San Juan Island Trip

I got up at 5:20 Monday morning to drive my daughter to San Juan island to pick up a used two-person kayak. It was a long drive and we didn’t have time to do much but pick up the boat and turn around and come back, but I couldn’t imagine driving that far to that neat of place without taking my camera.

Sure enough, we’d barely gotten on to the ferry and I noticed several Pelagic Cormorants, in full breeding colors, standing on the ferry terminal,

Pelagic Cormorant in breeding colors

and before long it became clear that they were building nests in the supports.

Pelagic Cormorant with Nesting Materials

Unfortunately, it was so dark that I couldn’t manage to clear shot of cormorants flying back to their nests carrying fish. I had to be satisfied with the best shots I’ve ever gotten of this birds.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get nearly as good of shots of this Rhino Auklet, the first one I’ve ever seen, because it was so far away and dove as soon as the ferry got even close.

Rhino Auklet in the distance

I couldn’t help, along with most the passengers with cameras, of this Australian yacht anchored in San Juan harbor. It’s nice to know that the economic downturn apparently hasn’t hit everyone.

huge yachat

Still, the owner I really envied was the one driving this small craft.

Small Craft

I’ve started seeing more and more of these boats lately and wondering if they might not be the perfect boat to meet my needs.

Belfair-Thuya Trip

Our record-breaking heats disappeared yesterday as we headed out for new adventures in the Belfair-Tahuya area. In fact, it was downright cool and cloudy most of the day, probably appropriate for a day that featured both summer and spring flowers.

We started the day looking for quail in clear cuts, but yours truly got distracted by the flowers, daisies, the first I’ve seen this year.


foxglove which looks even more beautiful in a clearcut than it does in our front yard,


and wild roses.

Wild Rose

Ruth was upset I’d wandered off and missed the quail, but I was too enchanted by the flowers to be upset by a missed birding opportunity.

The highlight of the day, however, was the native pink rhododendrons
that absolutely dominated the landscape around Wood Lake.

Native Rhododendron

Huskies Win Softball Championship!

Not too much going on around here but yard work and housework. Our recent hot spell found me spending a good part of Sunday restarting the sprinkler system, which always seems to need tuning up before it will actually come on regularly without flooding the neighborhood. I couldn’t put it off any longer since I finally planted the corn the middle of last week. I was spending more time hand watering it than it took to get the sprinkler system working. I also put up the tomato frames I built last year since the tomatoes finally started growing, too. I was rewarded by seeing row after row of corn emerging today.

While we were at Lowes and Home Depot picking up planting needs, someone decided we should also pick up items for household projects. I’ve also managed to replace the broken toilet seat and the shower head, both relatively easy since I’ve done them before. I found replacing the garbage disposal a little more challenging because I’ve never had one before and, thus, had no need to replace one. I was a little intimidated until I went online and found several videos on how to replace one. Armed with that knowledge, it was a relatively easy job. I continue to be amazed by the magic of the internet, wondering how I ever managed without it.

Of course, I’ve also managed to waste a considerable amount of time on Facebook, mainly playing, and losing Scrabble games. Still, it provides a nice break after my three hours of exercise at the YMCA and walking the dog and I enjoy interacting with neighbors two houses down from me, in Pennsylvania, and right across the border in British Columbia. We won’t mention the blogs that I continue to read daily.

My favorite time waster lately has been watching the University of Washington Girls Softball Team win a national championship. After several years of watching Seattle professional teams and, worse yet, Husky teams, crash and burn, it was a real treat watching the girls play. It’s hard not to feel a little sorry for the Florida girls, since they, too, seemed deserving of a win, but it was great to watch a Husky team finally come through and win it all. Maybe the softball team will actually get more (some) local TV coverage next year. They darn well better get lights for their field so they can host some tournament games next year. Fortunately, the season is over and I won’t be spending three hours a day watching the games, which means I should be able to get out and get more pictures soon.