Tag Archives: photography

Eagle Watch – February 2015

Eagle Watching-1People often think I was nuts to move so far from work when I bought my home.  Granted, it is quite a drive.  However, much of it can be very scenic if you get off at the right exit.  And the long drive is worth it when you have young eagles taking their maiden flights over your head as you cruise along a country road.
Eagle Watching-5Probably one of the most difficult things about living out here and watching these young sky sentinels is to try not to be too enraptured by them.  Unless, of course, you pull over and break out the camera to get some pictures of them.  Eagle gazing, I am sure, ranks right up there with texting while driving.
Eagle Watching-8There were a total of 8 of them in the trees over the river when I took these shots.  This one, though, was off away from the others.  I suppose he/she wanted some alone time.  Wasn’t even looking at the river.  Maybe he/she wanted some red meat.
Eagle Watching-9This is the Stillquamish River from the bridge on Pioneer Hwy between Silvana and Stanwood.  We’ve had a lot of rain this year, so its a bit high.  Not as high as a few weeks ago, but still impressive.  Maybe that makes the fishing good and why there are so many eagles camped in the trees along its banks.
Eagle Watching-18Yeah, I know, it looks like the other one, but this is on the other side of the river bank.
Eagle Watching-19And this one “Is” looking at the river for some fresh seafood.  Maybe they are working together for some surf-n-turf.
Eagle Watching-22One of the youngsters is looking out from the branches of a tree.  Its funny how few people see the kiddies.  There was a father and son on the bridge that saw all the adults.  Didn’t see either of the kids in the trees right next to the bridge.
Eagle Watching-32
Even without the white heads and tails, the juveniles are still quite regal and impressive.
Eagle Watching-36And he had absolutely no interest in me at all!  I tried very hard to convince him to take off flying, but he just pretended he didn’t hear anything.
Eagle Watching-38
Actually, that needs to be corrected.  He heard everything except me which just goes to prove that it is not just human youngsters that have selective hearing.
Eagle Watching-45There’s a part of me that wonders if the kids were near the bridge so they could get the easy roadkill lunch from the road.  The grownups wanted the fresh salmon though.
Eagle Watching-46
Just one more shot, because you can just never get enough looking at these beautiful raptors!
Eagle Watching-49Yeah, they had that whole length of the river covered.  You could almost hear them gossiping amongst themselves. “I’m telling you Fred, the one I caught last week was THAT big!!  I kid you not!  We had to leave half of it for the damned crows.  Not that they ever share with us.  Greedy little bastards!”
Eagle Watching-52And every once in a while, one of them strikes a pose and looks for all the world like Elmer Fudd doing Scrooge.
Eagle Watching-56
Eagle Watching-58
Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ comes
Watchin’ the salmon roll in
Then I watch ’em roll away again, yeah
I’m sittin’ on the branch of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooo
I’m just sittin’ on the branch of the bay
Wastin’ time
Eagle Watching-61Hey kid?  What say we go down the river a bit and see if the farmer left us some leg of lamb?
Eagle Watching-73
Sure!  There’s too many fishing here to day.  They’re scaring them all away.
Eagle Watching-75And the incoming sea gulls came gliding through the air towards the fields below.
Eagle Watching-78
And with them, came the other little birds, the doves and the blackbirds, the crows and the swifts.  It was gonna be a fun time in the pasture this afternoon.
Eagle Watching-79And they began to find a formation.  All except Henry who never seemed able to get with the teamwork motto and always fell away from the pack.
Eagle Watching-84And you thought they were a pop group!  (Flock of seagulls, if you didn’t get it)
Eagle Watching-85 It seems that they just find the need to all take off every few minutes to a spot about 100 yards in some direction.  Yup, all of them at once.  I think that may be one of those co-dependency things.
Eagle Watching-86We’ll just call it field hopping.  See?  They’re doing it again.
Eagle Watching-88Or it could be a strange mating ritual of showing off their gliding technique.  Not quite as dramatic as a peacock doing the shake your tailfeathers boogie, but I suppose its better than nothing.
Eagle Watching-89But, in truth, its not completely without some Ohh-Ahh! moments.
Eagle Watching-93And the sun begins to set over the bay, so a short stop at the wetlands.  Could build a town with all the driftwood we get!
Eagle Watching-94I do believe that is Rainier off in the distance.  Very impressive considering how far north this is.
Eagle Watching-96I needed a reflections for a photography group.  Nailed it!
Eagle Watching-98Yeah, I live in paradise.  If I believed in heaven, it would be right here.
Eagle Watching-102Yeah, I think its Rainier.  Pretty sure.  Not craggly enough to be Baker.

