Greetings from Seattle, Washington, USA

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Eagles at Last! and More

Welcome to John's Island

In our last post the spotlight was on vintage postcards from Yellowstone National Park featuring the Roosevelt Entrance Arch. The arch appeared in many images in addition to postcards, for example, the menu cover shown below. This was a menu used in the dining car on the Northern Pacific Railroad around 1915. If you missed our last post, please take a look here to get the background story on the Roosevelt Entrance Arch.

Yellowstone National Park
Thru Gardiner Gateway
Northern Pacific Railroad
Dining Car Menu Cover
ca. 1915

Story of the Park inside
the menu.
Back of the menu featured the famous
Northern Pacific Great Big Baked Potato
and a place to add an address to mail to a friend.

How long has it been since you've seen a menu
that the restaurant will stamp and mail for you?


"Sunrise/Sunset" is the theme this week at Postcards for the Weekend. You won't be surprised at the card we selected to share. Sky View Observatory is atop the tallest building in Seattle and the photo was probably taken a few minutes after sunset. Check out the link up for more sunrise/sunset postcards and thanks to Maria for hosting!

Eagle Watch

These photos are not going to win any awards. But here's the story ... There are a couple of eagles living right here in the neighborhood. They have been here now for at least two years and can be seen flying around anytime of day. On this particular occasion they landed in a tree about 150 yards from my window. The first two shots show the larger bird watching the other bird, in the third photo, as that one seems to be enjoying a nice lunch. It's rare to have the opportunity to snap a picture of them as they are rarely stopped anywhere long enough to get the camera ready for action. These birds seem to be doing just fine right here on the edge of a large metropolitan area.

Lunch time.
Love critters as much as we do? Check out Saturday's Critters! And thanks to Eileen for hosting.

Sky Watch

Photos of the sky taken from my place in Seattle.

Panorama of the Olympic Mountains just after sunrise.
March 9th  6:42 AM

Colorful early morning light on the clouds.
March 11th  7:32 AM

On the right side:  Snow falling on Bainbridge Island
On the left:  Partly sunny in the distance.
Title:  Snowfall from a distance?
March 5th  5:47 PM

Sunset over Eagle Harbor
March 6th  5:54 PM

Sunset, the Olympic Mountains, and Elliott Bay Marina
at bottom.
March 10th  6:12 PM

The next two photos are nearly identical and only a few minutes apart but I like the difference. I'm curious which one you like the best ... the first one with the little boat and its wake, or, the second one, with the still waters?

March 10th  6:18 PM

March 10th  6:20 PM
A really unusual sunset ... March 16th

March 16th  6:57 PM
Two giant anvil clouds forming sort of an arch
and sun setting in between.
Curiosity:  Most of the rest of the sky was clear.
This is zoomed out as far as we could go.
Hard to say how far to the clouds ... 20 miles?

March 16th  6:57 PM
Zoomed in.

March 16th  7:20 PM
Glowing embers?
This morning's first light was pretty cool ...

Nice and sunny up on Two Brothers peak.
Layers of clouds below.
March 18th  7:23 AM

A few minutes later.
March 18th  7:28 AM

See more sky photos at Skywatch Friday. Thanks to Yogi for hosting!

And we can't pass up this sky spotting ... paragliding! These three are high over the Magnolia neighborhood and out over Puget Sound. Saturday afternoon, March 17th.

Ship Watch

Here's a big Cosco arriving March 11th and some other maritime activity. We enjoy watching ships come and go. Seattle/Tacoma ports combined are the largest international shipping facilities in the Pacific Northwest.

March 11th  1:07 PM
This is a giant ship ... our camera is about 2 miles away.

