Archive for September, 2012

September Golf Summary

Things kind of fell apart in the middle of the month and I took a few non-scoring, practice rounds to try to work things out.  The 98 at Washington National was an odd one.  I had a very consistent 43 on the front nine but then everything broke down and I had a string of double and triple bogeys on the back nine.   I expect my handicap will stay at around 11.0.

Washington National, 9th green – I got a par on this one.

Date Course Score
Sep. 3 Mt. Si (blue) 80
Sep. 4 Maplewood (blue) 86
Sep. 6 Mt. Si (blue) 81
Sep. 10 Mt. Si (white) 83
Sep. 20 Mt. Si (white) 79
Sep. 24 Mt. Si (blue) 84
Sep. 25 Washington National (blue) 98
Sep. 26 Mt. Si (white) 83
8 rounds 3 courses – average score 84.3

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Elk Corner “Remodel”

We long-ago dubbed the northwest corner of our lot “Elk Corner” because it was always the preferred spot for the elk to enter our yard, even after my initial attempts to fence them out.  We solved the hooved intruders problem a few years ago with our eight-foot high fence but that corner was never a very attractive area.  The cranberry viburnum and osmanthus we planted there in spring of 2011 never thrived and the spot just looked kind of drab, especially after the an ice storm last winter kind of mutilated the Washington hawthorn.

So out came the hawthorn and osmanthus.  We added another variety of cranberry viburnum, native snowberry and some small rhododendrons near the neighbor’s fence and some ferns and hosta under the old dogwood.  We widened the gravel path and added a bench and bird bath.  It’s really a pleasant little retreat now and should be really nice in the fall and spring as leaves, flowers and berries add seasonal color.


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Wildfires Smoke in Snoqualmie Valley

Smoke from the wildfires east of the Cascades has been drifting into our valley for several weeks now.  Some days are very hazy and the smell of smoke very intense. This is a view from Snoqualmie Point Park, just on the north side of I-90 near North Bend. Normally, there’s a whole series of peaks visible to the right of Mt. Si at the center of this vista.

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The largest single area of our gardens is a heavily-shaded 30×60 plot just about in the middle of the wooded back half of our lot.  In the spring of 2010 I thinned out the native sallal and wild vines and blackberries and we planted a few rhododendrons along with four Aucuba.  But it has always looked kind of stark with no real personality.   In a trip to one of the local nurseries Trisha discovered Royal Ferns and brought a few home.  That set off an unplanned planting frenzy featuring the Royal Ferns, Tassel Ferns and Autumn Ferns to go with the rhododendron, Aucuba and some native wood and deer ferns.  We’ve renamed the space “Fernlandia” for the 47 ferns who now live there.  It should be beautiful next spring when this collection emerges and matures.


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New Garage Doors

After years of worrying that our aging garage doors might come crashing down on the cars –or us– we finally did a basic clearing out of the garage and got new doors and overhead openers installed.  What a treat!  No more listening to the groans of warped wood and misaligned tracks.  The lights turn on automatically and the doors close themselves if we forget to.  We are now wondering why we waited over a decade to make the change.

New garage doors with old ones in the inset

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Rain at Last

We didn’t hit the official record for rainless days.  It rained last night for the first time in 48 days.

Our plants looks very perky this morning.

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Scrambling 80

Hoping to post a score in the low 80s to eventually get my handicap under ten I teed off on a busy Labor Day morning from the blue tees at Mt. Si.  I’m still struggling to hit fairways but I managed to shoot 41+39 for an 80.  It was a struggle all the way and I think I ended up with more improbable par saves than on any round I’ve ever played.

1) On #1 I pulled my drive left into the trees.  A low five iron settled just right of the green and I chipped to five feet and one-putted to save par.  2) On #5 again my drive went left along the  tree line and dropped some 190 yards from the hole.  A 4-iron landed short of the green but settled twenty feet past the hole and a two-putt saved another par.  3) On #9 a big yank left off the tee left me well into the trees and 160 yards from the hole.  I hit a low 4-iron hook into the hillside short of the green and the ball stopped on the green some sixty feet away.  Another two-putt par save left me with six pars and a 41 on the front nine.  4) On hole 14 my drive leaked right where my approach to the green was blocked by an evergreen tree.  I hit a 9-iron fade around the tree that stopped on the right edge.  A chip and ten-foot putt saved another par. 5) My drive on #17 came to rest some 20 feet right of the green from where I chipped in for a birdie.  6) Finally, on #18 after a dead-center drive my wedge shot landed in the ugly grass bunker in front of the green.  My chip out just missed going in the hole and I tapped in for a final par.

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Golf Handicap Stays at 10.7

I managed to get through another two weeks with my handicap staying at 10.7.  It’s going to be diffucult to keep it there; scores of 77, 80 and 81 are going to fall off the list with the next update.  I would really like, just once, to get into single digits and this is a great chance to get there.

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Rain City? Not this Summer

For the first time since there have been official records, Seattle has been totally rain free for the month of August with the last measurable precipitation having fallen on July 22.  We’ve had a couple or drizzly mornings in North Bend but no real raindrops have descended here either.

40 Without Rain! Seattle 11 Days from Record Dry Spell (

No Rain in August at Sea-Tac Airport a Record (

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