Blogs from around the San Juan Islands:
Last updated on Fri, 06 Dec 2013
Mostly Cloudy and 27 F at Friday Harbor, WA
Thu, 5 Dec 2013 Winds are North at 3.5 MPH (3 KT). The pressure is 1023.7 mb and the humidity is 61%. Last Updated on Dec 5 2013, 9:53 pm PST.
Wait, what was that flight number again?
Thu, 5 Dec 2013 Ever wonder where your relatives are at “this very moment” when they’re flying here for the holidays? Ever wonder about how many commercial flights are in the air worldwide at any given time? Or, maybe you miss your tropical fish aquarium and need some other visual stress relieving diversion to stare at for a while. Check out this website when you have a few minutes to click around: FlightRadar24 Wait, what was that flight number again? was first posted on December 5, 2013 at 10:27 am. ©2012 " San Juan Update ". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at email@example.com for permission.
Thu, 5 Dec 2013 Here’s a couple of things from Island Stage Left’s Helen Machin-Smith… Click for larger image First – a reminder that we have just 2 weeks left for “Other Desert Cities” (Thurs – Sun) and that the Sat 7th performance is at 2:00, not 7:30. Second – On another note: we have been told we are now a “tradition”, and after abdicating last year in favour of spending time with family in England, we are back for another “ Omnium Gatherum ” in front of a blazing fire at Roche Harbor, starting Dec 19th and lasting through Christmas Eve. (On the latter we offer two performances – and reservations are highly recommended so that no one is left out in the cold). We are delighted to have Angel Michaels , John Boyne and Beatrice Grauman joining us with music of all kinds to round out the program. We look forward to having you, our friends and neighbours and your family and friends celebrate the season with us! Omnium Gatherum was first posted on December 5, 2013 at 5:45 am. ©2012 " San Juan Update ". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for permission.
Seeking Executive Director for Wolf Hollow
Thu, 5 Dec 2013 [Editor's note - this post has been updated] Wolf Hollow is seeking applicants for Executive Director . This is a ¾ time position. Non-profit and fund raising skills needed. For a full Job Description visit our web site:- www.wolfhollowwildlife.org/employment To apply, please email a current resume and cover letter to: wolfhollow [@] wolfhollowwildlife [.] org noting Executive Director in the subject line , or mail to: Selection Committee, Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, 284 Boyce Rd, Friday Harbor WA 98250 Seeking Executive Director for Wolf Hollow was first posted on December 5, 2013 at 5:30 am. ©2012 " San Juan Update ". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at email@example.com for permission.
Situational Awareness again
Thu, 5 Dec 2013 A section of an FAA map showing the Wichita area. The red dot is Jabara airport, the blue is McConnell AFB and the green is Beech airport. You may recall the story Last Week of the Boeing Dream Lifter land at the wrong airport. We’ve spoken of situational awareness here before. This post via Wired […]
Art in Pairs ~ Same Theme, Different Approach
Wed, 4 Dec 2013 Once again the quilters have turned on the light, illuminating the benefits of working in pairs. Take a look at the following pairs of quilts. In each pair, a single theme has been explored by two different quilters, one taking a representational approach, the other taking an abstract approach. These and many more pairs are exhibited currently at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum in a show called "Abstracted" by the Fibre Art Network in Western Canada. It's a not-to-be-missed show in my opinion, because of the amazingly high degree of creativity in all the quilts. But hurry, the show closes December 29th. Why, I wonder, why are they all so incredibly dynamic, compelling, interesting, and in many cases, touching? I think it's because the quilters worked in pairs, agreeing on a theme or subject and approaching it either realistically or abstractly. Obviously they inspired each other. Obviously, their combined creativity is greater than either manages alone. Ding. Ding. Ding. Immediately I'm thinking about the BJP (now on Facebook) , wondering if some of the participants might want to work in pairs, deciding for themselves on a way to do it that would be beneficial to both. It's an idea to consider!
Wed, 4 Dec 2013 Continuing to work on small pieces of navigation charts with live models. Ink and watercolor, quick poses.
Tue, 3 Dec 2013 Almost every winter at some point we get a NE'er. Arctic air from the interior of Canada flows down the Fraser Canyon and swoops down upon us with its icy blast. We rarely every manage to get snow first as this air is very, very dry so without the snow to mulch and protect plants we have been hustling around mulching vulnerable things like the dahlias. In this climate dahlias can't survive unprotectd but a good thick mulch of leaves has brought them through winter after winter and it is much easier than digging them. I will dig them every 3 or 4 years as the plants get so big we can't get between them to harvest the flowers. We also through a mulch of leaves over the last of the potatoes and several layers of Remay floating row covers over some of the carrots, Joel dug about 175 lbs. of beets and about 50 lbs. of our yellow carrots and put them on a pit with a foot or so of dirt over them. That will keep them fine for several months. He harvested a bunch of cabbages and kohlrabi and rutabagas which can be kept just fine in the greenhouse which being unheated just manages to stay above freezing in this sort of weather. We will sell them at market this month. Joel's Mom brought us the last bud of her Graham Thomas rose today before the cold weather killed the flower. Such a pretty thing and it reminds us that spring will be just around the corner.
