Orcas

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Orca mom and baby (T65A’s) in Puget Sound.

June 20

I went on a whale watch tour with the Puget Sound Express.  The tour leaves from the same marina/campground where we are staying, so it was convenient to walk over.  On the way, we spied this little river otter hanging around the boats.

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River otter in Point Hudson marina.

Christopher, the captain heard about some whales by Seattle, so we headed south on Puget Sound.  The whales were located right off the campground on Bainbridge Island where we stayed recently.  We saw the group T65A’s.   It was a family group and there was a baby whale.   Sarah (Puget Sound Express) gave us lots of information about the whales and lots of other things.  She told us this was the only known baby whale in the area.  I got lucky!!  Christopher and Sarah were knowledgeable and delightful.  It was a great trip, so I hope to do it again before we leave.

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Orca (T65’s) in Puget Sound.
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Orca (T65’s) in Puget Sound.
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Orca mom and her baby (T65’s) in Puget Sound.
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Orcas (T65A’s) in Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in the background.
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Orca’s (T65A’s) with Seattle in the background.

There are a lot of deer in the area and you meet up with them any time of day or night. Yesterday, there were a mom and two fawns at the entrance to the marina.  We saw the buck below when we drove around the area the other day.

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Deer in Port Townsend.

And, as I keep saying, I love the flowers.

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Flower in Port Townsend.
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Flower in Port Townsend.

Three years ago I took a whale watch tour with Puget Sound Express and saw orcas.  I wrote a blog post here.

Under the Salish Sea

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Sea anemone at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

June 19

The weather warmed up quite a bit yesterday.  I woke up yesterday morning at 4:30 to watch the sunrise.  Dart joined me.  The water was calm and the sky was clear.  I saw a sea lion swim by and a few seals.

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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 18.
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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 18.

Later, we rode our bikes a couple miles to visit the Port Townsend Marine Science Center to get a look at the animals you can find under the Salish Sea.  They had microscopes set up so you could view the life in the drops of water taken from the Puget Sound.  I could have spent hours watching the zooplankton swimming around.

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Sea anemone at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
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Sea life at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

We almost died riding our bikes.  We had to ride up a long hill to get to the Center and I couldn’t do it.  I was very proud to get up the first part of the hill.  When I rounded the corner and saw that I was no where near done, I gave up and walked.  It was exhausting.   There is a big difference riding in flat Florida compared to riding these steep hills.

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Ferry crossing Puget Sound on June 17.

Last night we got quite a thrill.  There were over a dozen river otters moving through the water together.  They may have been feeding.  They were lots of fun to watch.  They hung out together in a tight group.  I am happy to have a good pair of binoculars that work well in low light conditions.  We could hear the otters making noises.  Sometimes they would all pop up their heads at the same time, chitter to each other, then go under the water at the same time.  We watched them for at least 20 minutes before they got too far away.

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Dart and Coco. Dart is a Shetland Sheepdog and Coco is a Bedlington Terrier.

I tried some sunrise pictures this morning and the sky was not as clear.  There is some cloud cover coming in.  The sunrise lacked some of the warm colors I saw yesterday.  (The best colors are always before the sun rises.  The best sunset colors show up after the sun sets.)

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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 19.
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I believe this is an immature White-Crowned sparrow.

Drama

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Purple martins

It is entertaining to watch the drama with the Purple Martins.  Watching them in the air was like watching a dogfight between early era airplanes.

 

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Purple martins
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Purple martins
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Purple martins
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Purple martin
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Purple martins

We got onto the water today to do some kayaking.  I love watching the seals pop their heads up to check us out.  Really, that is so cool.

Regis has been going out every morning on foot or bike to check out the pastries in town.  I think we’ll have to go on a major diet when we leave Port Townsend.

Our son and his friend left today.  We’ve had so much fun getting together in the local restaurants that I’m going to miss the GREAT food and company.  We’re going to have to fast for the next couple weeks!

 

Gifts of the Day

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Racoon. 

I love to venture off with the camera and see what gifts the day will bring.

I heard a bunch of crows screaming at something.  I investigated and saw the racoon hanging out in the tree.  Every time the racoon moved, the crows went crazy.

I loved this little Kingfisher.

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King Fisher at Fort Worden State Park.
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Kingfisher at Fort Worden State Park.

A pair of Bald Eagles were hanging around.

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Bald Eagle at Fort Worden State Park.

This little bird was singing his heart out.

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Flowers everywhere!

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Momma and her little one showed up in our campground.

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Fawn in Fort Worden State Park.

 

 

Otter

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Otter in Puget Sound.

