
The Island of Berk by Alice and Thorin Finch.
The Island of Berk by Alice and Thorin Finch.
The Island of Berk by Alice and Thorin Finch.
Laketown:  Affordable Waterfront Property by Michael Kuroda. 
Friendly AT-RT by Tyler Sky.
Legolith Processing Base by Joe Hufner. 
Pirate Paradise by Grant.
Pirate Paradise by Grant.
This is a detail from a collaborative piece called "ChronoCon 10,000 BC:  A Time Traveler's Convention"
Autumn Advance by Keaton Dahl.
Stalingrad- Operation Uranus by Andrew Becraft.   I honestly have no idea if the chickens were part of it from the beginning or if they are invaders.
Tiger's Nest Monastery by Anu Pehrson.  She was keeping a close eye on her creation and now wayward green eyeballs were to be seen.
Tiger's Nest Monastery by Anu Pehrson. 
The Old West by Cody Ottley.
The Old West by Cody Ottley.
Mouse Guard by Paul Hetherington.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gas Works Park

We can't very well visit Seattle without stopping at Gas Works Park. Natural gas was once made here from coal, and much of the machinery has been preserved, creating a really unique landmark. A bride in a long white gown and a groom in a kilt strolled by, preparing to get their photos taken against the stunning skyline of Seattle. A group of medieval reenactors  gathered to engage in combat. Afterwards, we stuck around in the neighborhood and visited with the Fremont Troll.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Burke Museum

Skull of an African Kirk's dik-dik. Doesn't it have personality?
We visited the Burke Museum in Seattle while The Big Draw was taking place.  A mural was being created on the floor in the lobby, which was taking on epic proportions as the image got crazier and crazier. And supplies were being given out so that visitors could wander the galleries and draw to their heart's content.  Through October 26 is an exhibit called "Imagine That.  Surprising Stories and Amazing Objects from the Burke Museum."  It's really neat.  Not only does it highlight some unusual and fascinating objects, it gives a great overview of the scope and size of their collections and what use its put to behind the scenes.  I am so glad to have discovered this gem of a natural history museum here in the Pacific Northwest.

Jasper adds to the mural.
Detail of the scene, originally a skyline of Seattle.
A terror bird.
Confiscated and desiccated sea horses.  I remember seeing them in Chinese
apothecaries years ago- apparently their use in medicine is causing their endangerment.
A freezer displays some of the 60,000 samples of genetic material owned by the Burke.
A preserved octopus.
Snake skeleton.
Models of horned toad species.
Visitors are invited to tell the world what they collect.
Mosasaur.
Stellar sea lion skull.
An ofrena for the Day of the Dead.