Category Archives: Pacific Northwest

Back to Some Old Cormorant Shots

Regular readers will be shocked to see more cormorants showing up on the blog.  These aren’t even recent shots.  I can’t recall why I was running through old images, but it matters not.  All that is relevant is that I came across some older shots I have of cormorants sunning themselves which I had forgotten I had.  This got me looking for others.  The result is a few new shots of my favorite birds to share on the blog.

Golden Global

Most bizjets have pretty uninteresting paint finishes but occasionally you get one that is a bit different.  This Global showed up one afternoon in this gold finish which looked rather special.  It had a logo on the fin which I didn’t recognize but, a little bit of searching showed the plane as belonging to Enrique Iglesias.  He was in town for a show and, with Drake having brought his 767 in previously, we got another performer and their jet.  I hope everyone had a good time at the show.  I didn’t see him depart.

Port Gamble

Our trip to Port Gamble was a bit of an impromptu event.  We had been to Poulsbo but, having failed to appreciate that it was the day before St Patrick’s Day and the town was full of people dressed in green and drinking heavily, we figured a change in strategy was necessary.  Port Gamble is a short drive away, so we headed there instead.  We had only driven by, previously, so didn’t know exactly what to expect.

It is a cute little place.  Developed around a mill, it is not a big place.  However, they have done a nice job of preserving many of the buildings.  Some are still residences, but many are now shops or tourist features.  As we drove in, two large water towers on our right announced where we had come to.  Their green paint was in great shape (although a polarizer was a useful thing to have to take the glare off them and let the green show through).

We walked through the town looking in the various shops as we went.  We were also considering lunch options and the General Store was one possibility we went in to.  While we didn’t end up eating in there, it was a very interesting building once inside.  The lower level was a shop and café but upstairs had a museum.  I didn’t check the museum out, but I was fascinated by the big interior space the building had.

There is a pavilion looking out over the sound that seems to be set up for events such as weddings.  Nothing was going on while we were there so we could check out the grounds.  On a sunny spring day, looking out over the water seemed like a great place to be.  I think we chose a good time to go since the weather was nice, but it wasn’t as busy as I suspect it will be as the summer approaches.  A nice day trip for sure.  (Also, the place we did get lunch had excellent food!)

Falcon 50 With Winglets

If a Falcon 50 is coming and I have the time to be there, there is a good chance I will.  What could make a Falcon 50 even more appealing?  Having winglets fitted.  I didn’t know that when I went to catch it, but you can guess that I was rather pleased when that turned out to be the case.  It feels as if there have been lots of Falcon 50s in the area in recent months.  Maybe I am just noticing them more or maybe they have been more common.  Either way, I’ll take it.  Add some more with winglets and that will be even better please!

Propping Up Poulsbo’s Shoreline

An elevated walkway has been built along the shoreline in Poulsbo.  It runs from one of the parks in the center of town along the water to another park.  We went along it during one of our visits on a delightful, sunny, spring morning.  The hillside beside the water climbs up quite rapidly and there were many logs lying up the slope all well aligned with each other.  It was hard to tell whether they were integral to the stability of the slope because they weren’t deeply embedded.  However, their position seemed to suggest more of a motive, so I wonder if they are reinforcing the slope.

Not Many P-3s Left So This Was a Treat

When my friend Paul first told me he was going to be in Seattle over the holidays, I thought we wouldn’t be able to get together.  However, circumstances changed, and it turned out we could go out and check out the local aviation scene.  We had been getting some stuff locally but a check on ADSB showed a P-3 and an EP-3 out at Whidbey Island and we debated whether to make the run north.  In the end, we went for it.  The EP-3 had been out a while already and it did return before we got there but we were not going to come up short.  A P-3 made its return with some lovely December sun on it.  It flew a bunch of patterns which meant the chance to try different spots to get some images, so we were rather pleased with the outcome.

Bloedel on a Chilly But Sunny Day

The last time we went to Bloedel was after restrictions started to be lifted during the pandemic.  They had a timed entry system and a one-way route around the gardens to keep people spaced out at that time.  The one-way system has gone but they have kept the timed reservations it seems.  Not sure whether this just helps them out or if it has some other reasoning but it does stop the random decision to show up.

It was a lovely day to be out and about but, since it was winter, that also meant things were quite cold.  That does make for a good combination for light although the low sun angle will mean more areas are in shade.  The lakes, the woods and the run down to the house are all very appealing.  We also took a walk down the river to one side of the house and then back up the other side.  I am not sure whether we had taken that route previously as it didn’t seem very familiar.  It did have some nice falls that I may have been shooting for the first time.  A great way to spend a day out (and it includes a ferry ride to Bainbridge so a double win for me!).

Retirement for a Falcon 900EX Pilot

I was chatting with one of the Sheriff’s team at Boeing Field one weekend and he asked me if I was there to get the retirement flight.  I told him I didn’t know about it, and he said a Falcon 900EX pilot was coming in shortly on his final flight.  They were planning a water cannon salute for him.  The location of the hangar meant it wasn’t ideal to get shots of so I decided to go and get the touchdown of the flight and then do the best I could for the salute.

While I was waiting for the Falcon to return, I could see the fire trucks positioning themselves for the salute.  They were a good distance off so I knew that I wouldn’t get really compelling shots.  Nevertheless, I would be able to get something.  They had a couple of quick tests to make sure the water was flowing and then waited.  Soon enough the Falcon touched down.  A helicopter came into land just beforehand and blocked part of my planned shot but there was no time to change so I just adapted to what I had.  They rolled out to the north end of the field and then taxied in for the celebrations.  The fire trucks started spraying their water and the Falcon taxied through the water arch.  Then it was all over from my perspective.  I imagine that they celebrated a little longer.

As an aside, I went to the hangar the following week and asked if they wanted any shots.  They couldn’t have been less friendly if they had tried.  If they didn’t want anything, that’s fine but try not to be so miserable to someone just trying to do something nice.

FHCAM’s 262

My most recent visit to FHCAM was also my first encounter with their Messerschmidt Me-262.  I knew they had one, but it was never on display when I went previously.  Fortunately, it is now part of the main museum exhibits.  I think the 262 is a very interesting looking design.  Early jets were not always the most elegant shapes but the 262 had a really interesting, blended look to the fuselage and wings.  I was hoping I could find a way to get something that reflected that in my shots.  What I really wanted to do was use the monopod to get some higher angle shots but the museum has strict rules about such stuff so I had to make do with whatever my arms could manage.

The jet is a pretty small airframe.  That generation of planes was not particularly large with a few more specialized exceptions so this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.  Compared to modern jets, it is tiny.  First generation jet engines were not efficient beasts so it would have worked its way through its fuel load quite rapidly, I imagine.  That assumed that both motors kept running for the whole flight.  I still haven’t seen one of the restored/replica 262s fly, sadly.  I wonder if I shall do that at some point.

Rainy Sunday for the National Queen

Given that National Airlines has a better than average livery, I will always be happy to get a shot of their planes.  The 747s are a favorite given that they are less common post the pandemic.  I was therefore really pleased that one was due into Paine Field one weekend.  Of course, this is the Pacific Northwest and that means no guarantee of good weather.  Sure enough, it was a bit overcast, and the air was damp.  I wasn’t going to get gleaming illumination of the airframe, but I might get some vapor.

Things weren’t that great but there were some vortices streaming from the flaps as they came across the threshold at the north end of the airport.  The grey of the livery was blending a bit with the clouds behind it, but the blues did still have a bit of punch to them.  It could have been better, but it was still something I was pleased to get.