Thursday, July 4, 2024

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 ChatGPT for the image!


Thursday, June 20, 2024

Taking Off


Summer is "taking off" today just like this
Great Blue Heron I recently spotted on
one of my waterfront walks.

As I'm preparing this post, I have just a couple of hours until the Official beginning of Summer, also known as the Summer Solstice.  Maximum daylight in the Northern Hemisphere and minimum daylight in the Southern Hemisphere. After today, the days will get shorter every day until the Winter Solstice in December.

Get info about Solstice

The Great Blue Heron just before take off.

Have you ever had this happen ... While working on some storage, taking pictures of boxes, and stuff in them, I had my camera set to capture the smallest size image since I didn't need a lot of detail. Then, I FORGOT to reset the camera for high quality images while on my walk. That's what happened with the Heron photos. So, sorry the quality isn't great, but I like those pics enough to share them anyway. 😊

More Birds

Taken through my kitchen window, I believe this is an
American Bushtit. He/she was sitting in a bush (naturally enough)
and kept chattering to me while I was trying to cook up dinner.
Finally, I grabbed the camera and snapped a photo.
She/he seemed happy about that.

Mr and Mrs Mallard seen down at the waterfront.

Count 'em ... 6
Males and Females side by side.
Mallards in resting mode.

Check out Saturday's Critters


One day I was leaving home for an errand when I happened to look
just along the driveway and spotted the pretty plant on the left.
I thought to myself, wow, nature is so amazing producing that
pretty little plant between a concrete wall and a concrete 
driveway. I guess nature was listening ... A few days later 
I looked at the same spot and nature had added some
pretty yellow blooms. Nature is amazing!

Totem pole honoring the American Natives
who lived here by the Seattle waterfront
before it was even a city. A pretty morning

Yesterday (June 19th) while out in the neighborhood,
I happened to notice this "round-about" and thought,
wow, what a nice job someone did planting the
flowers. Someone deserves a high-five for this!

If you live in Seattle, I hope you enjoy clouds.
I do love them and on this day just had to snap
a picture. Clouds over Puget Sound.
June 16, 2024

Marine Activity

Spotted on my waterfront walk, these are vessels taking
tourists for a ride around Elliott Bay.

On the left, spotted from home, a giant crane being moved
around by 2 tugs.  On the right, the Pacific Arrow, a vessel
that moves Pilots around and takes care of Official
Port Business.

The cruise ship season is well underway.
I like to be up early and enjoy a cup of coffee 
watching the ships arrive. Most of these ships
are doing round-trips to Alaska.
This vessel is the Ovation of the Seas.

Closing thought ...

I receive a daily email with "inspirational" quotations.
I thought this one was kind of strange. I mean, you do
know the story of Amelia Earhart, don't you?

Thanks for stopping by and a happy Summer to you!

Friday, May 24, 2024

Mostly Mt Rainier

Back to Mt. Rainier 2024 ...

At the entrance gate the Ranger provided
a map of the Park and a sheet of info
for Spring 2024.  I was careful to bring
along my Field Notes memo book, Mount
Rainier Edition

Traveling with friend Tim, we are almost to our
destination, Paradise, near the summit.
Mount Rainier is the highest peak
in Washington State and the Cascade Range.

The date of this visit is May 8, 2024

Looking up at the summit from Paradise.
Can you see the human?  (Blue arrow)
The human gives a bit of scale to the image and,
yet, doesn't do any justice to the size of this mountain top.

The sky was mostly clear, but there were some
wispy clouds.  It was a bit windy.  We were not expecting
so much snow on the ground at the Visitor Center.
The wind made a lite coat feel good.

Visitor Center at Paradise
It was not too crowded. However, the lines seemed long in 
the shop selling souvenirs.

The drive from Seattle takes a little over 2 hours.

Display in the Visitor Center
The raised-relief map was fascinating to me.

Information Counter
Note the yellow arrow ... this is where you can
stamp your journal with the official Park Stamp
(Smile worthy: Upon entering the Visitor Center
there is a large sign with 2 arrows. One points
to Information the other to Rest Rooms.)

I have my Field Notes Mt. Rainier Memo book along
to get the official stamp inside.  See next image.

The brand Field Notes produces, mostly, memo books. There are certainly hundreds, possibly thousands of variations of Field Notes memo books. There is a series of 18 books customized for National Parks, and this Mt Rainier memo book is one of the series.

