Tag Archives: Nature

First Spring in the Garden – 1

IMG_2307Well, I shall try again with this post.  Had the whole thing done and then something flipped and the whole thing was lost.  So, lesson learned and this time I shall save often.So, this is the second day of spring and I looked out my kitchen window and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a lovely lady deer stopping by for a morning snack?
IMG_2313Who would have thought that deer had a liking for birdseed?  I may actually consider putting up a birdfeeder in my yard just to attract one of these lovely ladies into my yard.
IMG_2316And here we have a bird not on a wire but on a branch under a wire.  Just moments before the infamous battle between the robin and the raven which was unfortunately over before I could get the camera back up to capture it for posterity.  Ah well.  There is always the next time.  They need to learn to either battle longer or give sufficient warning that the battle is about to ensue.
IMG_2320No, I am relatively sure it isn’t Woody, but rumor has it that it might be a distant relative.  I have been on countless hikes over the years and seen evidence of these critters in the trees turned Swiss cheese.  It was nice to finally get a picture of one and then found out that they are around here in just droves.  They seem particularly fond of perching in one of the  trees in the back yard.
IMG_2323Gotta love living in an area where you can burn the yard cuttings.  Yeah, I know most do it because it is a cost savings of having it hauled away.  But, for someone like me, its like . . . . . . FIRE!!!!  Cool!!!Seriously gave some consideration to running in the house and grabbing a blanket to try my hand at smoke signals.  But, I figured as close as I am to one of the Indian reservations, I would probably send off some seriously inflammatory comments and they would send one of the elders over to make me turn over my discount dining and gas card at the casino.  That doesn’t mean I would give it consideration again sometime in the future.  But this time I was content to just play with fire.
IMG_2324It should be noted that no known life forms were sacrificed in the making of this fire (at least not to the knowledge of the fire maker)  There was however, a disturbance of an erotic episode between a couple of glowing bronze beetles as the branch they were using for discretionary purposes was pulled up to add to the growing pyre.  I did offer an apology for the disturbance, but they were too engaged to take note of it.  And yes, I did attempt to get a picture of them, but by the time I had grabbed the camera and walked back over, they had moved to some other location.
IMG_2325I must have done something right because look!  There in the center of the pyre is a fire elemental engaged in dance of such ancient origin that no one remembers what it means anymore.  But, you can see her right there beckoning for others to join her in her fiery dance.
IMG_2326And here we have the two story fire elemental two story hobbit dome style abode.
IMG_1724And her little flooferness self, Miss Cassie, said it is time to take a break and look upon her immense beauty and tell her what a lovely little princess she is and what a lovely white ruff she has.  She is hoping that I won’t point out that little area right there at the bottom of the ruff where the fur is kinda stuck together. which is where she has drooled on herself and forgot to clean off before posing for the picture.  She does this often, but will insist that she doesn’t.  Don’t believe this.  Cats are wicked and deceitful creatures.
IMG_2327And so now we return to the fire which is emitting the most lovely plumes of smoke.  I did give much consideration to cackling maniacally and tossing thing into the fire for the scarification of the hag, but because there were other neighbors out and making kind gestures, including the exchange of verbal pleasantries, I opted to refrain till possibly the next time I make fire.
IMG_2328And it is now burning down to the last of its branches.  I did mean to take a picture of the black smoldering mound at the end, but got distracted with other things and forgot to do so.  I suppose this is one of those times I should contemplate making one of those things to remember lists.  The problem is that I always forget where I put them, so they tend to be a bit of a waste of time.
March 2014 Garden & Around Town-60

And I shall end this with this lovely picture of my blooming hellebore.  Because what more fitting way to end a post than with a picture of a poisonous plant?  Well, maybe a poisonous critter, but there weren’t any around so I had to make due with what I had to work with.


