a stormy sunday at discovery park

My day got off to a weird start- At six o’clock I turned over and decided to stay awake. I slid out of bed and peeked between the blinds to see if it was raining. Our neighbor across the street, a retired widower, was sitting in the dark watching the Muppets on his huge screen TV.

Oliver got up a half hour later bright-eyed and bushy-tailed so we got our grocery shopping out of the way at 7 in the morning. On the way home I was admiring the unexpected blue skies and shining snows of the northeast Olympics and decided after breakfast I’d take Adam and grandma to Discovery Park to see the windy waves. It started pouring when we got down to the beach! I made the bad mistake of leaving my lens cloth and cleaner at home so I was forced to shoot ultra-conservatively. I didn’t really have the lens on I wanted (the 16-35 would’ve been perfect for the sideways view down the beach toward the lighthouse but I had my everyday 24-70 on). The 16-35 was in the backpack but I didn’t dare change glass in the sideways rain. But I think the 24-70 turned out to be a stroke of luck because the 16-35 Nikkor has a minimalistic petal lens hood characteristic of ultra-wides, whereas the hood on the 24-70 is comparatively long and sheltering. As long as I didn’t face the lens into the wind, the lens hood did a good job of protecting the glass from mist and splatters. Sadly, I could only shoot a little bit… during lulls in the fierce wind and rain. I used an old umbrella for sideways shielding. Sad to say the wind eventually destroyed the umbrella. The West Point lighthouse during a storm is not an umbrella sort of place.

Grandma and Adam roamed mostly on their own, collecting “sea glass”. I tried to convince them it wasn’t really true sea glass, more like last summer’s Golden Gardens broken beer bottles- but we all agreed it might still make a pretty collection to put in a jar. At any rate, the Olympics weren’t shining anymore and with the dark, foreboding squalls I had the strange sensation it was dusk. But it really was fun being out in the weather. With the surfy conditions, it was like being at the ocean!

There’s new severe erosion along the path on the south side of the lighthouse, just before you reach the rocks that cup West Point. A forty or fifty foot section of trail has become part of the beach. Pretty soon you’ll only be able to approach the lighthouse on that side at low tide, there’s not a lot of room to remake the path!

I shot with a six-stop ND filter on the lens for a series of one second exposures.

On the way home we stopped at the Ballard Goodwill. Adam and I found Battle Cat! It’s in better condition than the one in my collection that my brother and I shared when we were children. The paint on Adam’s is pristine (not faded). However, like mine it’s missing the saddle. No matter, Adam is proud to have his own Battle Cat!

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