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Dew on Horsetails -pretty but an invasive weed called - Equisetum arvense

Dew on Horsetails -pretty but an invasive weed called – Equisetum arvense

Saved the best picture for last -  Blue Eyes & pink mouth baby crow peeking out at me while his parents scream at me.

Blue Eyes & pink mouth baby crow peeking out at me while his parents scream at me.

Serendipity means a “fortuitous happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”.   That so describes how I feel when I find the little crow ones.  Over the years as I gather blog material, I have to remember to let the moment come to me.   The picture above was when I was walking to the beach and there in a small garden next to the street a baby sat.  His parents were not happy I noticed but I was beside myself at the opportunity to capture his little pink mouth and blue eyes.

Bird watching teaches us that we have to be open for the unexpected and enjoy what is thrown at us.  Many people are focused on what they think they should be doing or seeing.  Then they miss these special gifts given to us.

The next two photos are also great examples of just being in the right place at the right time.  First is a snapshot of not one but three little baby crows on a roof.   How did I know they were youngsters?  The cry of a baby crow is so recognizable.  They sing Mama Mama.   I heard this trio long before I saw them and was glad they posed for the camera.

The last photo is the baby crow I rescued.  Not something I suggest you do.  It is an obligation to feed and tend a young creature for months.  If you find a young bird on the ground, it is best to leave them for their parents to protect.  Young Crows do not fly very well at first and do fall into gardens.  As long as a cat, raccoon or dog doesn’t find them they will get up in bushes and fledge eventually.   My baby crow was inches from the fangs of a cat.  So, I snatched her up and we became the parents of a crow.   If you want to know more about that adventure you can read some of my earlier posts on baby crows and the special one we called Ellie.

This year I have not found the perfect view of a nest yet.  Maybe I won’t or maybe I will, there is time still.  We do have several babies in our neighborhood.  We can hear them this weekend belting out that baby call.  One is in a tree one house over.  The parents are being very secretive and so we have not pin-pointed the nest yet.   Next door to us in our neighbors backyard tree grouping we keep seeing a lot of activity.   Again, the parents are being freaky even to David who has fed them all kinds of food for years.   They are on a mission and don’t want any interlopers.

Open your eyes and ears for your special serendipity moments!!  They are there for the taking.

Mom - we think you should come feed us NOW!!

Mom – we think you should come feed us NOW!!

I'm like a puppy all legs & beak

I’m like a puppy all legs & beak

Wren shouting out

Wren shouting out

Wrens are these little brown birds that have the biggest heart.  In spring they burst into song.   One will be walking through the woods and wonder where that big voice is coming from.  Then you see this little guy standing on a stump, branch or fern shouting at the top of his lungs.   It just doesn’t seem right and it takes your brain a bit to absorb his ditty.

Here is a little video I took.  Sorry to say he knew I was around and went quiet.   However, you get to see how his little tail stands straight up and he is a brown wonder in the forest.

Crow Pair stopped to smell the flowers

Crow Pair stopped to smell the flowers

In Seattle over the last couple of weeks the blossoms have been popping all over.   We had the wettest March in recorded history and couple that with some mild weather… what do you get SPRING!!

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Gate of Dreams

Gate of Dreams

Today I went to two estate sales close to a set of bridges that are called several names –  I-90 Bridges, Lake Washington Floating Bridges, Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Floating Bridge.  This gate took me to a very eclectic sale and a gentleman who told me a few historical facts about the bridges.   We had a good discussion about how the street he lived on used to be an entrance to the original tunnels & floating bridge.  He told me that down at the end of the street were some old pieces of that bridge.  So, I took my trusty camera with me & took some photos.

There is quite a bit of history about these bridges that date back almost 100 years when it was first conceived in the 1920s..  The first bridge was built & opened in 1940 and their portal into Seattle’s downtown was a pair of soft bore tunnels.  They are called the Mt. Baker Tunnels after the neighborhood they go under.  Here is a photo from the City of Seattle Photo vault showing them under construction.

Mt Baker Tunnels 1939 City of Seattle Record

Mt Baker Tunnels 1939 City of Seattle Record

The original bridge has been gone since it sunk dramatically in a 1990 storm.  It was under repair and it took on water because of some mistakes made by the construction company.   That bridge has been replaced and another built along side it.  They also built another tunnel next to the twin tunnels.  This was one of the final pieces of Interstate 90 that crosses the United States from sea to sea.   I believe the last true link is in Wallace Idaho where a traffic light there was finally bypassed in 1991.

I have some connection to this bridge from in the early 1970s when my first husband, his brother and wife and I lived in an old house that was on the Mercer Island side of the bridge.  It had been bought in preparation of the I-90 widening and finishing.  However, due to litigation, the construction was delayed for years.  So, we got to rent this lovely old gem.

