Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Protection Island, WA’ Category

IMG_1621where about 80 mule deer, or black tail deer, are reported to roam. We’ve seen 2 fawns and the males are sprouting fuzzy antlers. Happily there are NO deer ticks on the island. I’m so used to avoiding tall grass at home where Lyme disease runs rampant. Yesterday I combed through chest high grass for a few hours to highlight a path for a tractor that will thrash it down, without a care in the world.

The fog rolled in and we are on our own.

IMG_1614

In contrast to Saturday.

IMG_1598

Seagull shenanigans have slowed down a bit but they remain ever present.

IMG_1609

IMG_1608And the eagles keep a sharp lookout.

IMG_1626

All’s well on our home front.

Read Full Post »

I’m an eternal optimist, perhaps bordering on pollyanna-ish. But in my experience if you expect good things, good things happen. Perhaps it’s just about being open. What follows is a very small example, but I assure you I have had bigger examples as well, it happens all the time.

We received some food, including a jar of apricot jam, when our research neighbor completed his work and left the island. Then I received an email,  with a recipe for Almond Puff Loaf, that needed jam(!) and sliced almonds, which I just happened to have on hand. Today I whipped up a loaf to have with coffee. It was simple, delicious and photogenic.

IMG_0519IMG_0518IMG_0516

And now for the birds. I saw this eagle join its buddy at the water’s edge. I’m not sure what they were investigating.

IMG_0475

IMG_0477

We spotted these two eagles feeding on a seal when we went out in the boat the other day. A young eagle was off to the side and a third adult was waiting in the “wings”,

IMG_0418 - Edited

This group seems pretty content. Who wouldn’t be with that view?

IMG_0506

This heron had a surprise visitor with ruffled feathers.

IMG_0479 - Edited

The house that formerly stood here may have been a little too close to the bluff. This fence now stands at the edge of a 200 foot cliff.

IMG_0502

I liked this vanishing point.

img_0491.jpg

And that loon we saw the other day is no Common Loon. It’s a Yellow-Billed Loon, identified by people other than me who know. It’s relatively rare with less than 10,000 left in the world. And one is here in our little marina. Ah, the universe.

IMG_0431

IMG_0339 - Edited

 

 

Read Full Post »

Well I’ve done it – made a silk purse from a sow’s ear- and I’m delighted with it. Years ago, when we lived on Fire Island during the winter, I found an already broken down boat bag on the beach, buried in the sand. It’s small, has lots of pockets and has served me well over the years but is slowly disintegrating. The straps were frayed and there was a hole in it. So I decided to dress it up.

I wove two bands using pebble weave with a backstrap loom. There’s a clear progression from one strap to the next as I improved my technique. It’s all about the tension. Now I can even draft my own patterns.

IMG_0430 (1)IMG_1564IMG_1562IMG_1560

I even used my little 2″ pin loom to weave a square of fabric with the same cotton in the weaving to patch a hole.IMG_1563

OK that was over the top but it makes me smile. Now this bag will remind me of my time weaving on the porch, looking out over the water with gulls flying overhead, and make me smile.

Then I got into some marlinspike seamanship. Except I used a pencil instead of a marlinspike. We needed to replace a fender on the boat. They are used to reduce the impact when the captain doesn’t dock as well as, ahem, (s)he would have liked and as a result the fender “popped”, or sacrificed itself for the boat. No harm done, except for my bruised ego. I found another fender on the boat and wove an eye splice into a line to permanently attach it.

IMG_1555IMG_1556

I use the app, Grog’s Knots, for boating knots and mats. Another outlet for weaving using ropes as the substrate.

My favorite birds to date are the Pigeon Guillemots. Just look at these two with their red legs. They are not at all graceful and land on the water or land with a distinct plop. But so cute.

IMG_0372

The Northern Harriers are not my favorite because I think they have it out for me. They fly overhead, chirp and buzz me.  They must have a nest near the cabin. Of course as I write this, an eagle just dove into the seagull colony causing them all, hundreds, to circle in a tizzy, so I shouldn’t feel too bad.

IMG_0457 - EditedIMG_0453 - Edited

It flies so close to me I should get good photos, although I may have a hardhat in my future.

I haven’t seen the great horned owls yet but they leave us presents most days. They feast on Rhinoceros auklets then leave the the heads and cleaned bones on our wood chopping stump. You can see why it’s called Rhinoceros.

IMG_0450 (1)IMG_1586

I used a different block to chop this kindling.

We find evidence all over the island of birds eating birds with scattered feathers and remains.  Earlier on, we saw some broken eggs but haven’t seen that recently.

As Tim likes to say, “It’s a jungle out there”.

Read Full Post »

IMG_0384IMG_0385Comes a rainbow. Something else to look at other than seagulls copulating on the front lawn. It rained for about a day and a half. I got to work weaving a replacement straps for my little boat bag, which is gradually disintegrating.

That jumble of sticks and strap combined with my body makes up the loom.  I control tension by leaning forward or back. It’s been a process learning this super portable way to weave.

I can understand why people who live where the weather is always nice grow bored with it. The clouds and sky were dramatic before and after the front passed through. We had hoped to get out to watch the Race to Alaska go by but it was raining and foggy. Check it out at here. It is a boat (loosely defined) race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska, 750 miles. The main requirement is the boat cannot have a motor. There were canoes, kayaks, lots of trimarans and stand up paddle boards!! That’s right, SUP 750 miles, sometimes in open water.  Oh my. They left the harbor with large oars for power. The first day didn’t have much wind and the rowers did very well.  My favorite boat name is, “What the Fuca”. First prize $10,000, second prize, a set of steak knives! Gotta love it.