Small boat pulling a spill containment berm.
Seen when a ship has docked
 at the port and may be leaking fuel.
(Unusual, thank goodness.)
Bulk Carrier departing on March 13th  3:45 PM
The best thing about this ship is the name ...
Navios Harmony
Sails under the flag of Panama
OOCL Vancouver
Arriving March 17th  12:11 PM
OOCL = Orient Overseas Container Line
Now you know!
The thing I like about this photo is the
sailboat which provides scale.
Almost included this one in Sky Watch above.
However, the Bainbridge - Seattle ferry is looking good this morning.
To the right of the ferry is Eagle Harbor. I like the name!
The taller peak, just right of center, is Mount Washington.
March 18th  8:19 AM


Photos from a recent walk. Just keeping track of some new blooms in the neighborhood.

Two buds and a bloom.
March 10th

Me and my shadow.
March 10th

The Power of One
March 10th

Purple Power
March 10th

Closing Thought ...
Most of us spend too much time on the last twenty-four hours and too little on the last six thousand years.
     Will Durant

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Yellowstone's Gateway Arch and More

Welcome to John's Island

[Long post! Feel free to skip anything or everything. :-) ]

When I put together my love for Yellowstone National Park and my hobby of collecting vintage postcards I became fascinated with the number and variety of postcards featuring the Roosevelt Entrance Arch. This may seem peculiar since Yellowstone is all about natural wonders and the Arch is a human construction. However, the Arch has become the symbol of the Park and that spurred my interest. Yellowstone Park was created by an Act of Congress in 1872, but the Arch was not constructed until 1903. On April 24, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated the arch as its cornerstone was laid. My collection of arch cards totals over 100, each with some difference. That's too many cards to post so I've selected the following to give you the idea. I will try to give you some notes in the captions. And, in recent months, I've been linking up with Postcards for the Weekend, which allows postcard collectors to share some of their cards matching a weekly theme. This week's theme is "Anything you wish" and so here are some of my favorites. Thanks to Maria for hosting the link up!

Gateway to Yellowstone on Postcards

Very early card showing one way to tour the Park ...
horsedrawn carriage.
[Click on images for enlarged view!]

The stagecoach was probably the most common way
to tour in the early days.

Most tourists arrived via train. The depot was just outside the
lava rock entrance. The Northern Pacific Railroad served this station.

This card shows a train stopped at the station.
The cards are about evenly split on showing a train or not.
As a "railfan" I appreciate the ones WITH trains more!

Different and unusual style for an early postcard.

This station was famous for its western theme.
Especially the logs holding up the roof covering the platform.

In some years there was a pond between the depot and the arch.

The pond looks well manicured in this view.

Photographers tried to get creative shooting right above the pond.

Reflection of the arch in the pond.

Good early view of the front.
Words above the archway: "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people."

Good early view of the other side.
Sender of the card dated it June 24, 1905
About one year after dedication.

Love horses? Yes, we do too, and other critters as well, so we're linking up with Saturday's Critters.  Thanks to Eileen for hosting the link up.

"Wylie" Coaches entering the Park
Wylie Camping Co would take you for the full tour
including overnights in their camps.

Back of the above card.
Note: Knights of Columbus from San Francisco probably used
this card to enlist members to attend the "Pilgrimage"
to Yellowstone July 6 to 20, 1912 

The first automobile entered the Park in 1915.
This card does not reveal a publication date.

Maybe one of you can tell me ...
Which car is earlier, this one, or the one on the card above?

This card is called a "real photo" card because it is an individual
photograph with printing on the back for postal delivery.
Note the old car.
To read the entire story of the Arch, by Lee H. Whittlesey (Park Historian) and Paul Schullery, look here.
A rare photo showing a fence inside the gate.

Colorful but artistically modified.
Note Mother's comments.
The "other end" may be the South entrance
which connects to Teton National Park.

Unusual card showing guard house just inside the gate.
The guard house is no longer there and it existed only for
a short time.

A more modern postcard view.

A more modern "real photo" card.
(That is, if we can call 2nd half of last century "modern".)

Probably the "most recent" published card among all those
in this post.

