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Hemlock Ocean · I care most about the ocean, while Lau­ren cares more for the forest; for­tu­nate­ly the Pa­cif­ic North­west of­fers Cottage-Life com­pro­mis­es; il­lus­trat­ed with the help of a gi­ant Hem­lock ...
 
CL XXXVI: Island Ingress · On a wet grey Fe­bru­ary Satur­day we com­bined two of our amuse­ments on a boat trip to Keats Is­land: Cot­tage Life and Ingress. Some of this will be com­pre­hen­si­ble on­ly to Ingress play­er­s, but there are a cou­ple of fair­ly groovy pix.
Up­dat­ed with an apol­o­gy
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CL XXXV: Fading · This year’s Cot­tage Life chap­ter is over. Not the best, ei­ther; what with my new gig and all we vis­it­ed less, and the kids would as soon be in the city. Stil­l, it’s a rare priv­i­lege ...
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CL XXXIV: The Great Grey Room · It’s been long and hot, this sum­mer, so it’s easy to like Cottage-Life days that are less bright and high and blue and green ...
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CL XXXIII: Fire and Water · We’ve had week af­ter week of blue skies and warm air; which in the green/­grey Pa­cif­ic North­west be­gins to feel op­pres­sive, you can al­most hear the plants, great and smal­l, whim­per­ing for wa­ter. After a while ev­ery morning‘s news told of new for­est fires march­ing up one tinder-dry moun­tain or an­oth­er. Which lent vi­su­al dra­ma to the Ju­ly 4th week­end but I have to ad­mit soured the Cottage-Life am­bi­ence ...
 
CL XXXII: Listen to the Trees · On the forest-walks part of Cot­tage Life, a prob­lem is that the kids chat­ter and squab­ble. So I tell them, “Shut up and lis­ten to what the trees are saying.” They think it’s just Dad be­ing sil­ly, but I keep in­sist­ing that if they lis­ten for that, they’ll learn things. And I’m right, they will ...
 
CL XXXI: Forest Light · Our Cot­tage Life hap­pens on an is­land most­ly cov­ered by tem­per­ate rain­for­est. Not old-growth (that’s hard to come by these days); but logged a hun­dred years back, so the trees are big. Such forests have qual­i­ties of light that make me hap­py but are hard to pho­tograph ...
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CL XXX: Lensing · The great thing about interchangeable-lens cam­eras is well, in­ter­chang­ing lens­es. In par­tic­u­lar while kick­ing back in Cottage-life mod­e ...
 
CL XXIX: Biryani · What hap­pened was, my fam­i­ly signed me up for an Indian-cooking class. On Thurs­day Nas­reen taught us Chick­en Biryani and so I thought I might try to en­rich early-2014 Cot­tage Life with it ...
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CL XXVIII: Bigger Glass · We did an opening-up overnighter; an­oth­er year of Cot­tage Life has be­gun! At­ten­tive read­ers will have no­ticed that I’ve be­come a Fu­ji­film fan­boi, but at the cab­in I’m still a proud Pen­tax­i­an, be­cause my longest Fu­ji lens on­ly goes to 55mm and things on the is­land are fur­ther away. So let’s see what you can do with big­ger glass ...
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CL XXVII: Cheap Audio · We’ve fi­nal­ly ar­ranged, af­ter five full years of Cot­tage Life, for mu­sic play­back. There were com­pli­cat­ing fac­tors, no­tably my be­ing a de­ranged au­dio­phile; and the in­stal­la­tion isn’t 100% com­plete. But it sounds nice, and I’ve al­ready saved $259,404.01! ...
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CL XXVI: Driftscapes · Here in the top left cor­ner of ur­ban North Amer­i­ca, we have a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with wood. We live in it, sit on it, eat off it, and burn it for warmth and plea­sure. Al­so, as part of Cot­tage Life, walk by the sea to ad­mire the por­tions cast up ...
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CL XXV: Work Week · There were two nations’ birth­days in four days, thus a slow spell at work; so we de­cid­ed on a sol­id week of Cot­tage Life. And we in­vit­ed all our friends to come for lunch. Friends came, work got done, and pho­tos got tak­en ...
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CL XXIV: Autumn Drama · Each year’s Cot­tage Life ends when you Shut Down For Win­ter; this sad task in­cludes tidy­ing, seal­ing, drain­ing, and then go­ing away. We left it lat­er this year than any be­fore, in­to the sea­son of storms and rain and dark­ness ...
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CL XXIII: High Pressure · I mean the large zone of el­e­vat­ed at­mo­spher­ic pres­sure which has blessed the Pa­cif­ic North­west for many weeks now, mak­ing this past summer’s Cot­tage Life a more or less weather-untroubled sun-bath. Me, I can’t wait for the rain (com­ing Fri­day they say) ...
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CL XXII: Blackberries · Let’a be hon­est: Cot­tage Life is pret­ty soft. That’s the point, I be­lieve, but... There Are Ene­mies. Chief among them are black­ber­ries, not mo­bile de­vices I mean but vi­cious re­source­ful adap­tive blood­thirsty veg­eta­bles. This sto­ry has a hap­py end­ing: we beat ’em and we eat ’em. In this life­time, any­how ...
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CL XXI: There and Back · Since we be­came boat peo­ple, the tenor of Cot­tage Life has changed; we go and re­turn when we get around to it, but each tra­verse is some­thing of An Even­t ...
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CL XX: Marine Vessels · I’m not re­al­ly a Boat Per­son. But a qui­et plea­sure of Cot­tage Life is sit­ting on the deck with a long lens catch­ing what­ev­er comes by, and some­times what comes by is beau­ti­ful boat­s ...
 
