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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

They always were, the number is just getting smaller. We leave Aug 24, which is just around the corner. Before then we have to figure out how to get our bikes, and Tim’s keyboard to the shipping pick up point. We are sending them home via bike flight, which worked great getting them here.

Until then, I am bonding with the birds, deer, seals and apparently at least one elephant seal that has made its way to the island. Tim went ashore this week for the usual biathalon trip – motor boat, bike 5 miles, swim 1 mile, bike 5 miles (at least 2 downhill) and motor boat back to the island. Instead I stayed and took my usual hour and a half walk. It’s so easy to get exercise when there are no other demands for your time. Must continue this at home.

I usually spend the morning weaving and reading. Then one of us has to clean the dock, do a couple of chores, and then I walk and walk. I highly recommend it. I have been reading books by a few wonderful nature writers, they get it. Solitude and nature is therapeutic. Stopping to watch eagles soar overhead, watching how a sunrise changes in the smoky atmosphere, even watching baby seagulls spread their wings. It’s all good.

I will try to stay off the go, go, go train when I get home. Make time for things I enjoy and don’t waste time on the internet.

These are some of things I saw the past couple of days.

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Another smoky sunrise. A front is moving through today and the smoke should clear. Odd that it affected the atmosphere but it did not smell smoky.

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A pair of Larry’s.

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Smoky mountains called the Olympics.

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Wonderful clouds.

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And the new me.

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It was inevitable. Here we are, living smack dab in the middle of a seagull colony, invading their space for a few months.  Tempers are high as parents try to ensure their offspring survive.  And the odds are none too good. Numbers are already down around the cabin. Three have already died around the cabin. Yesterday we saw a battle outside the kitchen window when an interloper got too close to the nest.

And just look at how cute the chicks are.

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Those two shots were taken with my iphone through a telescope, no easy feat.

But I digress.

Here it is … don’t go any further if you are eating.

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Tim was shat upon as he cleaned the solar panels outside the cabin. YUCK!!! It has encouraged me to wear my goofy USFWS volunteer hat again. It was bound to happen. Better than being dive bombed I guess!

I heard a call from across the country from the leader of my tablet weaving group for bands to display at a show in Vermont.  She sounded desperate. Any bands would do. It encouraged me to finish a couple that were literally hanging around and I’ll send them today when we head off island en route to Victoria.

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We took a boat ride around the island to make sure boats weren’t getting to close to the nursing seals that are strewn along all the beaches. They blend in so well it is hard to see but here is a shot from the road.

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And one from the boat. The whole gang was involved. Mother, baby, seagulls and chicks. We saw the Harlequin ducks swim over on our return to the marina.

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We went to inspect a crab bouy to make sure it wasn’t too close to the island and had to do a double take. It is topped with a cheery flower. Ah Washington! Sort of sums it up right there.

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That’s all from our cheery outpost on Protection Island on another gorgeous sunny day. I think we have now had about 45 consecutive days of sunshine. Who knew?

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Parents always keep a watchful eye on their offspring. Even when the young appear to be independent and off on their own, there is a noisy set of eyes about. It is still not enough though. We have seen broken eggs and dead chicks right around the cabin. It’s a bird eat bird world here on Protection Island.

IMG_2601IMG_2602The smallest try to stretch their wings.

Seal pups stick close to their mothers. We’ll be out on the boat today and may get better photos but here’s one from the dock.IMG_2609

The mule deer and the eagles, especially, keep a sharp lookout.

IMG_2595Here’s the ruckuss an eagle stirs up when it flies into the seagull colony.

Tim tried to reduce the noise around the house by making one lookout less popular. Notice he’s in full protective gear.

IMG_2615Then three small planes flew around in formation making their own buzzing and stalling noise.

IMG_2619As Roseanne Anna Danna used to say, “It’s always something”.

My latest diversion is telling Siri, “I see a little silhouette of a man”. If you were a fan of Queen, tell her and see what she has to say about it.

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It’s me.

All the residents are talking about it. Whenever I leave the cabin, the news goes out to the seagull colony around the house. Guards sound the alarm. Seagulls hop off their nests to come out and squawk at me.

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There are eagle sentries all over the island. When I walk, word goes out with their screech. They perch along the bluffs, usually at least 4 near the marina, on the water tower, some fly off to tell the others.

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The deer are quiet about it but they know.

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The barn swallows announce every time I open the front door. Their nest is packed to the rafters, literally. Time may be near for the little ones to leave.

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Actually, this is just like when I lived in downtown Brooklyn in the 1980’s. It was a very safe neighborhood, because it was controlled by the mafia. Safe if you weren’t part of the mafia because, of course, there was the occasional shooting in the local coffee shop. But it was never random. There were sentries posted on every corner, watching out, all day, all night. And this was before everyone had mobile phones. Word got out.

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  • “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.” – Australian Aboriginal saying

 

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Hello Ms. Toad

Spotted hanging out around the hot tub yesterday.  She is an American Toad and should be heading down to the swamp to fool around with her male counterpart.  She may be a he but the male is supposed to be in the water calling her with a sound like a cricket.

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Preparing for a storm is different in the north country. We don’t run out to buy milk or gas. We make sure the snowblower is accessible, the generator starts and the wood is stacked.

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I split a stack of poplar the other day and it was a delight. No knotty, gnarled roots. It was very gratifying. It went so well, I decided to video the process. I imagined it would be amusing, in later years, to look back and watch myself, capably, reducing logs to firewood.

Not so much. I was capable, I did split the wood beautifully but I also grunted, breathed audibly and sniffled a lot (the temperature was in the teens). The video remains in my private library.

When I was done splitting wood, I walked down to the river to straighten out my back. The river was frozen in spots but running elsewhere.

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There were signs of summer where the snow had melted. A beachball (?) in the culvert

20130210-095452.jpg a purple, plastic flower in the grass

20130210-095530.jpgand a rings of gold along the road.

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I see no evil

These three guys looked over us at a beautiful anchorage on the island of Culebrita. Notice the one on the right holding his head. We coined them see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. There couldn’t be anything evil on that beautiful island, which even has a working lighthouse. Could be our next gig! The light works, even though it’s toppled over and the buildings are in ruins. Photos to follow.

There were heart rocks afoot.

Then in the rain forest, El Yunque National Park, in southeastern Puerto Rico, we found man eating ferns! It was strange to be in a rain forest and find typical USDA park signs. We felt like we were a world away from the United States. Our road back to the airport however passed the worst of the worst in architecture. Strip mall after strip mall. Walmarts, McDonalds and traffic!

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