Gifts of the Day

20180615-1
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.

20180615-2
King Fisher at Fort Worden State Park.
20180615-3
Kingfisher at Fort Worden State Park.

A pair of Bald Eagles were hanging around.

20180615-7
Bald Eagle at Fort Worden State Park.

This little bird was singing his heart out.

20180615-4

Flowers everywhere!

20180615-6
20180615-5

Momma and her little one showed up in our campground.

20180615-8
Fawn in Fort Worden State Park.

Junuary

20180614A-1
A crow with the body of a crab in its beak.

Apparently, the locals call June Junuary because it is cold.  Summer weather doesn’t arrive until the end of the month.  I’m wearing my Florida winter gear while vacationing in Washington in June.

Our son and his friend are in Port Townsend until Sunday and we wanted to enjoy a a campfire together.  Last night was our last night in this campground that allows us to have a campfire.  Today we move to a new campground where we will stay for the next two weeks.  So, last evening we put on our coats and huddled around the campfire sitting as close as we dared in order to warm up.

And, while I sat on the beach in the afternoon with layers of warm clothing on, I saw someone swimming in the water.  Crazy!!!

Regis went off exploring and took a bunch of pictures yesterday.  He left the camera card on the table in the motor home.  When I saw it, I thought I forgot to put the card back in the camera, so I put it back.  Whenever I put the card back in the camera, I reformat it.  Oops!  All those pictures are gone.

Regis keeps an eye on the ship traffic.  He saw a submarine leaving Puget Sound yesterday.

20180614A-7
Ship entering Puget Sound.

I went on a separate exploration and found a White-crowned Sparrow singing his heart out.   I also saw a sea gull stalking a seal.  Every time the seal popped up, the sea gull flew over to it.  I think the seal was actively feeding and the sea gull was hoping to benefit from it.

20180614A-4
White-crowned sparrow in Fort Worden State Park.
20180614A-3
Killdeer trying to lure me away in Fort Worden State Park.
20180614A-2
Seal

There are lots of crows here and they search the beaches and campground for food.  They like to land on top of the motor home and run around.  It’s hilarious.  It drives Regis nuts.

20180614A-5
Crow with a tasty tidbit.
20180614A-6
A closer look at the crow’s tidbit.

And They’re Off

20180614-3
2018 Race 2 Alaska competitors.

We woke before 4:30 this morning to watch the start of the Race 2 Alaska (R2AK).  The sky starts to lighten around 4:00 here, which is taking some getting used to.  We are camped right on Puget Sound, so I grabbed Dart and my camera and walked over the small dune to the beach, sat on a drift log, froze, and watched the boats powered by wind and/or humans race by.

20180614-1
Sunrise over Whidbey Island

There were numerous boaters out watching the race, so it was hard to tell who was in the race and who was just watching.  I was very impressed with the paddle boarder, kayaker, and rowers.  There wasn’t much wind, so the human power crafts started off well.  But, it’s long way to go.

20180614-2
Folk watching some Race 2 Alaska competitors as they pass Point Wilson with the sails glowing in the morning sunlight.
20180614-4
2018 Race 2 Alaska competitors.

I love this campground.  I’ve seen seals, dolphins, fish, and an otter out in the water.  We’re staying in the Port Townsend area for a couple of weeks.  It’s going to be nice to drink a cappuccino while sitting on a log looking out over the water as the sun rises over Whidbey Island and the animals reveal themselves just offshore.

Lake Crescent

20180613-1
Stream exiting Lake Crescent.

We spent time exploring the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula.  We somewhat lost track of where we were and wound up bumping in Lake Crescent.  I’ve been to the lake several times, but never approached it from this side.  The lake is beautiful and very clear.  We stopped the car in the middle of a one lane bridge so I could take a picture and wouldn’t you know it, another vehicle showed up.  There are very few of them out here.

20180613-2
Plant life and boulders on the shore of Lake Crescent.
20180613-3
Lake Crescent on an overcast day.

You can tell it rains a lot west of Port Angeles because there is so much moss everywhere and all over the trees.  There is plant life growing out of every nook and cranny.  If no vehicles passed on the roads, I’m sure all that plant life would just grow right over it.

Today we’re off to Port Townsend to participate in the Ruckus that takes place the day before the Race to Alaska begins.

Sign
Road sign on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Otter

20180611-5
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.

20180611-1
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.

20180611-7
Otter in Puget Sound
20180611-6
Otter in Puget Sound
20180611-2
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

20180608-1
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.

20180608-2
Back of Violet-green Swallow at Lake Cushman.
20180608-3
Front of a Violet-green Swallow.
20180608-4
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.

20180608-5
View of Seattle from our evening stroll on Beacon Hill.

Rhododendrons

20180605-3
Rhododendron bloom on Mount Walker.

June 5

We spent the day exploring the west edge of the Hood Canal. We set out in search of Eagles and found some. Mostly, the Eagles were soaring over the side of the mountain but one adult sat in a tree nearby and one Juvenile did a fly by.

20180605-5
Immature Bald Eagle.

We drive to the top of Mount Walker and there were lots of rhododendrons in bloom. When we got to the top and had to walk a short way from the car to the viewpoint, Regis had to point out that he saw more rhododendrons in bloom in that short space than our entire 3 mile walk the other day. The blooms are beautiful. There are foxgloves blooming and some yellow flowers beginning to burst into bloom everywhere. Spring is a lovely time to be here.

20180605-6
View south from Mount Walker.

From the south viewpoint, we could see Seattle in the distance. From the north viewpoint, we could see Port Townsend, Whidbey Island, and Mount Baker. It was pretty cool to get a view from above of the places we will soon be visiting.

20180605-1
View of Seattle from Mount Walker.
20180605-2
View of Mount Baker from Mount Walker.

While Dart and I were walking today, we found an injured mouse. The mouse’s leg was broken. I called my friend Melody who knows how to rehabilitate wildlife and she told me how to help the little mouse. Regis and I were going to have to perform surgery, but we had the tools to do it. We never got that far. I tried to give it water but it was so weak by then, it couldn’t drink it. Sadly, the little mouse didn’t live long. The mouse may have had internal injuries. I’m guessing it was hit by a car.

20180605-4
Rhododendron bloom on Mount Walker.