Friday, January 30, 2009

Skywatch Friday

Well, well, how about this? It's my first Skywatch Friday post. Woo-hoo!

I thought the lenticular cloud over Mt Rainier sort of looked like a halo? Or maybe a flying saucer-disc-sort-of-thingee? Lenticular clouds are cool any which way you look at them...above the mountain, or in the reflection in the water. Oh, yeah, I love that mountain and its effect on the sky and clouds and people and ...

For more great photography of the sky, check out photos posted by folks here. It's cool cuz they got rulz and they're not into including commercial sites as links.


Sunday, January 25, 2009


(Click on any photo to see more detail.)
I'm a big fan of birds, and raptors are some of my favorites. Living where we do, there are a good number of them who either pass through or reside close by. A few years ago we were delighted to view an osprey fishing the lake, daily for a week or more. The bald eagles are a favorite, and we feel very fortunate to have a pair who have a nest not far from us. And then there are a couple types of hawks that I've seen and photographed. Most recently, one red-tailed hawk has taken to perching in a cottonwood on our property. And this raptor is a beauty. Here are some photos of it, taken on the same day as the eagle shots in my previous post (Raptor Kind of Day, or what a difference a scope makes). So you'll notice the photos are very gray due to the fog.

ready for takeoff

In flight...
Do any of you have The Sibley Guide to Birds?
This photo reminds me of the cover shot on my copy.
Fun stuff when life imitates art.


Friday, January 23, 2009

RAPTOR KIND OF DAY, or what a difference a scope makes

What a day yesterday was for raptor-watching. I've seen the pair of eagles on their nest and hunting and fishing more often. I caught one of them after it landed in a tree less than a 1/4 mile away from me. Doesn't it look like it has a cape on? Sort of vampire-ish...foggy day...though we're not in Forks.

(Click on the pictures to see more detail.)

without scope, zoom lens

with scope, less than 1/4 mile away

with scope, 1/2 mile away

It was foggy at the time, so they're gray day shots. And I'm still getting used to focusing through the scope, but I'm having fun while getting the knack of it.
What a difference a scope makes...


Sunday, January 18, 2009


I don't mind driving to the mountains to see, play,
and ski in and on it (more powder!).
However, I'm not a big fan of a lot of snow at 500 feet elevation.
On the other hand, I am a fan of taking pictures of it.
I'm also a fan of seeing pictures others take, like this one at Mental Mosaic or this post at Greenwalks or this at A Corner Garden or
these at Blunders with Shoots, blossoms n' roots, just to name a few.
Below are a few photos (click on any of them to see in more detail) I shot in the aftermath of the recent snowmageddon '08 we had in the Seattle area...

snow on rose hips

The snow weighed heavily on the boughs of the cedars, roses, and salmonberry bushes.

No place to sit after the snowfall
or after the rain
but now there is again.


Saturday, January 17, 2009


I've been tagged by Lona at Hocking Hill's Garden
in a post called "Photo Tag".
Here are the rules:
Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store your pictures.
Select the 4th picture in that folder.
Explain the picture.
Tag 4 people to do the same.

Although I tend to limit my blog to the subjects of gardening and the local eagles, their nest, and other birds, sometimes other topics creep in. One of those times was for my post about a visit to Fur Rondy in Alaska in March 2008. Yes, it seems that most folks in this area go south for sun during the dreariest of days of the winter, but we tend to go north. I know, kinda crazy, huh?

Anyhoo, the photo above is one of the scenes from the Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Anchorage. I thought the mountain closest to us looked similar to Mt Rainier and took plenty of pictures of it. The mountains in the distance had a most beautiful hue as sunset began, about noon. Just kidding, it was later than that. Probably about 3 p.m. :)

This picture is not the best photo of the mountain and scenery, but it's the4th photo in the 4th folder of downloads from my camera for that trip. The folder contains lots of shots of a great trip, with memories of outhouse races, running with the reindeer, and best of all, visiting with cousins.

Since some people do not go for the 'tagging' fad, so I leave it to the four I have have listed below as to whether they want to participate in the game. They are:

Sue at A Corner Garden
Karen at Greenwalks
Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms 'n roots
Tui at Mental Mosaic

Au revoir, mes amies!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


First it was snow...

Then it began to melt...

Then the rains began...

We are still a few feet from being flooded,
and the waters are expected to recede, so we are safe.

We are thinking of all those who have had to evacuate
and hoping for their safety.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009


The unusually cold and wintry weather this year inspired me to action. I made suet for the birds. Yes, this is the first batch I've ever made. Pretty incredible I know, where have I been that I haven't made suet before? No excuses, sirs and ma'ams. Here is a picture of it in the pan...

Of course, the suet is for the birds' nourishment, but viewing the birds gives us nourishment for the senses. So the feeders needed to be hung where we could indulge as well, which meant they needed to hang from the deck railing. Using his creative skills, Mr Woodworker made some nifty supports that fit snugly on the railing, and from which we can hang the suet feeders for maximum visibility.

With the feeders rigged for action, the suet ready for our feathered friends' consumption, we loaded and hung them with care, hoping the birds would soon be there. We waited with bated breath...when, what to our wandering eyes did appear, but one, then two, then many a bird there.

Here are a few shots of our recent visitors
(click on each picture to view in more detail)...

(seed in beak-above)

So kind of this little chickadee to oblige in a photogenic pose,
even in the absence of 'blue steel' prompting!

Here's to the birds!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Living in the country, we know there are numerous types of interesting wildlife living around us. However much of it remains unseen, except for the tracks they leave behind. With the snow rich with evidence, I thought I'd post some of the photos and ask if you have any ideas on what made the tracks. In case you're thinking this is a quiz, sorry it's not. I won't be able to answer whether you're correct because I don't know the identities of the mystery tracks.
Any help is welcome in ID-ing these wild and wonderful critters who live around us. So please leave your ideas/guesses/comments in a, uhhh, comment. You can click on each picture to see more detail. Or to open in a separate window, right click on the picture and select 'open link in a new window.'

Image 1: footprints on edge of frozen lake: racoon? something else?

Image 2: ?

Image 3a: seen going into wooded area next to water/canal

Image 3b: closeup of image 3a

Image 4: tracks along ledge of house foundation

Image 5: tracks on second story deck

Image 6: tracks between blackberries and wood pallet

Image 7: tracks from wooded area

Image 8: Sorry, I couldn't help myself from throwing
this picture in as image '8'.
Though it begs the question...have you listened to an 8-track?