Category Archives: video

Chilly Hilly 2022

The Cascade Bicycle Club organizes a few large rides throughout the year and March is the time for the Chilly Hilly.  This is a ride around Bainbridge Island which means taking the ferry from Seattle across to the island.  I was going to do the ride with a friend of mine but he got injured prior to the ride so I ended up doing it alone.  Not many photos from the ride but I did record some video on a GoPro and that result of that is below.  It wasn’t too chilly but it was definitely hilly!  No video from the big climbs.  Too much effort went in to not grinding to a halt!

Our Pet Gull

Our hotel room in Victoria was near to the top of the building.  The window was set into the roof line.  We had a flat space outside the window and it was popular with the local bird life.  On several occasions, we had a gull land on the space and stand there for a while.  It actually seemed interested in us rather than deterred by our presence.  No guarantee that it is the same bird but we started to feel like it was visiting us on a regular basis.

More Alice Taxi Trials

The testing of the Eviation Alice continues.  My first post on this was when they tried to do some high speed taxi trials but didn’t manage to get the plane going.  However, they have been making more progress since.  I managed to get up there when they were planning some more taxi trials.  I was hoping for some more fast work which they delivered.  Not fast enough to get the nose wheel off yet but progress all the same.

A few photographers were out to see what occurred.  The test team did not seem too happy about the level of interest.  I think they would prefer to get early testing work done without the world watching.  They did have their own multimedia team, of course.  Various cameras were doing the official recording and some drone work was done as they carried out the trials.  A NOTAM for the UAV was in place for several days.  I went with stills and video and put some stuff together for GAR and here is some of what I got.  Let’s hope to get more as they progress.

Stormy Chicago Sky Revisited

Living in the Midwest provided plenty of stormy weather days.  The way in which the storms could brew up on warm afternoons was really impressive.  I have always loved lightning and sometimes we got so much of it, you would stop paying attention.  One afternoon, there was a storm forecast to roll across the city.  I decided to head out to the planetarium since it has a great view of the city and I was hoping for lightning behind the skyline or maybe even on some of the high buildings.  I am not sure whether it is a thing but it seemed like the lightning would be more prevalent at the leading and trailing edges of the storm so I was hoping to get shots before the rain made it no fun to be outside.

Things didn’t work out quite as planned and there wasn’t the lightning I was hoping for.  However, I did get some amazing cloud formations rolling across the city.  Watching this come towards me, it was hard to recognize that this wasn’t some CGI on a movie but was actually heading my way.  It looked amazing.  It wasn’t long before I retreated to the car once the rain showed up.

On another occasion, I was flying in to Midway.  As we made the turn back towards the city after flying out over Lake Michigan, a really intense storm cell was sitting north of the city.  It came into view as we turned and I videoed it with my phone.  It was another beast of a storm, and it was probably rather damp underneath it.

Driving Across The Hills In The Snow

Our trip to Cannon Beach got delayed a day by snow on the hills which you have to cross to get to the Oregon coastline.  When we did make the crossing, not only were we properly equipped (as shall be seen in another post) but the weather was transformed.  The sun was out, and it looked picturesque.  The snow was still heavy on the trees and the hillsides while the road was compacted snow.  Consequently, it was white everywhere.  We were on a major road that would normally be traversed at speed but, due to the traction devices fitted, we were limited to 25mph.  It made the crossing pretty protracted, but it did provide ample time to look around and see the scenery – and the occasional vehicle off the road!

Stillaguamish Flowing With Power

Storms and rain have been a feature of the fall of 2021 in the Pacific Northwest.  I was out with a buddy riding up the Centennial Trail in Snohomish County.  Part of the trail, north of Arlington, takes you across an old rail bridge over the Stillaguamish River.  The north and south forks of the river come together at this location and the combined river heads under the bridge and off towards Puget Sound.

The rivers were in flood and the amount of debris built up against the bridge was indicative of just how much damage the rivers had done on the local area.  With two strong flows of water, the area where they came together was swirling with some violence.  Whirlpools were popping up and heading downstream.  Below the bridge, you could see upswellings of water from the lower levels and it looked like the sort of thing that would be very dangerous to find yourself in.  The video I shot doesn’t really do it justice but you might get some sort of impression of how active it was.

Now This Is A Tug!

Sunny Saturday afternoon and we were coming back from Discovery Park.  Our route took us passed Commodore Park which gives immediate access to the Chittenden Locks at Ballard.  With it being such a nice afternoon, we decided it was worth a brief stroll across to see what was going on.  There were a number of smaller boats coming through the little lock which we watched for a while.  Then, coming up from Puget Sound, we saw a large commercial vessel approaching.

It was a tug returning from time out on the open ocean.  There are plenty of tugs in the area – many of which are not too big – but this one was a decent size.  No doubt there are larger ones for open ocean recovery of vessels but this was still impressive.  The crew was busy preparing for port.  Hosing the salt off the superstructure, greasing up exposed metalwork and gathering all of the trash.  They had to wait for a short while because the lock crews were still working the smaller lock.  Then they were summoned in.  A little burst of power from a tug this size can really get the water churning.  Since they needed the larger lock, the other waiting boats were brought in too.

Once the water level was raised, the lock gates were opened and the water flowed through to finally balance things out.  The current whipping past the tug made it look like it was moving at some speed even though it was standing still.  Once cleared to depart, they pulled off gently.  Since a lot of small craft were behind them in the lock, they couldn’t just give it the beans or their wash would have bounced everyone around.  Instead, a delicate application of power and they were on their way.  Below is a little video of them to go with the stills.

Pileated Woodpecker or Pterodactyl?

I was riding down along the west side of Lake Washington approaching Renton when I saw something large on a dead tree trunk alongside the road.  With the number of bald eagles and ospreys that I see down there, I was assuming it would be one of them.  However, it was a woodpecker.  I have heard of the pileated woodpecker but had never seen one for real.  It was pulling the trunk apart with abandon and it was huge.  Combine the size with the crest and it looked just like a pterodactyl.  The thing was massive when compared to any other woodpeckers I see.  My phone was not ideal for photos but it did a pretty good job of getting some video.

How To Spook Geese

I was riding along the Sammammish River Trail back in to Woodinville one weekend when the noise of geese suddenly filled the air.  On the other side of the river from the trail are fields which often are filled with geese feeding.  A large flock was gathered there on this day but their grazing had been interrupted by the arrival of a bald eagle.  It flew across the area and barely changed course as it did so but it certainly startled the geese and they all took to the air.

They flew around in circles for a while waiting for the eagle to get safely out of the area.  Then they gradually calmed down and more and more of them settled back in to the fields to resume eating.  However, this was a slow process as they had clearly been spooked and weren’t going to relax easily.  This was all starting as I cycled up but I did manage to pull my phone out and get a bit of video of this happening so here is the brief burst of excitement before things settled down again.

Murrelets Feeding On the Dock

When walking along the shore at Mukilteo, I will often see one or two Murrelets diving for food in the shallows along the edge of Puget Sound.  They are not rare but nor are they particularly abundant.  Consequently, I was rather surprised when at the new ferry terminal to see a large number of them swimming in the water around the new pier structures.  There was a constant stream of them diving down and surfacing again.

I can only assume that something is growing on the surface of the steel posts that support the new loading spans.  The birds would swim up to the posts, dive straight down for a while – presumably as they grabbed the food – and then surface at an oblique angle.  The result was a cycle of birds going down and back up again.  It looked really strange and seemed like something that would stop but there must be plenty to eat as they just kept going.  I figured video was the best way to show what was happening so below is a short clip of them feeding away!