A Whale Sighting and Talking Crow at Seattle’s Lincoln Park

Anytime you visit Lincoln Park is a special time and so it was yesterday. We went to the park so Bob could practice fishing for sea run cutthroat. I went along to walk the beachfront and take pictures.

I’d just left him fishing when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.

When I turned I saw a large whale tail slap the water – a gray whale had breached! I’d come hoping to finally see a whale and this was my lucky day! Not so lucky that I had time to take a picture but lucky to have seen it at all!

Afterwards I sat and watched with camera poised hoping for another breach but that would be it for the day. So I headed over to the paved pathway for a walk.

It wasn’t long before I knew I was being followed.

By crows – cawing and making a ruckus. They were trying to tell me something, a case of mistaken identity I assumed. I’d done nothing to bother them so I kept walking. They were not deterred and continued to follow, flying ahead and landing in front of me. I stopped.

“I don’t have anything to eat,” I said to the one approaching. “You must have me confused with someone else.”

Still they came, cawing, swooping, landing in front or on nearby trees. I like crows but I have to admit it was a little weird. There were a few other folks on the path and none of them were being accosted by crows.

“Really,” I said. “I don’t have anything. No food. No nothing. So go on!”

I didn’t wave my arms or clap my hands or make a commotion. But I was puzzled by their behavior and did want them to leave me alone.

Eventually I headed over to the beach to continue my walk in peace. The air was fresh and salty, the sky was silver gray, and all manner of colors and shapes were on display.

After a while I began to notice a few crows hunting in the seaweed.

I tried to ignore them and hoped they would reciprocate.

Most did, but one headed my way.

“How weird is that?” I stopped to talk to to a women seated on a bench.

“The crows seem to be following me today – and I like crows – I really do – but I don’t know why.”

She had just moved here from Southern California and it was her first time at Lincoln Park. I welcomed her to Seattle and told her of the bald eagles overhead and the whale I’d seen earlier.

And while we talked the crow stood nearby.

“He’s really watching you,” she said. “Do you come here often? It seems like he wants food.”

Actually I didn’t come often – maybe every few months since I live south. But then I remembered an incident earlier this year. We’d come to walk in the park and I’d brought peanuts along for a snack. The squirrels wanted some so we gave out a few and soon the crows arrived and wanted their share too. (Pictures below are from that story. )

Could it be the crows remembered me from our visit months ago?

(“There she is! The lady with the peanuts!”)

I really think so! I have no other explanation for their behavior towards me.

So we’ll be back again. For more fishing. And walking. And hopefully whale sightings.

And perhaps also with peanuts.

~ Susanne

Fall in the Rear View Mirror

It’s kind of early for winter but cold has descended on the Pacific Northwest bringing freezing temperatures overnight.

Benji wonders when it’s going to warm up but I have to tell him, “Sorry,”

“Fall is in the rear view mirror.”

Two kinda orange squares – for Becky’s Squares.

~ Susanne

Golden Hour Over San Francisco Bay

We cruised into San Francisco stealthily,

passing by the Rock in darkness

where inmates sleep in tourists’ dreams.

The sky was red and gold

till sunrise – the spell was broken.

A reminiscence – for Six Word Saturday.

~ Susanne

Hummingbirds Up Close

It’s been cold and damp here in the Northwest so it’s been a while since I’ve been outside watching the hummingbirds. I keep the feeders full of course and see them through the window but I haven’t gone out and waited for them with camera in hand. Yesterday I did.

They rewarded me by coming down to drink again and again, even coming two at a time which is unusual. I expect there’ll be more of that as the weather continues to change into the long dark days of winter and other food sources dry up.

The rain has returned today so there’ll be no watching outside – yesterday will have to do.

~ Susanne

Shared with Sunday Stills, Birding.

A Riot of Color in Orange and Green

It comes on slowly – then all in a hurry – this was the view at Coulon Park the end of September.

Last week was a swirl of orange and green – like sherbet I thought – and photographers were out to see it.

Was this the peak I wondered?

But no. I returned yesterday and found that orange had prevailed.

And Coulon was a riot of color.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Orange and Green.

~ Susanne

My Happy Place is in the Woods – All Kinds of Woods

I’ve always loved the woods – all kinds of woods – from the dense forests of the national parks –

to smaller local woods where tiny bursts of light and color compete with green.

The woods have been my happy place, a refuge from the storm during a strange pandemic year – a place of solace, calm and beauty.

Inspired by Sunday Stills, Happy Place and Kinda Square.

