Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
A canoe comes on shore at Potlatch State Park today.
This is Day Four for the Hood Canal portion of the Tribal Canoe Journey 2009 starting in Steilcoom and ending in Suquamish August 3rd.
The Hood Canal journey will spend two nights at Potlatch State Park then continue on to Brinnon, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Doe-kag-wats-Suquamish (near Indianola), Golden Gardens then Suquamish.
A Suquamish Canoe at Potlatch State Park - participating in the Hood Canal portion of the Tribal Journey 2009
Other groups are coming from Westcoast Vancouver Island, Inside Passage B.C., Mainland B.C. & San Juan Islands and West Coast Washington. All will meet up August 3rd in Suquamish, a total of 80 to 100 canoes and their support. A total of up to 12,000 people will be in Suquamish.
More on the Tribal Canoe Journey 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
After a week of kayak camp Joey is heading home, but first he wanted to take his Dad out kayaking and show him the ropes.
Joey and Roger were in a double kayak and I took a single. We toured close in Poulsbo, took in the sights on a beautiful day and after a rather short tour Joey was ready to head back in and head for home.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Joey coming into the kayak dock under his own power.
I am amzazed at the progress Joey has made in 4 days of kayak camp with Olympic Outdoor Center. Day 1 he didn't quite get the idea of paddling and now he moves right along under his own power. It was a long paddle today and he got a tow along the way but did much of the trip from Poulsbo to Keyport and back on his own.
He is having a good time, likes the counselors and other kids, has learned about the wildlife in the area and can't wait to go back each day. His confidence and smile grow each day.
One more day of class then Dad comes to pick him up on Saturday and Joey wants to take him kayaking to show him what he's learned. It will be fun Roger!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Joey returning after a morning on the water. Still a little assist at the end, but much better technique and great "heart".
The kayak obstacle course; Joey left his backpack at the far end of the dock and all the kayaks had been pulled up on the dock so he had to maneuver his way over and around kayaks both directions.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Good News/Bad News: Olympic Outdoor Center is moving to Port Gamble in the Fall.
Great news for Port Gamble where the kayak store and rentals will be a wonderful addition to the community and add a new dimension to the offerings already there.
Sad news for Poulsbo where Olympic Outdoor Center has had a store for . . . a long time; I'll have to check that out but far longer than I've lived in the area.
They will maintain kayak rentals and camps in Poulsbo but the retail portion moves to the Fire Station in Port Gamble.
The new kayak rentals in Seabeck, offered by Olympic Outdoor Center, are doing well so this will give them three bases of operation plus all their special trips.
Watch for the Moving Sale in September!
Paddle Kitsap coming up the end of the month; a two day, fully supported kayak trip around the north end of the Kitsap Peninsula. Check it out!
Not that I am going to do a day by day recap of kayak camp but day 1 was good. Joey pronounced it "great". I got there a little eary to watch them coming in. Joey is the last little yellow kayak.
Nothing to be ashamed of, getting a little help when you're the youngest in the class. Certainly didn't bother Joey.
A kayak just his size - cute!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Grandson Joey is coming for the week and taking kayak lessons at Olympic Outdoor Center. I'll pick him up at the ferry in about 45 minutes and once settled at home we'll pick up my mother and head for The Loft in Poulsbo for dinner on the deck (picture above).
It is just such a beautiful day, and expected to be a beautiful week, so playing tourist with Joey, age 7 and 1/2, will be fun. It's good to get out from behind a computer, "selling Kitsap", and enjoy Kitsap from a different perspective and that of a 7 and 1/2 year old is definitely different.
Also above are the NuCanoes and electric boats of NW Boat Rentals in Poulsbo. I've said it before but it is worth repeating; the electric boats are one of the coolest touristy things to do. They have a midweek special running through July with boat rentals just $49/hour and you can fit up to 12 in a boat. They are quiet, environmentally friendly, easy to drive and you can get up fairly close to the harbor seals and other wildlife. Best bet; fix a picnic or grab a bottle of wine, munchies and a few friends and head out in the evening.
UPDATE: I got a couple inquires about The Loft so here is my opinion. The atmosphere is "beachy"; bright colored chairs on the deck; misters for hot weather, garage type doors open to the bar and bright umbrellas. It overlooks the marina which is a huge plus. The food is good. All the meals there have been good and prices about right: no bargain but not over priced. The kids meals at $5 are great. Positives: definitely the food, the atmosphere and the staff; especially the owners. Negatives: small hard chairs, small tables and some of the dishes come with some greens which are minimal and slightly wilted. Overall: I've been there 4 times and I'll return - this is a great addition to Poulsbo. Why do we have so much waterfront and so few waterfront restaurants?
Saturday, July 18, 2009
As long as you're heading to your local National Park for the Fee-Free Weekend you might want to consider picking up your annual pass.