December Early Musings

December 2014-6
The Seattle area is nothing if not a cloud watcher’s delight.  For many, it’s too gray for them to ever make it a place to call home.  For me, you can keep the eternal sunshine.  We get our doses here.  We have those things called “seasons” that the people in sunny environments don’t understand.We also have interesting old farm buildings out in the country.  Add these with the “weather” and it can be quite beautiful!
December 2014-12Recent studies have shown that the electro-magnetic charge of grains can substantially increase the range of your television antennas.  They also have the added benefit of, when placed in conjunction with lightning rods, provide a data transfer method to your reanimations at the moment of awareness, thereby decreasing the level of hostility that might be encountered when they awaken from their numerous sleeps.
December 2014-15
Luckily, I got out with the camera before the last storm.  The leaves are now all gone from this little tree in my yard.  But, I had one beautiful late fall day that allowed this pre-winter’s nap shot first.
December 2014-20One of the interesting things about some leaves in the fall is they seem to become almost translucent and can be almost light prisms.  Even stripped of color, they glow with the luminescence of whatever light touches on their surface.
December 2014-23Coming home, the colors of the sky insisted I take a slight detour and capture some of their play across the sky.  Peeking through the brush you get your first glimpse of the dying embers of the sun.
December 2014-25If I had only arrive just a few moments sooner.  The colors had already begun to darken and fade by the time I found a place to park and snap the shots.  Not as vibrant as it was a few minutes earlier, but still quite pretty!
 December 2014-27And stripped of color, it takes on one of those haunted looks!
December 2014-28I believe that lil white peak on the left is Mount Baker.  Not quite as prominent as Ranier, but it’s still pretty impressive.  I think it may actually claim more lives annually than Rainier too.  Cuz people like to climb it.
December 2014-33And the swans have arrived.  As part of their all-inclusive resort package, their first stop is the always popular mud baths to restore their complexions and rejuvenate their bodies from the long flight in.
December 2014-37I have no idea why the have attracted the riff raff from the other side of the field.  I suppose they got tired of cow dung and thought swan dung would be an interesting change-up.  Caviar of the air???
December 2014-39They are rather interesting to watch though.  It seems its a mixed array of blackbirds, swallows, cow birds and others.  Which just goes to show that if birds of different feathers can flock together, why can’t we?
December 2014-42And new flights coming in all the time.  Or, are they on their way out?  They do like to field hop, so its hard to tell.
December 2014-46And just in case you are wondering.  No, some of them did not get carried away with the mud baths.  The tawny ones are the young swans.  They go completely white at about a year old.
December 2014-47Yeah!  I’m Bad!  I’m Bad!!
December 2014-48Just stylin’ with my new dress on!!!
December 2014-51And this pair even came with its own escort.  Wonder if they are royalty?
December 2014-54Now this just had to be shared.  It’s a beet!  And this is not a trick of the camera.  It really is that big!  And it wasn’t even the biggest one they had.  And it didn’t lose flavor from being so large.  I got some roast beets out of it and some beet powder.  Gotta love the organic farms up here.  The cabbages are even more impressive!
December 2014-57And the snow arrived!  My fire pit is getting closer and closer to being done!
December 2014-59Love the first snow with tiny icicles!
And another sunset.  Aren’t the clouds amazing???December 2014-64
December 2014-65Its one of those, I don’t care if its out of focus.  It looks cool and you can rub your eyes after and put Visine in them.  But, it’s still cool looking!
December 2014-75A friend asked how you know if they are swans in the sky.  Its easy.  They have the really, really long necks.  You watch them fly and all you can think about is what a neck ache they must have by the time they get to their destination.
December 2014-78I had to make a trip over to the old brokey down house after the snow.  I have no idea how much longer it is going to remain standing.  So, I am going to try to get some shots in different weather conditions before it finally comes crashing down.
December 2014-79And I met the neighbor this time.  He thought I should take his picture too.  Cute little thing, isn’t he?  He just watched while I took my pictures.
I do think it is starting to fall a bit more.December 2014-80
I like this one!!December 2014-81
This one came out pretty cool too, I think.December 2014-82
December 2014-84I will have to some day create a story around this house.
December 2014-86And I saw this as I was turning around to leave.  I had to pull the camera out again and get a shot.  Just took my breath away.
Even without color, its pretty!December 2014-87


