Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Zoom In on a Heron

 A Great Blue Heron - sitting on the bank of a slough - I only had a few seconds to get my pictures - we were parked on the narrow edge of the road, on a curve, on a bridge -  in Edison, WA (in case you are wondering where Edison is, it is right next to Bow, WA - two tiny villages just south of Bellingham)


I was very happy with the colors that day.

 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Scavenger Hunt

Sunday is a good day for a scavenger hunt!

1. Dress Up.
 
 American Girl Dolls dressed up to be models at a craft show in December.  They are modeling hats and bags for sale at the craft show.


2. Candy
 
Oh My!!! 

3.Fall Colors
4. Trick or Treat
Grampa Bear thought this was a cupcake - it is a pincushion - that's a mean trick.
 
5. Photographer's Choice.
 Mt. Baker with a lenticular cloud - I've waited several years to get this photo.

The Snow Geese Are Back

Last weekend we had the one last fabulous day of summer - and since then - rain.  I love the rain - but I love the surprise sunny days just before the rains start for autumn and winter in NW Washington.  

We took advantage of the nice weather last Sunday and drove down to Skagit Valley to see the Snow Geese.  My last post has lot of info about the Snow Geese - so I won't repost that - just some photos of them.  You can read the Snow Goose information by clicking "older post" at the end of this post.  We were really fortunate - there were flocks and flocks of Snow Geese right along the hiway on Fir Island - cars stopping on both sides of the road to look at the geese and take photos.






They would fly up and settle back down - sometimes in the same flock - sometimes in a flock down the road a ways.


They never seem to land on top of each other - good radar I suppose


When someone would get out of their car and move quickly the geese would all look in that direction and move away from the road - getting farther and farther away .  Hint - slow movements don't alarm the geese.
 


The darker variation of the Snow Geese are called Blue Geese - two Blue Geese mating will have Blue Geese - a Blue Goose and a Snow Goose mating can have both Blue and Snow Goslings
















 

 



Weekly Top Shot (s)

The Snow Geese are back in NW Washington - by the thousands.  We saw four massive flocks on the ground down near Conway - this is just a small portion of one of the flocks.
The sound of the flock is amazing

 Snow Goose hunting in the eastern United States was stopped in 1916 because of low population levels.  Hunting was allowed again in 1975 after populations had recovered. Since then, their populations have continued to grow, to the point that some areas of tundra nesting habitat are starting to suffer. They are now the most abundant waterfowl on the continent.


Some interesting facts about snow geese 
 Length  27–32 inches  (69–83 cm)
 Wingspan -54 inches (138 cm)
 Weight - 3 1/2  lbs. - 7 1/4 lbs. (1600–3300 g)
 
The Snow Geese complete their annual migration in a week or less, stopping on the coasts of Alaska and Siberia along the way.  The information about their migration and movements is provided by satellite transmission tags, put in place on selected Snow Geese by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. 
 
Most of the Snow Geese are seen on Fir Island. Fish and Wildlife manages the 225-acre Fir Island Farms Reserve specifically for snow geese on the island, where winter wheat crops are grown for the birds each year in partnership with a local farmer.  Fish and Wildlife purchased the property in 1995, but the birds have been using the area since at least the 1940s,
The birds move from Fir Island during the day to Skagit Bay at night, and some flocks even take  short trips north to Canada’s Fraser Delta or south to Monroe and back.
And when the flock, or parts of the flock take off - it is spell binding.  I often forget to take photos as I watch and listen.  It is like standing inside a snow globe.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Signs and Fences

Two random fences
I'm not sure how this fence could be electrified, but the fence and the sign were certainly interesting.      
 Another great old fence, with a wonderful Raven on it


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yellow House

This lovely house is set in a large yard with lots of trees, shrubs and mowed lawns.  It used to be a Bed and Breakfast - I noticed this year that the sign was gone.  It sits among fields where the Trumpeter Swans visit every year and was named the Trumpeter Swan Bed and Breakfast.
 Bare tree branches reflected in an old glass paned door
 Trees and shrubs blowing in the wind - just a touch of autumn colors beginning to show
 Turrets - perfect for daydreaming among the tree tops
 A quiet, warm autumn afternoon in later October - rare for us this time of the year
Bay windows reflecting the outdoors

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Black and White Wednesday

 On our regular route through town on the way to Skagit (sounds like gadget) Valley, something caught my eye.  Quick. Turn Around.  What was that?

In a clearing, down a hillside (Bellingham is built on a series of many hills and gullies, very little actual flat land) there was an old building.
This had been a very heavily wooded gully - and it had been logged recently and scraped bare for a new housing development - except for the old barn - or was it an old house?  I can't decide which.  It isn't shaped like a regular barn - but doesn't have the windows one would expect of a house. 
How long had it been there, deserted and left to be covered with blackberry vines and trees?
 What stories does it have to tell?  Who looked out that door?  Were they far, far out of town then?  And now the house is in the middle of town.  And why did the construction company leave it standing?  There was no one around to ask - and there was a locked gate so we couldn't drive down the hill.
 What was in the lean-to?  Did the family cow find shelter there?  Were there chickens roosting, waiting for morning so they could scratch about in the yard?
 Moss on the roof and ferns sprouting out the top.
What secrets do you have, dear old