IMG_0380IMG_0383

And then the beautiful full moon rose. It was still light out at 10 pm. The whole gang was out to enjoy it. They took a break from their primary activity.

IMG_0390 (1)IMG_0389 (1)IMG_0391 (3)IMG_0402 (1)IMG_0407 (1)

But they are at it again this morning!

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_1463Protection Island is only about 380 acres and the beaches are off limits during the summer due to nesting birds and seals. We try to walk as much as possible but sometimes we have too much to carry.  We mostly use a little S10 pickup truck that gets the job done.

Today we harvested 8 five gallon buckets of daffodil bulbs.  I may be broken but I took an aspirin and can’t tell.

IMG_1536IMG_1539

Yesterday I got to drive the Ranger to meet US Fish and Wildlife visitors at the marina.

IMG_1520

This morning we got to troubleshoot, and looks like we fixed, the 25 hp secondary motor on the boat.  We need it as a backup and it wasn’t running well. We checked and cleaned the spark plugs. A very useful tip I learned a few years ago is a credit card is 0.030 inches, which can be used to roughly check the gap on most spark plugs when you are on an island without an auto parts store nearby.  We checked the compression (look at us!) and tested to see if the motor was getting enough fuel by squeezing the bulb to see if it made a difference. Either the spark plugs were dirty or there was something that had to pass through the carburetor because we ran it at throttle and it purred. We’re back in business.

Rainy weather is coming so we may have to play indoors for a few days.

IMG_1532IMG_1528IMG_1534

 

 

Read Full Post »

A pair of caretakers we met in Tasmania said every day they tried to do something for themselves, something for the island and something physical.  They had a cute acronym I can’t remember, PIG (physical, island, growth); CrEW (create, exercise, work); CARE (create, activity, read, enhance; or caretake, activity, read, exercise).  You get the idea, something like that. We’ve found a pretty nice balance.

We have to clean the dock and boat every day, not as bad as it sounds.  It uses water pressure mostly and is fairly gratifying.  I proposed we sit and spray the seagulls before they even soil the dock instead but it’s probably frowned upon on at a bird refuge.

We keep the cabin tidy and mow the grass around buildings.

We worked as migrant labor for a few days and dug up 15 gallons of daffodil bulbs. No easy task in chest high grass. I’m only mildly broken.  Hope the sale goes well.

IMG_1451IMG_1452

Tim practices piano a couple of hours a day.  I knit, weave, bake, and read. I’ve completed two sweaters, one was basically done before we got here and has come in very handy.  We either wear long sleeve wool shirts or sleeveless shirts.  There doesn’t seem to be an in between.

I bake bread, pizza, pies and crisps.  Have to keep my partner happy.

IMG_1458

I usually weave a bit in the morning. I finished a belt, am trying to learn Andean pebble weave on a backstrap loom, and have some card weaving projects in mind.

IMG_1503

I knit up a bag to use on our bikes when we go shopping from leftover scraps.

IMG_1457Now I’m trying to finish a lace shawl I started in 2015 for my dear daughter. It may happen.

And I take pictures.

IMG_0354IMG_0361IMG_0364IMG_1465

The island and its inhabitants are very photogenic.

Read Full Post »

We had dear friends visit for a day. We met them on shore, and they whisked us off to Olympic National Park, where we took a nice walk above Lake Crescent. We ate some marvelous halibut at Cest si Bon near Port Angeles, slept in an Airbnb, shopped without having to schlepp our food on our bikes, and brought them out to the island. It was such an easy, relaxed visit. That is except for a little boating trouble. We returned to the boat to find some oil had leaked on the transom. Of course my first thought was, Oh no! I didn’t tighten the dipstick when I checked it, but phew, that was not the cause. We didn’t lose oil from the engine, noticed only a drop or two the next morning and may be able to call it OK? Plus when these troubles occurred, naturally, the second motor acted up and conked out. Boats! All’s well, we got a seal of approval from our trusty captain, Chris Columbus, no joke, and we’re good to go. We will have to test the kicker engine again though.

Then we were invited to explore Port Townsend, with Jim Hayward, who has spent more than 30 years here studying seagulls. Their behavior has changed for the worse in some ways – they eat their own –  with only minimal warming of the sea temperature.  And we just withdrew from the Paris Accord!! Thank you former Mayor Bloomberg for pledging to invest what our President would not, and to all the cities and states that intend to continue world conscious, climate practices despite the fact that the leader of the United States does not believe climate change exists. I think he may have even lied to the Pope.

So it has been a slow couple of days on the island.

IMG_1412

We saw lots of slugs on the mainland and found this one waiting for us at home.

IMG_1415IMG_1414

We have beautiful, perhaps invasive, poppies growing outside the cabin. We saw plenty in gardens in Port Townsend as well.

IMG_1440IMG_1440IMG_1441IMG_1440

IMG_1439IMG_1442

To make us feel at home, there was even a seagull colony atop one of the buildings downtown.

The highlight of the day however was when the old Dodge truck, started up and tugged the van onto the ramp of the barge that took them away. I was a little slow on the trigger but caught the result.

IMG_1429

Today, we’re off to dig daffodils.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: