San Francisco – Part Two – Alcatraz

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Part two of my three-part photo series on San Francisco features Alcatraz, the iconic island that dominates views of the bay from the Embarcadero to the Presidio. Residents have ranged from Al Capone to baby seagulls. Enjoy.

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San Francisco – Part One – Ocean Beach

The west side of San Francisco – Ocean Beach

In part one of my three-part photo series depicting the city by the bay, I have gathered pics of the western edge of the city.

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Yes, that's the moon.

Yes, that’s the moon.

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Another Feryn Ranch

St. Patrick’s Day offered meager amounts of green on our latest visit.

The greening of the fields and creek banks at Feryn Ranch are still weeks away, but the creamy brown hues of the refuge’s reeds and cattails make worthy subjects.

 

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Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Turnbull Wildlife Refuge is a sanctuary for wildfowl and wildlife.

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The following are some pics from our recent visit to the Turnbull Wildlife Refuge near Cheney, Washington.

 

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To plan your trip, click here.

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Days of Salmon – Issaquah Salmon Days

The salmon return to Issaquah well before the festival has started.

 

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Each October, the salmon and the tourists return to Issaquah, the latter in order to enjoy the annual Salmon Days Festival. We snuck in a week early, allowing us to enjoy the spectacle of the spawning fish without the accompanying throng of humanity. Here are some pics.

 

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To learn more about the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, click here.

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Mt. Spokane – Bald Knob Trail

Mt. Spokane’s Bald Knob trail offers expansive views with a touch of history.

 

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In the first week of September, we hiked the Bald Knob trail to some high meadows and a restored CCC cabin. Here are some pics.

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Schweitzer Mountain in Summer

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Schweitzer Mt. Resort offers relief from Eastern Washington’s August furnace.

Here are some pics from our recent off-season trek up to Northern Idaho’s premier ski resort. If you like what you see, you can still make plans for their last event of the summer, Fall Fest.

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Lower Snoqualmie Falls

The lower trail offers less familiar views of the iconic waterfall.

 

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For more pictures of Snoqualmie Falls click here.

Around the World Without Leaving My Blog

A year of communication destinations.

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The following is a cloud I created containing all of the countries from which someone viewed my blog during the last year. Larger names indicate more visits. My only question, where’s Norway? Uff da! Well, there’s always next year. My thanks to every visitor, near and far.

                                                                                      Angola       France

                                                                    Chile        Germany

                 Indonesia     United Kingdom

                                                                  Israel             Columbia             Taiwan                   Thailand

                          United States

                                                              Brazil          Pakistan          Australia

                                                                      South Korea    Spain    Russia    

                                                            India      Canada

                                                                   Saudi Arabia

                                                                                                     Serbia     Japan      Poland      Philippines
                                                                              Malaysia

Humans and Canada Geese – WTH (What the Honk?)

Each Autumn, the changing weather ruffles a few feathers, in both species.

Slip, slide, swoosh, SMACK! Every November, it’s the same thing. As soon as those little white crystals start falling out of the clouds, humans go completely stupid. Winter piloting skills, often accumulated during years of driving in icy conditions, are curiously jettisoned. People go too fast, or too slow. Merging becomes a lost art. Signals lose all validity. The myth of 4X4 invincibility shatters, often ending with the ass end of an SUV protruding from the ditch. Every year, humans have to re-learn how to navigate in Winter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And so do geese.

In this case, I’m speaking specifically about Canada geese – seasonal residents of a drainage field or fairway near you. Other migrating birds encounter similar challenges, but I’m most familiar with these large, chin-strapped waterfowl. Around the same time that humans are busy not putting on new wiper blades and not acquiring snow tires and not allotting more time for commuting, geese are busy not flying very well.

Actually, throughout the Inland Empire, geese begin their preparations before humans. They start gathering and flying in late summer. Scan the eastern dawn as August rolls into September, and you’ll see groups of the large birds flying, not in the iconic V formation most of us imagine, but rather, in something resembling a smeared Q from a HP 7210 running out of ink. And then there are the stragglers, laggards that roam the sky alone, constantly honking to locate their gaggle. Yes, odd as it might seem, these animals, that will soon fly in efficient flocks, over thousands of miles, must re-acquire the ability to do so. And they do. By November, the sloppy Q’s have been snapped into sharp V’s, the lead slot being exchanged with smooth precision. It truly is a wonderful transition to witness.

So, the next time you are caught behind a Volvo going three mph through a half-inch of snow, or are forced to pull over to avoid the speeding F-250/Transformer mutation flying up on your rear, take the opportunity to contemplate the Canada goose. Even these intrepid birds have to relearn their winter travel skills.

If you liked this post or are interested in migratory birds and their sanctuaries, you might also want to read this.