Mount Rainier was named by British Navy Captain George Vancouver on May 8, 1792, in honor of his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier.  Coincidentally, that was exactly 232 years before my visit on May 8, 2024.  😊

A few visitors trying to decide if they want to venture
up the icy walks. I did not as I didn't have cleats on my shoes.

To those of you who've been keeping an eye on John's Island:  You may be asking, didn't you visit Mt Rainier and post about it last year?  Well, no, time is flying by ... It has been almost 2 years since I posted about Mt. Rainier.

Mountains near Rainier
in the Tatoosh Range

These mountains remind me of the Swiss Alps
This is Pinnacle Peak in the Tatoosh Range

Glacier flow remnants - Nisqually River
view from Glacier Bridge on 
Paradise Valley Road

For perspective, a view found on the web,
showing an overview of Seattle with
Mt Rainier to the south (about 50 miles).

A view of the mountain taken on one of my
recent waterfront walks. This view is looking 
across Elliott Bay toward the mountain to 
the south.

Images of Mt Rainier have been used for a long time in
advertising. From my collection of memorabilia, here is
a calendar top published by a railroad serving the 
Pacific Northwest in 1929.

Another example from my collection,
this is the front of a menu used in the dining
car of a railroad, probably printed in the 1930s.
Notice the similarity of the art work between
the two pieces.

Flowers spotted on recent waterfront walks ...

All of these rose pictures were snapped in the
Rose Garden along the waterfront walk,
in mid-May, 2024.
Note the Space Needle in the distance
(on a misty morning).

Near the end of my walk I spotted this beautiful Iris
all by itself.

A couple of critters ...

This gull did not seem disturbed by my nearby
presence. When looking at the image later, I was impressed 
how clear the water was. It seems unusually clear
for Puget Sound.

First time to spot a bunny this year.
I think she/he is accustomed to walkers ... didn't seem
to be concerned about a human nearby.
What to make of those gray patches?
Possibly got caught up in something?

Love critters?  Be sure to check out Saturday's Critters!

Ships spotted in Puget Sound ...

I enjoy watching big ships come and go here in Seattle. Yes, I know, there can be problems when they run into bridges. Since the incident near Baltimore, I have noticed more tugs assisting large vessels.

2 for 1
In the center ... A Washington State Ferry
probably on a run from Seattle to Bremerton
Lower in the image ... Kitsap Fast Ferry
A passenger only vessel probably on a run
from Seattle to Kingston

Closer look at a typical Washington State Ferry
Cars, trucks, and passengers.

Unusual spotting ... REN JIAN 20 freighter.
Unusual colors for a freighter.

Holland America Eurodam

Ovation of the Seas
Arriving just before dawn.

Norwegian Sun

An MSC freighter leaving port and smoking up like a
wildfire. Maybe it's time for an engine tuneup?

My Cottonwood Tree Update

Top Left:  Snow of cotton
Top Right:  Handful of seeds
Bottom:  Trees sprouted - 1 of the 4 is the tree
in the next image!

The story: Last year, in May, I happened to take some walks in an area surrounded by Cottonwood Trees. They are big, beautiful trees, but, to most humans, they have a downside related to how they spread their seeds. The tree develops pods full of seeds and, in late Spring, the pods burst open and the seeds float away on what looks like tiny pieces of cotton, thus the name of the tree. Sometimes, the seeds floating around look like snowflakes.  As humans walk around the trees, they usually find the "snow" annoying and try to brush it aside. I became fascinated with the snow and wondered how many, out of the seemingly thousands of floating seeds, would actually germinate and create new trees. I grabbed a handful of the seeds, brought them home, and planted them. In a few days sprouts were up as you see in the photo above.  I used what I call "John's process of selection" to slowly select the most likely (and fittest) to survive and took care to keep it properly fed and watered for, what has now been, a little over a year. The result amazes me and is shown in the photo below. And, yes, the tree did lose all of its leaves over the winter and, at times, looked dead. All the leaves you see now, in the photo below, are new this Spring. Now, I will venture to guess that John is the only resident of the entire Seattle metropolitan area to attempt to grow a Cottonwood tree. Of course, humans grow all kinds of plants all the time, so the thing that makes me smile about this is that nature has rewarded me with a pretty plant that most folks find annoying. 😊 

Full moon setting ...

The Full Moon, aka Pink Moon, about to set on 
Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

Closing thought ... 

 Thank you for stopping by.

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...