How whales evolved from the the land to the sea
Tue, 3 Dec 2013 io9 is reporting: All whales and dolphins are descended from terrestrial mammals, ancient creatures that were very similar to the modern hippopotamus. Now, a fascinating new genetics study shows the incredible evolutionary changes these animals had to experience to become the perfectly adapted marine animals we see today. The complete io9 post is here.
SWINOMISH CHANNEL – Reported shoaling
Mon, 2 Dec 2013 The Local Notice to Mariners is Reporting:A report of shoaling in the Swinomish Channel has been made after transiting the Swinomish Channel South Entrance. A mariner stated the total water depth was 7 feet while transiting on a +2 feet tide IVO Swinomish Channel South Entrance Buoy 1 (LLNR 18785) and Goat Island. The latest […]
Granny Comes For Thanksgiving
Fri, 29 Nov 2013 Yesterday was "American Thanksgiving" as its known in these parts (as opposed to Canadian Thanksgiving across the border), and while we were enjoying a lazy morning at home before starting our cooking I saw an exciting status update from a friend on Facebook. All it said was "Orcas!!!" but that was enough to get me out the door two minutes later and on my way to the west side. My guess was it was probably transients and that we likely wouldn't see them, but since it was surprisingly a sunny day it seemed like a good day to get out anyway. When we arrived at Lime Kiln, the waters were quiet, so we continued south to Land Bank. I saw a boat parked past the point to the south - an encouraging sign. Then a fellow islander pulled up and confirmed that whales were heading our way. J-Pod was the rumor he heard. As the blows and dorsal fins started coming into view, it became apparent there were more whales than that - in fact, it ended up being a superpod!! A surprising sight on Thanksgiving Day: orcas! Once it looked like the whales were committed to going north, we dashed up to Lime Kiln, where they often pass closer to shore. It was definitely the right decision! As the first group approached us, they started getting active, and this pair of whales did not one but two sets of synchronized breaches, giving me a chance to capture the second one in a picture. Needless to say, this stunning sight doesn't even compare to what the captive whales do at SeaWorld - these two were breaching just because they can, possibly just for the joy of it. Better than SeaWorld: two whales breach in synchrony, just because they can The first group of whales was maybe 150 yard offshore, but right before they passed the lighthouse, they turned and angled in even closer. Usually I zoom in all the way, but this time I decided to try and capture the feeling of having a big group of whales pass so close, so this wide-angle shot shows some of the whales and the rocks we were standing on at the bottom of the frame: Even though I love how these shots turned out, I couldn't take it too long and had to zoom in to get some nice ID shots. It was a nice mix of J- and K-Pod whales in this first group. J38 Cookie K21 Cappuccino The lighting was perfect to capture these surface behaviors right after they passed: K21 tail slap A huge cartwheel by K16 Opus It was also great to see the K13s, a matriline I didn't see as much of this past summer as I usually do. K20 Spock with nephew K44 Ripple K25 Scoter is a member of the K13s who was tagged last winter, yielding interesting and important data about the winter movements of the Southern Residents. (Read about where K25 traveled last winter here .) Unfortunately, the tag didn't dislodge as it was supposed to, so he still has remnants from the darts in his fin, which were visible yesterday. K25 surfaces A close-up of the barbs in K25's fin There was just a short gap before the next large group of whales came by. It was mostly K- and L-Pod whales, with a group of young males hanging out together and all the playful youngsters in the L4 matriline. More whales approaching! I've actually photographed several double breaches before, but this was the first time I captured a double spyhop. (Earlier this year I saw a TRIPLE spyhop, but I missed it!) The only boats on the water with the whales were two research vessels - here's one of them in the background of these photos: The whales just kept coming! The final group included some familiar "faces" from J-Pod - whales it's always especially a joy to see. J16 Slick and J42 Echo Tail slap from J26 Mike The last close whale was J2 Granny, still seemingly going strong after the loss a couple months ago of her companion J8 Spieden. This was our first Thanksgiving in our new house, and also for the first time we hosted my parents. I wasn't expecting Granny to show up too, but she was more than welcome! J2 Granny The exuberant whales continued on their way north, and one of my last pictures was this incredible shot of a cartwheeling whale almost vertical in the air: So, it pretty much turned out to be the best Thanksgiving ever with a surprise superpod - it looked like everyone but the L12s were present. Oh yeah, the food ended up being pretty good, too.