Artistry at work.
Gustav Krollmann artist for this card and
the one below. He titled this card,
Gardiner Gateway to Yellowstone Park
(There are 6 Gateways)

Lots of "artistic license" in this view.

The rare aerial view. Yes, the arch is in there ...
near right edge about 1/3rd way up from bottom.

President Theodore Roosevelt standing on the partially
constructed arch for the dedication ceremony and laying of
the cornerstone on April 24, 1903.
(Not a postcard, but a stereoview. I haven't found a
postcard showing this scene, but it may exist.)

My photo of the arch from a trip several years ago.

Another of my photos -- a different trip.
This view is from inside the Arch looking toward
Shooting Star Mountain.

My photo of the Cornerstone

Sky Watch

The expected photos of our Seattle skies during the past couple of weeks. All photos taken from home looking out over Puget Sound to the west.

After overnight snow the Olympic peaks are covered in white.
February 22nd  7:20 AM

Sunset and a contrail.
February 19th  5:36 PM

Wide-ranging sunset.

Sunbeams in a stormy sky.
February 20th  4:51 PM

Glow in the distance.
February 22nd  5:37 PM
Those mountains are the southern portion of the Olympics.

February 25th  5:21 PM

A peak at the Full Sap Moon
March 1st  6:06 AM
Known as the "sap moon" because it marks the time when maple sap
begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.

Sun setting into the clouds
March 1st  5:38 PM
The length of day has increased over an hour
since Winter Solstice.
Sailboats, other boats and a ship ... today is an active day!
March 3rd  12:29 PM
Elliott Bay Marina in the lower part of the picture.
(Could have put this in Ship Watch below. The ship is
Matson's MANOA.)

May have saved the best sky for last.
Tonight's sunset was amazing.
Looking to the west ... Sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains
foothills in between and Eagle Harbor on the water.
March 3rd  6:01 PM
Lots more sky photos for your enjoyment at Skywatch Friday. Thanks to Yogi for hosting.

Ship Watch

The expected photos of ships coming and going here at the Port of Seattle. We like to watch and snap photos of some interesting sights. Photos are taken from home unless otherwise noted.

Note the neat stacks of containers.
February 21st  2:32 PM
COSCO Container Ship arriving.
West Seattle "Alki Beach" in the near background.
Vashon Island in the far distance.

Just putting things in perspective.
One container is pretty big all by itself!
Taken from my "dashcam" northbound on I-5

Departing Puget Sound on a bright morning.
Waterfront homes on Bainbridge Island reflect the morning sun.
March 1st  8:03 AM

March 2nd  11:35 AM
Golden Jake, Bulk Carrier
Per info on the web, the vessel is enroute to
Pyeongtaek, South Korea and ETA is March 18 8:00 PM LT
See next pic for 16 day voyage ...
Screen Capture from MarineTraffic.com
Voyage of Golden Jake Bulk Carrier
US SEA to KR PTK - 16 Days across the Pacific

Canadian military vessel arriving.
HMCS Calgary is a Halifax-class frigate.
March 2nd  5:45 PM
She visited us last year as well.
March 3rd ... Docked at Pier 90

The snow on the Olympics is maxed!
March 3rd  7:01 AM
The peaks in center - The Brothers alt. 6,842' (2085.4m)

A RoRo enroute to Tacoma.
March 3rd  9:38 AM
(RoRo = Roll on, Roll off. Vehicle transport.)

Calendar (Cont'd through March 24)

Now, if you sense there has been an error because the calendar below is for 1917 ... yes, we know that. Old calendars fascinate us, however, and especially so when the days from way back line up with the current ones. Enjoy the thoughts ... we've repeated them under each page in the caption. (We started sharing the Circling Year Calendar 1917 in our Monday, January 15, post.)

The Daily Duty

I have never had a policy.
I have simply tried to do what seemed best
each day as each day came. 

Crossing The Bar

Sunset and evening star,
         And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning
    of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving
       seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew
from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
And may there be no sad-
    ness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our
    bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island!