Tuesday, October 3, 2023


 Keep it or toss it?

I've got a stack of 45RPM records.
Remember these?
This one is a favorite. 😊

Back in the days, this is how it looked.
Maybe she is listening to 
The Wayward Wind
by Gogi Grant

It's hard to just toss these old records in the trash, and it's time consuming to try selling them online. The decision is even more complicated by knowing I can simply use a few clicks to listen on YouTube. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 29, 2023

Full Harvest Moon

 September 29 - Full Harvest Moon

Breaks in some thin clouds allowed this snap
of the Full Moon this morning about 6:30AM.

The Full Moon this morning was almost due west when
I snapped this photo, about an hour before moonset.
Moonlight is reflecting off Puget Sound. In the lower part
of the image is the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship which
arrived at Pier 91 moments earlier. The red beacon tops the
86 meter (282 foot) mast of the M5 Yacht

In the days before the Internet the Old Farmer's Almanac
provided moon watching info.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Power of Nature

 Cottonwood Tree Experiment

While John's Island has been on break, John continued the Cottonwood Tree Experiment started in our last post, June 21st

Here's the story of how a Western Cottonwood Tree grows ...

Handful of Western Cottonwood Tree Seeds

One tiny Cottonwood Tree seed

Seeds planted May 28th

Seedlings appear ... May 30th

About 3 weeks later ... June 22nd

July 3rd ... Already a couple thinned out
(36 days after planting)

About 2 weeks later ... ONE tree transplanted into
larger container ... July 18th
(51 days after planting)

August 13th ... 77 days after planting.

Today, September 26, 2023
after a nice refreshing rainfall
121 days after planting
(or almost 4 months)

Watching this experiment, I have been most impressed with realizing ALL the information needed, for nature to create the plant you see in the image above, is in that one tiny seed that was planted almost 4 months ago. That is the power of nature!

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Summer Solstice 2023

August 7, 2023 Update: John's Island is on break

Like the youngsters at Seattle's Broadview Thomson
Elementary school, I'm taking a summer break.
I happened to see the school's reader board and
its current message impressed me. To the Principal,
or whoever came up with this ... well done!

Hello everyone and welcome to John's Island. 

In this post ...

    ➤ Today is the longest day of the year

    ➤ A Cottonwood tree nature experiment

    ➤ Kilauea eruption

    ➤ 2 Months of change on waterfront walk

    ➤ Natural wonders

    ➤ Ship pics, just for fun

    ➤ Looking back 20 years ago

    ➤ Closing thought

Longest Day of the Year

Wed, Jun 21, 2023 7:57 AM

At 7:57AM, this morning in Seattle, Washington, USA, the moment of Solstice will occur. Today's sunlight is ... 15 hours, 54 minutes, 10 seconds ... the exact amount of time between sunrise and sunset in Seattle. Tomorrow will actually be 3 seconds shorter and everyday will continue to get shorter until the December Solstice.

The June solstice is the moment the Sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the northernmost latitude it reaches during the year. After the solstice, it begins moving south again.

Since the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun in June, it receives more sunlight during the course of a day. The North Pole's tilt toward the Sun is greatest at the solstice, so this event marks the longest day of the year north of the equator.

This effect is greatest in locations that are farther away from the equator. In tropical areas, the longest day is just a little longer than 12 hours; in the temperate zone, it is significantly longer; and places within the Arctic Circle experience Midnight Sun or polar day, when the Sun does not set at night.

Cottonwood Nature Experiment

Cottonwood trees are plentiful in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, out on a walk, cottonwood seeds floated around me almost looking like snow. This year the trees seemed to have an extra abundance of seeds and the scene, like a snow in June, piqued my curiosity. I wondered, of the millions of seeds, what percentage actually germinate and establish a new Cottonwood tree. I decided to try a Nature Experiment and see if I could get some trees started. Here are a few pictures telling the story ...  [PS I'll be the first to acknowledge that most humans find these trees annoying when the seeds begin to fall. However, for me, nature's amazing method of propagating the trees overcomes the annoyance.]

Cottonwood seeds floating away from the
the tree that produced them.

Lots of seeds on this tree.
Ready to drift away.