Last Day of Exploration
Sat, 23 Nov 2013 Before we started out again we wanted to explore the village of Haworth a bit especially the church and parsonage, now the Bronte Museum where the Bronte sisters and family lived. Finding out that the museum wasn't open until 11:00 Siri took off to walk as far as she could across the moors to Top Withens , the accepted site of Wuthering Heights. As it was a 4 miles hike from the village she ended up turning around before she got all the way there. I spent the time perusing the gift shop and book store and buying two books by Anne Bronte, a Bronte sister I was unfamiliar with, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall . Both of which I have really enjoyed reading. I plan on going through all the other Bronte books this winter as it has been way too long since I read most of them. After we left Haworth Siri navigated us to Malham Cove another one of those wonderful limestone gorges in the area. Up on top of the gorge was this wonderful eroded limestone pavement. She particularly wanted to see this because part of the 1992 movie of Wuthering Heights was filmed here. I took one look at the area and realized that a scene in the next to the last Harry Potter movie had also been filmed there and I remembered that when I was watching that movie I wondered where in the world that scene had been filmed. In between the limestone rocks are the most lovely little plants, ferns and wildflowers taking advantage of the shelter the stones give them. An amazing landscape. Then we headed north again to what is probably my favorite part of England (do I have to choose a favorite??) the Yorkshire Dales. This is James Herriot country where the fictional (and the actual vet who wrote the books) drove over these incredible winding steep roads to visit the isolated farmhouses in the deep dales and top of the high moors. This country is so beautiful. I've been here twice before the first time on my very first trip and I keep coming back. My incentive for dragging us all the way back here to North Yorkshire was a bit part to meet Pat, a woman who I had only known through her blog, The Weaver of Grass . She writes about the life of her and her husband who she calls the Farmer on their farm near Leyburn. The idea of meeting these people in person was such a wonderful idea. When I emailed Pat telling her that we were coming over and suggesting we get together for lunch or something she invited us to come to the farm and spend the night. We were delighted. And it was such a lovely time. We went for a walk with the Farmer around the farm in the late afternoon and Pat cooked us a delicious dinner with lots of local food and enjoyed telling us where it came from and whose farm it was raised on. We spent the evening talking as if we had known each other for ages. And well, we had, through our blogs. I love the internet and the way it has opened up the world. I am so so much richer for it. Thank you, Pat, and the Farmer, for your hospitality and friendship and the great dinner and breakfast and all the sandwiches you made us for the train trip back to London. It was the perfect ending for such a perfect trip. And then the next morning we drove our heroic car that had survived all those narrow twisty roads, steep grades, all our stuff and muddy feet and Joel's driving on the "other" side of the road to York where we left it and took the train to London. We found our hotel not far from Kings Cross station where we came in and where we would get our train out to Gatwick the next day. None of us really wanted to go out and see any of London so we holed up in the hotel, ate the rest of Pat's sandwiches for dinner and watched an episode of Autumnwatch on the BBC. And then we went home. And started dreaming about going back. I love England.
November Transient Orcas
Sat, 23 Nov 2013 Yesterday I had just gotten home from work when I heard that a group of marine mammal eating transient orcas was in Spieden Channel, just down the road from where I live. I hurried down there and got there just in time to see the seven whales heading east in front of a Washington State Ferry. This photo got a lot of views yesterday; I posted it after getting home, and King5 news in Seattle posted it on their Facebook page. In a couple hours it had 1800 likes and a couple hundred shares - wow! It was also the "photo of the day" in the Orca Network whale report for yesterday. Perhaps not coincidentally, there were sea lions right in front of me swimming by, about as far away from the whales as they could get. Steller sea lions regularly haul out on Green Point at the east end of Spieden Island, but I was surprised to see a pair of California sea lions, too. Stellar sea lion (front) and a pair of California sea lions (back) in Spieden Channel I heard today the whales were T35, the T38s, and T75B and T75C, but they were too far away for me to get any IDs myself. One of these whales has a cool white mark on his dorsal fin, but it's on the other side so I didn't get to see that. But, it's pretty awesome anytime you see whales, especially in the "off" season. I watched them for about 15 minutes until they were past Spieden Island and had turned to the north, heading apparently for Boundary Pass.
Sat, 23 Nov 2013 hers is the stone like a cnoc mountain rills are crawling crystal down the valley at night toward my box and my oaken floor who carries what the box cries like windfall that blows through the shadow of my flukes who is lost but finds winter heretofore in the sharp flank of the still cold north while the sea rages by ice my dear and froth that freezes on breaming waves and salt in a felt slipper who climbs the rock face for your health and welfare in the oaken valley of the old flipper
Peak District to Bronte country
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 We headed into the Peak District National Park and stopped at Winnats Pass, a steep gorge surrounded by limestone cliffs. We drove down to the bottom of the pass and Joel and I walked about 2/3 of the way back up through this gate into a field full of sheep. Siri climbed all the way back up to the top. We headed north through the park trying again to avoid big cities, this time Sheffield and Manchester. I had never been in this part of the country and it was so beautiful. The fall colors were lovely all through the trip but here we often saw larch trees in their lovely golden fall color. We were headed to Haworth for the night, the town the Brontes lived in. We passed a bit of the Rochdale Canal and decided that there was still enough daylight to stop and look at the canal boats for a little bit. We keep dreaming of renting one and exploring some of the countryside this way. The Haworth hostel was in a big old 19th century manor house with one of the loveliest stained glass windows I think I've ever seen, pomegranates and swallows. Photos of the stained glass window were taken by Siri Thorson.
Orcas Choral Society Presents GLORIA!
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OPALCO Board Enthusiastically Supports Broadband Acceleration
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OOLA-la! Dog Pics for Dog Park
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 Ad: Last Chance For Liberty Ebook - Many Patriots Have Awakened To Americas Diminished Liberty And Yet Struggle To Know What To Do About It. How Is Your Liberty Doing? Is Liberty Lost Or Is It Just Missing In Action? Taking The Myth Out Of Liberal Progressive Thinking.
