Monday, October 12, 2020

Hummingbirds - Skies - The Green Flash - Ships


This past summer was the first time I've put up feeders for the little hummingbirds. Their behavior is so fascinating. Getting good photos of hummingbirds is a little bit challenging.

The sunlight must hit the feathers just right to cause the red-headed look.

After feeding - resting for a while.

Is it a he or a she? says this: Identifying male and female genders can be tricky. Hummingbirds as a species have distinct identifiable differences. The most distinguishable coloring between males and females is their plumage or collective layers and composition of displayed feathers. Male hummingbirds tend to be brightly colored to draw the attention of female partners. Female hummingbirds are duller or less vibrant by comparison allowing them to camouflage into their surroundings and be less visible to predators.

Snapped late in the afternoon.

This bird likes to perch on a cedar tree about 6 feet from one of
the feeders. He/she will keep an eye on the feeder and
will go after any competitors to chase them away.


We've had some smoke, to say the least. Here are a few pics, all taken from home, over the last couple of months. It hasn't been all bad. Quite a few beautiful days.

If you are thinking John posts too many pictures of sunsets, then I hear you. Just remember that what I post on here is what I like to see and recall. I love sunsets.

In the shot below, smoke, clouds, and the mountains all worked together to make a dramatic scene at sunset on October 7th. The mountains in the view are the Olympics, west of Seattle.

Another dramatic sunset the next evening, October 8th. And, in the two photos below, which are mostly "zoomed-out" you'll see, in the lower portion, Elliott Bay Marina, which is home to hundreds of sailboats and a few yachts.

At Last -- The Green Flash

For years I have been trying to catch the Green Flash at sunset. Most folks have never heard of it. I finally captured it on October 6th at 6:26 PM. See it in the photo below, then in an enlargement. Explanation below that from Google.

Ships and Boats

I've had plenty of time to watch ships come and go here in Seattle. The big difference this year ... no cruise ships. Let's start with a fairly unusual capture of a sailboat, close in, at full sail. I see sailboats all the time but it is unusual to see one at full sail so close in. The smaller boat is motoring toward the Marina. 

I'm not going to include the date, time, and names of all the vessels below, but all photos were taken from home in the last couple of months. I enjoy spotting and IDing all kinds of the big ships of the maritime industry.

Most of my ship pics are looking to the west with Bainbridge
Island in the background. However, this view is to the south
with West Seattle, Vashon Island, and, most distant, the
west side of Colvos Passage. The ship is headed
northbound into Puget Sound.

Early morning, the sun rising in the east, bright 
reflections from a yacht moored in the Marina.

Below are a couple of unusual sightings. During some fairly dense fog, especially at sea level, the bulk carrier below is being guided into berth at the Grain Terminal. Look closely and you can see a couple of the ship's officers on the bridge extension. I'm sure this docking was a challenge. What you can't see in the photo, and was difficult even to make out with binoculars, is that there were two tugs guiding the ship super slowly on its starboard side.

On a slightly hazy/smoky afternoon I happened to look out and see this giant crane assembly being towed northbound in Puget Sound. Hard to say exactly but I would guess this is about 300 feet from water level to top. It's about 3 miles from the crane to my deck. I wondered where this was going to go. 

The last image is not mine but a screen shot of one I saw online. At first glance it looks like 6 humans are trying to pull in a giant container ship. Reality is they are just trying to get a third docking line on to that post on the pier that already is holding two lines.

Closing thought:  Happy Thanksgiving to all
 my friends/followers in Canada!


  1. John, you can never post too many sunset pictures. I too, am a lover of sunsets. Great set of pictures today.thanks for all your kind comments on my blog.

  2. There’s so much to enjoy in this post, the ships and sailboats, the green flash-which I will look for now, the sunsets and the hummers.

    Beautiful photos! Great post.

  3. So many terrific pictures!!
    The hummers are fun to watch and I think you did great getting the pictures that you did.
    Nice to see you posting!

  4. We'll have a good Thanksgiving. As always great sunsets.

  5. Hello, John
    You captured the Hummingbirds beautifully! They are such cute little birds, I am always amazed when I see them. I would never be tired of seeing the sunsets, such lovely views and beautiful photos.. Congrats on capturing the Green Flash, we were told one time to look for it during a trip to the Caribbean. The sailboats are beautiful, great photos of all the ships. Take care, enjoy your day! have a great week ahead.

  6. What a fun post! I love all your hummer pictures, sunset shots, and all kinds of watercraft seen from your perch. It's always a delight to see your "face" here in the blogosphere. :-)

  7. Hi John- Good to hear from you again. As always beautiful photos from you at Seattle. When we had our bush fires here (2019-20) we had many days of smoke filled air - although the fires were far away from us here at Bradbury- great to have clear air again. Regards. KEV. (Sydney-Australia).

  8. Love those hummers and your beautiful skies!!!

  9. Beautiful photos John, thanks for sharing. Of course the sailboat with it's billowing sails made my heart skip a little beat. Steve and I both hold a place in our hearts for sailing. I hope to sail again one day, but I know it will be hard without him. Holding on to the best of memories and I have many . . . in that I am truly blessed.
    Have a wonderful week and God bless you dear friend.
    Connie :)

  10. Hello John,
    Lovely to see this post.
    I did enjoy all of your photographs.
    Well done on your hummingbird captures and wonderful skies too.
    A pleasure from start to finish.

    Stay safe and well.

    All the best Jan

  11. John, I love those bird photos. We haven't them in The netherlands. They are so cute to see. Thanks for sharing.

  12. John, I was delighted to see your amazing hummingbird photos! hummingbirds are wonderful to watch. It made my day to see your posts and pictures, a needed break from the news.


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