Sunday, July 30, 2017

Wildflowers - YNP - Lunch with Mom - Maritime - Postcards - SkyWatch

Over 100 Years Ago

Wildflowers of the Canadian Rockies
Published by the Soo Line Railroad
ca 1910 to 1915
This Wildflowers of the Canadian Rockies brochure, in our collection, was published by the Soo Line Railroad sometime around 1910. The scans below show the look of the interior.

The brochure is illustrated and includes descriptions.

Ever heard of Wild Parsley?

80 Years Ago

A photo from our Yellowstone collection ... In the summer of 1937, President and Mrs. Roosevelt toured Yellowstone National Park. Probably an early visit as there is still plenty of snow roadside and coats are in use.

55 Years Ago

This month, 55 years ago, I enjoyed lunch with mom at the Space Needle. A photographer snapped our picture and mailed us the print in the little folder shown just above. So happy to have kept this little bit of memorabilia!

Maritime Update

Recent ...
Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas
arriving Seattle, July 28, 5:15 AM
Explorer of the Seas is one of the largest
cruise ships visiting Seattle this summer.
In the Future ...

A short video from YouTube for friends who enjoy the maritime world ...

The world's first autonomous, zero emission container ship
from KONGSBERG Gruppen -YouTube

A New Shipping Record ...

The photo above was taken for the Associated Press by David Goldman from the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica and appears in the Washington Post (July 29, 2017). After 24 days at sea and a journey spanning more than 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles), the icebreaker has set a new record for the earliest transit of the fabled Northwest Passage. According to the article, "The once-forbidding route through the Arctic, linking the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, has been opening up sooner and for a longer period each summer due to climate change. Sea ice that foiled famous explorers and blocked the passage to all but the hardiest ships has slowly been melting away in one of the most visible effects of man-made global warming." Read the full article here.

John's Opinion:  Climate change is not a fraud nor is it "fake news." Those who are skeptical usually think governments over-regulate emissions which harm the atmosphere. Further, they believe regulations limit their ability to generate business profits. Sadly, they figure their freedom to pollute the environment is more important than protecting the atmosphere that keeps them alive.


Seattle sunset, July 26th, 8:39 PM
Looking past Magnolia ridge toward the Olympic Mountains
in the distance.
Thanks to Yogi♪♪♪ for hosting Skywatch Friday!

A Postcard for the Weekend
This week's theme:  Anything you wish

From our postcard collection ...

Observation Car on line of D and R G Ry

Back of the unused card
One cent domestic postage!

Thanks to Maria for hosting Postcards for the Weekend where bloggers share some of their collection of postcards according to themes that change each week. For this week's theme, "Anything you wish," we selected one of our railroad history favorites. Probably from 1930s or so, this card shows an open-air observation car coupled to a passenger train about to roll through a scenic area in Colorado. Isn't this a great way to see the scenery?

Closing thought ...
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. 
     Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

SS Pacific Tracker and MORE

Imagine looking outside and seeing the unusual vessel below. What kind of ship is that? Fortunately, we found it on ... it's the SS Pacific Tracker, identified on VT as a "Research Vessel." Further investigation revealed it to be a government vessel primarily used as a part of the Missile Defense System. Very limited information seems to be available. The best source we could find is here.

SS Pacific Tracker
Departing Puget Sound
July 21, 2017  10 AM

Zooming in on the Pacific Tracker
The vessel is a part of the Missile Defense System

Couldn't see the name of the ship in the binoculars.
My only way to ID was

COSCO Oceania
July 19th  11:25 AM
Out beyond Elliott Bay Marina

Tug and Barge probably headed to Alaska
Unusual load: Containers (half the barge) and rebar (reinforcement steel)
Rebar is HEAVY. Not much on the barge.
Spotted July 19th  10:23 AM

A Postcard for the Weekend
This week's theme: Bridges
From our Postcard Collection ...

Thanks to Maria for hosting Postcards for the Weekend where bloggers share some of their collection of postcards according to themes that change each week. For this week's theme, Bridges, we selected a card that, in one view, shows both the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Also shown is Treasure Island, location of the World's Fair in 1939 called the Golden Gate International Exposition.


Clouds at Sunset
July 22nd  8:36 PM

About 15 minutes before sunset on July 22nd.
The sun was behind clouds and just above Two Brothers Mountain in the 
Olympic Mountains. The effect was almost like a halo. 
Linking up and sending thanks to Yogi♪♪♪ for hosting Sky Watch Friday!

From our Yellowstone Collection -- The Prang

In the mid-1800s the American West was still being explored. A few early explorers were returning to their homes in the East with stories of an area full of hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, a big lake, rivers, and an amazing canyon. Many people found the stories unbelievable. In 1871 the Secretary of the Interior authorized an expedition to see if the stories were true. Leading the Expedition was F. V. Hayden, the person in charge of the U S Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. Hayden took with him a large group of experts including a photographer and an artist. After the completion of the Expedition, Hayden returned to Washington DC with the photographs and art work and presented it all to the US Congress with a suggestion to reserve the area for the purpose of "the setting apart of this wonderland as a great National Park for all time." Congress liked what they saw and passed an Act to create Yellowstone National Park. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Act on March 1, 1872, creating the first National Park. Hayden published, in 1872, his report to Congress in the American Journal of Science and Arts, in an article titled The Hot Springs and Geysers of the Yellowstone and Firehole Rivers. A few years later, in 1876, in an effort to educate the public on the new Park, F. V. Hayden published a book with the same artwork and descriptions he had used with Congress. This book was one of the first published describing the Park and it has become one of the most desired items for a collection of early Yellowstone memorabilia. It is known, amongst collectors, as "the Prang" coming from the name of the company that published the book, L. Prang and Company of Boston. The inside front page is shown below ...