Coastal and Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins
Mon, 18 Nov 2013 On Saturday, November 9th we headed south to Long Beach where we took an afternoon sea life cruise with Harbor Breeze Cruises . With traffic always the big unknown, we got there a bit early, and had an hour or so to bird around the harbor. There were hundreds of western grebes, but I couldn't find a Clark's grebe among them. Other highlights were the brown pelicans, surf scoters, eared grebes, royal terns, and a black phoebe. As we headed out of Rainbow Harbor aboard the 85' catamaran Triumphant , we passed the Queen Mary and the Queen Mary Dome where the Spruce Goose used to be housed. Not far out, we passed the buoy where a pair of masked boobies had been regularly seen. Unfortunately, they hadn't seen them in about a week when we were there. I like the California sea lion that found his way to the second level, though: The sea conditions in the open Pacific where amazingly calm. We ended up going 12 miles offshore, and the whole way it looked like this: We didn't have to go that far, however, to encounter our first bottlenose dolphins of the day. Just like we have two different kinds of orcas that frequent the Salish Sea, there are two different populations of bottlenose off the California coast: the coastal and the offshore populations. Despite living in such close proximity to one another, they're genetically distinct. Not much is known about them, but we had a naturalist on board who was taking photo ID shots to help a researcher who is trying to estimate the population size of the local dolphins. Look at all those scars! Click to see a larger version We encountered four or five different groups of bottlenose throughout the day, including members of both populations. They were all very interested in bow-riding, give us nice close looks, at times from straight above. It was amazing to see all the scarring not only on the bodies, but the damage to the dorsal fins, which is the main way they ID different individuals. The shapes varied wildly, too, but check out the injuries some of these dorsal fins have sustained: Distinct notches Missing the top of the fin What was really striking seeing the dolphins bow-riding was how big they are: about 10-12 feet long! Way bigger than the Dall's porpoises that bow ride in the San Juan Islands. Of course there's not much to compare them to size-wise in these photos, but I love the way these shots turned out: We saw several calves throughout the day, too. They were quick and hard to catch on camera! This is the only decent shot I got: It's such a special thing to watch cetaceans underwater, in their element. They are such graceful beings, swimming so effortlessly! In addition to the dolphins, I was hoping to see some pelagic birds out there, but it was surprisingly quiet bird-wise. The most bird activity was when the dolphins were around, and I'm afraid the dolphins took precedence. I did see a single sooty shearwater (190): Just before our turnaround point we saw some more splashing in the distance. Hoping for Risso's or common dolphins, two species they regularly see in addition to bottlenose, we headed out that way. It turned out just to be more bottlenose dolphins! I was really hoping to see one of the other species, which I haven't ever seen before, but this last group of bottlenose were the most playful of the bunch, and a real treat to see. It was also the biggest group, with maybe about 30 animals. On our way back, I was keeping an even sharper eye out for birds, and spotted about half a dozen black-vented shearwaters (191, NA life bird 352). It's an even worse picture than of the sooty shearwater, but hey, when it's the first time you've ever seen a bird, you take what you can get! So concluded our wildlife sightings for our four days in California, as it was time to head back north the next morning. I had to get the camera out on the plane again as we approached Seattle, as the Cascade Mountains were impressive out the east side of the plane: I think this is Mt. Jefferson? Not sure what that dark line was from. Mt. Rainier from about 10,000 feet, right before we descended into the clouds above Seattle
Micro-Macramé - New Again - 50 Years Later
Tue, 12 Nov 2013 Macramé If you're around my age, the word "macramé" conjures up a host of crazy, knotted memories from the late 1960s and early 1070s - Although the pieces shown below were not made by me, I certainly did some very similar work. Sadly, it's all gone and I have no pictures of it... It started with one ball of string and a few plant holders, which got bigger and fancier as we got hooked on knotting. Belts and purses were next for me, followed by bottles! We graduated to more and bigger balls of string as we started making whole room dividers and curtains! But after a year or two, we grew tired of wooden beads, plain string and cramping fingers. We moved along to something else, never looking back... until now! Introducing... ta-dah... Micro-macramé! This is a necklace designed and knotted by Joan Babcock, one of today's most talented and prolific macramé artists. I've been smitten with her work ever since a friend gave me a link to her website . This particular piece is an example of a type of macramé called Cavandoli knotting. Needless to say, after seeing Joan's micro-macramé jewelry and sculptural pieces on her website, my interest in knotting was re-kindled! Thus I hounded the program chairman of our local textile guild until she booked Joan to come teach for us. A couple of weeks ago, she arrived, fresh and genuine from Santa Fe, ready to share her techniques, design process, and art with us for two days of class and a slide lecture. The first day, we knotted this bracelet, using diagonal double half hitches and square knots. I found the knotting came back quickly, some sort of kin-esthetic finger memory from 50 years ago surfacing almost immediately! The second day, we learned Cavandoli knotting, a combination of horizontal and vertical double half hitches, and made this pendant. The cord is #18 nylon, sold in bead shops as S-lon or micro-macramé cord, available in more than 50 colors, a long way from plain old white cotton string we used half a century earlier. Cavandoli knotting results in a solid piece, with the colors variable. It reminds me both of fair isle knitting (where the non-active color of