We took a visit to the locks at Ballard on the 4th July weekend. We had anticipated a ton of boat traffic for the holidays but we were wrong. Maybe everyone was at home with family members. The result was very limited traffic through the locks. They were just using the smaller lock. One boat that did make the traverse was a rather nice looking old wooden sailing boat. I imagine it requires a fair bit of upkeep but it looked like the sort of boat that you could make relaxing trips in if you had a load of spare time.
I watched this Maule pull out of the hangars on the west side of Boeing Field. It was given taxi instructions by the tower which involved a right turn to taxi south on Bravo. For some reason, they turned left and taxied north. It didn’t take long before a gentle reminder was provided and they did a quick 180 and taxied to the correct end of the runway for departure. As they climbed out, I could see their markings next to the cockpit. They had some mission marks that suggested they may have fought for the Rebel Alliance against the Empire. The Maule is a nice little plane but it is hardly the Millennium Falcon!
Nancy has been busy planting in our back yard at home and one of the plants she has gone with is a lavender plant. Some of the plants take a while to get established and even longer to attract the wildlife but the lavender seems to be an instant hit. It has had a steady stream of bees visiting it as well as other creatures. Bees are the focus today.
I spent a little time lying on the ground by the plant with the macro lens fitted. This is not necessarily an ideal choice as my macro is not a high end lens and it has pretty slow focusing motors. The camera tries to drive it but often it can’t keep up. However, stick with it and you can get some shots that work out. One of the things I had not anticipated was the proboscis that the bees have. Maybe they tuck it away when not on plants but, as they move between parts of the plant, it stays out and it is rather an intimidating looking item!
I recently posted about the flights of the first Korean P-8. Next customer down the line is New Zealand. The P-8s are built at Renton but fitted out at Boeing Field so their first flight is to move across and then they go in to the hangar for a while to have the mission equipment installed. The first New Zealand jet has emerged from the paint shop at Renton and I saw it one weekend as it sat on the flight line awaiting completion for its first flight. I doubt I shall see that happen but I will try and catch it once it is undertaking test flights. I also have the second at Renton for good measure.
The high point – literally and figuratively – of the North Cascades Highway is Washington Pass. If you aren’t heading to the other side of the Cascades, this is also likely to be the point at which you turn around and head back the way you came. There is a parking area and trails at the top to allow you to wander around and take in the view of the pass including the highway far beneath you as it starts its descent.
It was July when we were there and the sun was out and the conditions warm. There were still hints of snow on some of the more sheltered slopes but the summer plant life was making its presence felt. The views up there when the air is clear are really lovely. I think I have posted images from here before but it always changes so here are some of my recent shots.
While driving around the back of Renton, I saw this nice floatplane. It is a SIAI Marchetti 1019 – a utility aircraft with a turboprop powerplant. Based on the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog, it had a decent military career and now plenty of them have found their way into civilian hands. A short while later, I saw pictures of this airframe at Oshkosh for the annual EAA gathering. Our paths were to cross again, though, when it showed up at Boeing Field, making an approach to the short runway. A bit further away than ideal but definitely cool to catch it again.
I was down on our project site having a look at the progress that is being made. Most of the large columns for the elevated sections have already been built but one more needs to be done later than the others because it goes where a temporary road had been placed. They are now getting to it and the rebar has been put together that will go inside the column to reinforce the concrete as it is poured and sets. Looking through the tunnel of this rebar as it sat on the ground awaiting the pour, I loved the pattern that it formed.
Until recently, I had only got one good shot of a Hawker 4000. This was Hawker’s effort at a larger bizjet and it also made extensive use of composites. It originally came under the name Horizon and the development program was very long requiring a couple of extensions to the certification application because it was expiring. The plane did not sell well and it was discontinued. They are so rare, the first time I shot one, I didn’t even realize what it was and figured it was a Challenger 300. Aside from one high overhead, I hadn’t seen one since.
When I saw one was due in to Boeing Field on a Sunday, in figured that was worth a trip on its own. I didn’t have anything going on so I headed over. As it happened, there was plenty of interest at BFI that day so the trip was very productive. However, even if that hadn’t been the case, it would still have been worth it to catch this unusual and rare type.
A sunny Sunday afternoon had me driving past Renton so I figured I would stop off to see a few things. I swung by the floatplane base after I had done whatI came for and things were quite quiet. I had just missed a few planes and wondered whether I would bother hanging around. Then a Cessna made an approach, as covered in another post, and, while it was taxiing back to the dock, I saw a Kodiak heading towards us down the lake. Initially I thought it was going to make a straight in approach but, since the main Renton traffic was operating to the north, I guess it had to fit with that.
Consequently, it made a path that took it towards the eastern shore of Lake Washington before carving a sweeping, descending turn towards the lake. With the hills of that shoreline behind it, things looked pretty impressive. There were plenty of people out on the lake in boats, kayaks and paddle boards and they would have got a really good view as it came in to the lake to touch down.
They taxied back towards the base and I hadn’t appreciated what their plan was. I figured they were tying up at the dock and I had moved away slightly but they had dropped the wheels and were coming up the slipway. A good dose of power was needed to come up the ramp. I wish I had shot that or, better yet, got some video. I will have to go back to the seaplane base there. The new fencing is not great but there are still some good photo opportunities to be had.
A while back I posted some shots I took of the rowing at the University of Washington during the Windermere Cup. What I didn’t share at the time and what I only recently remembered I had found amusing was the parade before the racing started. The Seattle Yacht Club participated with a parade after the races but, beforehand, three of their leadership went the length of the course on a boat. The three of them were apparently an Admiral, an Admiralette (apparently that is a thing as if a woman can’t be an Admiral) and a Vice-Admiral. They were dressed up like extras from HMS Pinafore. I found the whole thing rather bizarre.