Friday, October 2, 2015

More Skies and Blooms

End of the dahlia season is near. Here are a few shots from the Volunteer Park Dahlia Garden. These dahlia pics were taken on September 29th.

The contrast of colors seems amazing.

Hopeful ...

The next two pics ... we're calling them hopeful. Will they reach their glory before the curtain falls?

A Red Wall  ...

Out for a walk in the neighborhood, we spotted this leaf covered wall. Green until the last week or so, suddenly it has turned mostly red.

Sky Watch ...

Perfectly clear afternoon.
Sun over Puget Sound.
September 29th.

Sun setting behind Olympic Mountains.
Elliott Bay Marina in the foreground.

After sunset on a mostly clear day.
September 30th.

Mountain shadows in the sky.
September 29th.
Check out Skywatch Friday for more sky photos! Thanks to the hosts at Skywatch!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Art of Howard Fogg - Old Postcards [Part 1]

From our collection of old postcards ...

If you like trains you will probably like the old postcards we will be sharing featuring the art of Howard Fogg. If you don't like trains, maybe not so much. :-) Howard was a prolific artist who loved trains. Read all about him at a link given near the end of this post. He is often referred to as the dean of American railroad artists. Most of his work was done from about 1945 through the 1960s. In 1964 the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad and the New York Central published a set of Howard's work on postcards. The cover is shown below.

In the introduction, the President of the railroad had the following message ...

Here is the information about Howard Fogg included with the postcards ...

Since we are heading into the autumn season, it seems appropriate to start with this card, the one featured on the cover of the book, a coal train rounding College Curve, near Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

 Back of the card ...

Link to Wiki info on Howard is here.

We will be sharing more of the cards from this booklet through the fall. Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sky Watch and More

Recent Sky Photos ...

September 18th, 7:05 PM
[ Click on images for larger view. ]

September 14th, 5:57 PM

September 20th, 4:42 PM

September 24th, 6:22 PM

September 19th, 7:25 PM

September 19th, 7:07 PM

September 19th, 6:59 PM
All of the above photos taken from our perch on the eastern edge of Puget Sound.

September 12th, 3:42 PM
Maritime sightings ...

Alaska Ocean fishing vessel
 Alaska Ocean fishing vessel.

September 20th, 9:49 AM
Southbound Freighter

September 21st, 4:38 PM
Fireboat Salute
One of the fireboats was out to salute the final, forever, departure of the Statendam, as a Holland America Line ship, from Seattle. The ship will be repositioned to Australia and turned over to new owner, P & O Lines, and renamed "Pacific Eden".

MS Statendam
September 21st, 4:55
Holland America Line
Statendam Last Departure from Seattle
Can't resist closing with this dahlia. Spotted while out on a walk in the neighborhood, along a rock wall, and probably growing without any special attention.

September 23rd, 3:12 PM
Tonight's Lunar Eclipse ...

For our friends with an interest in the skies, don't miss tonight's total lunar eclipse. For the times in your area check out the link below ... we used it for the Seattle info and you can reset it for your location. Wishing you clear skies!

Eclipse Info - Time and Date

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Royal Fence

Those of you who have been following us for a while may recall a post featuring a most unusual fence, in the United Kingdom, constructed of hazelnut with a look similar to that of some wicker baskets. (See our archives for June 4, 2015) The photos were sent to us by a follower in the UK for us to share on John's Island. The same gentleman recently sent us more pictures of a fence fit for a Queen. The fence is on the property of Sandringham House which is a country house on 20,000 acres of land near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The house is privately owned by Queen Elizabeth II.

A brochure about the property has the following details about the fence:

"The gardens of Sandringham House are entered through elaborate wrought iron gates, of a flower and leaf design, known as the Norwich gates, they were given as a wedding present to the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1863 by the County of Norfolk and the City of Norwich and are the work of Thomas Jekyll."

Linking up with Good Fences and thanks to Tex for hosting!

Norwich Gates
United Kingdom

The Gates are the entrance for the gardens
of Sandringham House
owned by Queen Elizabeth II
To our friend and follower, Richard, we say thank you very much for allowing us to share your photos on John's Island!

Wikipedia Article on Sandringham House is here.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Day of Autumn

From our collection of old postcards ...

Today's old postcard is one of a series of images copyrighted by S S Porter in 1906, featuring the change of seasons. The Autumn season begins today, September 23rd, at 1:21 AM PDT. The message we added to the back is all virtual, the card itself is still unused. We featured another copy of this card last year on our September 22nd post. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as someone once said.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Alaska 2015

[ Click on pics for larger view ]

Having just returned from The Last Frontier we have photos to share with you. The trip was aboard the Ruby Princess, seven days, round-trip Seattle to Alaska, including port stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, and an unexpected trip up Endicott Arm to see Dawes Glacier. We departed Seattle, Pier 91, on Sunday afternoon, September 6th.

After one full day at sea we arrived in Ketchikan early on Tuesday
morning to rain and clouds touching the mountains beside the sea.
Cruise ships dock right along side of downtown
A lighted "Ketchikan" sign across Mission Street sets
a gateway to this pretty little town. 

We like the clouds reflected in the water.