yarn is carried behind the work), and of needle point (where each stitch is distinct). The pendant is only an inch square, and there are 680 knots if you count each double half-hitch as two knots. Obviously, you have to like "small" to want to do this work, as the knots are each about as small as a size-15 seed bead, maybe a bit smaller. If you know me, you know I like small. I am so hooked! Fortunately I have a stash of the cord in various colors (because it's what I use for finger weaving ) and a few (LOL) beads. Because Joan's teaching and books are fabulous, clear, step-by-step, and enabling, I had no trouble at all getting started. Here's what I've made in the past two weeks... First I made a couple pair of earrings to go with my corduroy "big shirts." These took about 1.5 hours per earring to make. Then, copying the design idea from a bracelet Joan was wearing while teaching, I started this bracelet to match the second pair of earrings. I ran out of the crystals along the outside two arcs before finishing it, and am waiting now for my order to arrive from Fusion Beads . Three days before departing for this year's quilt camp, where we are supposed to wear name tags, I got the idea of trying my hand at Cavandoli knotting to make a pin with my name done in knots. At 6 AM the next morning, I was still knotting. Yikes, talk about sore shoulders and fingers. But the next day, I finished it! Ta-dah: The knotted part of his one is 1.75 x 1.5 inches, a total of 1,536 knots! I've sewn a piece of Ultrasuede to the back of the knotting, hiding the cord ends, which are folded and stitched to the knotting. The final step was to sew a bar pin to the back, by stitching to the front side between rows of knotting, invisible from the front, but secure. The bar pin is one I had in my stash for a long time. Unfortunately it broke immediately when I put on the pin at quilt camp. I had to temporarily sew a safety pin to the back in order to wear it. Which brings me to the final point of this post.... Where can I find GOOD QUALITY bar pins? They all seem so terribly cheap, all looking like the one I used, all wanting to fall apart at the first touch. Please comment with your recommendations! Thank you, Joan ! Your workshops, slide lecture, and books have inspired and pleased me beyond measure! If you like what you see here, I recommend Joan's books and DVD . You can learn it from her even if you never got hooked in the 60s. Her kits are great too, wonderful for those who don't have a stash of beads/cords, and want to get started, to see if you like doing the knotting! Her kits are listed on her website on the same page as the books and DVD. And, good news, she's working on her next book and more kits!
Mt Rainier as seen from the San Juan Islands
Fri, 1 Nov 2013 Photos of Mount Rainier as seen from the San Juan Islands.
Bead Embroidery + Thread Embroidery + Eco-dyed Fabrics
Tue, 29 Oct 2013 Passing through the slump of divorce and moving, I'm finally starting on a new beaded pathway. Also, I've been taking a bunch of workshops, a pleasure I've postponed while busy with my own teaching career. These workshop experiences will be the subject of a later post, after I get the pictures out of my camera and ready to post. In the meantime, here's a little glimpse of my new work. Back tracking over a year ago, a group of eco-dyers on Lopez Island blessed me with the opportunity to join them in wrapping plant materials and assorted metal objects into bundles of re-purposed silk, cotton and/or linen. After popping the bundles into a plant-material dye bath for a while, then waiting for days to unwrap them, we garnered for ourselves a supply of eco-dyed fabrics. Since the above two sentences are a gross over-simplification of the process, you might want to turn to other sources, such as India Flint or Sweetpea's Path , for more information about eco-dying. At first my own bundles and resulting fabrics, seen above, reminded me of old paint rags or end-of-the-world costume fabrics for a tacky movie. Probably with a lot of experience and patience, one begins to get desired and almost predictable results. I love and respect the idea of eco-dying, the connection it builds between earth and human, the lovely plant memories captured and prolonged in the fabrics, which are also natural materials. But for me, although I'm always intrigued by dyeing and printing with dye, having previously been smitten with Ann Johnston's process and workshops , and a felt-dying workshop by Chad Alice Hagen , I never follow through with preparation of my own dye baths. Finding that I'd rather bead or stitch, dyeing is not quite compelling enough to keep me going. However, I had this pile of eco-dyed fabrics, a pile I almost consigned to rags or took to the thrift store during the move. I also had an idea percolating in the back of my mind, an idea about making fabric collage with thread and bead embroidery, layering the fabrics and embellishing them, framing the results in a narrow, vertical frame. So one day, examining the details in my pile of eco-dyed "rags," I noticed there were small parts of them that appealed to me, such as the prints made by inserting rusty washers in the bundles, visible on the left in the above picture. This piece of linen, taken as a whole was dark, and muddy or dirty looking. But if I were to cut out just the marks made by the washers, I might have something useable. That thought was the beginning of this: And this: And this: This is the final piece (you can click to enlarge), titled Trust : The same wonderful eco-dyers on Lopez later invited me to join them for a day of dying with indigo and lac (red/rose/burgundy dye from an insect, some of which made the narrow pinkish stripes in Trust ). My results that day, combined with some remnants of Kantha stitching on cotton fabrics, provided the materials for my second layered fabric collage. Here's a detail: Here's another detail: Here is the final piece, titled Northern Lights : Since making these two pieces, two more are in progress, one with layered kimono and obi silks and one with my indigo and lac pieces. I'm excited about this new pathway and hopeful about using more of my hand-dyed/hand-painted fabrics. It's feels really good to have recovered a little of my former beading mo-jo. I look forward to the peace and quiet of winter, when traditionally I spend more time beading!
