The Birds of Mukilteo Lighthouse Park

 

Like us, this gull enjoyed just watching the water

One thing you can always count on at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park is seeing birds. We mean seeing lots and lots of birds. When we visited we saw crows, pigeons and of course different species of gulls. We saw them everywhere.

Staking claim to a picnic table

Stretching its wings

 

 

 

 

 

It was interesting to note that these birds were so used to people, dogs, and moving vehicles. When we drove through the parking lot birds were in the unoccupied parking spots, but kept the drive lanes clear.

What???

The picture above shows the public boat ramp and twin docks. So what is the deal with the birds here? What is wrong with the right dock, or what is so appealing to be on the left dock? The gulls were still boycotting that right side dock when we left.

 

Snoqualmie Falls

One of the most popular attractions in the Seattle area is the Snoqualmie Falls, a 269 foot single drop waterfall. The falls are near the town of Snoqualmie, which also offers interesting attractions to tourists and locals alike.

View from the observation deck

The area became an active logging site in the 1870’s with logs actually floated over the falls. In 1889 a railroad was built, opening the logging trade further. The town of Snoqualmie was platted in 1889 as well, and by the 1890’s Charles Baker had constructed an underground hydroelectric plant at the falls. Some of the original generators still function today.

 

 

 

 

It is very easy to gain access to the falls. Free parking is available, and an easy walk on the pedestrian bridge leads to the concrete paths to observation decks. If you prefer, for $7.00 you can park next to the gift shop next to the observation decks. Due to Covid restrooms are closed, but there is a large line of port-a-pottys.

Salish Lodge, note the wedding tent

Beautiful scenery from the observation deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Salish Lodge and Spa offers high end accommodations, spa, and dining. Many use the striking views as a place for weddings. It overlooks the river, the generating plant and the top of the falls.

We just liked this photo

The walk to the observation decks is easy with only a couple of places with widely spaced steps. There were quite a few people enjoying the sights, but we felt comfortable and not crowded. The layout was very nice, and all of the paved paths and safety fencing was kept in excellent condition. It is easy to see why Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington state’s most popular scenic attractions.

Camano Island and the Cavalero boat ramp

What a beautiful day it was for some exploration. Sunny with temps in the mid 60’s promised a great weather day. So we were off to Camano Island, a 15 mile long island north of Seattle, close to the San Juan Islands and the Canadian/US border. The island has State Parks, beaches both public and private and other recreation as well as many residences, some located on the water.

Lots to see and do on Camano Island

A very tall Indigenous fisherman

The information center was closed when we were there, possibly by employment or covid reasons. The large map gives a great snapshot of the island. Several metal sculptures dotted the park around a huge kids playground.

We drove nearly the whole island. Wanting to see some of the homes on the water we found to be a bit of a challenge, as steep narrow roads were the order of the day.  We did finally find a community of lovely waterfront homes that was flanked by two gated, private beaches.

Long necked heron in the water

Beautiful water and land

 

 

 

 

 

 

Across the Port Susan water

We saw folks collecting pieces to take

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, this is where Maj collected rocks

 

Finally we spotted, quite by accident, another road that looked to be headed to the water. It turned out to be the steep drive to Cavalero boat ramp, with a fair amount of gravel parking next to a sea wall of timber with the boat ramp on one end.

The scene was calming and beautiful. A heron was loafing in the shallow water, large driftwood piled up on the rocky beach added character. The tide coming in was obvious at the end of the boat ramp. We were delighted with how quiet the place was because there were no boats on the Port Susan water. Sometimes it’s best to just sit and enjoy. That’s what we did for a while before we left the quiet and calm beach and the still waters.

Tulip tree mysterious growth

Last spring  (2020) the state DNR offered free tree saplings. We got some, including Tulip poplars.  The Tulip tree is the State tree of Indiana. We planted three, and they have done very well, and have grown from sapling size to about 4 feet tall.

May 28, 2020

September 6, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve noticed some interesting growth on the trees. On the trunks are single individual leaflets. They are close together, one on top of the other and on opposite sides of the trunk. I have never seen anything like this. Any foresters out there that can explain if this growth is normal in Tulip tree growth?

Never seen growth like this…

Tulip trees were plentiful in the hardwood forests of the Midwest prior to European settlement. The trees were harvested for railroad ties and fenceposts, so state some historical records. George Washington planted Tulip trees on his Mt. Vernon estate. Growing to 90 feet in height with large diameter trunks, the poplar trees provided excellent quality lumber. They do flower when mature, but the flowers are in the tops of the trees so are hard to see.

Our backyard bird feeders are back in service

Hummingbirds are so amazing!

In May 2021 some species of songbirds began to be afflicted with a deadly disease of some kind. This started in Virginia and moved west. Indiana birds began to die in late May and by early June the Indiana Department of Natural Resources put out the warning to stop all bird feeding in private yards. We posted about that. We both really missed our almost daily birdwatching time our back.

By the first week in August the DNR published the news that 76 out of Indiana’s 92 counties were bird disease free, and could resume the use of bird feeders.

Our cute little Nuthatch is back

We soon refilled our two seed feeders, and also refilled our hummingbird feeder. (DNR also had said to stop using hummingbird feeders as well.) It has been a couple of weeks since we started feeding our avian friends again, and slowly lots of the birds are coming back to our yard. We haven’t seen all of the species we had seen before the “lockdown”, but perhaps that is to be expected. We are grateful that we can again enjoy birding from our backyard swing!

Roadtirement is going to take a break

Pearly Gates morning glory

Sometimes you need to take a break from blogging. That’s what Sher and I have decided we are going to do for a while.

Not to worry, we are both doing fine. Our recent doctor visit resulted in good reports for each of us. We did have to get blood tests today after fasting, yuck. Maj’s diet is still going well, and his daily bike rides for exercise are slowly increasing in duration and distance.

And for those of you who caught our last post on Roadtirement know that we asked you to guess the destination of our next adventure. Today we’re giving the “reveal” as they say on the reality shows. Drumroll………….   We are going to Seattle and the state of Washington.  We’ve visited there before, and our daughter, son-in-law and grandson live near Seattle so fun visits coming! It is beautiful country with lots of things to see and do.

We are not leaving forever, just taking some time off. Thanks so much for your support and we’ll be back sometime.

 

Wild strawberry or COVID virus??

Took a picture of a couple of mushrooms yesterday.  Within the image was a little red wild strawberry. Once the photo was enlarged and the red berry zeroed in, the details of the berry came into focus.

That looks eerily close to COVID

Immediately the  shape of the berry looked very familiar. Yes, that shape has been displayed just about everywhere since, oh, sometime around March 2020. It does look way to much like the renderings you see of that damned COVID-19 virus.

Fungus still among us

OK, promise this will be the last time for the fungus among us headline…

The clover leaves will help you judge the size of these mushrooms

Once again the wet conditions seem to have offered a good environment for the growth of a couple of mushrooms. These two popped up under our yard swing. The shade may have helped.

Little and elusive

I was lucky to even see this little green bug. Talk about camouflage. He kept moving around hiding on the branch (like squirrels do on tree trunks) as I tried to get this image. 

He’s about a half inch tall

After doing a search on a bug identification site, I came to the conclusion that this guy is a planthopper. No, not a leafhopper, but a planthopper. According to the experts, planthoppers have fewer leg spines and a “more interesting head” than leafhoppers.  I didn’t make that up. Thank heavens, at least my bug has an interesting head. Whew…