Category Archives: Pacific Northwest

Shells, Shells and More Shells

The beach in Eastsound seems to be made up heavily of shells.  Walking across it felt like a very destructive act as the shells crunched under foot.  I don’t recall ever being somewhere that was made up of so much shell material.  It looked very attractive but I didn’t like the breakage that came with it!

The Motion Of A Caterpillar

I have recently come across a couple of caterpillars during my wanderings.  One of them was in the parking lot at work while another was out on a trail.  Caterpillars are strange creatures because they only have a few “legs” which are bunch up together with one other at the other end of the body.  No doubt, a specialist would be cringing right now at the inadequacy of my description.  The result is that the motion of the body is quite complex.  Video is the best way to demonstrate this so I used the phone to get some footage including when the sun angle really helped to emphasize the complexity of the movement.

Cirrus and Grand Caravan Getting In Each Other’s Way

Boeing Field is constantly operating from both runways at the same time.  The light aircraft traffic on the short runway can co-exist with whatever is underway on the main, long runway.  However, despite the clear ATC instructions, there are occasional when things don’t quite go to plan.  We had a Cirrus and a Grand caravan on approach to the parallel runways.  I am not certain who was at fault, but from my angle, it appeared that the Cirrus was drifting off towards the wrong runway.  It corrected its path but not before the pilot of the Grand Caravan decided that things were not looking good and went around.  It didn’t take them long to get back around the pattern and the second approach was incident free.  I don’t know whether the controllers ended up talking to either crew or not.

View From The Bridge

Arriving back in Seattle from our UK vacation, we got to use the new international arrivals facility.  This includes the bridge from the South Satellite.  This crosses the taxiway between the two terminal buildings.  It’s not like you have the time to hang around in the area and I imagine they might discourage you from doing so.  However, you can grab a few shots of the aircraft beneath you while crossing.  The reflections were a bit of a problem but I am not going to be there very often so make the most of it!

Slapped Around The Head But Still Swallowed

When watching the herons hunting in Juanita Bay, you never know exactly what they are going to catch.  Something like a stickleback will be a relatively easy thing for them to swallow once they have caught it.  On one occasion, though, a heron caught something a little longer.  I am not good with different fish so can’t tell you what it was but it had a long body and a tail with some power.  The heron had the front of the fish in its beak but the back end was still flailing around.  The heron was hoping to win the battle but the fish made sure to give it some healthy whacks around the head before it finally succumbed.

Kitsap Ferries

A variety of ferry operators have made their way on to the blog over time.  Today I get to add a new one for me.  I was taking a WSF ferry to Bainbridge Island and, as we were departing Seattle’s Colman Dock, some Kitsap Ferries services were also arriving and departing.  The light angles weren’t ideal but I figured I would add to my collection of ferry shots anyway.  Maybe I will go back deliberately at some point in the future to get some better shots.

What Spooked All Of The Gulls?

Just off Cattle Point on San Juan Island, there is a small island which, on the day we were visiting, was very popular with a load of gulls.  While we were standing, looking in that direction, all of the gulls took off at once and were circling for a few minutes before they settled down again.  I had assumed that a bird of prey was nearby to cause them to get airborne.  There are plenty of eagles in the area.  However, I couldn’t make out anything specific that had caused them to be startled.  Maybe just one of them decided to take off and the rest followed just in case!

A Marine Corps Bonus Package

One weekend, I was at Boeing Field for a visiting warbird.  I was pleasantly surprised to see some US Marine Corps helicopters across the field too.  A combination of UH-1Y Venoms and AH-1Z Vipers were on the ramp.  I had no idea if or when they would fly.  However, luck was on my side as a Venom/Viper pair fired up and launched on a training mission.  The rest stayed on the ramp while I was there but this pair taxied out to the main runway and then departed past my location.  A nice extra!

Sun On The Seminary

Despite having lived in the area for over five years, for some reason, we had never been to St Edward State Park before.  We went for a walk there that will get a separate post.  In the center of the park is the old Seminary building which has now been converted into a hotel.  With a nice sunny day to light it, it looked like a pretty interesting structure.  No doubt, it has some interesting history too!

Killdeer Versus The Worm

While I was down at Juanita Bay one weekend, a killdeer was hanging out on a muddy flat near me. It was busy extracting worms from the mud to snack on.  The worms were not totally onboard with this plan and they were doing their best to stay in the mud.  Some times the killdeer won the struggle and sometimes the worm did!