Morning at the Lake

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.

Back of Violet-green Swallow at Lake Cushman.
Front of a Violet-green Swallow.
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.

View of Seattle from our evening stroll on Beacon Hill.


Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

(This post was written Friday June 1 but couldn’t be posted until we drove to town today to get internet access.)

We accomplished everything we set out to do while in Portland. I wound up buying 14 books when I went to Powell’s so I had to leave before I got out of the first room or I would have had to take out a loan to get out of the store. After purchasing too many books, I went to pick up the donuts and the line was amazing. Nevertheless, I hung in there and got Buttermilk, Horchata, Creme Brulee, Meyer’s Lemon and Key Lime, and Sugar and Cinnamon. I didn’t want Regis to fight with me over the Horchata, so I gobbled it up before he could see it was an option. Yum!

We took a side trip to Cannon Beach on the Pacific Coast. It was lovely and I tried to take pictures of the birds on Haystock Rock. Just as I got started, ALL (probably several thousand) the Common Murre’s on the rock decided to depart at the same time. It was amazing to watch. We had know idea there so many birds up there. I’ve included a picture below showing a closeup of the rock and then I enlarged a small section just so you can see how densely packed the Murres were.

Birds on Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon
Common Murres close-up from the middle right of the picture above.
Common Murres leaving Haystack Rock to head out over the Pacific Ocean.

After the trek on the beach, we had lunch at an amazing restaurant at an inn. The food was incredible. We visited Cannon Beach many years ago and all I can remember is the food. This is why. Cannon Beach has the best food.

What Regis had for lunch at Cannon Beach.

We stayed on an island in the Columbia River that was part of Portland. I never heard a bird. I heard planes, trains, and toots from boats. It was a busy place. It was ok for a few days but I prefer to listen to the birds instead of the planes, etc.

We are now on the eastern side of the Olympic Mountains but west of the Hood Canal. It’s more remote than I expected. We arrived on Thursday to a mostly empty campground nestled in the woods next to Lake Cushman. We have no cell phone service at the campground. Lot’s of the land west of us is wilderness area.

It’s in the 50’s during the day. We can launch kayaks from the campground but I’m still not ready to kayak in cold weather. I have a wet suit, so we’ll likely do it before we leave. Regis says he has no intention of getting wet, so he doesn’t need a wet suit. I want to make sure we go out on a calm lake to minimize our chance of getting into trouble.

The other thing that is intimidating is the mountain that is right across the lake from the campground. Although the picture below has it almost hidden in clouds, you can still see the snow.

Snow capped mountain by Lake Cushman on the Olympic Peninsula.

I heard owls last night, not planes!!! And, today is Friday and the campground appears to be filling up for the week-end. The ranger went around putting reservation signs up and they are on almost all the sites.

I’ve already come up with a longer list of things to do than the days we’ll be here. We picked out a hike to the top of a mountain that is supposed to have meadows, forests, and nice views. Plus, we can take Dart since it is in the National Forest, not the National Park. We think it is either next to that snow covered mountain or is that snow covered mountain. There is a winter route and a summer route. I think because of the time of year, we’re in the middle of the two. If we can’t take the summer route, we’ll likely not go the whole way. The weather status at the ranger station included an avalanche warning, so the winter route is out.

We’ve walked Dart through the campground several times and with so few campers, it has been a breeze. Dart has the placed scoped, so now any changes will bother him. I tried to take him for a walk this afternoon after some new campers showed up and he was not happy they were there. He barked and growled. They weren’t there last time so they do not belong as far as he’s concerned. Jeez! With all these reservations showing the new folks coming in, tomorrow morning is going to be a disaster.