CL XIX: I Made a Table · You can read the back sto­ry in a 2010 Cot­tage Life piece. And yes, I’ve been work­ing on this thing for two years. This week­end we sat round it to eat, fi­nal­ly ...
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CL XVIII: Misty Mountains · We were re­cent­ly on the Great Plains and I love ’em, but a few days there and I miss the moun­tain­s. Some prairiefolk can’t set­tle down here on the coast, they feel shut-in be­cause you don’t have the big sky and long view. Cot­tage life is about earth­stone fences in front of the hori­zon, and I’m OK with that. And stil­l, our skies feel big some­times ...
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CL XVII: Faraways · It’s May so Cot­tage Life is re­cur­ring. On the is­land, many of the things one sees and wish­es to pho­to­graph are far away thus must be cap­tured through fair­ly spe­cial­ized lens­es which tend to im­pose their per­cep­tion­s, par­tic­u­lar­ly when the lens­es are el­der­ly and ac­tu­al­ly not that elite. Here are three of those ...
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CL XVI: Eagle’s Nest · This will be two con­sec­u­tive Cottage-Life posts fo­cus­ing on ea­gles, and that’s OK be­cause they’re at the cen­ter of the thing. Here­with a nest with an ea­glet in res­i­dence; not the great­est pic­ture but it’s some­thing that I feel blessed to have seen and can’t not share ...
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CL XV: Eagle Glass Again · The Cot­tage life se­ries has pre­vi­ous­ly vis­it­ed the sub­ject of bald ea­gles, and of us­ing long tele­pho­to lens­es to pho­to­graph them. Can’t have too much of that stuff ...
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CL XIV: Bad Animals · On­ly some of the an­i­mals are bad. Most of the pho­tos are; but with re­deem­ing fea­tures. Cot­tage life in­evitably in­volves wildlife and thus dan­ger ...
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CL XIII: Carpentry · Most peo­ple who have a cot­tage which isn’t a mini-mansion spend a lot of their cot­tage life main­tain­ing and im­prov­ing it. This can be a lit­tle stress­ful to those like me who are more or less en­tire­ly with­out home-improvement skill­s ...
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CL XII: Far Away · The pri­ma­ry recre­ation­al ac­tiv­i­ty in our cot­tage life isn’t boat­ing or hik­ing or swim­ming or any of those un­doubt­ed­ly wor­thy and im­prov­ing pas­times; it’s lean­ing back in a com­fy chair on the deck ad­mir­ing the view, fre­quent­ly through a cam­era with a great big chunk of glass on the fron­t, with a re­fresh­ing drink (this can range from a stiff G&T to a nice cup­pa T) ...
 