Two memories stand out the most.   One was a wet slippery snow fall that hit Seattle.   At that end of the bridge it rises up from the lake quite a bit.  Remember it is a floating bridge resting down on the lake but had to have a normal bridge structure at each end.   That was where people were getting stuck.  This was the old 4 lane non-divided highway type of road.  Not like today where we have freeway here.   So, we went down on the bridge and started pushing cars up the grade.  Never could do that today!!

The second was a terrible accident that happened at the bulge.  The bulge was a curved area that allowed the bridge to open for boat traffic.   The new bridges do not have this ability but the old one did.  The traffic not only was not divided but it went straight across the lake, then zagged to the right and zigged back to the left.  Then it got straight again before it headed up to Mercer Island. This zigging & zagging caused accidents all the time.  Lets face it the bridge was built in 1940 and traffic was certainly faster and heavier than then.  Not sure why but we had walked down there.  This one had a fatality.  I think we went there first to see if we could help like in the snow storm.  However, it was just so awful that 40 years later it is engraved in my brain.

On a lighter note this walk down memory lane also reminded me of some clothing I still have from an abandoned house above the twin tunnels.  We were “junkers” and made our living gathering all the things others left behind or threw away.  And believe me recycling was not a big thing even in the 70s.  So, we did good & paid the bills.  Plus our friends never wanted for baby clothing.

So, here are the photos I took today of this man-made wonder.  Hope you enjoy this little bit of history.

Mt Baker Tunnel from 35th Ave So Seattle

Mt Baker Tunnel from 35th Ave So Seattle

Tunnels from old entrance street

Tunnels from old entrance street

Plaque commemorating Bridge named for Lacey V Murrow.

Plaque commemorating Bridge named for Lacey V Murrow.

Art work on 1940 Mt Baker Twin Tunnels

Art work on 1940 Mt Baker Twin Tunnels – designed by artist James FitzGerald

Old Lk Washington Floating Bridge remnants

Old Lk Washington Floating Bridge remnants

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Original Bridge Railing – see Postcard

Here is a postcard that I had in my collection.  It shows how there is an entrance right after the tunnels that are to the left of this photo/painting by Aschel Curtis.  Check out above how the railing on the right is still in the park I visited never moved.

Postcard 1940 Lk WA Bridge

Postcard 1940 Lk WA Bridge

Crow Lovers drinking together

Crow Lovers drinking together

Crow Pair on our birdbath

Mocha’s family on our birdbath

2014 Trillum (Wake Robin)

2014 Trillium (Wake Robin)

Bouquet of Trilliums

Bouquet of Trilliums

Last year about this time I published a video and info on these two patches of Trilliums.  They will come back year after year but don’t pick them.  They will be stunted for a year at the least.

http://wp.me/p1d1cX-C6

Little Yellow Cottage

Little Yellow Cottage

Cozy up time

Cozy up time

Spring time brings Crow Love.   They get cozy with each other and start seeking out their new nursery trees.  This pair in Arbor Heights are typical of crow pairs.   They sit close and preen each other.  That is in between getting busy finding just the right branch in an evergreen tree for the nest.   Secretly pull sticks to customize their home.

In Renton from my office window, the pair who reside there have been giving me a display to watch.  During conference calls I like to look out the window instead of being tempted by email or multi-tasking.  That keeps me focused on the call.  Except when this pair show up and fly from tree to tree burrowing into the boughs.   They also are pulling on the maple trees to find the best sticks to build with.  Rather entertaining to watch but almost as distracting as email.

Here are a few more crow pair photos for your viewing enjoyment. Baby crows soon!!

Crow Pair sunning themselves

Crow Pair sunning themselves

A little spring love

A little spring love

Crow Love Birds on old TV Antenna on our building -  they are still together after fight & death of other crow

Crow Love Birds on old TV Antenna on our building last year

Crows in my Madrona Forest

Madrona Crow in the Rain

Madrona Crow in the Rain

Jessica Gabriel inspired me the other day with her fabulous painting of a Madrona Tree.   Their more scientific name is Arbutus and she used that in the title by calling it “art beaut us” .  Here is the link so you can go admire her work too.    http://jessicagabriel.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/artbeautus/

Several years ago I wrote a post about these trees with some good facts about them.  They have a rather delicate disposition and are fond of salt water coast lines in temperate climates.   If they are planted in a domesticated yard scenario they can suffer and not flourish.   So, go enjoy them in nature by visiting my older post.

http://wp.me/p1d1cX-6H

That brings me to my rainy walk down to the beach which traverses a madrona forest.   In my world this is a double wonderful place because a family of crows have lived in it for years.  I have watched them raise several babies and even used it as a backdrop for my short story Edgar the Baby Crow.

My crow family did not disappoint and they posed for me in different trees for their 2014 spring pictures.

IMG_4260

Trail up from beach into the forest

Madrona bark glowing orange on black from rain

Madrona bark glowing orange on black from rain

Climbing higher into the tree tops

Climbing higher into the tree tops

My crow family greeting me from an old madrona snag.

My crow family greeting me from an old madrona snag.

Can you see the crows in the forest?

Can you see the crows in the forest?

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