Another kettle of fish


December 14, 2023

To The Eagle:

It was 60 F on Dec. 3 and the rain-deer, that sub-species with webbed hooves that show up this time of year, were paddling around my sodden orchard, harvesting the last of the floating windfalls.

This burst of warmth, as you may already know, is called the Pineapple Express; an atmospheric ‘river’ that sends saturated air from the tropics to higher latitudes, delivering unrelenting rain or snow.

Meanwhile, in tropical Hawaii which exports 400 million of those pineapples annually, dumbfounded meteorologists forecast a rare blizzard, warning of up to 12 inches of snowfall with wind gusts of over 100 mph expected in the higher elevations.

Such phenomena will translate locally into at least 5 to 10 inches of rainfall along the coastal areas of Oregon, Washington, and northwestern California. For higher elevations, as much as one to three feet of snow are expected to have accumulated through the weekend.

Is all this upside-down-inside-out weather indicative of climate change? Of course it is. The rest of the country calls’em ‘seasons’; Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Locally, we call’em Kind’a rainy, Less Rainy, More Rainy and Rainier. How else do’ya think that town got its name!

O.K, so climatologists do seem to be getting a little nervous, what with rapidly melting glaciers and megastorms, but our planet’s flora and fauna are adapting. With the local pastures now turning into shallow lakes, dormant beds of Puget Island fresh water seaweed are having their seasonal revival just in time for the inbound geese and ducks to munch on.

Hunters too have learned to adapt, and are lurking in those shallows in their diving masks and camouflaged snorkles. Shark sightings in the local sloughs are overstated but a little caution will go a long way as the season gets wetter and the pasture ponds get considerably deeper.

The seals are also beginning to drift in and will soon be competing with the geese for the tasty bits wriggling around in the mud and grazing underwater grasses. There are rumors that even Sasquatch has undergone some remarkable seasonal adaptations, but that’s another kettle of fish entirely.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island


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