Birds of a Feather at Juanita Bay

After a break in the weather yesterday we visited Juanita Bay Park, a protected wildlife area on the shores of Lake Washington.

We took the boardwalk and joined other birders who pointed out the bald eagles high in the evergreens above. (Yes, I had my Lumix and zoomed in.)

There were visiting trumpeter swans below, and in the distance behind them, a great blue heron fishing.

As we continued on our walk, we passed the heron looking just as I expected.

Until he perked up at some disturbance, thrusting up his head feathers,

transforming himself into some other flamboyant creature, at least to me.

Lake Washington is the second largest natural lake in Washington, bordering Seattle on the west, Bellevue and Kirkland on the east, and Renton on the south. Many wonderful parks dot the edges of the lake, all offering something unique. We’ve been to many of them, but this was our first trip to Juanita Bay in Kirkland; I’m sure it won’t be our last.

~ Susanne

Benji Always Makes Me Laugh

Whatever the season,

Wherever I may find him,

Benji always makes me laugh.

And yes, I was inspired by today’s #bloganuary prompt – ‘what makes you laugh?’

~ Susanne

Finding Inspiration in Three days of #Bloganuary

Yes I did, I signed up for daily prompts from Word Press to inspire my blogging, then mostly ignored the emails. Regardless, here’s a brief response to three of the prompts so far, at least my 1,2,3.

Prompt 1: What Road Trip would you love to take?

If asked a few weeks ago I would have said, Route 66, the Mother Road, one of America’s earliest highways running from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. It sounded quite romantic but the more we considered the actual road and the amount of driving involved it seemed like all the good stuff was in the West, mostly Arizona. Like we discovered in Williams, on our trip to the Grand Canyon a few years ago.

So why drive rickety roads through the barren lands of Oklahoma and northern Texas (no disrespect meant) stopping by the occasional quirky restaurant or giant ball of string? Instead, we’re planning a loop through the Southwest, mostly northern Arizona and southern Utah, with stops by the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley and a few of the other National Parks in the area. And yes, with occasional forays onto the Mother Road.

Prompt 2 : Write about the last time you left your comfort zone.

Are you kidding? I’ve been living outside my comfort zone for the past two years just like the rest of you – in a covid infected world: speaking from my little Zoom box, seeing myself as others do (hey – that’s not normal!) and wearing masks in public, all the while wondering if I’m doing enough to stay protected from those nasty airborne particles!

Speaking of masks, my first were homemade from scraps of fabric I had around the house. (I probably looked like I was wearing a pillowcase in those early days but we do what we can.) You may recall I had help from Benji.

Prompt 3 : What was your favorite toy as a child?

I suppose there were some but kids in my era had more fun playing Hide ‘n Seek late into the summer night, jumping across creeks, and building forts in the woods.

But if I had to pick something it would be my troll doll. With its happy face and goofy smile, colorful fragrant hair (I still remember that smell), it was portable enough to take to school. Wish I still had it. I picked up the one below in a collectible store and though the orange isn’t quite what I remember, it will do for now.

Hmm. Perhaps there is inspiration to be found in daily prompts!

~ Susanne

Is it Spring Yet?

Inquiring minds want to know.

~ Susanne

Happy Hummers and First Monday of 2022!

After eight long days, the snow of 2021 is finally melting, and we are left with slush and drizzle – welcome to the first Monday of 2022!

A strange number for a year, don’t you think?

When I was growing up all the years started with NINETEEN and rolled easily off the tongue. 1960, 1970, 1980 – you could pick any two and easily calculate the distance between them. Back then, 1984 was futuristic and 2001 was a distant science fiction movie!

Granted, we’ve been in the two thousands for more than 20 years already – I guess I should move on, huh? Okay, will do! 😉

During these days of snow and freezing temperatures I managed to post on my blog almost daily. The same thing happened during a previous major snow event- Snowmageddeon in 2019, when I also posted on Hummingbirds in the Snow. I couldn’t get as close then with my Sony as I can now with my Lumix. (Did I mention how happy I am with my new camera?)

I heard this one in the evergreens above my yard and zoomed into his world.

“You again,” he seemed to say as he turned my way.

Yes, indeed, time to go.

Happy Hummers to you!

~ Susanne

A Look Back at the Road Trips of 2021

Hooray for road trips – the only way to travel during a pandemic! There were many close to home this year in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest – to Mt. Rainier – Olympic National Park – and the Columbia Gorge.

There were also trips farther afield as when we headed south in April, on Highway 101 to enjoy America’s West Coast – America’s Best Coast – through the Redwoods to San Francisco.

And after Labor Day to Yellowstone – to enjoy more of the magnificence of nature.

I guess you could say life itself is a road trip and I’m thankful for the journey.

Hoping your trip through 2022 is a safe and happy one!

~ Susanne

Scenes from a Snowy Coulon Walk

We were housebound for three days but when the roads became passable, we decided to go for a walk at Gene Coulon Park. We bundled up and trudged around the lake mostly alone.

The stony walkers were dressed in their holiday finest and my husband decided to join them.

The trees wore their pretty lights and this one was joined by a little brown creeper.

The dogs were having a blast in the snow unaware they weren’t welcome – this is a dog free park –

while the ducks sported their finest headgear.

Enjoying the snow while we can but looking forward to warmer temperatures this weekend.

~ Susanne

Benji and the Snow

It’s the third day and snow is still (unexpectedly) falling.

Benji loves to go outside but this is too much even for him. Yesterday, he ventured out in the morning and after 20 minutes or so I found him in the driveway.

After a few photos I picked him up and carried him back inside and felt him shiver. Poor little boy!

He found the best place in the house to warm up and was mostly cured of wanting out again.

~ Susanne

About those Hummingbirds in the Snow

When I woke this morning it was 18 degrees outside. The snow was deep, dry and sparkly and the moon was still out.

I was waiting for the day to fully dawn before putting the hummingbird feeders back outside. I knew they depended on me.

Yesterday I was looking out my kitchen window when a hummer caught my eye. I don’t have feeders at the window and never have; the feeders are across the backyard next to the fence.

But there he was, this sweet little Anna’s hovering at the window to get my attention. “Hey Sue! The nectar you gave us is frozen solid!”

Indeed it was!

I hurried outside with a replacement and promised to do better. So last night I brought the feeders in and hung them again this morning. It wasn’t long before the hummers were back for breakfast.

Some of you wondered that hummingbirds were here at all – in Seattle in the middle of winter.

According to Seattle Audobon, of the four hummingbird species found in Washington state – Anna’s, Rufous, Calliope, and Black-chinned – only the Anna’s stays year-round, the others migrate south or east for the winter. “Historically limited to western California, in recent years Anna’s Hummingbirds have dramatically expanded their range northward as far as British Columbia. This expansion has been attributed to hummingbird feeders and gardens with exotic flowers that provide the birds with a year-round food source. Climate change may also play a role. They are currently very common across much of their range, and because they adapt well to suburban areas, should continue to thrive in the future.”

Since the Anna’s are happy to stay in the winter, I’m happy to continue feeding them. I’ll keep a watch and rotate the feeders as they freeze up. If I forget, they’ll let me know. 🙂

~ Susanne

The Promised Snow Has Arrived! And Hummingbirds, too!

It was only a tease yesterday, the promise of a White Christmas for those who care about such things. But this morning the snow appeared, clothing the evergreens with its beauty and providing joy in the Great Northwest!

I bundle up and venture outside to keep the feeders thawed out and water available for my favorite little birds and they appreciate it.

Temperatures will drop down into the teens this week so the loveliness should stick around. Happy Day! 🙂

~ Susanne

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