After a bit of blue heaven, now comes the season of the webfoot

Viewed from the Paraclete water taxi’s transom on a pleasant first day of November, a ship on Rosario Strait churns southward toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

SUDDENLY IT’S SERIOUSLY NOVEMBER, and I’m back in my writing hut on the rocky knoll. The oil-filled radiator is cranked up high, warming my shivering knees. When did all this happen?

For the family Halloween party, daughter Lillian was a Gorgonzola (a, um, cheesy take on Medusa) and your correspondent was a giant wedge of cheese.
M.S. Burton photo.

After autumn’s sunny and dry debut until October’s final days, the Pacific Northwet is reasserting itself. About time. We have sorely needed the rain. In a matter of days, the 3-inch quilt of moss blanketing my knoll has returned from its anemic pallor to a vibrant lime green.

Still, we’ve had a happy mix of weather days. For a weekend getaway to the Long Beach Peninsula with old friends, we enjoyed a blueberry sky (on what’s sometimes regarded as the Cranberry Coast, because they grow them there). Back with Seattle in-laws two days later for the annual Halloween party, I sheltered from an onslaught of fire-hose rain.

Yet, November’s first day brought another blue-heavens afternoon. Galley Cat and I relaxed into a smooth ride on placid seas as the Paraclete water taxi transported us home to Center Island.

Now I sit with a high-intensity lamp gleaming on my keyboard to counter the mid-afternoon gloom. Rain pelts Wee Nooke’s cedar-shake roof. Outside the mullioned window, serviceberry leaves that have taken 40-degree nights like a tonic are suddenly a brilliant yellow, defying the gunmetal sky. On my desktop speakers, Bob Dylan drones his delightfully nasal “Like a Rolling Stone.” Outside, rapidly building winds set tall firs shimmying as the drumming raindrops transform from a rattly snare to a booming timpani.

It might be time to beat a retreat to the sturdier cabin and stoke a blaze in the woodstove. This is why I split all that firewood in September.

Stay dry if you can, fellow webfoots. Stay warm, however you may.