We particularly enjoy watching the otters while camped on the shores of Puget Sound. We saw them several times while camped on Bainbridge Island and we see them regularly here in Port Townsend. They appear to be very successful catching fish. We often see them near shore as they swim in the water in pursuit of fish. Once they are satisfied, they exit the water and sometimes roll in the sand afterward. They are adorable. Sometimes they exit the water to eat the fish and that’s when Regis saw the bald eagle steal the fish from an otter. We have seen them in the marina and running around outside the restaurants. I heard someone say they often go under the restaurants. They are very difficult to photograph. If the sun is out, the wet otters reflect the sun. A polarizing filter would help, but we don’t have filters for all our lenses. Other times, they are too distant to get a good shot. I think the picture Regis got above is one of the better images.
Yesterday, Dart turned 10. Because of his digestive issues the best treat he got was a little bit of spam with medication stuffed inside to aid in his digestive problems and a few bits of bacon. Regis took the stuffing out of his new bed and put it in in old bed and it worked out well. Dart is clearly happier with his old bed back.
We were fortunate yesterday that the sun came out in time to enjoy a picnic on the 4th. Jason, Dan, and Coco arrived in Port Townsend on Friday and are staying in a nearby hotel. They joined us at our campsite overlooking Puget Sound for lunch and Dan’s parents came up from the Kitsap Peninsula to join us. We picked up some take out food from one of the restaurants in the marina and had a lovely afternoon outside in beautiful weather. Jason and Dan performed a few songs for us with Jason on the guitar and Dan singing. It was a beautiful performance. After they sang “Hallelujah”, one of our camping neighbors stopped by to tell them how lovely it was.
Following are pictures of wildlife at Point Hudson.
We are camped on a small piece of land between the marina with a few restaurants and the water. Regis recently said he can tell easily whether it is high tide or low tide and I asked “what, by looking at the water?” He said he didn’t have to look at the water. He can look at the roofs of the restaurants. If they are full of gulls, it is high tide. Fewer gulls means it is low tide.
We have seen a lot of gulls here and I am enjoying them. Sadly, two days in a row this week I found a dead juvenile seagull on the shore and both are still there. I don’t know how they died. It seems to me that if the eagle killed them, it would eat them. I have seen some dogs running free on the beach chasing the birds, so I wonder if it could be a dog. I don’t know, but the birds look basically intact without checking them more closely.
The glaucous-winged gulls with the chick now have three chicks. This picture only shows two of them.
Dart vomited on his bed twice in the last week and after cleaning the cover a second time, Regis said the pillow stuffing had to go. It smelled bad. I drove two hours round trip today to try to get new stuffing. I wasn’t happy with the stuffing available in the craft store, so I checked out the nearby Petco and purchased a new bed instead. When I got back, Dart smelled it, got on it, and immediately exited. He was not interested. Argh! He has many beds at home because he inherited beds from our collies. I purchased his bed when I got him and he will turn 10 on Saturday. All his beds have been with him since he arrived in our house. He stuck his nose up at this new bed. Regis placed the cover of his old bed over top of the new bed and Dart reluctantly got on it this afternoon. He tried desperately to rearrange things and finally gave up and took a nap. Whew!
It has been typical Pacific Northwest weather the last few days. I saw the sunrise our first morning but the last three days have been foggy, drizzly, and cool. Usually, the water is calm so it would still be nice to sit out, but its cold. It has been in the low 50’s getting up to a high of 60 or so on a good day lately. Today, I brought out my winter coat and found that it is tolerable. As long as I can stay warm, I can appreciate it.
Overcast days are better for taking some pictures, so I took advantage of the situation. Here are my favorites from today.
Regis found this sign while wandering around in Port Townsend.
This morning, I mentioned to Regis that I had only see one harbor seal since our arrival. The last few times we were in this area, we saw lots of harbor seals. This morning, a group of them showed up. I felt better. Although, I know that the transient orcas having been doing well in Puget sound and they eat seals. The resident orcas eat salmon and they are not doing well.
Our trip this year was planned around this campsite in Port Townsend and a Hummingbird workshop that I was scheduled to take in Arizona in late August. After we left Port Townsend, we were going to work our way through Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado into Arizona for the workshop. I just found out the workshop is postponed until next year which is not surprising. As a result, we will head home after Colorado. We are enjoying being outside and exploring the country, but much of it is shutdown and we are trying to be safe. This is the first time I have come to Port Townsend and not gone out on the local whale watching tour. I go every time and see whales every time and it is a huge thrill. They have reduced the number of people on the tours but I would want to stay outside on the boat, which I have done in the past. But, it is really chilly here. If I’m cold on land, I’ll freeze on the boat. I was warmer last year on my trip to Alaska.
It is still lovely to hang around the campsites and enjoy the scenery and wildlife, but we haven’t been doing the other things we would usually do when we travel. Cutting short this trip may not be so bad and perhaps things will be better next year. I’m already planning the trip!
We have been enjoying walking around the near vicinity at Point Hudson in Port Townsend and enjoying the wildlife. When the sun is out, we sit in our chairs with binoculars and scan for wildlife, etc. Yesterday, Regis spotted a submarine being escorted out of Puget Sound. He pointed out the menacing boat behind the escorted sub. I said it didn’t look menacing and he assured me it was. He also noticed the other boats in front that were part of the escort. He had every boat identified and knew what was happening and I was only capable of maybe identifying the gulls flying by. I appreciated the education. We took pictures but they were on the other side of the inlet with a lot of humid air between us and them and the pictures are terrible.