Wed, 18 Sep 2013 I’m dying to weep for Francis Sweeney, dead in his eighties, a little too young for me, I’m hoping for a longer stint on earth; lot’s to do ‘fore the last dog’s hung. It’s a life of oglemoon and sunsquint into the dark finis ― manufacturing that aesthetic thrill, so long as it doesn’t pay you dim sum at all. It’s only ripe as freedom, a door you open into a deep hill. A drop in the salmon ladder really; what do you reckon in earthly years? O, rare fertile roe in my wake when I rowed the fishful of dreams unweepable tears to your little son over the charred road, which looms ungenteely. Just beyond where the voltage sags the clay, someone holds a picture of your mother. ―This is all that’s left, they say. But smother any concern, for you are well on your way. At my deposition, Fran, you sported a bow tie! Some legal types, suing for you. I never did learn how it all turned out. We went on to live as if this life were new; I put the melancholy ash to rout but it merely loitered between our plots of brain material. There must have been a hole in your fabric the shape of his last moments, a rubric I repeat, now that you’re ethereal. My elegy for the elder binding tie makes glaring the strangeness of my truth, a thing received of each sole emptiness. My breath and selfish ways have gone aloof, so must it be, the very thing you bless― This is the last finding. Somewhere in a library, bowdlerized, because they’re each one’s untouchable quinx, are books printed in invisible inks, weightless tomes, imperfectly realized. Somehow this has to do with Solipsism because the very Greeks of knowledge light up like little planets going round me when I catch them in my sundance flashfright. Which is to cry “I’m buried here, Sweeney, under a head schism." I can wait with dignity forever if it means the non-believer suffers grace as it pours it’s hail on strange, never to know for certain if it will snuff hers.
Mountain Bike Tours Chiang Mai Thailand
Thu, 5 Sep 2013 So it has been awhile since I have been updating my Blog. With Facebook, Google+ and whatever else there is out there I try and maintain for my business Discovery Sea Kayaks , it is hard to do much more. But I decided I wanted to reopen the use of my Blog to inform readers on all kinds of news, events and even some of my business going's on. I would like to start by introducing Discovery Adventure Tours or DAT as we call it around the shop. DAT is a new business name that was developed to start diversifying the types of adventure tours we want to offer. So Discovery Sea Kayak and DAT will be owned and operated by the same good folks, Richard Swanson and Jason Gunter. The new name just made sense to add other types of adventures. The first project DAT is taking on is Downhill Mountain Bike Tours in northern Thailand. We will be there this winter offering 5 day vacation packages for those looking to get out on steep terrain and get loose on their mountain bikes. So how did this all come about? Over the past couple of years I started riding my bike again. I kind of dove in head first and can't get enough of it. A good buddy of mine, Colin Blevins, was the right influence on me when it came to getting on the trails. Colin is a long time island resident that spends a lot of his time on the go traveling around the world. He has been leading trips in Asia for a long time. One day on the trail he mentioned he was going back to Thailand to ride. The gears started turning in my head and told I was down to go if he didn't mind. He was more than happy to have someone tag along. So before I knew I had a plane ticket and excited to ride a new location. Colin has long had a dream of running bike tours around the world. It did not take me long to start seeing how this would be a great thing as well. Though I concentrate my efforts sea kayaking off the coast of Washington state. The recent reemergence of mountain biking in my life gave me the perspective I needed to start DAT. Colin has been brought in as the team leader and is working with me as an integral part of DAT Mountain Bike Project in Chiang Mai. It is a long term project and Colin will be in the foundation and every other step of the way. If you are a mountain biker looking for steep terrain and want to get away from the winter in the US or Canada, this is the cure for you. Check out the DAT site http://discoveryadventuretours.com/
Sunset Kayak Tour with Discovery Sea Kayaks
Thu, 5 Sep 2013 Earlier in the season I was able to spend some time on the water with videographer Chris West. Today he sent me the video he developed from his time on the water with Discovery Sea Kayaks. If you have never been to San Juan Island or have been here but not on a kayak tour. You might want to check out the video. Some really great footage and images of town. Here is a fun still shot from the evening paddle.
Thu, 8 Aug 2013 Hawk roasting a pig in the wild thick tines of hedge wenned from a plain sense of trackless waste in a man― the sword that’s erupted upon it is built with a practice, airy sayings that must be retooled with the clear and level mirage of one’s gaze― when the hedge is coals the pig is done, whispering, the hawk files (sic) away (the sayings).