Padilla Bay 07/05/2014

Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-2Padilla Bay is one of those rare hikes in Western Washington that has something like 0, as in ZERO, none, till flatter than the christian rendition of earth, elevation.  Well, maybe there are a few inches in one direction or another.  However, it is the home of many interesting birds and plant life.  Though it seems someone notified them of our arrival prior to our getting there and they decided to play a prank by being virtually non-existent the entire time we were there.  Or it could also have been a lucky fishing boat off to the other side of the hill that they were getting a free lunch from.  Either way, it became more of a nature hike with a few interesting sightings during the course of it.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-3There were a few encounters, like this one.  I believe it is a Cooper’s Hawk.  Pretty little things.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-5These tracks, we were able to successfully identify as belong to a distant relative of the Dodo bird which is now extinct.  The Didit bird, though rarely seen, has been known to leave tracks as it prowls for tidbits to share with its companion, the Sasquatch.  Its a symbiotic relationship and adds to the mystery of Sasquatch sightings.  Its also where the bird got its name.  When seen, people will point to it and stutter, “he diditditdit”, which eventually got shortened to Didit.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-6Looks like this one was engaged in the mysterious two step hippity hop mating dance where they first jump one foot forward, one foot back, then straight down and bow to their prospective partner.  We didn’t see any other tracks in the other direction, so she must have been playing very coy and hiding behind the reeds.  Which they often do as they chortle a beckoning call to the suitor.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-7The aliens found many areas of this region to be difficult to leave their calling cards and had to improvise.  So, where the Midwest has crop circles, we have wetland tribal markings.  The decision was reached after a long negotiation process with the local tribes of the region, who, unlike in other areas of this country, did not lose all their lands and rights, came to an agreement that they could mark the land, but they had to use ancient tribal symbolism.  It is rumored that it wasn’t tobacco that was in the peace pipe they handed the aliens and this is the reason for the rather unique interpretation of the tribal marks.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-9And it seems the aliens also left another gift on their visit to our wetlands.  One might believe these small puffs to be fallen pieces of moss, but on closer inspection, it is noted that they completely encompass the branch they are attached to.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-10And here, their nefarious intent becomes apparent.  The obvious blood on this batch shows them to be a alien carnivorous dust bunnies of the vamperical extraterrarium family.  A highly invasive species that will need addressing and eradicating.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-12And here we have one of the alien all terrain vessels in submarine mode posing as a stick.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-16Little does it know that the Earth protects herself and is readying herself for a light snack of alien kabobs by opening her gaping maw of doom.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-17After a quick bite, she returns to her normal and serene demeanor.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-24This tiny island, surrounded my vast expanses of mud was once home to a tiny band of mud people.  It took them hundreds of years to build their mud moat around the island.  A feat for which they generally get the last laugh as most people are unaware of the extreme danger that mud presents.  One can swim through water.  But, mud will suck you down as effectively as wet cement.  Which is probably where the gangsters first got that idea from.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-28Proof that everything is made of star stuff.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-29Although they may look like the tusks of a mastodon skeleton, the closeness of them is more indicative of a rarer species of the Beelociraptor.  As the vegetation began to shrink in size, so did this creature evolve to meet the ever smaller orifices it had to probe, until it became the honeybee we know today.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-30See?  On closer inspection, you can see the tubular opening at the other end where this voracious creature sucked in massive amounts of nectar.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-33
