Photo of the Week - November 25, 2013

Early Morning Frost
November 25, 2013

Photo of the Week - November 24, 2013
Pileated Woodpeckers
in my backyard
Dryocopus pileatus

Olympia, WA
November 24, 2013

 Sometimes it is worth doing your chores! As I stood at the kitchen window this afternoon washing the dishes I was taken aback to see two male Pileated Woodpeckers swoop into my backyard and land on a maple tree about ten feet from where I was standing! The two birds poked at the bark and moss, dislodging morsels. As they disappeared above the roof line I moved to another window to get a better view. A quick trip to get the camera; I made these images of them on a tree about 20 feet away. Shortly afterwards, they disappeared into the woods as quickly as they arrived.

What a treat!

Photo of the Week - November 22, 2013

Double-crested Cormorant in flight
Phalacrocorax auritus
Budd Inlet
Olympia, WA
November 22, 2013

There are many joys to living in the Puget Sound region. On this beautiful Fall day, I am reminded of the special relationship we have with the natural environment which surrounds and envelopes us. I spent the morning at the furthest end of North Point, which is the furthest tip of land emerging from downtown Olympia into Budd Inlet. There, I was privileged to see Buffleheads, Hooded mergansers, gulls and a Belted Kingfisher, as well as other birds. I also had a front row seat to the comings and goings of the cormorants.

In Olympia, we see several species of cormorant. Most common are the Double-crested cormorants with their prehistoric yellow bills and glowing green eyes. Their glossy backs are iridescent in the sunlight. Cormorants fly close to the water, nearly skimming the surface. They dive like ducks to feed on fish from the bay.

In addition to their activities of flight and feeding, cormorants also stand watch over the business of the Port. Pairs of birds stood patiently on pilings this morning, watching as workers loaded logs on a large ship destined for Asia. On this day, the hum of nature and the hum of industry merged into a single melody of life on Puget Sound.

Photo of the Week - November 6, 2013

Fall Tree Scape
Woodland Park
Seattle, WA
November 6, 2013

Legacy. Stewardship.
Over 100 years ago, the people of Seattle decided they needed parks for the people; open spaces in an increasingly urban environment. Places for recreation. At the time the city's population was 80,671.

According to the Seattle Parks Department web site

"Guy Phinney, who built the first industry on Lake Washington, invested $40,000 in 1889 to develop his residence estate, "Woodland Park". Woodland Park was to have a small zoo near his residence in the southwest portion of the park, a bandstand and paths through the woods to Green Lake (where Phinney built a bathing beach and a boathouse), picnic grounds, and two ballfields. Phinney then built a trolley line from the southwest corner to the Fremont line to Seattle.

In 1900 the City Council bought the park from the estate of Mr. Phinney, in spite of vigorous protests over the price - $100,000 - and complaints that it was "too far out of town"! Another trolley line had been built to connect Seattle with the east and north side of Green Lake, and by 1904 it was extended on around the lake and through Woodland Park on a trestle.
In 1903/1910 the Olmsted Bros. included the development of Woodland Park in their comprehensive parks plan "

Today, Lower Woodland Park is one of several expansive natural areas in the core of urban Seattle. Walkers, dog owners, runners and disc golfers all take a break from fast paced modern life, thanks to the legacy and foresight of Seattle's forefathers.

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