Clark’s Crow (Nutcracker) watching for a handout
Clark’s Nutcracker at Sunrise
Hoping to see a Raven at Mt Rainier this week. Not to be totally disappointed we did have several interactions with Camp Robbers. These birds that are part of the corvid family and are called Clark’s Nutcrackers or Clark’s Crows.
While I was taking these two pictures I did hear the raven cronk sound up on the meadow above me. I did some serious searching but never saw my big black birds.
Mt Rainier Gas Station from a time gone by
When Sunrise was first developed about 80 years ago they put in a gas station. Can you picture the Model A & Ts driving up this windy mountain road? We Northwesterners have wanted to see “The Mountain” for ages.
Not sure how long ago it was decommissioned but as you can see it has been quite a few years. The snow and nature in general has done some work on the structure. However, when I peeked in the window in the door I could still smell the fuel.
Sunrise Mt Rainier old gas station with Day Lodge in background
Clouds coming in on Mt Rainier at Sunrise
This week we drove to the top of the world – Mt Rainier. At 6,400 feet it is the highest visitor center on the mountain that you can drive to. Hope you enjoy the raw beauty of this wonderland.
Sunrise Lake – deepest blue
Goat Island Mtn from Sunrise
Sunrise Visitor Ctr – built apx 1935
Snout of Emmons Glacier = White River Source
Little Tahoma on Mt Rainier
Baby Crow with icky eye giving me the look.
I had heard about an albino crow at Lincoln Park. This week I went there on a quest to see this mystical bird myself and perhaps get a photo. This special bird did not show itself but I did find a baby crow with its parent at the beach. This little guy had a raw looking eye either from molting or some sort of bad occurence. When I took his photo he gave me the Crow Eye.
Then around the corner from Coleman pool (a rare saltwater swimming pool) there was an older male crow on the fence. He allowed me to take his photo but not without giving me the Crow Eye too. Check out how his feathers are brownish and degraded. He is in full molt. This year all the crows seem to be having a serious molt. I blame that on the hot weather, which must have put a lot of wear and tear on their feathers.
Lincoln Park Molting crow got his eye on me
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.
Eagle watching Crows back
Beach Tree Crows watching Eagle
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?
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.
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
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
Here is a shot of the family sunning themselves. Guess the family that molts together stays together.
Crow Family sunning themselves