Camano State Park February 1, 2014

Camano State Beach-1Saturday, I ventured out to take my first hike of the year, sticking close to home and going to the Camano State Park.  Though the morning started off brisk and cloudy (around 34 deg at the start), the weather people has assured me that the clouds would clear and provide a beautiful day.
The park is a very lovely place with lots of little trails scattered Camano State Beach-3throughout it.  I only made it through a partial of them, so will have to return on another day or three or dozen to finish them off.  The trails take you through the woods and down by beaches.
Camano State Beach-5Wandering along one of the beaches I saw this guy just plowing along through the water.  I couldn’t make out what he had in his beak till I got home and blew the picture up.  I wonder if he’s going to decorate the nest with the starfish after he is done dining on it?
Okay, the twisted part of me looks at these (they were littered all over Camano State Beach-8the beach!) and thinks, “Now that’s a projectile weapon to scare the most seasoned warrior”
Camano State Beach-12Just have to love the gelatinous creatures that issue from the foaming mouth of the ocean!
Someday, his ship will come in.  And I shall be here to greet him. Camano State Beach-17
Camano State Beach-25How can you not love an old tree?  Especially one with a yoni in it?
Then we have the hag tree.  “I’ll get you, and your little dog too!Camano State Beach-35
Camano State Beach-40Love the little mushrooms that litter the trees and ground.  These were so delicate and lacy looking.
Camano State Beach-44Allright, I saw this and saw a witch on a broom.  And thanks to some charming friends of mine who saw “something else”, I shall now not be able to look at this without seeing what their perverted minds conjured.  *sigh*
Tiny bubbles, tiny bubbles on the tree!!!  Camano State Beach-50
I don’t think I shall ever tire of the clouds.Camano State Beach-53
Camano State Beach-56I personally thought it was very thoughtful of the park authorities to place this near the community center so parents (and other affected adults) would have a place for poorly behaved children.  Why, you could leave them there safely tucked away while you explore the trails without worrying about them taunting the wildlife or falling into a ravine.  Now, that’s intelligent Huzzah!
Now, don’t you just feel like you stepped into a time machine and Camano State Beach-75went back to the old west days??  Black and White does so much for the ambiance of some pictures, I must admit.
Camano State Beach-82I couldn’t get enough of this one.  How I hated those signs ordering me to stay on the trail.  And though I am not one for being “obedient”, I understand these signs are to protect the nature.  And so, with a sigh of regret, I comply.  But, to stand in the center of that ring of trees!!  Oh my!
Little mushroom, little mushroom growing in the moss.  How the microCamano State Beach-88 life loves you for the shelter you bring!
Just cuz it was pretty!Camano State Beach-97
See?  The clouds did clear!  And what lovely colors they painted as Camano State Beach-101they slipped away.
Well, these were a bit slower at moving off.Camano State Beach-106
The colors!!  And in the dead of winter!Camano State Beach-123
I’m thinking its the tree’s version of warrior pose.Camano State Beach-133
Just cuz it caught my eye!Camano State Beach-137
Camano State Beach-147Leaving.
Camano State Beach-145What light through yonder tree line break?
The curious sculptures trees make when they get boredCamano State Beach-149.
Camano State Beach-151Spider webs in golden leaves sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight.
The lonely marsh.Camano State Beach-157
Camano State Beach-159Can spend some time finding some interesting things in this on.
My Bokeh shot of the day.  I ratheCamano State Beach-160r like the way this one came out!
Camano State Beach-163Maybe he was looking for the same ship as the gull?
*Happy Sighs*Camano State Beach-164
Camano State Beach-171I believe they are loons.  The loudly announce they are coming in for a landing the entire time until they touch down.  Was very entertaining!
And then they did a repeat performance!Camano State Beach-172
I do love the sleeping plants of winter!Camano State Beach-175
And these little ones were just having the time of their life playing in that puddle!Winter Water Play
Camano State Beach-183Coming home, I had to turn down to the wetlands and get a few shots.
Aren’t they just the cutest couple??Camano State Beach-189
Fuzzy butt!!!Camano State Beach-190
Marsh againCamano State Beach-192
And one more before heading home.Camano State Beach-195

Deception Bay



Morning Caw

Morning Caw





Fir Island 02-01-2013

Fir IslandOne of the amazing things about living here is the diversity We have everything from heavily wooded old growth forests to quiet beaches to marshy wetlands.  Fir Island is one of those wetlands that is favored by many of the local and visiting birds, from bald eagles to swans and snow geese.  According to Wikipedia, over 180 species of birds have been sighted in this area over the last year.  It also says there, “Important internationally, this population and one that winters in California, are the only Snow Geese that migrate between Eurasia and North America and the only remnant still extant in Eurasia.”
Fir+Island-3-2348660255-OUpon entering the area, one first casts eyes on the barren trees reaching up from the marshy pools under them.  A wooded dancer in a private ritual to entice the sun to join her in her silent revelry.
Fir+Island-5-2348660678-ORounding a bend the sun had broken through the clouds, a small family of ducks tracing the edges of the sparkling reflection.
Fir+Island-7-2348661223-O  Diamond spark of the sun breaks through the winter bare branches straining to see if their reflections have begun to show even the smallest hint of spring on their edges.  
Fir+Island-24-2348665978-OStripped of color, the barren branches ignited by the sunlight draw thoughts of an alien terrain and ghostly wanderings.
Fir+Island-35-2-2348669984-O  The first sighting, a heron gazing about its home and bathing in the warmth of the sun.

