Friday, August 13, 2021

Hummingbird Joy

It's been a little over a year now since I placed two hummingbird feeders on my deck. My experience allows me to confirm this:  If you will keep your feeders clean, and keep the sugar-water fresh, you will, as time goes by, see more and more hummers visiting you.

When I first started watching hummers, and read a little about them, I
would have said this was a female Anna's. However, I now know it
is a male. Look at the same bird in the next photo.

I honestly do not know if the bird can change its looks by
moving the feathers around its neck OR if the different
look is caused solely by the way the light is striking the feathers OR
a combination of the two.

Either way, the brilliant red feathers are exclusive to the male
in the Anna's species.

This little bird looks sweet.
But he does not like sharing his food source.

He may wait, here on a nearby tree branch for several minutes
watching for other hummers to visit the feeders. When others
arrive he chases them away.

The same hummer does not do this all day long. I am now able to
distinguish different birds by their size, whether they are male or
female, and other small details.

After a "while" the little bird will disappear and another
hummingbird will take over the job.

Hummingbird Joy

Ship Snaps 

The Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam completed its first
post-pandemic cruise, round trip, Seattle to Alaska. In this photo
she is arriving back in Seattle on Saturday, July 31 about 6AM.

Later, in the afternoon, the Nieuw Amsterdam departed
again for Alaska. You can see a crowd of cruisers on the aft
deck, but otherwise, I did not think she looked to be
at full capacity.

During the Nieuw Amsterdam's second cruise of the season to Alaska a tragic event occurred. During a float plane tour of Misty Fjords National Monument, near Ketchikan, the de Haviland Beaver plane crashed killing all aboard ... the pilot and 5 passengers from the cruise ship. The next photo appeared in the media on Thursday, August 5.

In the event you can't read the caption (too small) here it is ...  The Holland America Line cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam is docked on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, at Berth 4 in Ketchikan, Alaska. Holland America confirmed Thursday that five passengers from the Nieuw Amsterdam were aboard a float plane that crashed Thursday morning during a tour of the Misty Fjords National Monument. There were no survivors, according to the U. S. Coast Guard. The de Haviland Beaver aircraft was owned by Southeast Aviation LLC. (Dustin Satranek/Ketchikan Daily News via AP).

On August 7, the Nieuw Amsterdam arrived back in Seattle. The photo below shows the ship docked at Pier 91. Out of respect for the situation the crew did not fly the celebration flags above the ship as cruise ships normally do when in port.

Thomas G Thompson, Research Vessel, getting 
refueled at Pier 90. The ship is associated with the
University of Washington, thus the big W on the bow.

I snapped this picture because this ship looks so unusual.
Yes, she is a RORO, roll-on, roll-off, vehicle carrier.
The other thing that amused me was the name ...

Delhi Highway
Is that perfect for a vehicle carrier or what?

One day recently I sat down on the steps along the walk.
(See photo of steps below)
While sitting there I happened to notice this big container
ship at anchor in the harbor.
She is the Westwood Columbia
By the way, why do we call ships "she"?

A few moments latter the anchor was pulled and a tug
arrived to push the Westwood Columbia to one of the
Terminals for unloading. Ships have been waiting
for days at a time. The Terminals are overwhelmed
as the shipping industry tries to overcome the
delayed effects of the pandemic.

Early morning August 3rd.
Getting ready to head down to the waterfront for a walk
when I spotted the Ovation of the Seas turning into the harbor.
Snapped this photo from home.

By the time I'm starting my walk the Ovation is
approaching Pier 91.

She will dock and stay overnight.

Steps along the waterfront walk.
These were constructed when Expedia Group purchased
this property from the City and agreed to upgrade the area.

After watching arrival of Ovation of the Seas
I decided to spend a few moments at the steps.
I am not one for selfies.

However, I was enjoying the sit so much, I thought ... why not?

A few have discovered this park as a peaceful place.

Critter Snaps

The bunnies have been a delight all summer.

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron atop a pier ... one second
before flying away.

Friday, the 13th, would be the day.
Surprised, at the start of my walk, to see another
walker taking a photo of a tree. What's up, I asked.
A family of raccoons!

I asked Google ... Are raccoons aggresive? Answer:  It isn't uncommon for a healthy raccoon to be active in the daytime, but it's highly unusual for a raccoon to be aggressive toward a person. A female may boldly defend her young, arching her back and growling or giving a loud “whoof,” and perhaps lunging at a person she deems threatening.

For those of you who enjoy critter photos like I do, take a look over at Saturday's Critters. Eileen has posted some excellent photos she took around Kiwanis Lake in York, Pennsylvania. And, you can check out other blogs that link up with her.

Sky Snaps

Sunrise from the waterfront, August 10th.
Wildfire smoke creates an orange tint.

Late evening from home, August 12th.
The view is looking west to the Olympic Mountains.
A RoRo is headed southbound in Puget Sound.

Late evening from home, August 12th.
The view is looking northwest a few minutes after sunset.

Blazing reflection of the sun just after sunrise,
snaped at the waterfront trail, August 13th.

Mount Rainier on a pretty morning.
This view is from the waterfront walk.