I walked through town yesterday and visited a used book store that I love. I didn’t find the books I was looking for, but found others and was happy to pick them up. I love looking at the local art in the galleries and viewed them from the front window.
Today, I awoke to watch the sunrise and it was foggy so there was nothing to see. I will go with the flow. I later walked the beach at low tide and saw lots of sea anemones that should be green, but they were brown. I suspect that is not good.
The sun came out for part of the day, so we bundled up and sat outside in our chairs with Dart and scanned for birds, etc. with our binoculars. It was fun until the sky turned too cloudy again and it was too cold and we went back inside. My son loaned me his paddleboard so I could use it but it is too cold for me. I have seen people paddle boarding but I am a Floridian sissy and can’t bring myself to do it. I want very much to get out on the water. They rent kayaks in the marina but we are not sure they are open. With Covid-19, things are not normal. The office was closed today but I will try again tomorrow but I understand if they stay closed. We must take things day by day and be grateful for what we have.
The sky was overcast this morning, so I took the opportunity to get some pictures of the flowers in the campground rain garden.
I love to get outside just as it is getting light before the sunrise. The water is usually calm and the birds are beginning their dawn chorus. There is little to no human activity, so it is quiet. I enjoy seeing the colors in the sky change and reflect on the water. Since I was able to get my camera set up at our campsite by our picnic table, I brought a cup of coffee with me today to enjoy while I waited for the sun to rise. While waiting, the seagulls started to make a lot of noise and I knew to look for the eagle. It was on a nearby log, so I took some video.
Before we left Port Angeles this morning, we went up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park to try to get some good views/pictures of the Strait and Canada. The weather was not cooperative and the pictures weren’t good but we saw lots of deer. I like the following picture because it shows “whiskers” on the chin.
We arrived in Port Townsend for a favorite campsite. We reserved this campsite a year ago and scheduled the rest of our adventure it. The campground was closed until about a week ago, so it was iffy as to whether we would be able to stay here. Following is a video panning Regis and Dart at the campsite and the view we have. You’ll understand why we love it. The land across the water is Whidbey Island and you will see the ferry that goes between Whidbey Island and Port Townsend.
I suspect that we won’t be doing much for the next 10 days except enjoying this amazing view and walking through the town. For someone who likes to be out in the wild, I am a little surprised that I love this place so much. There is lots of wildlife at our doorstep and we are in town and close to food, etc. With Covid-19, things will be different. Some of the restaurants are open for outdoor seating and take-out, so we got take-out for lunch. It was nice to have something besides tuna fish or chicken salad for lunch.
Dart has voted to stay here forever. He loves this weather and its hard to get him back in the RV. He likes to lie outside in the shade and watch the happenings while Regis and I sit in the sun and watch the happenings.
Following are just a couple pictures of the wildlife we saw today.
As I was writing this post, I heard the gulls making a racket. I looked out and saw that all the gulls had vacated the spit out in the water and there was a lone bald eagle standing there.
This is a post after the fact. I was reading in one of the newspapers recently about some crazy weather in South Dakota and went through our South Dakota pictures and found a couple pictures we took of the weather while we were there.
This picture was taken from the campground one evening. Every night we were there, a storm came through quickly.
When we went back to Badlands National Park one evening and got some cool photographs of the bighorn sheep, Regis took this photo of the storm that raged through before we got those pictures. After the storm passed, the lambs went nuts and ran all over the place. This picture is taken from the Pinnacles Overlook.
After we arrived in our campground in Port Angeles yesterday, we immediately drove to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park and drove to Obstruction Point. There was snow in the area and the wildflowers were amazing. As I tried to get pictures, my hands froze. If it was allowed, we would have let Dart romp through the snow since he loves it.
Today, we visited the Hoh rainforest in Olympic National Park and the surrounding area. It was overcast, sometimes drizzly, and chilly as you would expect. I love the mosses, ferns, and other plant life in the rainforest. We couldn’t hike with Dart, so we settled for pulling over and exploring near the car. It was still worth it. I’m sure venturing further off the road would have been awesome but we enjoyed our rainforest experience nevertheless.
On the way back, we saw a few elk which we were not expecting. We pulled off the road for a picnic lunch and Regis found a baby bird in the grasses. We don’t know what kind.
I spent another morning watching the sunrise over Puget Sound. Below is a video with the accompanying morning bird song. There were a couple ships going up the Sound, so you can hear their low rumble also.
I also enjoyed watching some geese silhouetted against the light from the morning sun and the reflection of the suns rays off the water.
After this lovely experience, Regis went out to take pictures and I took a shower. We haven’t had sewer hookups for a couple days, so I have to be very careful with our water holding tanks. When taking a shower, I wet myself down and shut the water off before soaping up, then I rinse off to reduce the amount of gray water in the tank. This morning, after soaping up, the hot water heater cut off. The water coming out of the shower head could not have been colder without freezing. Oh my goodness was it cold to rinse off. By the time Regis returned, I was done and immediately told him it was time to sell the motorhome! I will no longer take a shower without him being available to fix this problem that has happened occasionally. It has only ever happened to me and it is always between the initial rinse and the soap up. It never happens while doing the dishes and it never happens to Regis. Go figure.
And the eagle won. Regis was videoing a river otter that was eating something when an eagle showed up to steal the prize.
I went out before sunrise and there was too much cloud cover to see the Cascade mountains or Mt. Rainier. It was quiet and beautiful and I saw an otter and a seal in the water. The otter had a nice size fish. They were too far away and the light conditions where not good to get a video but I found this snail nearby and videoed it instead.
The place is full of white-crowned sparrows and Regis found this one with a beak full of food.