Pike Place Market: They toss fish back and forth here to tourist’s delight, but a neon flying fish remains stationary on the roof.

Mid-November, mid-50s, completely unexpected Seattle brilliance. This is the worst month to visit Seattle, or so the internet tells us. So much for all the rain, all the gray, “put your tourism on hold for now” advisements.

Seattle Sky: Contrails, clouds and the moon make me look upward and outward over Puget Sound.

Back in the Midwest, we hear tales of ice, snow and premature winter. Five or six evenings during our week visiting our daughter Skye, out here, we are treated to spectacular atmospherics. 

Seattle Sunset: The Seattle Great Wheel in the foreground, competes with the two stadiums in the middle as Mt. Rainier rises in the background, all to seemingly compliment the setting sky.

A busman’s holiday, a photographer’s vacation.

Bridge of Glass: The entrance to Tacoma’s Chihuly Bridge of Glass looks as if it’s about to soar into the setting sky.

Then taking a quick look at Tacoma, we’re enthralled by the outdoor artistry at the Museum of Glass. At first, several mounted xylophones and bell tubes catch my ear and I bang on their chords for an audience of maybe two or three. But then the clouds give way to luscious light and a soft, dramatic sunset blankets the town.

Hot Shop: A giant cone rises like Rainier outside of the live glass blowing and casting demonstration amphitheater — the Hot Shop — at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.

I drop the mallets, abandoning my Puget sounds, and point my lenses skyward again.

Puget Sound: Returning back from Bainbridge Island on the ferry, a gull rides the drafts in front of us as downtown Seattle approaches.

They say orca whales are in the sound, but it sounds like we’re not going to see them. It’s not for lack of trying, even scanning the horizon as we return from visiting our dear photog friend Meegan and her beau out on Bainbridge Island. Days later, our friend takes a magnificent orca photo and publishes it in her paper.

Carkeek Park: A fisherman angles for salmon.

Wait, was that an orca? Do I finally get to see one? Nope, just a California sea lion flopping its flipper says a young, astute marine biologist nearby with binoculars. I go back to stalking a salmon fisherman in a north Seattle park.

Mount Rainier: The iconic volcano sits dormant across the sound and south of the city.

Maybe other Novembers are rainier. But because of the unseasonable weather, we saw the mountain more days than not. Fiery and icy, volcanic and snowy, if you visit Mt. Rainier National Park in November — and all the way through April, actually — they require you to carry tire chains in your car. 

Back home now, the weather for Thanksgiving says it’ll be freezing. Seattle, 50 degrees. I probably won’t be out and about, pointing my lenses skyward for a little while. Though you never know. Michigan does winter very well. And you don’t need snow chains, generally, to get around.