Thursday, March 10, 2016

Carkeek / Eagles / Woodpecker / Solar Eclipse

A scene in Carkeek Park
Seattle, Washington
Part 1 - Visit to Seattle's Carkeek Park ...

One of the larger parks in the city of Seattle is Carkeek Park located north of downtown and right on the edge of Puget Sound. We visited the Park last week and have a few photos to share. First of all, we learned something new about Google Maps. If you will search for Carkeek Park and zoom in you will see something like the image below. Click on the Street View icon and drag it over near the shoreline and you will see a couple of small circles which represent Photo Spheres ... release the icon over one of the Spheres to see the panoramic views in the screen shots below. The specific location is where a pedestrial bridge goes over the railroad tracks for access to the beach area. Railfans like the location for getting pictures of trains.

Search Google Maps for Carkeek Park
Use the Street View icon to select a Photo Sphere.
(By the way ... Per Google, it is OK to share
Street View and Map images.)
Victor Agababov's Photo Sphere - Dec 2014
(Capture is the view looking South
from the pedestrian overpass)
Victor Agababov's Photo Sphere - Dec 2014
(Capture is the view looking North)
Our photo, taken last week, of the view from the bridge
over the rails looking North.
Our attention was drawn to this group of trees.
Closer inspection revealed two eagles enjoying the nice day.

As we were watching the eagles a BNSF freight
arrived from the north and pulled up to a stop just after
passing the bridge.

Minutes later one of the afternoon Sounder commuter
trains on its journey northbound to Everett passed the freight.
More nature from the Park ...

New growth coming out of old branches seems amazing.

Yes, the MOSS is amazing this year!
Guess why!

Trees are just about ready to leaf-out.
Cherry trees starting to bloom.
This Park has some great walks.

Last pic from the Park looking westward over Puget Sound
to the Olympic Mountains

Part 2 - A Woodpecker story ...

Imagine yourself sitting at home one day reading and suddenly hear some strange sounds. It's like a bird call followed by some serious tapping on something metal. It repeats over and over. Of course, we had to investigate what was happening at, what turns out to be, the house nextdoor. It's a woodpecker on the chimney cap. And, it's a two step process:  A serious few seconds of calling, and then a second or two of drilling down on the cap. We got out the recorder and captured the sound so you could actually HEAR how fun this is! Apparently, this is not so uncommon. We did some research on the web and found the picture we are using with our sound recording below. Have you experienced anything like this?

Part 3 - Solar Eclipse, March 2016 ...

One of the sciences we are interested in is Astronomy. We witnessed the total solar eclipse that passed over Washington State in 1979 and found it completely amazing. So, you won't be surprised that we were excited to hear that Alaska Airlines had slightly rerouted a flight from Anchorage to Hawaii so that the passengers could experience the eclipse this last Tuesday (March 8). We heard that a passenger on the plan recorded a video and so we looked around to see if we could find it online. Sure enough, thanks to Alaska Airlines, here it is! (By the way, before you watch ... The guy who recorded this was so overwhelmed that almost all he could say, over and over, was Oh My God. Well, it truly is a glorious thing, so maybe OK??? We're just sayin' ... definitely worth WATCHING!)

The whole story, on the Official Alaska Airlines blog, is here.

To read about the total solar eclipse in Washington state in 1979, look here.

How about it ... Have you ever seen a total solar eclipse?


  1. How pretty . . . I love springtime in Seattle :)

  2. Hello, the park sounds and looks wonderful. I love seeing the eagles. I can only imagine living with the sound of the woodie on the chimney cap. It is kind of funny listening to the woodie. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  3. Love it! But that little bridge...yikes!

  4. Love the shot of the mountains over the sound. Very cool.

  5. Some great shots here, John. Favorites are the two eagles and those gorgeous Olympics over the water. And yes, that eclipse definitely worth watching! About the woodpecker, I also heard the same thing twice on my way to the bus. Same woodpecker, busy tapping out his calling card. :-)

  6. a beautiful blue sky to show off blue waters.

  7. WOW!!! This is a truly informative post.I would love to visit a park like that and also watch the trains for a while,but that eclipse video is stunning.Yes,I have experienced a total eclipse,it might even have been the 1979 one.Very cool to watch.

  8. What a great photo of those eagles! Lucky you!

  9. Yes, I've seen woodpeckers cll and tap out a tattoo! Flickers also do a very beautiful dance like a minuet. Very few people see them but it's one thing I'll never forget.

  10. What a great park to walk in. I can picture myself there. : ) What a treat to spot the two eagles.
    Yes, to both questions. I have seen and heard woodpeckers tapping out their song and have seen a total eclipse.

  11. Thanks for this informative post, John, with many Nice pictures. Interesting the solar eclipse and so beautiful the Olympic Mountains image.
    Many greetings from Turin!

  12. Trains and eagles and spring...can't beat that! Have a wonderful day!

  13. So varied! I loved reading your post, John. You are a man with an eye for detail. That's a gift.

  14. What a wonderful outing, John! I love the fact that you zoomed in some eagles. I love to see eagles but seldom do. One has to go to specific places here to see them and I never get to those places. But I seem to have good luck when I get out to UBC which is on the waterfront.

    Thanks for the book recommendation earlier. I will try to remember to add it to my list which is growing ever longer, lol.


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