Title Page
The Yellowstone National Park, and the
Mountain Regions of Portions of Idaho,
Nevada, Colorado, and Utah
Published by L Prang and Company
Boston, 1876

A map produced for the book showing the location
of Yellowstone Park and the places the artwork

Typical Illustration
Artwork of Thomas Moran
The Prang Company used cutting edge chromolithography
for this publication in 1876. 
Example of the description of features written by F V Hayden
This is a portion of the Yellowstone Lake description.

In the world of printing, this 1876 publication by the Prang Company holds a special spot of recognition for the high quality (color) chromolithographs of Thomas Moran's artwork. A genuine Prang may go at auction for somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million dollars or more. Fortunately, the Thomas Gilcrease Museum Association, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, published, in 1997, a reproduction of the Prang and we are lucky to have one of those reproduction copies.

Closing Thought ...

While randomly viewing blogs we found the following bit of philosophy quoted on the front page of a blog but without any attribution, so we're unsure who created it. Although it appears created for all of human kind, it seems particularly applicable to our current state of affairs in America.

Billions of Versions of Normal

There are billions of people and a version of normal to go along with each one of them. No two versions are exactly the same. There will be hundreds of thousands of little things that make up your version of normal. With any luck you can find people that have close to the same idea of what normal is that you do. These are your friends. Anyone else you try to tolerate as best you can.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Big Eagle and MORE

A really BIG EAGLE ...

[Click on any image to enlarge]
The Big Eagle is a charter yacht we spotted anchored out beyond the Elliott Bay Marina. This charter yacht has its own website.

For a closer look we went to a place known as Magnolia Bluff for the shot just above and below.

The "little boat" (in above pic) is sometimes called a "landing craft."  :-)

Question:  How to know the difference between a boat and a ship?
Answer:  You can put a boat on a ship. You cannot put a ship on a boat.

Sky Watch -- Thunder Moon

Almost Full Thunder Moon setting this morning, July 8  5:05 AM
Looking westward across Puget Sound, Washington
Linking up with Skywatch -- Thanks to Yogi♪♪♪ for hosting! And, you can read all about the Thunder Moon at

Summer Shots

First 2017 look - Volunteer Park Dahlia Garden

We've reported on the Volunteer Park Dahlia Garden for several years now. Here are a few shots of the first blooms in the garden. We snapped these pics on July 4th. Only a very few plants have bloomed. The garden is maintained by the Puget Sound Dahlia Association.

As you can see in the overview below, most of the plants have not bloomed yet. Dahlias are a fairly late blooming plant. We will give you another look toward the end of the summer! When this garden is in full bloom it is simply amazing!

Captured the Map Maker!

We might finally be getting a selfie the "long-way-around." On Wednesday we spotted the Google Maps Street View camera moving through our neighborhood. Happily, had the camera handy and snapped a photo! Now, when we look at this intersection in a few weeks, after Google updates Street View images, maybe we will be in the picture.  : - )

More cars, ships, and trains ...

Holland America's Eurodam arriving Seattle in
the predawn light July 8th  5:00 AM

The pic above reminded us of an old friend who collects old cars. This is a neat hobby but you need a lot of space and a lot of $$$$$ to do it right. Collectors keep the economy going! We snapped the photo on July 6, in our neighborhood.

Oil Train

We want to get a good video of the controversial "oil train" rolling though Seattle. On July 2nd, the train above was "parked" in the Interbay Yard down below our neighborhood. There are over 100 tank cars in this train ... as far as we could see down the track! The video is still on the "to do" list.

Coming soon on John's Island ...

One of the first books ever published on Yellowstone National Park.

Closing thought ...
One of our favorite blogs, Ruth's Photo Blog, recently published a closing thought we think well worth repeating. Thank you Ruth!
     Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

World Arrives in Seattle

The WORLD has arrived in Seattle!

The World, an enormous private cruise ship with 165 luxury homes on board arrived in Seattle this morning. Link to a local news article.  When it comes to ship spotting, this one is most unusual! In our photo above note that one of the ship's tenders is about to be lowered so that passengers can tender into port. Our regular cruise ship terminals are busy today with other cruise ships ... the Norwegian Pearl at Pier 66, Emerald Princess and Holland America Oosterdam at Pier 91.

The World's Website

Happy Canada Day 2017!

Canada celebrated her birthday yesterday, Saturday, July 1. Here are a couple of Canadian ships seen around Seattle over the last few weeks ...

More Maritime Sightings

Photo from the Web of OOCL's largest ship so far!

Sky Watch

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Happy Birthday USA

Happy Birthday USA Happy holiday to all in America. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day. Comments will return on the next post. Credit to...