CL XI: Treeset · At the cot­tage, life is sur­round­ed by trees and con­strained by the sun’s com­ing and go­ing. Espe­cial­ly go­ing. In these pic­tures, it’s go­ing be­hind some trees ...
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CL X: Nautical Visual · Cot­tage Life al­most by def­i­ni­tion oc­curs near the wa­ter and in our case, lack­ing road ac­cess, is nec­es­sar­i­ly punc­tu­at­ed by time spent mess­ing about in boat­s. This is an ac­tiv­i­ty with many re­ward­s, chief among them the things you see ...
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CL IX: Closing Up · For those of us who live North of the 49th par­al­lel, an es­sen­tial fea­ture of Cot­tage Life is the sad pro­cess of “Closing Up”; ac­knowl­edg­ing that you’re just not go­ing any more till Spring. We did, but re­main am­bigu­ous ...
 
CL VIII: Building Things · In the first cou­ple of years af­ter you ac­quire a cot­tage, you spend a lot of time adding stuff to it. Since few­er and few­er things come pre-assembled, and if they did you wouldn’t want to take them on the boat put-together, that means you have to build them. This Cot­tage Life piece is, weird­ly, most­ly a plug for a barbecue-maker’s pub­lish­ing tal­ents; but there are some pret­ty pic­tures, in­clud­ing a failed ea­gle ...
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Junepix 7 & CL VII: Mountain Climb · At­ten­tive read­ers of the Cot­tage Life se­ries will re­call that one of the mo­ti­va­tions for ac­quir­ing a strip of Howe-Sound wa­ter­front in­clud­ed my dis­cov­ery that I was rais­ing a city boy who need­ed a lit­tle more ex­po­sure to the out­doors. So, last week­end he and I climbed a moun­tain to­geth­er ...
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Junepix 4 & CL VI: Monster! · The June-pictures and Cottage-Life threads in­ter­sect in a pho­to­graph of a stiffly-serpentine beast that ap­peared on our beach. With a true sto­ry about a re­al ser­pen­t ...
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CL V: Rain and its Culture · There won’t be any more Cot­tage Life pieces till next year, be­cause we spent Amer­i­can Thanks­giv­ing, when you can’t get any­thing done any­how, clos­ing the place up. We found out why they call all those great big trees a “rain forest” ...
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Cottage? · If there’s any­one read­ing this who’s felt some em­pa­thy with the re­cent flur­ry of Cot­tage Life post­s, and who’s from around here: there’s an­oth­er wa­ter­front prop­er­ty just around the cor­ner from ours for sale; near the north point of Keats Is­land (Wikipedia, map, keat­sis­land.net). Ser­viced, a cou­ple of hours from down­town Van­cou­ver (boat on­ly). Not per­fec­t, has is­sues, needs work. But pret­ty unique, I think. The rea­son I’m plug­ging this is I’m hop­ing some­one with kids gets the place; ours could use some play­mates. If you might be in­ter­est­ed, con­tact me and I’ll put you in touch with the ven­dor.
Up­date: It’s been list­ed.

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CL IV: Peace · Most of these Cot­tage Life posts are go­ing to be on the cyn­i­cal side; with luck, good for a laugh or two. But there is a rea­son we do this, and here it is. With a fur­ni­ture rec­om­men­da­tion ...
 
CL III: Semantic Gaps · I do in­tend a Cot­tage Life post soon that’s not about main­te­nance, but this isn’t it. I thought I was try­ing to fix the wa­ter heater, but in fact it be­came a four-way se­man­tic map­ping co­nun­drum ...
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CL II: Water-Displacement Forty · Cot­tage Life, un­less yours is a man­sion with full-time staff, is most­ly main­te­nance, with a few in­ter­ven­ing breaks for na­ture or beer. I’m nei­ther deft nor me­chan­i­cal­ly gift­ed, but the right in­dus­tri­al chem­i­cals can make up for that ...
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Cottage Life I: Logs · I think that life in gen­er­al and this space in par­tic­u­lar would ben­e­fit from more of an out­door fla­vor; words and pic­tures root­ed in Na­ture. Our re­cent ac­qui­si­tion of a piece of Keats Is­land, should make this eas­ier. Wel­come to Cot­tage Life. Any piece of Pa­cif­ic North­west wa­ter­front is go­ing to in­clude a lot of logs ...
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