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-37Remember a while back when it was stated about the dangers in the mud zones?  Well, this poor unsuspecting creature thought nothing of her trusty canines wanting to wander into the mudlands and when she saw that they were unaffected by the terrain, allowed them to venture further.  The end results speak for themselves here.  Poor thing forgot that god spelled backwards is dog, thereby giving them near deity abilities to walk on watery surfaces that are denied to most other creatures.  You can see them having a grand laugh over the joke on their human companion.  Thankfully, she also had a great sense of humor which almost got her laughed even deeper into her sinkhole.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-38Lesson number 2.  Dogs that will drag you into the mudflats to begin with will NOT pull you back out if you ease up on their leash.  When you tell them to come on, they think you want to go play farther out.  And that is just where they will take you.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-40She did finally extract herself from the mud after releasing the dogs to their own devices.  Though the bog monster did demand the sacrifice of one shoe before releasing her.  That made the end of their adventure in the bay for the day, but gave them plenty of material to fill the pages of their journals that night.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-41Eureka!  We found the entrance to the Bog Monster’s Lair.  And people said it didn’t exist!
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-43Damn!  Wasn’t wearing the overalls.  Probably doesn’t look the same to dangle one out of your teeth in hiking clothes.  I’ll just admire them.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-44Tiny little starbursts in a sea of gray!
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-46Well, at least the plovers didn’t go into hiding like the rest of the birds.  Or, at least this one didn’t.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-48Lookie!  Its a little fairy parasol!  Bet they are hiding in the rock crevices.  Though it could be trolls which can be really mean and have very sharp teeth!
Little splatters of gold just jump out in this terrain.Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-51
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-56Yeah, that would be a find I will keep a safe distance from.  Not sure I have ever seen them build a home in a driftwood tree before.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-61Keep looking.  I am sure there is a hidden picture in there somewhere! 
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-63This is the fairy dust runway where the pixies fly low over to collect the dust from the tips of the waving tendrils for use in helping young children to fly and bring back to Neverland to keep Peter company.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-67And those black pods below?  Those would be the pods of zombie walking death that must not be consumed, no matter the cajoling from the fairies.  Never forget that one should never eat or drink of a fairy’s offering.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-70Wow!  That’s REALLY pink!
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-71There!  Much better!
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-73And that is not a smudge in front of the mountain.  Its the damn raptor that has been evading me all day.  And there is no doubt in my mind that it is the same raptor!
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-74Oh lookie!  BUTTERFLY!
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-75Not a dandelion.
 Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-76Party poopers.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-77Oh lookie!  Its a secret chest hidden in a stone tomb.  Can it be claimed as a treasure hunter’s find?  Cool enclosure though.  Bet the person who forgot to put the stone back in in trouble.  Hmmm?  It could be a gateway into another realm.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-80Its the contemplation bridge.
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-86I think this came out quite nicely!
Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-87See above. 
 Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-96Well, swifts ARE birds.  The are NOT raptors.  But when the raptors are playing hide and seek, you have to accept what you can catch.
 Padilla Bay 07-05-2014-102What lies under these murky depths???