~ Susanne

That’s Ochre!

The first time I heard the word ‘ochre’ I was playing scrabble with my mother. When she placed the tiles on the board I laughed and she said, ‘it’s a real word – a color – look it up.’ I was doubtful but gave her the points.

According to Wikipedia, “Ochre or ocher is a natural clay earth pigment which is a mixture of ferric oxide and varying amounts of clay and sand. It ranges in color from yellow to deep orange or brown. It is also the name of the colors produced by this pigment, especially a light brownish-yellow. A variant of ochre containing a large amount of hematite, or dehydrated iron oxide, has a reddish tint known as “red ochre”.

Well that certainly narrows it down! 🙂

So for Sunday Still’s Challenge, Ochre I’ll give you my best shot at ochre, from photos taken last week.

On our recent drive over Washington Pass we were surrounded by colors of ochre in the mountains and golden larches.

At Coulon Park I found leaves turning colors of ochre everywhere.

Finally, on yesterday’s visit to Nolte State Park,

Deep Lake absorbed the surrounding colors of ochre and reflected them back while my husband practiced casting.

And that’s all for today’s dose of Ochre.

~ Susanne

The Ongoing Saga of Benji and the Chair

“Hey Benji, you’re going to have to move. I’d like to sit in my chair”

“Go away Sue, I was out late last night.”

“You’re out late every night Benji.”

“Benji??”

“Oh forget it. I’ll come back later.”

~ Susanne and Benji

Traveling the Cascade Loop – Winthrop, Leavenworth, The Enchantments, and Tumwater Canyon

After crossing the North Cascades, with stops at Diablo Lake and Liberty Bell Mountain, I wondered if it could get any better.

It did.

We spent the night in Winthrop, a small western themed town,

then continued south to Wenatchee – the Apple Capital of the world – where we were surrounded by the Columbia River, orchards and fruit stands.

But the highlight was a visit to the nearby Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth where all was festive.

Even though Oktoberfest was cancelled, it was a Saturday and the town was more crowded than we were accustomed to. So we had lunch, avoided the shops, and kept our distance. It was easy for me to do as my favorite spot is Waterfront Park, a short walk from the center of town.

I crossed the footbridge and enjoyed the lovely fall colors reflecting in the Wenatchee River. I saw salmon swimming upstream and humans wading in the shallow waters – look closely and you’ll see them.

We would return again the next morning on our way back home, only now the surrounding mountains were dusted with fresh snow.

We passed The Enchantments, a world famous backpackers paradise with Mt. Stuart as the center.

Permits are required to hike in – a grueling hike that can be completed in a day by the strongest – my niece made the trek last month. But most backpack in and spend a few days enjoying the lakes set among polished granite as my husband did many years ago.

We followed the winding highway north along the Wenatchee River to Tumwater Canyon.

While I stood and gawked, Bob watched state workers collecting salmon to carry them over Tumwater Dam. The dam and hydroelectric project was built in 1907 to produce power for electric locomotives traveling through the old Cascade Tunnel on the Stevens Pass route. Decommissioned long ago, only the dam remains and is equipped to assist salmon and steelhead travel up the river to spawn.

After our stop it was time to head home and we crossed Stevens pass to the wet side – west side – of the mountains where it seemed we were thrust into winter.

There was a stop to look at mysterious Mt. Index, shrouded in clouds, followed by lunch and we were back home again.

To learn more about the Cascade Loop, advertised as Washington’s Ultimate Road Trip, click here.

I have to agree.

That’s all for now.

~ Susanne

My Great Grandfather’s Incredible Postcard Art! O.T. Frasch Was Seattle’s Legendary Photographer!

My brother has a great story on his blog today with some early Seattle photos taken by our great grandfather, photographer, O.T. Frasch. Check it out! 🙂

johnrieber

Welcome To Seattle, Washington!

Located in the northwest corner of the US, Seattle is where I grew up, taking for granted spectacular scenery like this on a daily basis:

However, thanks to my Mom and Sister, I am learning that my family history includes a legendary Photographer who captured the city as a work of historical art!

Here are photos I took Of Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market:

Except that my Great Grandfather O.T. Frasch beat me by more than one hundred years:

You see, my Grandfather took literally thousands of photgraphs that became postcards, which at the time was a piece of art – so, if yo were wondering what Seattle’s 2nd avenue looked like shortly after the turn of the 20th century, here you go:

How did I uncover all of this? Well, my Mom has told us stories of course, and then my sister recently went on…

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