My favorite lamb meatballs

img_0492_fotorOnce upon a time I wanted some nice tender lamb meatballs for dinner but I couldn’t decide which of the four recipes in my big bad recipe binder to use. So I pulled them all out and listed the ingredients I liked and left out what I didn’t. I doubled up on what I really liked and managed to forget to list an egg while I was at it. I mixed those ingredients up and baked them up and fucking loved them. (Even without the egg.)

img_0487_fotorTIPS: 1) do not use a mixer or food processor to combine the ingredients. The meatballs will be tough instead of tender. 2) I use a 2 tablespoon disher (like a giant melon baller crossed with an ice cream scoop) to portion out my meatballs so that they are uniform and then roll them between my hands so that they are round.

My favorite lamb meatballs

  • Servings: 4 normal people, 2 gluttons
  • Print


  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchement paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients by hand. Shape into balls the size of a golf ball. Place 1-2″ apart on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.

I like to serve these with The New York Times’ Rice Pilaf with Golden Raisins and a little dish of plain yogurt – or yogurt with a minced clove of garlic mixed in – and a mixed greens salad with a tart vinaigrette.

— Amanda


Oh, I’m still here!


One of the most popular images from my new photography blog (see below): the morning sun backlighting the one last undeveloped lot in my neighborhood.

This is one of those sorry-I-haven’t-written-in-a-while posts where you list your excuses and give a quick update then make promises about future posts. You know the drill.

Excuses (and they’re pretty good this time):

  1. THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. Also known as The 2016 Dumpster Fire Election. This really took it out of me. Kind of fucked up my life. Kind of put my relationship with two of my four brothers on hiatus. Kind of scared the ever-living shit out of me.
  2. NaNoWriMo. Damn near killed me, but I won again! For the second time I took a previous NaNoWriMo project and subtracted a major element and tried to make a new book out of it. Note to self: STOP DOING THAT IT IS TORRRRRTURRRRE.
  3. I’ve stopped doing the monthly reading roundup posts because they are a time suck and if you want actually wanted to know what I was reading you could always follow me on Goodreads.


  1. I have started a second Tumblr for my photography. Check it out if you like to look at pictures of stuff. I’m going for a “quintessentially rural western Washington” vibe.
  2. I have discovered, much to my surprise, that spirituality and atheism are not incompatible. And that I have a spirituality. And that others have this exact same spirituality. There’s a name for it – several, actually. (I prefer spiritual naturalism.) This is a put-you-back-on-your-heels kind of thing. I know there shouldn’t really be rules about personal beliefs but I am so much a rule follower that I have suppressed this inborn philosophy since teenagerdom because I was under the impression that spirituality was necessarily a theistic thing requiring supernatural belief and that having it made me, as an atheist, a hypocrite. Not so, it turns out. So … this is a big thing. I am chronicling my daily little epiphanies and progress on my primary Tumblr. (Yes, I do spend a lot of time on Tumblr.)

Promises about future posts:

  1. A combination of photography and writing about a very satisfying hands-on project I am doing: repairing the very unique quilt that my mother-in-law and niece hand made and gave to us as a wedding gift. Not only is it beautiful, but it is the perfect year-round warmth and we have slept under it pretty much every day we have been married.
  2. The inevitable annual New Year’s Resolution post. I can’t help it. I love resolutions.
  3. There will almost certainly be posts about that spirituality thing.

Hang in there, everybody.

— Amanda

Write what you didn’t know you knew


Used with no permission what-so-never! ©Andrews McMeel Universal

This is not an original sentiment, but it has been needling me lately, so I’m going to let it out.

“Write what you know” is misunderstood. People think that means that they can only write literally about their limited sphere of experience: that if they have never left America they can’t write about world-traveling spies. But I don’t think it refers to technical aspects. I think it refers to themes and relationships. I doubt George Lucas had personal experience with telekinetic space knights, but he did seem to know a thing or two about hope. I don’t think J.K. Rowling actually attended a secret wizarding school, but she does seem to have insider information on the importance of friendship and perseverance.

