Spring & Summer in the Bizarre Year

It’s been a while since my last post here. Usually I try to make a post once a season (or quarter) about what I’ve been up to, but I didn’t have much to write about in spring thanks to the ongoing pandemic and other things happening. I managed to get outside a bit once summer and good weather finally rolled around, so here are the usual photo highlights.

Oyster Dome
Gorgeous views of the sea and islands from the top of Oyster Dome

Thanks to COVID-19, air travel, dining out, activities involving large groups of people are not recommended, so pretty much the only things I could do were outdoor activities like hiking and going to parks. I went to a number of parks within the cities and towns in the area, especially before the weather got warm and nice enough for hiking in the mountains.

East Portal Viewpoint
East Portal Viewpoint on top of the I-90 bridge heading east.
Elliott Bay Marina
Jogged to the Elliott Bay Marina to look at all the boats.
Aurora Bridge Lake Union
View of Lake Union while jogging
Meadowdale Beach Park forest
Even parks within the city have some tall trees.
Seahurst Park
Seaside views at Seahurst Park
Lincoln Park
Another beautiful day on the Puget Sound. This park offers views of the ferries as well

I also went out to pick raspberries. It was the first time I’ve picked raspberries and first time I’ve gone to pick fruit since moving back to the Pacific Northwest. The height of raspberry bushes make them pretty easy to pick, so didn’t take too much effort to gather enough raspberries for a week.

raspberry picking
Got about 2lbs of raspberries in this box

Once real summer weather came along in July, I started hiking again. It’s a late start to the season, so I’ve been going out on every weekend with favorable weather… and sometimes in unfavorable weather too.

Talapus Lake
Hike to an alpine lake. This one is Talapus Lake
Olallie Lake
Another alpine lake. This one is Olallie Lake
Snow Lake
Snow Lake, one of the most popular hiking trails in the Seattle area. Still got a little bit of snow on the slopes.
Mount Pilchuck
At the top of Mount Pilchuck. 360 degrees views on all sides. Takes a little scramble to get to the lookout at the top.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls along the hike to Lake Serene. I’m sure this is one of many waterfalls named Bridal Veil Falls.
Lake Serene
Weather wasn’t the best when I hiked up to Lake Serene. However, the wet weather afforded a bit of serenity since normally this trail is very crowded on nice days.

Lastly, I picked a new hobby/activity in clam digging and collecting oysters. There are shoreline parks in the Puget Sound area that allow clam digging and oyster collection, and it looked like an easy and fun activities. You don’t need much equipment or skill; just show up during low tide and collect away. Clams require some digging in the tideland sediment, but my experience has been that is pretty easy to collect the daily limit of clams. I haven’t caught any of the big butter or horse clams yet, but the smaller clams are just as edible.

oyster and clams
Clams and oysters I collected during a recent outing. Middle pic are the oysters and empty oyster shells on the exposed tideland.

As for oysters, Washington requires shucking them on the beach and leaving the shell, so I ended up buying oyster shucking gloves and a knife. That made the job a lot easier. Below is a video of me shucking an oyster. Still working on the technique, but got the job done.

That’s all the updates I have this time. I’ll try to make the most of the good summer weather while it lasts. It’s important to still get outside given the indefinite work from home situation I’m in. One benefit of WFH is that I managed to lose 20 lbs of weight. The weight loss is mostly attributed to the fact that I don’t have access to all the food my employer provides, and when I cook for myself I eat less. I also jog on most of days as a way of going outside after a day of working at home, and that probably helped as well.

As we can all see in the news, things are not going that well in the US. COVID-19 infection rate is not under control, and there has been ongoing social unrest. With an election coming in November and a questionable economy, there is definitely a lot to be concerned about. I hope things will get better soon. Stay safe and take care of yourselves.

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