Several benches like this one are along the walk.
In this scene the view is looking southwest out over Elliott Bay

Just before sunrise, August 2nd
This photo led me
to the Closing Thought for this post.

Closing Thought ...
There is no light without shadow, just as there is no happiness without pain.
     Isabel Allende


  1. Hello John,
    It is fun watching the hummingbirds, The male Anna's Hummingbird is gorgeous showing off his pretty jewels around the head and neck. I have seen the hummingbirds being very protective of their feeder, chasing off other birds that come close. I heard about the plane crash with the cruise passengers, that was very sad. Great captures of the ships in the harbor. I love the cute bunny, GB Heron and the raccoon family. Great selfie and views, the sky shots are lovely. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  2. Some nice observations about the hummingbird's behavior, nice pictures too. Many interesting photos in this post. I liked the ships, the bunny and the sky shots.

    My latest post:

  3. i cannot thank you enough for this dear John !

    my heart prayed for you while looking at these most beautiful pictures !

    close ups of hummers are breathtakingly awesome ,you have really mighty lens to capture such fine photos indeed ,i felt like i can touch the beauties oh my!!!!!!!!!!

    hubby used to say that males are prettier than females among all except humans :) seems so true i can see they are .
    how great that cruising has also began ,it's nice to get back into our normal living .
    huge heron shot is splendid!
    loved the sky shots specially the last one is captivating!
    more blessings to you and loved ones!

  4. Hi JOHN,
    Super Post this time around- great photos of the Hummers, Ships and other Wildlife. Hope your well there in Seattle. We are in Total Lockdown here in our state of New South Wales- so far it has been eight weeks and lucky I've a Hobby to keep me entertained and busy. Stay well. Cheers. KEV.

  5. I love all your hummer shots, and thanks for the ship pictures as well. You do such a good job with these. I just watched Episode 9 (or was it 8?) from the Alone series. It was just released yesterday.

  6. The hummer photos are beautiful. We only have the Ruby-throated ones here so I always enjoy your hummer photos.

    The cruise ship passengers dying in the plane crash is such a tragedy but I understand the chances people take when they go on such excursions. We have always enjoyed such experiences but I am always cognizant of the chance we take. I will try things but not without trepidation.

    The vessels you see in Seattle fascinate me. At this point in the pandemic, traffic is moving and I hope it continues.

    I’d like to have a seat on that bench and take in that scenery.

  7. I like your selfie! You did a great job and I might try that sometime...I don't like looking straight into the camera! lol Love those hummers and how neat to see the raccoons. I always love the ships and would definitely love to sit there on that bench and watch them!

  8. John,

    You asked me about the controversy over the Confederation Bridge when it was built in the 90s. We weren’t living here at the time but we knew of the issues people had with the bridge.

    It was a good thing for sure. To have an island just 13 kilometres from the mainland and not have a link would have kept the island from progressing as it has. An easier transportation link has made it easier for the movement of goods and people, less affected by the weather, though the bridge is closed to high sided traffic on occasion.

    Anyone who enjoys the nostalgia of the ferry can have that experience for half the year too. I wish my island home of Newfoundland had such a link.

    I wonder how the people who were against the bridge feel about it now.

  9. You cover a lot of territory in this one post...all your favorite topics. I see one hummingbird a year on about Aug 20. You must be an early bird as you get sunrise photos and ships that come in the early morning. Enjoy your day.

  10. What a fascinating post! I’m happy I don’t have to pick a favorite, as that would be impossible. I love Hummingbirds, ships, of course the mountain and sky shots. Great selfie as well. Oh and that last picture, is just so beautiful and a perfect quote. Keep on posting those amazing shots.

  11. Beautiful round up of the week. Love to have humming birds but the climate would not suit them nor the predators we have around here

  12. Great hummer shots and interesting about the color changes.
    So many beautiful shots, just can't pick a favorite.
    We see a raccoon out back every so often. Usually in the morning coming back home. He takes the same route.

  13. Quite a lot to take in with this post. Amazing how your hummingbird knowledge is growing and growing. I happened to see one this morning drinking from the clematis on my back deck. Lucky timing. We all live on borrowed time, so all the more reason to enjoy the life we have. You seem to approach life with open arms. I like that.

  14. I have never seen a hummingbird live. Nice to see in the photos

  15. Hello John
    What a lovely post full of good things to see, including your selfie, I like it :)

    So nice to see the hummingbirds and isn't the bunny cute.
    We had a couple of squirrels in our garden earlier today and it was fun watching them.

    Enjoy the week ahead.

    All the best Jan (and Eddie)

  16. Hi John. Your photos and words are a delight every time I visit. Our hummingbird feeder is well used. What a tragedy about the plane crash in Ketchikan.

  17. Hi John! Great selfie!!! I could do lots of thinking on that bench. The photos of the sky are beautiful and the raccoons!!! We had a little family visiting our backyard in the middle of the night, but they went after the bird feeders! We left lights on back there and they never came back. I LOVE your photos of the hummingbirds! So far we don't have more than 3 and two of them look so young, I guess we must have had a nest nearby! :)


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