What do you know about? Woodworking? Bureaucracy? Ceramics? That’s nice, but it’s inessential. You can research those things. You can understand them pretty well without experiencing them. And you can freely invent space ships and elves – you don’t have to experience them at all.

So what else do you know know? What have you experienced or witnessed that you can really expound upon, that can be your theme? Poverty? Betrayal? Second chances? I know about being eccentric, about learning to improve oneself the hard way, about making mistakes, about being wracked by anxiety, about surviving depression. These are things I can dig into and live in for a whole book. I can say much more interesting things about these themes than I could by rattling off my technical knowledge of the behind scenes work of building public parks or even the sounds and smells of beekeeping.

What have you done in your life? (Or what has been done to you?) Look at your resume, think back over your life. Maybe you haven’t had a sweeping romance or a brush with crime or a death in the family. Maybe all you’ve had is a job at McDonald’s. Dude, you can still use that. Transform the people around you. The night shift manager that magically motivates everyone to give a damn in the face of the unending onslaught of drunk and otherwise shitty customers? That person can be your Gandalf, your Dumbledore, your Obi-wan. The petty little shit who shifts blame and weasels out of work and thinks they’re too good? That’s your book’s Draco Malfoy. Walter Mitty your life. (I don’t mean you should fall in with spies – I mean your should recast the people around you into fantasies.)

Do the same to your experiences and relationships. Remember that time you were mistaken for a local celebrity or wanted criminal? It’s a funny anecdote now, but really remember it. Remember the thrill? The terror? Remember imagining how cool (or burdensome) it would be to be that weather guy for real? Remember wondering how you were going to get out of going to jail when your phone and wallet were locked in your car so you couldn’t prove you weren’t the robber? That’s at least enough for a short story. Transform your close bond with your dog into a boy and his dragon or a girl and her assassin-bot. Fictionalize that comedy of errors from last year’s drunken thanksgiving into a Medieval farce. Get pretend space revenge on an alien version of that boss who sabotaged you to keep you from getting promoted.

You can research or invent places and technology and worlds and customs and just about everything. But Wikipedia can’t grant you substantive, nuanced insight into the human condition. You have to be like Star Trek’s Data: consult the ship’s computer whenever you can and for the rest of it – the interactions, the feelings, the relationships – you just have to throw yourself in and live.

— Amanda

Monthly reading roundup August and September 2016

I don’t remember why the beginning of August was so busy that I wasn’t able to squeeze in my monthly reading update and I have a feeling that I will regret looking into it, so I won’t.


18143844Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 14, by Julietta Suzuki. Yep. I’m still at it.

25776250Why Diets Make Us Fat, by Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D. A real doctor with a real grip on science (meaning, among other things, that she gets that what happens to rats in a lab is not necessarily what would happen to humans IRL and she doesn’t consider a paltry two years to constitute a “long term study”) explains that the rumors you’ve heard are true: diets make you fat, fat does not necessarily make you sick, and what you eat and how much you move your body are way way way more important for your health than what the scale tells you.

66657Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link. People have been raving about this book for years now, and now I see why. It’s lovely! I wasn’t expecting short stories, and I don’t usually read short story collections, but I gave it a go. The first one is my favorite. Reading this books is sort of like channel surfing in an alternate dimension where all networks show The Twilight Zone and independent horror films all day.

18774906Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 15 by Julietta Suzuki. This seems like a good time to explain, once again, that you cannot judge a manga by its cover. I know these covers are syrupy and stupid, but the interiors are not. Conversely, I have checked out some manga with gorgeous covers only to discover the insides are awkwardly laid out or poorly written.

15904026Every House is Haunted by Ian Rogers. Another book of short stories that I wasn’t expecting to be a collection. But so good. Good, solid, creepy, quirky, imaginative horror. Most stories are very short, practically flash fiction, and something about this compels you to read on, to have just one more, just one more, like you’ve got your hand in a bag of chips. I dragged this book around the house and read it while I cooked and played with the dog and waited for pages to load.