We’ve spent the last several days on Bainbridge Island which is a ferry ride to Seattle.  We only got to Seattle once, but we’ll be back later.  The campground is on the water, so we got to see the amazing cloud formations as the weather changes.  We experienced sunshine, overcast, rain, and hail during our stay.

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View from Bainbridge Island.

This morning was the coolest because we saw an otter in the water.  It stayed around for awhile and was very interesting to watch.  It seemed to be curious about the people watching it.  Neither Regis or I got a good picture, but we’ll share what we have.

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Otter in Puget Sound
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Otter in Puget Sound
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Otter in Puget Sound

We are now in Port Angeles for a couple days before we head to Port Townsend for a couple weeks.  My son and his friend and Coco will join us in Port Townsend while we watch the kick off to the Race 2 Alaska.  It’s a very cool race.

Morning at the Lake

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Geese on Lake Cushman

On our last day at Lake Cushman, we spent part of the morning at the lake watching the birds, looking at the flowers, and listening to the buzzing of insects.  Lots of blueberry bushes and other flowers are in bloom throughout the forest, and the bees are happy.  I watched swallows catching insects over the water.  I tried hard to get pictures, but they are small and fast.  I could only catch them when they landed briefly on a post or sign.  When I loaded the pictures on the computer, I was able to get my first good look at them.  They are a new bird for me.  They were Violet-green Swallows.

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Back of Violet-green Swallow at Lake Cushman.
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Front of a Violet-green Swallow.
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Bee making sure there will be lots of blueberries this year.

We are camping on the water on Bainbridge Island with a view across Puget sound to the Cascades.  The Cascades spend most of their time hidden behind clouds and, today, rain.  Nevertheless, it’s beautiful.  Seattle is a across the sound and a ferry ride from here.

I went to local grocery store in Poulsbo after we set up camp.  Words cannot describe how I felt entering this grocery store.  Just the oyster/clam section is larger than the whole seafood section in most grocery stores.  I was in sensory overload and couldn’t even make a decision what to get for dinner.  The prepared food section is one of the largest I have seen.  There were so many options, it was hard to make a choice.  I’m buying food one day at a time so I don’t wind up buying more than we can eat.

I had a doctor’s appointment the next day in Seattle, so Regis dropped me off at the ferry and I took it to Seattle and walked to the doctor’s appointment.  Then, I walked to the camera store and found out they were having a photo fest this week-end.  What great timing!  Then, I walked back to the ferry to catch up with Regis and Dart when they arrived by car.  I hung around where the cars disembark from the ferry and there are a couple policemen directing traffic when that happens.  Since I hung around on the corner for about an hour waiting for the Bainbridge Ferry, I think the guys were suspicious of me.  I spent a half hour talking to my mom on the phone and then sat on the curb and starting reading a book.  I noticed they kept looking over at me.  I think they were relieved when I disappeared.

We met our son and his friend for dinner.  We haven’t seen them in a year and a half.  It was also great to see my favorite Bedlington Terrier, Coco!  The weather was beautiful, so we got to sit outside at the local brew pub.  We went for a nice walk afterwards and got some great views of Bellevue and Seattle.

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View of Seattle from our evening stroll on Beacon Hill.

 

The Rockies

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Mountains to the west of Big Timber, Montana.

At 4 something this morning, Regis woke me to remind me I wanted to see the sun rise on Devil’s Tower.  I had a hard time sleeping last night, so I’m pretty sure I finally fell asleep at 4 something minus 1 minute.  I can’t say that I cared when Regis woke me, so he went out by himself while I slowly got myself moving.  He caught this picture with the warm light from the sun rise bouncing off Devil’s Tower and the rocks beneath. It’s a shame I missed the live view!

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Devil’s Tower in the glow of the morning sun.

As a result of Regis’ enthusiasm, we got a very early start.  There was very little traffic and we got to drive on some nice roads as we headed out of Wyoming into Montana.  I fell in love.  The scenery was beautiful and I never saw so many Pronghorns in my life.  We saw hundreds of them.  We also saw deer and a beautiful fox.

As we headed west through Montana, the snow capped Rockies rose in the distance both to the southwest and the west.  How could I have forgotten how big they are?  We haven’t seen them in a few years and we were both flabbergasted.  They are huge.  These are all part of the Rockies.  We are seeing the Absaroka Range (a segment of the Rockies) to the Southwest which is on the Montana and Wyoming border.   It is between us and Yellowstone National Park which is one of my many favorite places.

The Yellowstone River is 2/10 of a foot below flood stage.  The last time we went through here it was hot and dry in August.  Now, the mountains have snow on them, the vegetation is lush and beautiful, and the river is overflowing it’s banks in places.  It looks different.  The river is gorgeous, but that is easy for me to say since I don’t live next to it and have to worry about flooding.