Deception Pass 05/24/2014

Deception Pass 05-24-2014-1Its like a house of mirrors that just seems to go on and on and on and on.  Welcome to Deception Pass.  And one of a set of bridges that gets you across it.  We didn’t get here quite as early as I had hoped we would.  First thing in the morning is one of the most magical times to see the pass as the morning mists hang over the water and hills.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-4
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-7Holy Bat Monsters Robin!  That’s the biggest fish I’ve ever seen!  Doesn’t this thing go any faster?  I think he’s gaining on us.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-8Have crack or crevice, will grow.  Stony mountainside?  Not a problem.  If there’s the tiniest fissure, green will happen.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-9Tiny lichens hanging on the branch.  Tiny lichens grabbing any line to cling to.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-12And when you find that the forest floor is too populated for your liking, you can always take root on the side of the trail.  The added benefit of this is to create worry of crushing by the hikers that walk alongside.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-20For those that need to know if they really want to take on a hike of a certain magnitude.  One is, after all, a daunting .7 miles distance.  Of course, what they don’t tell you on these signs is the elevation gain and drop on any of these.  So, the .1 mile could potentially be .1 of cliff climbing.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-26Can’t you just close your eyes and imagine those roots reaching up and wrapping around your ankles to drag you screaming into a gaping maw of earth before closing in over your head??
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-30It just looks more ancient when you strip the colors, doesn’t it?
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-32There really, really needs to be a swing from the center of this!!!  That would be an E-Ticket ride if ever there was one!!!
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-41And it looks much the same after a trip backward in time.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-47And way off in the distance, you can see the prodigal son.  Looks like he is trying to figure out some fancy setting on his camera to show his mother up.  But, he is missing the gaping maw before me, which no fancy setting is a match for!
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-52And there is even a treasure hidden deep in its depths.  They may look like simple beach stones to the average person, but they are really coins dating back to the caveman days and still used by our local Sasquatch communities.  They have found that the exchange value isn’t quite as good as they like when trading with the locals though.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-55Bout all you can say about this little plant is Oooooh, Ahhhh!!!  Pretty!!!
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-57One more time – Ooooh!!!  Ahhhhh!!!  Pretty!!!
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-60Filters are fun to play with!
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-63They’re even pretty in shades of gray!  Ooooh!  Ahhh!
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-67Gotta love those determined cliff clinging trees!  Its nature’s way of showing off and letting you know She can put her trees anywhere and they will be fine.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-69As it rises from beneath the rocky shores of the island, reaching out its green mandibles for unsuspecting bare toe blood sport!
He’s just a shell of his former self.Deception Pass 05-24-2014-72
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-76Okay, now if this doesn’t look like something from a scene in Dune, I don’t know what does.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-82For those who are wondering where it is the flower fairies hide when the humans are around, they have these little clifftop retreats.  This also explains the tiny acorns that get dropped on your head even though there is no wind nor oak trees around.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-85What luck!  It seems we have the fortune of being witnesses to the ever elusive dance of the wood nymph!
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-91And they are known for dancing to full exhaustion.
Cute little guy, isn’t he?Deception Pass 05-24-2014-97
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-99And the nurse tree that had the boy so fascinated.  Next time, I’ll have to take him to one of the old growth trails.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-105Blends quite well with the natural wildlife, doesn’t he?
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-108Peek-A-Boo!
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-111Breathtaking, isn’t it?
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-113Pretty little flowers, all on a vine.  Pretty little fan leaves, following close behind.
That quite a long way down!!Deception Pass 05-24-2014-120
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-122Wild roses!!!  Pre-thorn era.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-124Now you didn’t think you’d get through one of my wanders without a shot of something dead or decaying, did you?
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-127Its a miniature little land within the great above.
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-132Rollin, rollin, rolling down the river!!
 Deception Pass 05-24-2014-137And this was where I learned that my son has issues with heights.  Now, I am sure I never dangled him out of a window, so I am innocent for implanting that fear in his mind.  But wait!  He flies all over the country.  He doesn’t have an issue with that?  Well, that could be because it brings back fond memories of his first plane trip where he threw his tray of food all over the stewardess.  Yes, there was a time where they did feed people full meals on flights and not just in first class.
 And yes!  The water REALLY is that color!Deception Pass 05-24-2014-141
Deception Pass 05-24-2014-143

Its one of those linear things again.  But, it does gt you to the other side!


