Category Archives: regional

Feathers Revealed: The Spring Birds of Bainbridge Island, WA

Spring is springing on Bainbridge Island, my nose is running, the neighbor’s rooster is crowing cuz the Hubs hasn’t beheaded it yet, and our seeds are attracting some colorful eaters (even the ones we planted in dirt *raises angry fist*).

And also a toofastforphoto hawk. I sometimes wonder if I am offering seeds to the birds or birds to the hawk…

If you couldn’t figure out who was hiding last week, here he is out and proud, American Goldfinch in his mating colors.
goldfinch birdSure, he looks all cool and collected, but he had to make an effort as those seeds got lower in the container. goldfinch reachStreeeetch. Goldfinch tippy toes. But it worked.goldfinch eatsNearby, but not on the feeder (perhaps smarter and safer and harder to get a clear picture of?), a Yellow-Rumped Warbler.yellow rumped warblerHe was zigzagging all over the branches…yellow rumped warbler under leaves, snacking, a real busy body. What’s funny to me is I had it noted in the bird book that he was here April ’09 and ’12, and here he is again. The dude is consistent.

Another jumpy set wouldn’t even hang around if I got anywhere close to the windows, Band-Tailed Pigeons. DSC_0022They’re big and piggy and very skittish. I like to hear them coo‘ing from the trees. Here’s a closer shot I’ve posted before. I had to sit and wait, very still with my feet up while sipping tea like a real wildlife photographer. band-tailed pigeon And way up high, an oldie but a goodie, right? bald eagle the Bald Eagle. While down on the ground, ignoring every bird except that danged woodpecker who taunts chirps real loud…wirehaired pointing griffonthe lazy, spoiled wirehaired pointing griffon.

Life is good.

Herons and Griffons and Water, Oh my!

Today is gray and misty, so I am going to remind myself of the sun we had only a few days ago. Come to the beach with us, won’t you?
great blue heronIt was a gorgeous day in Western Washington. We weren’t the only ones out.
crabOur wirehaired pointing griffon didn’t notice that she’s eleven.wirehaired pointing griffonAnd she was very nice to the much bigger younger dog she met.dog friendsShe would not stay out of the water.wet griffonSomething about that tasty salt water splash.racing griffonShe’s wasn’t alone in that exhilarating love of the splash, either.crazy boysplash downBrrrrrr. I’ll stick to the ground, thank you which I did in that sticky mud flat….great blue heronWhat a day.

Have you been outside enjoying spring?

Seattle Houseboat Tour 2012 – See For Yourself!

Hello, my name is Wendy and I am addicted to houseboat tours.

Every other year, the Seattle Floating Homes Association hosts a tour of houseboats. And I go and I go. This year may have been my 4th, or possibly 5th.

I’m fascinated by the whole scene. They’re all so different, some very quirky, some Architectural Digest. It pulls me in like a giant belt buckle to a magnet. Or rain to Seattle…

I’m sure I romanticize the whole existence like I do with so many other people or things.

I’m the first to admit the reality of living on a houseboat may not be so great. First off, there’s no garage to park in oh, yeah, like when the Hubs filled my side of the garage with tools years ago….

Also, there are beavers to battle for possession of your stuff like the Kid and the Dog. And God forbid, you get less than sober and slide right off your wet, Seattle wooden dock and into the drink yeah, there’s really no comparison here. Brrrrr.

But there is all this to counterbalance that….
So, who’s in for 2014?!

Wet camping trip? Try dutch ovens and lemon squares!

Camping is becoming a ritual for our family (now that we can put the kid to work!), and this year we battled Mother Nature to prove it.

Everyone always kids in a totally serious way that summer doesn’t start around here until July 5th, but at my brilliant suggestion we bit the bullet and went camping anyway.

Just to give you an idea of the weather we faced, here’s a headline I read when we got back: “Summer squall downs trees, knocks out power around region.”

And this: Seattle’s total rainfall for June so far is 2.78 inches through 5 p.m. Saturday – which makes it the eighth wettest June on record with still a week to go.

So, we left in a downpour and hoped the worst had passed through. Foolish, yes. Because where we headed ended up with .63″ of rain Friday, .3″ Saturday, and then voila! on Sunday, the SUN came out for us to pack and get the hell outta there before we all grew mold in our private areas.

Our friends fed us martinis and abandoned us left early, halfway through the weekend, which just goes to show it’s all relative because in Juneau, Alaska, yours truly was the prissy camping princess.

It helps that the Hubs is true Alaskan and can tie up tarps at 100 yards. We also ate well and constantly. Here’s his set-up. He’s #1 on the local hunters’ most-wanted camp cooks list…
That was our entertainment, sitting under tarps and watching the Hubs make stew, roasted chicken and braised short ribs.
In case you think I did nothing but growl…
(Ok, probably a fair amount of growling was heard while I sat by our additional, illegal campfire because I was scared if I went in the tent I’d never come out!)
I’ll have you know that I pre-measured ingredients to try to make lemon squares, baked in a Dutch oven. We had nothing else to do, so we were zesting, juicing, stirring, patting, and baking. Granted, I forgot the powdered sugar, but it tasted pretty decent in all our sogginess. Yes, life gave us lemons and we made lemon squares!We couldn’t keep covered enough out there. But, the surprise Jiffy Pop was a huge hit and went pretty well with wine in a box.Like I said, the sun did come out Sunday, thank goodness, so we kept our sanity packed easily and hung stuff out to dry at home.

Ok, Mother Nature, now that you waterboarded us from the sky we’ve paid our dues, all the rest of the summer camping weather will be splendid, right?!

A camping princess can dream, can’t she?


Do you have any tips for camping in wetness?? Would your family stay or pack back up?

Puppy Love: A Harbor Seal PUPapalooza!

The sun came out around our little island so we all slacked off on our medsjust as everyone sat down with their beer and their chips to watch football, I got the fam out and about.
I confess, I’ve been going a little stir crazy this winter. You?
And not only do we get an awesome, sunny day in a beautiful place, but look who we met!
My first harbor seal pup sighting! Ever! And that’s after seven years of Southeast Alaska and ten years in Puget Sound (I’ve done so much for only 29). Finally!
So, sit down. You’re gonna get an eyeful of pup.
It was naptime.
We call this “the love pose.” Pink tongue!
Every now and then, he’d look around. Especially when dogs were close by.
Aw, little nails.
Awww.
Double awww.Sleeping baby. Shhhhhh.

[Note: If you ever see a seal pup on the beach, steer clear. Usually, mama is close by fishing and will be back to pick up her babe. Read more here about seal haul-outs in Washington. Keep wildlife wild!]