Mountain Bike Chiang Mai Thailand
Mon, 29 Jul 2013 Last year I traveled with my good friend Colin Blevins to Chiang Mai Thailand. We had one goal in mind, find fast and fun single track. What we found was a thriving local bike community, great food and the single track we were hoping for. Early in the year Colin and I started riding together frequently and Colin would mention the idea of heading back to Thailand to find more single track to ride. Colin has been traveling in Thailand for the last several years and had a bit of experience with some of the trails. On many of our rides I would just toss out that I was in for the adventure myself. Not sure if either one of us was taking me seriously. Well my kayak season was nearing its end and it was time to make it happen or not. I figured it out and bought a plane ticket. It felt a little head first since I have never flow anywhere with my bike before. But Colin had a good plan and I was confident. So we both purchased flights via Korean Air and we decided we wanted to try and take our bikes apart and pack them in our luggage and simply check them on the plane. With Korean Air we were allowed 2 checked bags and 2 carry on bags. I opted for The North Face Rolling Thunder (Large) and Colin picked up a Dakine bag. Both bags looked up to the challenge. Our second checked parcel was a cardboard wheel box. We completely disassembled our bikes and had no problem packing the frames in our bags. The wheel boxes tuned into the holding tank for what ever parts we could pack into them without exceeding 50 pounds. Lots of Gorilla Tape was used to secure the closure of the boxes. Our bags with our frames were then packed with whatever clothing we thought we would need. The bags actually had plenty of room. Weight was the limiting factor. After checking over the shared google doc spreadsheet we agreed we had everything we should need and maybe a bit more. Once at the airport things went really smooth. Bags were pretty much right on the dot for weight and they were check in and ready to go. It was nice to get that over with and know/hope they were on their way to Thailand. All in all the travel to Chiang Mai went great. We had great flights and no delays and arrive right on time. On the ground we were happy to see our bags pop up on the conveyor belt. Colin's girlfriend was already in Chiang Mai, as she was there working on new clothing designs for her business back in Friday Harbor, Wa. She met us at the airport and had secured a room in the apartment building on the same floor as the room she and Colin were sharing. This was the start of a month long trip to seek out fast single track. The first morning we built our bikes and went out for a bite to eat. Then it was time to hit the streets on bikes to ride out of town to Doi Suthep. Rising to around 1,676 meters (5498 feet), it was not hard to located where we needed to go. We actually have a great view of the mountain from our apartment. The street riding is an adventure in its own. At first I was skeptical about jumping into what seemed a chaotic push of traffic with cars, trucks and motorbikes. But once you make the move into the traffic it is amazingly less chaotic than it seems. There is an unseen rhythm that you notice once you join the flow. Finally we reached the base of the mountain and given the objective of the trip, finding steep single track, the plan was to hire a Song Tao (taxi truck) to drive us to the upper parts of the mountain. This process in itself has some excitement. But dealing with the drives day after day becomes a bit tiresome. There never seems to be much of a consistent rate and wait times are variable. The first trail we rode was the Bamboo Trail. Yea I will admit I had no idea what I was in for and honestly the Bamboo Trail on day one kind of beat me down. But it was a super fun single track ride though dense jungle to thick strands of bamboo. The trail, looking back, is more all mountain style riding, which is right up my alley. I was riding a 2010 Specialized Enduro Expert and Colin was on his Transition TR 250. I have to say the TR 250 was more up to the challenge than the Enduro. So Day One was short and eye opening. The days that followed we continued the routine of traffic ride out to the mountain. Then the Song Tao hustle to get a ride up the mountain. Along the way we met some other riders traveling the area. Then one day on the way out a guy pulls over ahead of us and asked if we were headed to the mountain. We stopped and told him what we were up to and he was on his way to do the same. He told us to ride to the park and his buddies were there and have their own shuttle setup for getting to the mountain. We said sure and pedaled on. Arriving at the park we were a bit surprised to see the rigs these guys were riding. Everyone one had big bikes with dual crown forks. We sat around and made some introductions and for a small fee for gas that everyone pitches in, we were on our way up the mountain. First stop the Bamboo Trail and I was a bit intimidated by all the DH bikes and the amount of body armor everyone was putting on. I remember asking Colin if we were all riding the same trails. Well these guys are local and know the trails very well. So they were riding with speed I could only visualize and not achieve at the moment. Plus the Bamboo Trail was just the mellow warm up for what was to come for the day. The day was good and lots of new trails discovered thanks to our local hosts. All the guys were great. Jay was the one who stopped us and the rest of the guys were super nice too. Note was another great guy we met in the group and given I speak no Thai and he could speak English. Well it was easy to get to know him. He is a super friendly guy and we stay in touch today. Actually we are going to be doing some work with Note in 2013, but more on that later. So what does a day of riding looking like? After reaching the top of the mountain we take steep descents through the jungle and end at small little village areas where there is always time for Thai Tea or some other yummy treat. Then back to the shuttle and to the top of the mountain. Another crazy fun and challenging run down the mountain and another village and time for lunch. The process repeats till you cannot hold on to the bars anymore. Trails are steep and some long. Some of the longer trails were a good solid hour and a half of down. Trails are a mix of steep rock gardens, deep ruts that create plenty of hazards and the occasional slippery jungle mud. Every second on the trail is exhilarating and challenging. Ending the day walking the city streets and finding amazing places to eat. Then back to the apartment for late night beer on the balcony listening to the bustle of the city. From exploring steeps in the jungle to traversing the city on foot. This is a trip of a lifetime. Great people and great riding. I was there for a month and was not ready to leave when my time was up. Though I had good reason to get home and take care of some personal events. I was still sad to leave the city. Yea I was leaving a bit beat up from one of many crashes on the trail, but yet a bit wiser and faster on the bike. The trade off seems worth it. The news today. Spending a decade operating a successful kayak guiding service on San Juan Island in Washington state, Discovery Sea Kayaks. I have decided to give mountain biking a try. Its a perfect complement to the kayak season. My summers spent operating Discovery Sea Kayaks and winter in Thailand. So I launched Discovery Adventure Tours (DAT). My business partner Richard was super excited and supportive of the concept so its officially moving forward. Colin Blevins is being brought in at the ground building level of DAT. Colin brings his savvy travel knowledge of Southeast Asia, expert bike skills and over all great attitude to the team. We are very excited about the project and hope that we can generate a small amount of energy and get people on the trails. We are working closely with our local friend Note. Note will be a big part of making things come together and we are excited to all be working together. The new DAT site will launch in the next couple of weeks. So if your interested give me a call at my Discovery Sea Kayaks office, 360.378.2559. We have dates starting early as November.