Each seed is attached to a bit of fuzz that looks
just like cotton. They drift slowly away from
the parent tree.

Seeds accumulate along walkways.

Seeds are produced in bunches on little stems.

A cottonwood leaf and a couple of seeds.

A handful of seeds.

One tiny seed.

2 days after planting the seeds
and keeping them watered.

7 days after planting the seeds.
Cottonwood trees on the way!

14 days after planting.
Be sure to see the large view.
Slow but on the way.

21 days after planting.
Note how the tiny leaves have already
started to get that jagged edge.

Here is the goal ... Get the seedlings up a couple of inches
and transplant them to a location riverside, where,
hopefully they will thrive.
[In this photo from the web, note how the tiny
seedlings look. I'm amazed at how many germinated!]

June 7th - Kilauea
Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupted
on June 7
[Screenshot from AccuWeather]

2 Months of Change on Waterfront Walk

Around April 1 the powers in control
buzzed away most of the vegetation at this
popular spot on the walk.

I am amazed at how fast the plants and grass
have come back. 

Natural Wonders

Mt Rainier as seen from the waterfront walk.
The mountain is about 50 miles away.
June 4, 2023

At an intersection near home.
Yes, another Natural Wonder, in my mind.
This is a busy street, but at the moment, I was
stopped at a traffic signal. I happened to notice
this little spot and what nature had done with it.
It's kind of like a message to humans ... throw it
at me and I'll clean it up. Thank you,

A few ship pics just for fun ...

I like this picture ... it's a nice view of scale ...
the average sailboat vs the MSC Container ship.

I like this picture ... it's something I see almost every
Sunday morning. A tug pulling a barge from Alaska.
I'm always curious about how a tug Captain decides
how long the tow will be to the barge. This one
is several hundred feet.

Busy weekend afternoon in the port of Seattle.
In front ... Discovery Princess
Next ... Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam
Next ... A bulk carrier at anchor, in process of refueling
Out in the middle of The Sound ... The Victoria Clipper
Near center ... mast of M5 ... see next picture. 

The M5 -- World's tallest single-masted sailing yacht!
This is the 2nd year the M5 has visited Seattle.
See YouTube video below for details.
[Not my video but I really like it. 😊 ]

20 Years Ago

I've kept most of my digital photos since 2001, a decade before starting John's Island. So, I've decided to go back and pick out some memories to share over the next few posts. The following four pics are all from 20 years ago, 2003 ...

Seattle skyline from Kerry Park
February, 2003

Enjoyed a stay in Hawaii
March, 2003

Visited Yellowstone National Park
and snapped this photo of 
Great Falls of the Yellowstone
July, 2003

Discovered a Rattlesnake while in Montana
July, 2003
[Added this pic for my ticket to link up
with Saturday's Critters. Check it out!]

Closing Thought ...

     “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
            Wayne W. Dyer

Weather Update
Sunday - June 25 2023
Ten Hottest Cities (500K+) Today

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Yellowstone the Wylie Way

Hello everyone and welcome to John's Island. In this post ...

1. See what it was like to tour Yellowstone National Park by stagecoach in the early 1900s ... The Wylie Way.

2. The story of my Mountain Bluebird nest box in 2007.

3. Put Yellowstone on your phone. 

4. Talk about a Talking Dog.

[Click on images for a larger, better view]

 Touring Yellowstone the Wylie Way Postcard Set

[Early 1900s]

I'm at a loss to explain all the speckles.
Just guessing ...
Printing in the early 1900s had some issues. ☺

Critter lovers ... don't miss Saturday's Critters!

The back cover.

It all folds up.

About the Wylie Way

The Wylie Way refers to the approach to tourism and hospitality in Yellowstone National Park developed by the Wylie family, who were early pioneers in the park's tourism industry.

In the early 20th century (prior to 1916), the Wylie family built a series of tent camps throughout Yellowstone, which offered a unique and immersive way to experience the Park's natural beauty. These tent camps were located in some of the most picturesque areas of the Park, and were designed to provide visitors with a comfortable, but rustic experience in the wilderness.