Spencer Island – Almost

Almost seems to be a common occurrence for me, particularly when I am trying to go somewhere.  I was looking for somewhere to go for my first hike of the new year.  So, an estuary with a bird sanctuary sounded like a wonderful place.  And it is not as if I got lost.  I didn’t.  I actually found it.  But, I reached a point in the gravel road where it said it would dead end and there would be no parking which meant I would have to backtrack to find the parking lot.
spencer island almostAs I turned the car around to head back to the parking areas, I had to make a pre-stop and grab the camera from the trunk and get a few pictures of the mist hanging over the ground and the muted colors of the vegetation.
The parking lot was part of Langus Rivespencer island almost-16rfront Park and it looked like a pretty good place to start.  So, I parked, grabbed my gear and gave a quick look at the thermometer.  28 degrees.  Okay, this could be a bit nippy.The lack of wind was going to be such a blessing for shots here.  The water was just glassy, the mirror images showing the alternate univers in the watery depths.
spencer island almost-19The dying strands of the river weed, stripped bare of their color and kissed with frost made such a stark comparison to the surroungind landscape.
spencer island almost-22 (1)Winter blooms reached out to the frost from their branches along the river’s edge.
spencer island almost-34The soft light of the sun ignited the ice speckles on even the finest branches and leaves, melting tiny drops of water not quite heavy enough to pull away in release.
spencer island almost-37 (1)The rotting tree trunk had such a spectral look to it and became even more start when I got home and pulled the color from it.
spencer island almost-47One of the fascinating things about living in the Seattle area is how you can travel trails that seem to be in remote nature and turn a corner and get a glimpse of a corner of the city.  Even more breathtaking when the clouds decide to dip and hug the buildings in the distance.
spencer island almost-71This towering giant was amazing on her own.  Imaged in color did not do her justice but brought to light and shadow, its easy to see her reaching her branches up to the heavens.
spencer island almost-49Rounding another corner, I got another glimpse of the mist dotted hillside.  And the birds were starting to come out to play now.
spencer island almost-73This was a stunning view.  Between shots, I just stood and stared and allowed the beauty to wash over and through me.
spencer island almost-72I just couldn’t decide which of the two pictures to use.  After going round and round trying to decide, I made it easy and placed both of them in.
spencer island almost-77As I came around a bend in the trail, I came across this man that I had seen earlier on the trail.  I was looking around the area seeing what begged to have a picture taken and he was sitting on the bench eating his lunch.  I snapped a couple pictures of him, not thinking much about it.  But, when I got it downloaded, I was rather pleased with the way this one looked.
spencer island almost-82Around another bend, and the terrain shifts yet again.  The river snaked through the distance with the trees and brush reflecting in the mirror surface of the still water.
spencer island almost-94What a truly amazing site overhead!  I had to get home and blow the shots up and do some checking to find out what they were.  I knew they were raptors, just not what kind.  The skies held the majesty of young bald eagles.  I was told this adolescent was about a year old.
And another one!spencer island almost-107
spencer island almost-108The bridge going over to Spencer Island.  It took a couple hours of wandering and shooting pictures.  The mistake was a double one.  Wearing new mud clompers and not wearing double socks had produced a blister on my foot that had been hobbling me for probably the last half hour or better.  I was tired and knew I needed to put an end to this day.  But, there, right in front of me was the gateway to the destination I had set out to find.  The bridge into Spencer Island.  *sigh*
spencer island almost-114Well, I couldn’t come this far without at least venturing inside.  So, I cross the bridge.  And immediately I am not disappointed.  There, on the tree in the middle of the muddy expanse is a majestic red tailed hawk.  Yes, I have seen them from the window as I drive down the road.  But, this was close.  This was his home.  This was where he ruled.
So very beautiful!spencer island almost-115
spencer island almost-129And still, after this many hours the frost was still there.  How lovely the fragile sheets of ice spanning the dry weeds.
spencer island almost-126Another turn in the road and another look at the river or a stream shooting off from it.
spencer island almost-130And a flock of Canadian geese coming in for a landing.  Hopefully, they know better than to go near the lake with the duck hunters.
spencer island almost-142As I near the parking lot, I spied this old structure, logging house, fishing shack, something.  But, it just looked off and yet right nestled in before all the new dwellings.  A stark portrait of an area where there is a place for the old to live alongside the new.
spencer island almost-149One final shot before getting in the car.  Next time I will wear the right shoes.  next time, I will tour Spencer Island.