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Murder in Flight

Crows were congregating on the beach and got excited over food or an eagle checking them out.  The tide was low and they were out in a big murder.   They were feeding when something got their attention which started a big mass fly up.

When the traffic is bad on I-405, I take a back road home.  It is the Beacon Coal Mine/Monster Road.   This is a road that has been around long before the freeways and might even be over 100 years old.  It is a back road in the city for sure and bypasses a lot of traffic for me.

The surprise was when I rounded a corner this blue boat sat beside the road.  It is going no where fast.  What is its story?   Is it’s owner coming back with another trailer?  Or is it abandoned here?   It is not uncommon to see stray furniture, televisions and other large trash on this back road.  Mystery Boat!

Anyone want a boat?

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My first sight at the beach today was the Zim Chicago passing by.   Yesterday it was in Tacoma and there was a protest against the ship due to the Israeli and Gaza War.   It also had issues when it was in Oakland and a left there with only a partial load.

Here is a small slide show of ship as it passed by and a ferry crossed it’s path.  Seeing the ferry and a smaller boat gives you perspective on how big these container cargo ships are.

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Imagine you are born in a tree.   Your first view of the world is of tree tops.   You are high in the air and look out over the green world.   You can’t make any mistakes when you play or the plunge is fatal.  You stretch your wings and flap them in practice.  The first flight is really just a jump from nest to another branch.  Your baby crow dance is hopping around with wings out for balance.

You know no other world and learn quickly that mom and dad are there for you.   Just a little cry for food and they return to stuff your noisy mouth.  By summer’s end you learn to find a worm or two and are on your way to being a teen crow.

Next time you look up into the trees, think like a baby crow.  What would it be like?

The baby crow world

The baby crow world

Pigs do Fly

Pigs do Fly

Molting isn't pretty

Molting isn’t pretty

The summer heat has taken its toll on the local Crow family around our house.   Their feathers are lack luster during the process of molting.  The baby crows are particularly impacted since they need to change their feather suit from juvenile to adult.

One of my older birds looks even worse for wear.  He has lost  his head feathers and looks the part of the frumpy bald old man.

Crow going bald

Crow going bald

Here is a shot of the family sunning themselves.   Guess the family that molts together stays together.

Crow Family sunning themselves

Crow Family sunning themselves

When we think of molting we immediately go to birds.   Yes it is the season that they are in bad feather and if you are a bird watcher you know what I mean.   They are still raising their young and that stress has taken its toll on them.   So, you will see them look like they just got out of bed, kind of frumpy.

Another species that molts are trees and the Pacific Northwest forests of Madrona trees.  I talked to some neighbors today and they were worried about their forest.  There is no need to be concerned since this is an annual process.   Courtesy of Wiki here is some basic info on them:

Arbutus menziesii (Pacific madrona, madrone or Arbutus) is a species of tree  native to the western coastal areas of North America, from British Columbia to California.

It is also known as the madroño, madroña, or bearberry. The name “strawberry tree” may also be found in relation to A. menziesii. In the United States, the name “madrone” is used south of the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon and Northern California and the name “madrona” is used north of the Siskiyou Mountains.

Today in my walk back up the trail I saw some good examples of their peeling bark.   The exposed new bark is slightly green under the reddish peel.   Chunks of paper like bark can be found on the ground or hung up in branches.

The sculpture down on the West Seattle beach that is basically only accessible by the water seems to have lost some of its shiny stainless steel look.  It has been over a year & half since it was dedicated in November 2012. Has the public really got to know it or is it an oddity down on the beach for only those who are observant to see.

What has dulled its glory is some bird has perched on it & left their calling card.   Check out the pictures and see what you think?  An eagle or a crow or could it be a pigeon?

However, from a distance this sculpture stands tall.   The ferry from Vashon Island glides by the point in the following slide show.

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Jaime you inspired me to go to the old cemetery on Orilla Road that has been there since the 1880s.   Everything else around it has changed and recently the land next to it cleared.  Not sure what they are going to build here and it kind of creeps me out.  However, this little place remains sacred and no man can develop it.

Old gravestones have a draw for us all.   It shows us what 100 years does to stone.  How most graves are never visited and the markers become weathered with time.   However, I did see the most lovely new marker of Mother Mary in the form of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It inspires one to live your best every day.  Treat each other with kindness and be thankful for the little gifts of nature we receive.   We just have to look up and behold them.

 

More of Mr Bee and his adventures.  Here he is with his legs packed full of pollen.  That is right he is loaded to go home to the hive.  This thistle caught my eye because of the vivid blue it had.   The bee with this color is a show to behold.

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