Is It Bertha’s Fault?

Viaduct meme

Seattle is digging a BIG tunnel.

When it gets done–assuming it ever does–it will replace a LONG overhead viaduct. The viaduct casts a shadow over prime city waterfront property. It is not a thing of beauty, unless you’re driving on it, and that makes property owners unhappy.

However, several problems have developed with its replacement. A gigantic, expensive tunnelling machine got stuck, hurt its teeth on an old steel pipe used in 2002 for groundwater studies and for some reason, never removed. Then Bertha took sick with a fever, got doctored up, but is still…stuck.

In the meantime, the viaduct has developed noticeable cracks and has to be temporarily closed for repairs years before the tunnel is completed.

Officials say the cracks are the result of settling from an earthquake that occurred 13 years ago. They have nothing whatsoever to do with Bertha, a 58-foot-tall, 7,000-ton boring machine blasting away–before it got stuck, that is–under the ground nearby.

Who knows, maybe they’re right. I hope so.

But my own common sense took my thoughts in a different direction and led me to create my first meme, at the top of this post.



Signs of Spring 2014

blue sky

Blue skies come to Seattle

It’s not here yet, but unmistakable signs of spring have hit Seattle. Not every day, but some days. Parts of days.

Sunshine. Blue skies.

Herons tidying up their old nests and moving back in to raise their younguns.

Flowers and trees coming into bloom, or forming big buds.

Join me virtually on our walk at the Ballard Locks as we discover the uplifting hints of spring.


Daffodils are in full bloom, as are crocuses.


Forsythia is coming out.

Herons in nests

Herons are returning…

heron nests

…to their abandoned nests, fixing them up for their new families.

red leaf buds

Some trees are sprouting tiny red buds.

white buds

Buds that look like pussywillows are getting very close to blooming. What are they? I don’t know!

cherry tree

And cherry trees are coming into their own.

It’s getting to be a time of juvenile silliness, when students grow restless, looking out the window and longing to be outdoors. I’ll leave you with a “poem” they wrote on the blackboard back in my own youthful spring so long ago:

Spring has sprung

The grass is green

The bird is on the wing–

No, that’s absurd!

The wing is on the bird.

Happy almost-spring!