Thursday, September 29, 2016

September Snaps

As time rolls by we find ourselves confronted with the question: What are we going to put on the blog? Something from the postcard collection? Vintage travel memorabilia? Or, perhaps other things that interest us will provide some offerings. So, here's an assortment of images captured earlier this month ...

Our local icon, the Space Needle, with flag at half staff, evoked unsettling memories on September 11th ...
Space Needle on 9-11-2016 2:46 PM 
In the northern hemisphere bloggers are going to be posting lots of photos of the colorful changes in the trees as we move into the Fall season. We're no exception. Mid-month we noticed this tree, a Japanese Maple, leaves at the ends of the top branches turning red ... such a contrast with the blue, blue sky ...
Japanese Maple turning red
September 13th  2:10 PM
More recently, we snapped the pic below. Have you ever tried to capture that look of the sun shining through the colorful leaves? It isn't so easy, and we don't claim to have done it here. But maybe a little bit ...
September 21st  2:24 PM
Skies are a continuous fascination. Sometimes the haze, clouds, and sun combine to create dramatic views of the mountains ...
Olympic Mountains
September 10th  6:58 PM
Mostly clear sky, except for one patch of clouds, right after sunset ...
Clouds after sunset
September 20th  7:12 PM
Crescent moon dropping down in the sky shortly after sunset ...
Crescent Moon
September 4th  8:20 PM
West Seattle is about 2 miles away in this view from our deck ...
Alki Beach at dusk
West Seattle
September 4th  8:25
Sunsets! We can't resist them ...
Sunset over Elliott Bay Marina
September 21st  8:23 PM
We like the layers of mountains in this one ... waterfront, foot hills, Olympics in the distance ...
Clouds and Mountains at sunset
September 14th  7:49 PM
More recent sunsets. The sun is setting almost due west, these days, and sometimes creates a nice silhouette of mountain tops ...
Olympics at Sunset
September 25th  7:24 PM
The next evening, we were part of the one hundred million or so watching the debate on the 26th, and honestly, it was not hard at all to leave it behind and step out on the deck to snap a few sunset pictures. It changed a lot as time passed, but we liked the shot below where some clouds were just at the right height to make interesting reflections ...
Olympics at Sunset
September 26th  7:03 PM
The mountain peaks on the right side are the Two Brothers, in the Olympic Range ... we've featured them in previous posts ...
Olympics at Sunset
September 27th  7:08 PM
Below, night and day ... First, night: Not really "sharp" but this image does convey a bit of the feeling ... Full Harvest Moon, a couple hours before moonset, a nice moonlight glow on Puget Sound ...
Full Harvest Moon
September 16th  5:25 PM
And day: Clouds seem to confirm the changes as we move into Fall ...
Whispy clouds.
September 25th  12:50 PM
[Click on images for larger view.]
One last "sky" photo ... A singular cumulonimbus cloud way over the Sound to the south ... the surrounding sky was mostly clear, making this seem so unusual ...
September 21  7:04 PM
Our regular followers will know we simply can't resist snapping the flowers that catch our attention on our walks.
Black Eyed Susans
September 4th  1:35 PM
These things looked so colorful, but we didn't know exactly WHAT they were. So, we put this image into Google Images search field, hit the SEARCH button, and immediately discovered they are rose hips. Have you ever searched by image on Google?
Rose hips
September 6th  2:40 PM
Another flower we had to put into Google to ID. This time our photo yielded a long, long page of blue flowers but none looked exactly like ours. So, we tried using the "web" search, instead of "images", and put in "blue flower petals have 5 points" and bingo! Chicory and even the scientific name! We like it!
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
September 6th  2:59 PM
Had to throw this one in ... can you image a human trying to construct this web? That little spider does it with perfection.
Wide Web
September 10th  10:53 AM
We like to include a few maritime snaps for friends who enjoy them ...