26025580The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. A novella by the woman who brought us the fucked-up yet compelling plots of Dark Places and Sharp Objects and Gone Girl. A twisty-turny, at-times-gross story, as expected, but I have to confess to being a little disappointed in the ending. I was really braced for one more unexpected and imaginative twist to unseat the baddie but instead they just sort of rode off into a sunset of existential discomfort. *shrug* Still, though, not bad. Still a good read. I mean, Gillian Flynn could write a single sentence on a napkin in a drunken stupor that would be more shocking and imaginative than my whole second novel is at its current 74,289 words.

21412471Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 16 by Julietta Suzuki.

22609112Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 17 by Julietta Suzuki.

27064358Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay. A realistic missing kid story with supernatural elements. Neither you nor the characters witnessing get answers to the supernatural questions (What are we seeing? Why? How? Are we realing seeing something supernatural or is our grueling worry and grief making us hallucinate?) but we all get answers to where the kid is, though we may wish we didn’t.

23492461Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 18 by Julietta Suzuki.

25110936Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 19 by Julietta Suzuki. Quite possibly the worst cover yet.

16124496The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. You know that feeling when you read a book that’s gotten eleventy billion awards and you’re like “Hey, that was a pretty good book. I don’t regret the time I spent reading it. I would be proud to have written it myself. But . . . would I give it an award? No.” and you wonder for weeks afterward what it was you missed that everyone else found so incredible?

25332115The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. This is one of those memoirs that will haunt you. It’s hard to put down, but it’s hard to read, too. I didn’t read any reviews before I checked this out. (Due to my high reading volume I don’t often read reviews. I just read the blurb and cross my fingers and hit the “place hold” button.) If I had I probably wouldn’t have read it because I would likely have been warned about the sexual abuse and incest that were just part of what made this story harrowing.

25814365Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 20 by Julietta Suzuki. One of the least awful covers.

32282602Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 21 by Julietta Suzuki. Houston, we have a problem. When I finished this volume and opened my library’s app to ask them for the next one it was listed as being in the service center. That means it’s not available yet. Furthermore, this is the second to last volume. Uh oh.

25543181The Family Plot by Cherie Priest. A classic haunted house story with bonus on-site cemetery (which is just supposed to be an old Halloween joke but whoopsies there’s a real body in it!). Good Gothic feels with 21st century amenities like strong female characters and technology.



26114135All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. I’ve heard a lot of scuttlebutt about this book and I knew what I was getting in to (not like with The Sound of Gravel) but the timing wasn’t good. This book arrived on the hold shelf just as I had finished the aforementioned memoir and I just couldn’t handle another tale of a tortured childhood so I bowed out before I even got to the stuff that has driven others away. Perhaps I will try again later.

27774632Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett. Too stream-of-consciousness for me.

13623723Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour by Dita Von Teese with Rose Apodaca. I no longer wear stockings and skirts every day and my vintage hat collection is gathering dust (though I did just buy a tube of ruby red lipstick for the first time in ages) but I still adore Dita Von Teese. She is self-made in every imaginable sense of the word and yet she doesn’t come across as fake. In this lavishly illustrated (and mammoth) book she stresses that you can do this, too. You can find a unique style and milk it for all its worth. You can be eccentric and glamorous and confident. I lack the dedication to take it to Dita’s level, but I wouldn’t mind owning a copy of this gorgeous book so that I can flip through it once and a while with a cup of tea and fill up on the inspiration to squeeze some beauty out of life.

289060About Face: A Plastic Surgeon’s 4-Step Nonsurgical Program for Younger, Beautiful Skin by Gregory Brown. Not what I was hoping for, but rather what I was expecting: another doctor shilling proprietary and unproven products.

3945558River of No Return: Photographs by Laura McPhee. Wide-angle landscapes and a few portraits. Too much detail for my taste (many shots are very busy and everything in the frame is in perfect focus) but the subject matter (rural Idaho) is interesting to me and the composition is good. Not how I want to shoot, but it is great stuff. I think maybe a book doesn’t do this stuff justice. I would like to see this work on wall-sized prints in a gallery.

9871628The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes by Andy Karr & Michael Wood. I read about 50% of this because I agreed wholeheartedly with about 50% of what they had to say: the parts about seeing familiar things with fresh eyes, about mindfulness, that sort of thing. But I checked out when things started getting very prescriptive. Also there was a lot of pressure to not seek out the beautiful. Yes, not all pictures need to be beautiful, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a picture just because you find something pretty or taking a picture in a manner that makes something pretty or prettier.