The Ruby Princess passes to dock just northwest of town.

Still waters.

We are docked facing northwest right across from
the First Lutheran Church.
No, this isn't in Alaska. Just a photo of the Ruby with a red arror to
show you our cabin location, Starboard, Lido deck, right above the Bridge.
This may help understand the perspective of our shipboard pictures,
like the next one.
We are right behind and just above the Starboard Wing of the Bridge.
The Commodore (like a Captain) has full control of the ship from the little blue console.

The Holland America Line Zaandam is docked south of us.

Population of Ketchikan is about 8,000 but may easily double when 4 or 5
cruise ships are docked in town.

Creek Street is a popular destination for shopping.

Flora alongside a stone wall behind Creek Street shops shows
early signs of Fall.
A kitty snoozes behind the shops on Creek Street. No one was paying attention to her
until we stopped to snap her photo. Soon several other tourists must have thought
this to be a good photo opportunity and crowded around. Too much attention
for her and she trotted down the railing to leave us behind. :-)

Silversea's Silver Shadow is arriving in port. This ship is much
smaller ... about 385 guests as compared to 3,500 on the Ruby.

Could you live on a sailboat? It appeared someone was living aboard.
An adventurous way of life, but not for everyone. How about you?

Better check in if you are "from foreign."
Highlight of the trip ... The Northern Lights ...

We departed Ketchikan late afternoon Tuesday and headed north toward our next destination: Tracy Arm. The clouds cleared and we enjoyed a nice sunset around dinner time.

Sunset Tuesday evening after departing Ketchikan.

Much later, close to midnight, we heard an announcement from the Bridge, looked outside, and were amazed to see the Northern Lights playing in the sky. This was our first time to ever see this phenomena. It was worth the entire trip just to see this. Photos don't come close to doing justice, but here are several photos to give you the flavor ...

Mostly green dancing lights in the sky. We wonder what caused the dark streaks
that look wires. No wires up there (that we know of!!!)

We snapped pictures for over an hour as the lights continued
to change.

The streaks changed in number and location. UFOs???

We are looking out the Starboard side of the ship to the eastern skies.
Had we been on the port side we may not have seen the lights so well.

Seeing the Northern Lights was, for us, like a spiritual experience.
We can't really describe it.

Note the stars. The dark lower parts of the picture are mountains
along the sea, of course.

Looking more forward in this shot. We caught just a touch of our
Bridge at the very lower left.

After nearly an hour, it looked like we might see some
different colors. Tiny differences! The "splotches" (for lack
of a better word) in the upper right quadrant were in the sky, not on the
camera lens! :-)

We wish you could see the full size pictures.

Still wondering about the streaks. 

One of our last photos of the Northern Lights and some almost pink colors.

Endicott Arm ...

Wednesday morning and our itinerary called for us to cruise up into Tracy Arm ... a fairly narrow waterway that leads right up to glaciers. As luck would have it, Tracy Arm was fogged in and our Commodore decided to take us on an alternate journey up Endicott Arm ...similar but not quite as spectacular as Tracy. Fine with us, we've seen Tracy before, and something new was welcomed.

Sunrise, September 9th, Endicott Arm, Alaska

Be sure and notice the color of the water. This is due to the
glacier run off. 

This is a photographer's challenge. Well, the sunrise, is happening right
ahead, just over Dawes Glacier, making it tough to get a well lighted
shot of the Glacier. This is as close as the Commodore wants
to get so as to avoid floating ice.

Can you see Dawes Glacier?

The Commodore watches from the Bridge as a small boat of
photographers (next photo) is dispatched to take a
Ruby Princess selfie.

Like using a "selfie stick" they have to get back a ways to get
the whole ship in the picture!

Photographers circle back toward the ship. This photo gives an
overview of the scene where we stopped in Endicott Arm.

More glaciers but no longer trailing all the way down to sea level
as we head toward Juneau.

About 12:30 on Wednesday we arrived in Juneau, Alaska. The Ruby has a nice
pool area in the back of the ship. Most cruisers have gone ashore leaving the
ship mostly empty of passengers. Since we've seen Juneau before we are
exploring the Ruby Princess.

Do you know this flag? The Ruby is registered in Bermuda but this isn't
the Bermuda flag. It is a variant flag of the United Kingdom
 of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We don't know why
Princess flies this flag on the Ruby. Do you know?

Thursday morning arriving Skagway. Another cloudy, rainy day.
Alaska is beautiful even in the rain, but we did feel a bit sorry
for first-time cruisers who had expectations for glorious
sunny days.

The Alaska Ferry plies from Seattle to points north. Here she is in

Holland America's Rotterdam is docked ahead of us.

Best excursion (in our opinion) in Skagway ... the Yukon and White
Pass railroad trip to up to the top of the Pass and the border with
Canada's Yukon Territory.

One last photo on Saturday, September 12, enroute to our last port stop, Victoria, BC.
After a week of cloudy skies it was nice to have one mostly clear day.
If you enjoyed these photos, and missed our post of last year's trip, be sure to check out the archives for our posts starting here.

Thanks for taking the time to look over our photos in this longer-than-usual post on John's Island. We hope all is well with you and send you best regards from The Emerald City!