The Senior Pass is one of the best values anywhere. It is good for LIFE and only costs $10. The pass holder can take a car with 3 additional adults into any of the National Parks and a wide variety of other National Recreational areas at no cost.
You need to be 62 to qualify so Jim has his and I tag along. We got great use out of our pass on our May trip.
Details and a link:
This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over.
The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an
Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass admits the pass holder and passengers in
a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults,
not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas (children under 16 are admitted
free). The pass can only be obtained in person at the park. The Senior Pass
provides a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for
facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized
interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged,
only the pass holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The pass is
non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation
permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.
We are fortunate to live within an easy drive of three wonderful National Parks: Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park and North Cascades National Park.
Late yesterday I heard a familiar sound but one I hadn't heard for a while; two eagles calling back and forth.
I went out on the deck and the calls grew more intense. One eagle was in the tree south of our deck and as I watched a second eagle flew up into the same tree. The "chirping" was constant as the second bird landed and moved over next to the first bird.
After what seemed to be a greeting the two birds sat silently next to each other. This was the first time in over two weeks that I saw more than one eagle near our house.
To make things even better I could hear the call of another eagle down the beach to the north.
The eagles all disappeared after the huge fireworks show along the Indianola shore this year. One returned after a few days but it took over two weeks for more to return. I haven't been able to confirm more than three in the area at once so it would appear that some have not yet returned but I'll keep watching and listening.
Read back through my July posts for the whole story and pictures of the eagles.
Friday, July 17, 2009
One of the Suquamish canoes practicing on Port Madison.
The Tribal Canoe Journey 2009 comes to Suquamish August 3rd. There was a community meeting last night with some great information on what to expect during the 5 day event when Suquamish expects up to 12,000 people at one time.
It is going to be an amazing sight as up to 100 canoes cross Port Madison from the tribal property at Indianola to downtown Suquamish. We're planning an open house August 3rd in the afternoon when the canoes are expected to start crossing at about 1:00PM. If you're a neighbor and/or friend, bring a dish and join us.
I am planning to volunteer on August 4th - hopefully in one of the information booths since that is probably what I am most qualified to do.
For more information: http://tribaljourneys.wordpress.com/
Thursday, July 16, 2009
This is the only eagle to return to our area since the 4th of July weekend and the series of fireworks shows along the Indianola shore.
Prior to the 4th we had a pair of eagles sitting in this same tree on a daily basis and another two or three eagles in the area. At one point I saw four eagles in this tree and another flying by.
For a couple days after the fireworks I didn't see or hear a single eagle and then this one returned and is still the only one I see each day.
I wrote a post earlier about my change of heart regarding fireworks; going from my love of them as a child to a participant to my feelings now that all private shows should be banned.
The Indianola shows have grown tremendously over the last few years. This year's extravaganza was near professional in size and sound and lasted three nights resulting in a noteable impact on the wildlife in the area and especially our eagles.
I always enjoy the drive home along Liberty Bay in Poulsbo. The changing views along this winding road sooth at the end of a work day.
Whenever I pass the sailing classes it is hard not to stop and watch for a few minutes as the little boats with young children learn the ropes of sailing.
Small boats going in every direction as the kids learn to control their direction and duck their heads!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
Following our hike at Obstruction Point we headed to Dungeness Spit. I thought that since Natasha had seen the spit from the road to Hurricane Ridge, where it appears as a wispy piece of land extending into the Straights of Juan de Fuca, it would be fun to see it from ground level.
Since it was a beautiful day, a weekend and July the spit was busy but the further out the 5 mile spit you hike, the fewer people.
The spit has a beautiful beach on the west side and a wildlife refuge on the east side where it wraps around a small bay. In the middle, an abundance of driftwood to build day houses, climb on, seek refuse from the wind or just sit and relax.
Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is located along the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Clallam County, Washington. President Woodrow Wilson established the Refuge on January 20, 1915 by Executive Order as a refuge, preserve, and breeding ground for native birds. Eelgrass beds and tide flats teem with migrating shorebirds in spring and fall; flocks of waterfowl find food and rest in these protected waters during the winter; eel grass beds also provide a nursery for young salmon and steelhead. The Refuge currently consists of 636 acres, including a sand spit, second-class tidelands and bay, and a small forested upland area. Dungeness NWR boasts one of the world's longest natural sand spits, which softens the rough sea waves to form a quiet bay and harbor, gravel beaches, and tide flats. Dungeness Spit is one of only a few such geological formations in the world which was formed during the Vashon Glacial era ten to twenty thousand years ago. more . . .
Monday, July 13, 2009
The Nature Conservancy Foulweather Bluff Preserve near Hansville.
This is one of my favorite aerial photos with the clear water and beautiful beach.