23753The Absolute Sandman, Volume One, by Neil Gaiman. I have read very little Neil Gaiman and I was looking to rectify that with this enormous collection. But I checked out just a few pages in thanks to some troubling plot devices I thought were beneath this author. I know you want to leave comments urging me to try again, but please don’t. Trust that I know my own limits. This won’t put me off Gaiman altogether, but I won’t be coming back to this particular work.

13434433The Complete Digital SLR Handbook: Mastering Your Camera to Take Pictures Like a Pro by The Editors of PhotoPlus Magazine. Lots of good tips, but also lots more than I needed.


Sadly, I did not find a single recipe I wanted to try in any one of these cookbooks.

26031078Dinner Made Simple: 35 Everyday Ingredients, 350 Easy Recipes by Real Simple.

51cvo6mikel-_sx258_bo1204203200_Good and Simple: Recipes to Eat Well and Thrive by Jasmine Hemsley, Melissa Hemsley.

25862317Big Flavors From a Small Kitchen by Chris Honor.

25810693The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini by Cara Mangini.

25982864The Love and Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking by Jeanine Donofrio.

— Amanda

Recipe roundup

recipe roundupMushroom Lentil Burgers from Cooking Light. It was difficult to divide this recipe to make a single serving (the ingredients include a whole egg for 4 burgers and a baggie of precooked lentils) but it was so worth it. There’s way more flavor in these patties than in any frozen-foods-section veggie patty I’ve ever tasted: very umami and filling without any pretense at being real meat. I’ll never go back!

Jeweled Rice Pilaf with Carrots from Food & Wine. This goes-with-everything side dish features not one, but two carbs (rice and broken-up pasta), as well as toasted nuts, fresh herbs, lemon, and roasted carrots. I made two substitutions: pine nuts for the almonds and golden raisins for the olives. This makes enough for an army so either cut it down or do as we did and have the leftovers as a main course the next day with diced meat and/or an egg on top and a salad of mixed greens.

Homemade Multigrain English Muffins from the Woks of Life. These nutty, simple, chewy get their whole-grain goodness from one of my favorite ingredients, 10-grain cereal. (I use Bob’s Red Mill because I can get it in bulk at WinCo.) They have this in common with one of my favorite sandwich bread recipes of all time, Amber Waves of Grain Bread. I made muligrain English muffins once before from a recipe which baked in the oven. These get fried in a skillet, more like “real” English muffins (which are made from a batter, rather than a dough and are cooked in rings on a skillet).

— Amanda

Off the charts

The diet charts, that is.

Two years after reading my first Geneen Roth book (Breaking Free From Emotional Eating) I am finally putting her good advice to work.

I have quit dieting.

Whoa, whoa, whoa – calm down! I didn’t say I was giving up on myself! I said I have quit dieting. There’s a big difference.

You know that tired old adage (misattributed to both Einstein and Franklin) that the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result? Tired (and hard to source) as it may be, there is some truth to it.

This was, though not at all in those words, a large part of the gist of a book I recently read, Diets Make You Fat. I know the title sounds clickbaity but it turns out to be completely true. This refreshingly well-sourced book (Ah, nonfiction by someone who knows the difference between a long-term and short-term study and acknowledges that results from studies on rats do not necessarily indicate similar results would occur in studies on humans!) explains that what you’ve long suspected is true: dieting doesn’t work in the long term. 95% of dieters regain their lost weight or gain more than they lost. If the calories-in/calories-out math were as simple as we wish it were any jackass could lose and keep off their excess weight. But it’s not that simple. It’s dauntingly complicated. Too complicated to summarize here. It’s neuroscience. It’s hormones. It’s intestinal flora. It’s the snail speed of evolution vs the warp drive of civilization. Just read the book. It’s wonderful.