April Island Shots

 April 2014 Camano Island-15
When driving along the freeway, what to my wandering eyes should appear but a yard of rusty trucks and cars and trailers and such.  This little beauty here, well, it used to be a rum runner taking the back roads from the wharves to the seamstress’ quarters in the university.
April 2014 Camano Island-16
All you need is close your eyes for a moment and think of the Speakeasy, flappers, gangsters (the real ones with the Tommy guns and Zoot suits and fedoras with yet more flapper girls hanging off their arms) then open your eyes.  Or, maybe little Dorothy Parker would have liked to drive around in this looking for the latest poetic inspiration.
April 2014 Camano Island-17Want to protect your interest in these pristine relics?  Have no fear!  There is a squad of ancient warrior trees that will watch over them for a nominal fee.  Don’t let the rumors about the blood sacrifice deter you.  It really doesn’t need to be a friend or family member.  Then again, that may just be the answer to one of those prayers you are afraid to voice.  And not to worry these talented trees show their appreciation by absorbing all of the offering, leaving no trace that could ever point back to you!
 April 2014 Camano Island-20
You know?  I could be Bonnie and Clyde’s car.  But, it isn’t because its lacking that unique embellishment of all those bullet holes.  Of course, it could be their spare car!
 April 2014 Camano Island-22And here we have one of those lovely guardian trees showing its appreciation for an offering it received by doing the solar dance of freedom.  The supplicants are hiding in the little shack, as it has been rumored that these dances can bring about the dropping and flinging of branches and pine cones of most unusual size.  Injuries and death have been known to result to unprotected supplicants and it has been proposed that there might be an intentional component in this as it would provide additional sacrifices to these ravenous creatures.
 April 2014 Camano Island-24And as I drive onto the island, I take a turn on one of the side streets that I have been eyeballing for quite some time.  It was a beautiful long stretch of road that ended at the coastline on the other side.  I’ll save that area for another day.  But, I had to stop for the clouds.  And this one just looked like a storm God baring in for an assault on the ground below!!
 April 2014 Camano Island-25Or maybe its a momma cloud Goddess chasing after its runaway offspring.  Poor little thing!  Oh Wait!  No!  Its dancing and chanting, “naner, naner, naner!  Can’t catch me!”  Ah, but we all know that mom will win this battle.  And that light misty rain that followed?  The little one with the paddled bottom!
 April 2014 Camano Island-29
Just looks more ominous with the hues changed, don’t you think?  You almost expect a tornado to rear its body off in the distance!
April 2014 Camano Island-34
Okay, all I have to say here is:  Breathtaking, isn’t it?
April 2014 Camano Island-37
I was seriously considering going over and knocking on their door to see if they would give me the ritual they used to summon their own cloud above them.
 April 2014 Camano Island-39Ah yes, and we step again into that wayback machine to a simpler time, a time of Laura Ingalls and John Wayne and no electricity and not internet . . . . Yeah, maybe not.
 I do love the broken down, dilapidated structures!!!April 2014 Camano Island-43
 April 2014 Camano Island-45Looks like they have more than plenty of room for guest here.  And don’t have to worry about them being underfoot!  And its nice there are windows so they can look out, or be watched!
 April 2014 Camano Island-47
And right close to the barn too!  They won’t have far to walk to milk those cows on the way in for breakfast,
 April 2014 Camano Island-51
And one of my favorite trees on the island.  Yes, you know its Spring as its getting in is lovely foliage!
 April 2014 Camano Island-52And this was the last picture I got before my beloved camera got sick.  Its now at the camera hospital and though I do have the point and shoot to keep me somewhat occupied, life will not be the same till my baby comes home.
Oh, and do note that I am now adding a slide show at the bottom of the posts where you can look at all the pictures, some of which are not shown above.  Feel free to leave comments and there is a subscribe button if you want to see new posts as I write them.  Thank you for stopping by!


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

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.