With the shorter days of September, cruise ships, which usually arrive around 5:30 AM, have been arriving in the dark. In the photo below, you see a Washington State Ferry on the left and a cruise ship arriving on the right. The Ferry plies between Seattle and Bainbridge Island to the west, and is probably its first run of the morning. The cruise ship is the Norwegian Pearl ...
September 18th  5:36 PM

In the image below, the colors of the trees around the Marina signal Fall. Besides some pleasure craft, you see an Alaska Maritime tug and barge. The barges are usually loaded up with containers transporting goods to and from Seattle and Alaskan ports. We have to wonder what it's like to be in that tug for several days moving along at about 7 knots. Seven knots is about eight miles per hour.
September 22nd  12:13 PM
Close up of Holland America's Zaandam after it arrived at the Cruise Terminal. All of Holland America's ships' names end with "dam" ... we could explain it here but it would take a while. Google it if you are curious. :-)
September 26th  5:25 AM
 Sailboat out on the Sound in mid-afternoon ... millions of sparkles on the water ...

Curiosity frequently leads to grabbing the camera. Mid afternoon on the 27th we spotted the ship below heading northbound in the Sound. Pulled up and noted the identity as "U S Government Vessel".  Ok, well, which one? :-) Yes, we realize keeping the identity and location of military ships restricted might be important. However, recalling media accounts of an aircraft carrier arriving at Bremerton over a month ago, looked it up, and found this quote on Wiki: "The USS Stennis departed Bremerton at about 4:30 September 27, 2016, heading toward Seattle." So, there you go ... it's CVN 74, USS John C. Stennis, enroute somewhere ...  Now, keep in mind the ship is about 4 miles away from us ... looks small, doesn't it ... Overall length of deck: 1,092 feet (332.8 m) ... by the way, CV is the designation for all aircraft carriers, and the suffix N indicates that it is nuclear powered ...

Now, as for old postcards, here is one we almost forgot about ... We wanted to include it on the last day of summer ... well, it hasn't been that long ago, so here it is. Old fashioned sweetness. How do you like it?
"Last Day of Summer"
Copyright 1905
The Ullman Mfg. Co., N. Y.
Back of the unused card.
Lastly, something different (for John's Island, at least) ... You know, some folks like to travel all the time. We enjoy traveling once in a while, but we sure don't need it all the time. We recently found the little poem below and enjoyed it so much we thought we should share it with you!

Billy Collins, an American poet, former Poet Laureate of the United States, wrote this poem he calls Consolation.


How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,
wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hilltowns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every roadsign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.

There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon's
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.

How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyes camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?

Instead of slouching in a café ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.

And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car

as if it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hope you've had a fine September and we'll see you in October. Thanks for stopping by John's Island.


  1. Great seres of photos and like you the leaves are falling off and changeing color. Il oved the Sunset over Elliott Bay Marina most

  2. Well John,you have posted a set of winning pictures.As I scrolled through them,I kept thinking,this is the best one,but the next one was even better. Awesome scenes.WOW!!!

    1. Hi Ruth, Thank you for an exceptionally kind and encouraging comment.

  3. Well done, John. Beautiful, enchanting photography...:)

  4. So many beautiful pictures!! Can't even pick a favorite. Well done.

    1. I love it when someone says they can't pick a favorite! Thank you Happyone!

  5. john, you have no shortage of beauty to share! wow! the 3rd photo... several of the sunset ones... amazing!

    1. Hi Tex, Thank you so much for the kind words. I am blessed with my location for sunset shots.

  6. Your living room must face west. You get many awesome sunset photos.

    1. Hi Red, You are exactly correct. I'm lucky to have this mostly unobstructed view of the western horizon. Thank you for the kind words! By the way, I know you enjoy the maritime photos which encourages me to keep posting them. Also, for this particular post, I'm going to try to reply to all the comments like you do on your blog. Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

  7. A wonderful series of photos. It is lovely that you face west.

    1. Thank you Joyful for stopping by and for the kind words as well. Looking forward to the return of SNAP THAT! Have a fine weekend ahead!

  8. You have combined several posts into one here. I enjoyed everything, the sunsets and the ships and poetry. But now I'm excited to learn about Google Search! I didn't know about it before, so thanks, John! :-)

    1. Thank you DJan! You are right ... I started a draft about mid-month and then added to it as the days went by. In reflection, I think it would have been better to post more frequently, what do you think? I know you are familiar with Google Search so I believe you meant Google Image Search in your comment. Do give it a try and let me know how you like it. Have a fine weekend ahead!

  9. Hello John, beautiful collection of photos. The sky shots and the view of the mountains. Just gorgeous. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

    1. Hi Eileen, Thank you for the very kind words! Happy Friday to you too and have a great weekend!


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