A relatively short walk and great beach. I don't get there as often as I would like - no dogs allowed.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
My sister and family hiked to Obstruction Point in Olympic National Park a couple weeks ago. She brought back beautiful pictures and I decided to try and get up there as soon as possible.
Yesterday my granddaughter, Natasha, and I made the early morning drive to Hurricane Ridge and then took the 7.7 mile dirt road to the trail head. We took the trail to the right and hiked up to the point where we had a 360 degree view of mountains in all directions. It was the perfect day with almost no clouds and wild flowers at the lower elevations of the hike. There was still enough snow for it to be fun and we crossed two snow fields along the hike.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
This photo was taken by my friend Marcia Breece who owns Morgan Hill Retreat - a great vacation house/B&B in Poulsbo.
She called yesterday to say the goslings had arrived! I knew that her little banty hen had taken over the goose nest, laying one of her own eggs in with the goose eggs so after our anniversary dinner at Barrata Bistro we stopped by to see the new arrivals.
So cute, I love baby geese. The bio parents are also standing by and I predict they will take over when the goslings are out and about.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
At least one eagle is back after the fireworks, but not all, yet.
This guy grew up here. There are some of its juvenile photos on my website and it is the only eagle that continues to return to, and use the tree where this picture was taken. A great perch for my photos!
Monday, July 06, 2009
Here is another of the aerial photos I took recently. They will be up on http://www.kitsapimages.com/ very soon now. I am just about done processing them.
This is Point No Point, with a medium tide taken from the north. You can see the lighthouse on the water just to the right of the sandy beach.
If you look up the beach, look very, very carefully, you'll see Jim and Abby on their daily walk. I didn't know I had them in the picture until I got home and we started to compare our timing. Jim was sure he was on the beach when I flew over so I took a closer look and there they were!
I'm sure you can't see them in this low resolution photo but trust me, two of those dots are Jim and Abby.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
I grew up going to big fireworks shows and loved it. Fireworks symbolized the 4th of July; the celebration of independence and freedom. I loved the loud booms and the beautiful showers of color and sparkles.
Living in Suquamish on the water we can see the fireworks from Seattle and along the beaches of Suquamish, Bainbridge Island and Indianola. When we first moved here we joined the fun and allowed fireworks on our beach to add to the celebration. Over time concern for fires and safety put an end to our personal show but we enjoyed those of others.
In the last few years the private shows along the Indianola waterfront have grown into a two night extravaganza rivaling those put on by some communities. The combined efforts of those along the small beach are beautiful and our view is spectacular. The best part is that once the show is over we are already home and don't need to fight the traffic.
My problem however is that the spectacle has grown beyond the casual family shows. Some serious money has changed the amateur feel of previous shows. The noise has grown louder and longer and the impact on animals in the area is traumatic. I can see the direct impact on our animals; especially Abby who quivers and seeks a corner to hide.
What happens to the eagles whose nests are at fireworks height? This is about the time that many young eagles fledge which means many are still in the nest and we have several nests in the immediate area. How do they handle the noise and flashes? I wonder about the other birds, the deer, fox and other animal inhabitants of the area that must feel there is no safe direction to go with fireworks everywhere.
The Suquamish Tribe, with many of their members earning a substantial portion of their income from firework sales, decided to eliminate fireworks on tribal property this year including the "slab" which had long been an open free for all on the 4th.
I have now moved to the other side, in favor of only controlled, professional fireworks.
Most of our local incorporated communities have eliminated private fireworks or limited them to the "safer" variety. It is time for Kitsap County to prohibit all, or all but the "safer" fireworks. The private shows have grown far beyond little family celebrations and the fires, noise and injuries don't outweigh the spectacle.
The eagles are silent this morning . . .
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Pulling a crab pot in front of our house. Crab season is open and with the beautiful weather there were many taking advantage of the Friday holiday to catch their limit. Our boat - still in the boat tent - we need to get out on the water!
Friday, July 03, 2009
There is never a bad time to visit the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.
I get the opportunity often since I am a member but also because I take travel writers and just the other day a videographer there as part of my job at the Visitor's Bureau.
This picture is of Junko Frego, the PA and wife of Videographer Sean Frego. Junko and I were taking a break on the grass while Sean was setting up for another shot.
Great news, the Bloedel Reserve is now open Thursday evenings although when I just checked they have not yet updated the website to show the new hours.
I have long asked about earlier and later hours. For a photographer the best time is either early or late and up until now many have been unable to take advantage of the beautiful reserve during these times. Also there is more likelihood of seeing wildlife and at some times of the year the weather is more pleasant before 10AM or later in the evening not to mention the conflict with work for some.
So, to encourage the Bloedel Reserve to continue and expand their new hours I encourage everyone to make a point of visited during the extended Thursday hours.