My visit to Cattle Point in search of foxes had me trekking along the cliff tops hoping to spot some creatures on the prowl. I met a local couple that suggested they normally saw foxes further along the coast and so I headed that way. As I kept moving, I did get some wildlife encounters but it was with bald eagles rather than foxes. They were soaring along the cliff tops using the updrafts. At one point, one popped up over the edge close to me and stared at me briefly before gliding on. I was too slow to pick up the camera and instead watched it fly by. I did catch some of its compatriots later in my walk, though. If I’m not getting foxes, eagles are okay but I can get them at home!
The repainting of the Salmon Thirty Salmon jet caught a lot of attention and was the subject of a previous post. The jet was not destined to be in standard Alaska Airliners colors, though. Instead, it went to be painted in a special livery that has a salmon connection. This time it is adopting a native theme to the painting. The name is Xáat Kwáani which means Salmon People. It was unveiled in an event in Anchorage and made a couple of flights within Alaska before coming home to Seattle. It arrived on a Friday evening so plenty of people were out after work to catch it landing. I’m sure I’ll see it again plenty of times but it was nice to get it on a lovely evening.
Return to the Clifton Suspension Bridge
When we lived in the UK, Nancy and I spent a weekend in Bristol as part of a visit to the balloon fiesta that is held there (or at least it was then – I don’t know whether it is still a big event or not). As part of that visit, we did head up to Clifton which sits on the hills overlooking the center of Bristol. The area is most famous for the Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning the gorge in which the River Avon runs. Built by engineers based on a design that Brunel had originally proposed, it is quite a structure although the movement you feel in it as you walk across it is a little unsettling.
As you walk along the river from the harbor, you come around to get a good view from the underside of the bridge high above. We walked up this way to get a little closer and I accepted the cloudy day for what it was and got some photos of the bridge. You are walking along the river but also a rather busy road so it isn’t the most relaxing way to spend some time. However, I did get a view from below to match the ones from above from our previous trip.
Merlin Tormenting Me
During our stay in Longparish, we could hear the sound of helicopters on a regular basis. We weren’t far from both RAF Odiham and Middle Wallop so getting military movements was to be expected. Getting a camera to hand when they came over was another thing. However, while on one walk, we did see a Royal Navy Merlin operating across the fields and behind some trees. Getting a clear look at it was very difficult and, as we got closer to where it was on our walk, it naturally moved off somewhere else. I never got a good shot. Here is the best I could manage as they taunted me by remaining just out of reach.
Sheep Checking Us Out
Our wanderings through the lanes of Longparish took us past a bunch of fields filled with sheep. When they are young, sheep are super cute. As they get older, not so much! Also, my encounters with them over the years have suggested that they aren’t the brightest of creatures. Doesn’t stop me finding them interesting, though. These guys were munching their way around the fields, hiding under trees, licking tree trunks for some reason and occasionally coming close to the road to see who it was that was the other side of the fence. There was no way I wasn’t going to take some pictures of them!
Q400s Into the Horizon Sunset
The Alaska Airlines fleet is undergoing a transformation. Part of that was the removal of the Q400 from Horizon’s fleet with the Embraers becoming their only platform. Suddenly getting shots of the aircraft seemed a lot more interesting. I did manage to get the retro livery special one more time as it took off one evening. As it headed into the sunset, it seemed far too on the nose for their retirement. A few weeks later, they were gone.
While in Vancouver in November, we made a trip to North Van to see some friends. That meant a trip on the Seabus. The tricky thing about getting images of the Seabus is that you can’t really do anything if you are traveling on it. The dock is enclosed and the views are restricted so you don’t really have any options (or at least I haven’t worked out what they might be). However, I did go to the heliport which is very close by and this does provide a better view of the comings and goings of these ferries.
It’s not the most elegant of vessels but it does the job effectively. Back and forth without turning since it is a bi-directional vessel. It’s all about shuttling across the harbor as efficiently as possible. I did also shoot some video of it but it is safe to say that there is nothing terribly dynamic about it that makes for an exciting video!
Different Angles on Sentimental Journey
A jump back to the visit of Sentimental Journey last year. Because she was here for a while, I was able to shoot from a variety of locations to try and get some different shots of her. The weather played ball while she was in Seattle unlike the conditions at Arlington the following week. It was fun to try some different angles on the same plane since I had got the initial shots I wanted.
How Many Coots Do You Need to Stay Safe?
We went through a phase at Juanita Bay when the number of coots really rocketed. They were a popular source of food for the local eagles, but they had to work for it. The coots were gathered in large groups on the water and the eagles would do their best to get one isolated so that they could pick it off. As they got close, the flocks of coots would get startled and would start flying around to evade the eagles. Watching this action from a distance was fascinating as this large number of birds tried to move as one to protect themselves. Not a time for being independent!
Better Timing With This Ex-LATAM Delta A350
The movement of the ex-LATAM Airbus A350s that Delta has picked up on their way to Singapore via Seattle got me out once before. The jet was arriving after dark but I gave it a go anyway. The next one to make the move from California to Singapore came through at a more convenient time for me being both daylight and also when I wasn’t at work! The weather was not perfect but the sun did pop out which made for some reasonable lighting and it was a chance to catch a jet in LATAM colors which I probably won’t get very often.