When I first (very noisily) read Breaking Free From Emotional Eating (“Oh!” “Ah!” “Yes!” “Finally!” “Ugh, so true!”) I actually cried a little. (Books almost never make me cry. Where the Red Fern Grows didn’t make me cry. Sadako and the Thousand Cranes didn’t make me cry. Sad books make me angry. I got recess detention for chucking Where the Red Fern Grows across the room when I finished it ahead of schedule in the third grade and then bellowed spoilers at my classmates.) But this wasn’t a sad book, it was a tragically relatable book. And yet, as moved as I was, and despite feeling like Geneen Roth was both my new best friend and a surrogate mother, I outright scoffed at the notion of intuitive eating. Let my body decide when and what and how much I should eat? Are you fucking kidding me? I can’t trust this meatsack! It’s ravenous and untrustworthy and hideous!

Two years later I read Diets Make You Fat, which says almost exactly the same things as Breaking Free From Emotional Eating – but fortified with SCIENCE™! I love me some science. But more importantly I trust science, and the science in this book seemed particularly trustworthy and sound. Anecdotes and personal experiences are interesting but they do not move me like science does.

So I was finally moved to give intuitive eating a try.

(A quick aside: intuitive eating, which goes by many interchangeable names such as mindful eating, attuned eating, and instinctive eating, is not about casting aside all nutritional knowledge and eating whatever and whenever and however much you want. It is about eating only when hungry and only until full – and if that sounds easy to you then you clearly don’t have overeating issues. I recommend this site to clear up any confusion you may have about this practice.)

Once you get over the hurdle of thinking that intuitive eating sounds like the worst possible thing a lifelong fatty could attempt you have to address the reason you think that: a lifetime of dieting and being browbeaten by “experts” and diet companies (who are usually owned by food companies who just want to sell you smaller portions at higher prices, and I know that sounds conspiracy-theory-y, but it’s totally true) has left you with the almost unassailable impression that your body cannot under any circumstances be trusted with anything ever. It doesn’t want to exercise when you know you must. It wants cookies when you know you must eat salad. But this isn’t your stomach you’re fighting with (barring a serious medical problem affecting your metabolic hormones). Your mind is fighting your mind. You know you would move your body but you don’t want to exercise because you are out of shape and it’s hard and you don’t like how you jiggle when you move. You want those donuts that asshole keeps bringing into the break room not because your sensible chicken and spinach salad wasn’t nutritious, but because your job is dissolving your will to live like acid and a cupcake would give you a few minutes of pleasurable respite.



The very simple concept of eating only when hungry and stopping when full is made very difficult by  two things: 1) You probably have lost all concept of what physical hunger and satiety feel like, knowing now only ravenous, painful emptiness and distended, painful fullness and 2) You probably do not have the ability to discern between physical hunger and emotional hunger. (Do you need a sandwich or a hug? They aren’t interchangeable, as it turns out.) This is my new struggle. Learning to discern between these two kinds of hunger, observing where they overlap and what factors make them come and go, finding ways to soothe both, and getting in touch with the sensations of real physical hunger and fullness.

In poking around on other blogs and in forums I have found that the average person needs about a year to get the hang of this, to get back in touch with their metabolic intuition. I stopped counting calories (and using MyFitnessPal after logging in for 250 consecutive days and being a member since 2012) on August 5th, but I started to stray from my rigid food plan back in June. Since then (that is, June), I confess I have gained 16 pounds. There were a few weeks of crying jags and terror and frequent binge-eating as I second-guessed myself every other minute.

(I cannot understate the fear I felt in stepping off the socially accepted path of the great and mighty diet. I have never felt much of an urge to conform to the media’s image of the modern woman – I am an eccentric dresser, I prefer old things over new, I don’t shave my underarms or legs, I have a facial piercing at age 35, I am a life-long atheist, I have an awkward vocabulary, I have chosen to remain child-free, and I haven’t worn “real” makeup since I was in middle school. But I was as fanatically devoted to the Church of Dieting as any other member of that powerful cult. No matter how wacky I may have seemed to female coworkers or other women at parties, we always agreed on this one thing: we hated our bodies and struggled daily to punish them into socially acceptable shapes and sizes. It brought us together against all odds. Women who appeared to be physically repulsed by me as though we were opposite poles of a magnet were re-polarized when they overheard me lamenting a binge day or talking up my latest foray into punishing exercise. Women I wanted to strangle as they recited by rote their pastor’s latest long-winded sermon about the importance of women serving Christ by bearing children and submitting to the yoke of marriage AND NO OTHER MEANS WHATSOEVER were suddenly my besties when I overheard that they, too, had gotten that red-font notice from MyFitnessPal about their maintenance calorie level being below medically recommended standards – but if we went over by so much as fifty calories we’d gain a gosh darn (pardon my French) pound!)

