Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Old Man of the Mountain

So I was sitting there on the beach minding my own business and suddenly a face with barnacles for eyes appears out of the rocks. It's really not a very good face, but my artist eyes seem to find faces even when they aren't there. I guess it is similar to finding faces in paintings. Once you see the face smiling back at you, the painting is never the same. I always have to paint it out and start over.

Have you ever seen "The Old Man in the Mountain?" It's the New Hampshire state symbol. So I'm not the only one who sees faces in rocks. Well actually, the Old Man lost most of his face to gravity in 2003. I guess gravity catches up with everybody's face after awhile.

And the whole time while I was staring at the face staring back at me, I was being observed by a huge bald eagle sitting on a rock about 80 feet away. Talk about being startled. I mean me, not the bird. It was clear from his demeanor that he was so comfortable that he wasn't about to leave. So I did.

There was a beautiful sky hole directly above the mountains this morning. The only blue in an otherwise gray skyscape. It's easy for me not to notice that the mountain snow has disappeared for the summer. It's a bad sign that I'm not really paying attention to what I am looking at. This spring I will try to keep track of how long it lasts.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Where are the Geese?

This is the flock of brant geese that was recently misidentified in the West Seattle Herald. The writer thought they were Canada geese.

So I have been wondering lately, where in fact ARE the Canada geese? The last several years there have been large flocks of Canada geese that congregate near the Water Taxi dock and all the way on down past Salty's. Usually I enjoy watching the baby goslings grow as the weather warms. This year the wide expanse of lawns around the Boat Launch are strangely quiet. Not a Canada goose to be seen. No goslings at all. It does seem very, very odd to me. And I suspect that SOMEONE has taken them away. There is no other explanation for their sudden and complete disappearance.

I'm not sure I miss them though. The goose poop was a major problem, but not enough to convince me that the geese needed to be gotten rid of. But last year in particular, the birds were extremely aggressive. They would spread their wings and charge me. It got so bad that I started detouring around them. Have you ever been bitten by a goose? It really, really hurts.


I wonder how long this has been here and I just never saw it before.

My favorite flowers - especially on a hot, sunny day when they explode into fragrance.

I've seen three herons in two days - many more than usual.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Totem Pole

Totem Pole Face - behind the Log House Museum

It says "The Birthplace of Seattle - Log House Museum."


I usually walk in the mornings so this particular evening walk
was an exception.

Another penny

Someone is practicing stacking rocks. Occasionally I come across
unfathomable stacks of 7 or 8 large rocks. They look like they must
be stuck together with super glue. Usually the stacks are located
on the beach in a spot destined to be covered by the high tide. Sometimes it is interesting to sit and watch the waves devour the rocks as the water level gets higher and higher. Sort of like Wendy when she was tied to the stake in Peter Pan - which was terrifying - not fun. And I think she was rescued before she drowned.

Another mini-stack of rocks.

Who said birds aren't smart?

I will let you guess what this is.

A very small pond.

Beach Art

"Blue Bottles Park"

In "Blue Bottles Park"

Find the Blue Heron.

CEPHEUS - Winter
"Live without Fear and Love just as Bravely! For Love is a Decision,
a Choice. It Must be Nurtured and Practiced Even in Our Darkest
Moment! So that we May Heal a Fractured World and become
Masters of Our Hearts and Kings of Our World."

Stars in Constellation Park

I think this is "chaff" blown down from the poplar trees along the
promenade but I could be wrong.

This tire was gone when I went by the next day. It must have floated out to sea. It looked to me as if those rocks and driftwood were intentionally arranged and not randomly placed there by the waves.

An Andy Goldsworthy type of shot - but a little too sweet.

More Andy Goldsworthy

Every clematis I have ever planted in my yard has died, so I
am resigned to just appreciating the neighbors'.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Mornings

Weekend mornings around here are very busy. Used to be that I could walk on a Sunday morning and not see anyone. Now it is like a highway: joggers, baby carriages, dogs and scuba divers.Lots to see though.

Memorial Plaque.

Before and after photos.

It is difficult to convey eerie silence through a photo. Usually I am at least accompanied by the sound of gently lapping wavelets, if not smashing waves. Almost never is the Sound as smooth as a mountain lake in late afternoon. Turns out it was what is called "the calm before the storm." By the time I came back around, the clouds had rolled in, the wind had picked up and it had started to rain.

Breakfast. Before I could take another photo - DOWN THE HATCH!

I have no idea what this is. A type of Stonehenge I guess. A friend of mind thought it might be an Alki Beach "crop circle."

Lucky Penny. Well, I picked up the dollar bill. Do you think I picked up the penny? When I was little, finding a penny meant it was my lucky day. Nowadays, a penny isn't quite as valuable. But I think it is bad luck not to pick it up. Not picking it up feels ungrateful. So I did.

A better photo of the Bird Man of Alki.

A sidewalk plaque near Whale's Tail Park.

I remember this Christmas day a few years ago as well. It was one you could never forget. First of all, the weather was totally out of character for the end of December. The sun was out, the air was warm as spring and the water sparkled like it was made of crinkled tin foil.

Then the orcas appeared. A huge pod of them. They danced across the Sound for over an hour. They jumped completely out of the water, as if to revel in the beautiful afternoon. Then they moved south, past Alki Point and down to Vashon. Word got out and everyone came down to the beach to see the orcas.

I've been looking for the orcas this year but haven't seen any at all. I have heard that the gray whales are here. Gray whales are nice, but they just don't do it for me the way the orcas do.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another One

Another one of many beach constructions I will see this summer. Might as well keep a record of them.

Scavenger Hunt

I'd be interested to hear if people know what these things are or where they are located.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sea Gull Warning

For those of you who haven't yet experienced "sea gulls doing what sea gulls do," they really do sit on top of the lamp standards waiting for us to walk under them. The birds have very good aim. I always walk around the post when I see this.