Cosmic embrace

What would happen if we launched our Swirl rock spiral into space and it managed to connect with the Pinwheel Galaxy?

Here’s what we think it would look like: the Pinwheel Galaxy (aka M101) at the left and our Swirl with its ring of autumn leaves at the right, placed against a backdrop of deep space.

The Pinwheel Galaxy meets the Swirl

This got me thinking about our place in the universe, so I checked on the relative location and size of these two celestial objects.

The Swirl

  • 200 feet from the house
  • Diameter of 14 feet
  • Contains 139 rocks

 The Pinwheel Galaxy

  • 21 million light years from the house. The light from the galaxy, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, has taken 21 million years to reach Index, Washington.
  • Diameter of 186,000 light years. Yikes!
  • Contains 500 billion stars (maybe more).
The Swirl with a fresh collar of autumn leaves

The Swirl in the woods of the
Reserve, before we blasted it into space

I tried to calculate how many Swirls could fit within the Pinwheel Galaxy but my math know-how just wasn’t up to the job. So let’s just say that the number is big, unbelievably big.

Even bigger than that.

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Bear with us

No, that’s not a tennis ball in the bear’s mouth. It’s a pear from our neighbor Warren’s tree. This black started roaming our neighborhood about October 15 and stayed for a week – an unheard-of length for a visit, and long enough for almost everyone within a mile of us to report raids on their garbage. Note the yellow tag in the bear’s ear – he’s been evicted from a residential area in the past and relocated away from people. The plan didn’t work.

Bear 2013 D

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We're standing at the Highview lookout (top photo), with our home and the Skykomish River far below. Alder Falls is the backdrop (bottom photo), along the zigzag trail to the Baring Hut.

Don and Jonelle welcome you to our little hideaway in the mountains. We hope the articles and photos on this site will tell you something of our home and encourage you to come for a visit.

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