However, I gained most of that weight over the course of August, after my official decision to stop dieting, and then the gain all but stopped in September. I weighed in this morning, for the first time since the 1st of September, and was stunned to find that despite a 3-day no-holds-barred eating fest on our anniversary trip (when I ate whatever the hell I wanted but tried not to eat unless hungry and to stop when comfortably full) and this being, ifyouknowwhatimean, the heaviest time of the month for me, I am only up two pounds. Shark week usually bumps me up 2 to 5 temporary pounds, so it’s actually possible that I didn’t gain any weight on our anniversary trip! I cannot, of course, be sure that I have reached my hang point already, but I do know that the panic has passed and I feel like I’m getting my feet under me. I have by no means mastered my eating intuition, but I am on my way. I can only hope that I will slowly lose weight from this point on, but I have to (and here’s another really hard part) learn to accept that I might never lose another pound.



Intuitive eating is not a weight loss diet. Intuitive eating is a healthy habit. A lifestyle. A method.

I may remain at this size for a long time. Perhaps forever. I have to remember that it is not true that there is a direct correlation between weight and health. As Dr. Aamodt explained in Why Diets Make Us Fat, you can be fat and healthy, and physical activity is more important for your health than your BMI, as it protects you against the hazards of obesity even if you are obese. There are obese Olympians, for fuck’s sake! So I have to accept HEALTH as my new life goal and reject the old false idol of THINNESS.

Easier said than done. But I’ll keep you posted.

— Amanda

Anniversary 2016

Longtime readers know that Matt and I save up all year for our annual getaway to Lake Crescent (home of the chair on the shore that I have declared my official happy place). We like to stay two nights so that we have at least one day where we are on the peninsula all day.

Clearly we haven’t yet tired of Lake Crescent (perhaps because there was that off year where we didn’t reserve in time and ended up at its sister facility, Lake Quinault) but the tricky part of returning to the same vacation spot every year is not taking the same pictures of the same stuff every year. But I enjoyed the challenge. This was also the first year I shot pictures entirely with a phone (baby’s first smart phone) and not the little old digital camera we received as a wedding present nine years ago.


The view from the porch of our cabin just after check-in. We got cabin #21 again.


Breakfast in the sunroom on our first morning. Omelets, fruit, potatoes, very sweet butter, jam, amazing English muffins, very good coffee. Seriously, I don’t know what was up with those muffins, but they were fucking awesome.


Look. At. The. Color. Of. This. Water. I did not use a filter on this image. This is actually what the lake looks like from the Spruce Railroad Trail on the north side.


Cool rock formations on the Spruce Railroad Trail.

L: A tree etched with lovers’ initials and other graffiti on the Spruce Railroad Trail. R: Naked madrones on the Spruce Railroad Trail.


We thought that this massive, flat rock in the middle of the Spruce Railroad Trail looked like the ideal place for local witches to get together. (My mental image includes both athames and Starbucks, because this is the Pacific Northwest – although there isn’t a Starbucks for an un-fucking-believable 20 miles.)


Albino slug???? We thought at first that this might be a super-duper light-skinned Banana slug (Ariolimax columbianus) but it was not the right shape at all and completely free of spots. It was, however, the right shape and size to be one of the more common Black slugs (Arion ater). Wikipedia makes it sound like white Black slugs are totes normal, but trust me, as a Pacific Northwestern native and a lifelong gardener I have seen more than my fair share of slugs and I had never seen a white one until this moment.


Lake Crescent, afternoon of day two, with little white caps and a steady breeze.


Churning water at the side of the MV Puyallup on our ferry ride home. I love this color.

— Amanda