Guests at the Wylie tent camps would stay in canvas tents furnished with comfortable beds, linens, and even electric lights. The camps had communal dining halls, where guests would gather for meals prepared by Wylie's chefs, using locally sourced ingredients. Each camp also had guides who would lead visitors on hikes and other outdoor activities, providing a wealth of knowledge about the Park's flora, fauna, and geology.

The Wylie Way was a departure from the more traditional approach to tourism in Yellowstone, which had largely been centered around hotels and stagecoach tours. The Wylie's tent camps provided a more intimate and immersive experience in the Park's wilderness, and helped to establish the idea of ecotourism long before the term was even coined.

Today, the Wylie family's legacy lives on in Yellowstone, where their camps have been replaced by more permanent lodges and cabins, but the emphasis on connecting visitors with the Park's natural beauty remains as strong as ever.

Ready to tour the Wylie Way
Yellowstone National Park
(Prior to 1916 when autos were first
allowed into the Park.)

Wylie Way brochure
for Season 1915

Mountain Bluebird Story

All of these captures are from 2007 and were snapped in the Madison Valley of Montana. The nest box went up early summer with hopes that a nest would be built. A pair of Mountain Bluebirds chose the nest box in very early June and eggs were visible by mid-month. Four eggs were laid, but only 3 hatched and they fledged in July.

4 eggs in the nest

Mom at work

3 Baby Bluebirds and one egg that didn't hatch

Hungry birds

When the door is opened they expect food!
It takes several days for eyes to open.

Dad at work -
As Mountain Bluebirds go, the male is
the really blue one.

Dad and Mom feed the little ones

Mom at work

They are so hungry! They grow fast!

Getting big enough to be shy!

Hard to hide in there!

Thinking about flying.

It won't be long now.

Put Yellowstone on your Phone

If you are a Yellowstone National Park fan you might like to have the Park on your phone's lock screen. In May, 2018, during a visit to the Park, I snapped a photo of the Great Falls of the Yellowstone and it turned out pretty well. See photo below. Just a touch of rainbow effect in the spray at the bottom of the Falls. A bit of snow still on the ground from winter.

While recently reviewing my archive of photos I decided to use that photo on my phone so the lock screen appears as in the next photo.

If you would like to use my photo on your phone that will be fine with me. Click on the Great Falls photo to get the large view and then download it to your computer. You can then add the photo to the photos on your phone. Need all the steps to put the photo on lock screen?  Of course ... these are the steps for iPhone ... probably similar for other types of smartphones.

To set an image from your Photos as the lock screen image on your iPhone, follow these steps:

1. Open the "Photos" app on your iPhone.

2. Browse through your photo albums or use the "Search" feature to locate the image you want to set as the lock screen image.

3. Once you've found the desired image, tap on it to open it in full view.

4. Tap the share button, which is represented by a square with an upward arrow. It is usually located at the bottom-left or bottom-right corner of the screen.

5. In the share sheet that appears, scroll through the available options and locate "Use as Wallpaper." It may be necessary to swipe left on the bottom row of icons to reveal more options.

6. Tap on "Use as Wallpaper." The selected image will now be displayed with editing options.

7. Adjust the image as desired by using pinch-to-zoom or dragging it to reposition it. You can also choose between "Still," "Perspective," or "Live Photo" to set the image type.

8. Once you're satisfied with the image placement and type, tap on the "Set" button, which is usually located in the bottom-right corner.

9. Choose whether you want to set the image as the lock screen, home screen, or both. Select "Set Lock Screen" to set it as the lock screen image.

10. Your iPhone will confirm the change by displaying a preview of the lock screen. If you're content with the selection, tap on "Set" to apply the image as your lock screen.

That's it! The image from your Photos will now be set as the lock screen image on your iPhone.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Talk about a Talking Dog

A guy is driving around the backwoods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog For Sale' He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.


The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador Retriever sitting there.


“You talk?” he asks.


“Yep,” the Lab replies.


After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says “So, what's your story?”


The Lab looks up and says, “Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.


“I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.


“I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.”


The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.


“Ten dollars,” the guy says.


“Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?”


“Because he's a liar. He never did any of that stuff.”


  Keep it or toss it? I've got a stack of 45RPM records. Remember these? This one is a favorite. 😊 Back in the days, this is how it loo...