Waterview Acreage with Barn
Thu, 25 Jul 2013 This is a special property. Views from the building site go from east to west, taking in Whidbey Island, the Olympics and Victoria BC. Four bedroom septic system installed (2005) and a 35 gpm private well. Stocked trout pond with automatic feeder and windmill to aerate the pond. 1728 square foot barn with unfinished 576 sq ft loft. For more information click here and then click on the MLS#
High Haro-Westside San Juan Island
Tue, 23 Jul 2013 West side water view acreage in exclusive neighborhood. Sunny and private, 4.64 acre parcel ready to build. Beautiful foliage and wildlife, western views across the Haro Straits. Watch the shipping and boating activity by day and the lights of Vancouver Island by night. Driveway to building site. Close to Whale Watch Park and County Park (boat launch). For more information, click here
Mt Baker as seen from the San Juan Islands
Fri, 28 Jun 2013 A growing collection of images of Mt. Baker as seen from the San Juan Islands. Enjoy.
Reception Only Invitations
Tue, 11 Jun 2013
Still heading north, Arizona to Utah to Idaho
Sat, 25 May 2013 We are still heading North but taking our time and trying to remember that we are still professional tourists not just travelers. After our last blog we spent one night at Chinle Arizona and then to Goosenecks State Park in Southern Utah where we spent 3 nights 1000' above the San Juan river. Dick was not able to to get the coach and the river in one frame. He did get a picture from inside the coach looking down where you can see the river on the right and left of this shot. Looking over the edge we saw a lot of trash that, let us say, blew over the edge. Dick got out our ladder to go over the edge with garbage bags and cleaned up most of the area that he could safely do. He needed to take a break and view the boats on the river. If you go back to the first picture you can see where he went over the edge. Or not. Taking a ride one day in Glenns Canyon National Recreation Area near Goosenecks we got to a point where we were sure there was not a road. Can you find our Jeep in the lower right corner? We did make it to the end of the road about 15 miles to a beautiful small spring and valley. A view of Monument Valley Arizona/Utah off in the distance. From Goosenecks State Park we headed to Horsethief Campground on BLM property just outside of Canyonlands National Park. We spent 3 nights there dry camping, rockhounding, visiting friends in the area and playing tourist. A view looking down into the canyon. A little away from the edge to get a shot of us for our kids. From Moab area we headed to southern Salt Lake City because we had electrical problems with the Coach. We contacted GENERAL RV CENTER Draper Utah and they told us they would would find a way to check out our problem the next morning (Friday). We figured that they would have to order parts and we would be stuck there for a week or more. They did a great job finding and fixing our problem in a little over an hour and it cost us less than $150. Great job General RV center. We got out of there in time to travel over 200 miles to find our favorate camp site empty and waiting for us. We stayed 5 nights at Angel Creek campground in the Ruby Mountains. Just a beautiful place to sit and relax before heading North again. From there we needed to dump tanks and do laundry so we headed to Hagerman Idaho where we spent two nights and did a little sightseeing. We decided to take a ride at this park that was just being completed. Dick on the horse... And Jackie decided to ride one of the sheep. To be continued...
Working from the Model
Tue, 14 May 2013 Ink & Watercolor on navigation charts.Working from life at the Arts Student League of New York.
Street Sketching in New York
Sun, 12 May 2013 Back Home from the Eastcoast. Here are some sketches, street sketching out around town with ink, and Kremer watercolors on charted paper.
Sunset Crater N.M., Wupatki N.M. and Walnut Canyon N.M.
Fri, 10 May 2013 It was finally time to start our trek North to spend the summer in Washington State with our family. We plan a slow trip with lots of sight-seeing on the way. Our first stop was Williams Arizona at an RV park. Nothing exciting there so only one night. Looking over the maps of the area Jackie found 3 National Monuments that we have not visited and with a little more research we found Bonito Campground just outside of Sunset Crater N.M. It was a forest service campground with only dry camping but paved roads and lots of trees. We backed into site 10 figuring this would give us the most sun (solar) during the day and then spent three days hiking all three of the N.M. Our first stop was Sunset Crater N.M. where it had erupted sometime between 1040 and 1100. The side of the mountain and the surrounding areas for miles is now all cinders. But there is also the remains of lava flow. Nasty, nasty with all sharp edges, don't want to fall here. Jackie peaking around a large flow of lava. Wupatki N.M. consists of several areas of ruins dating back to around 1100 AD. Our first stop was at Wukoki Pueblo. Then it was off to the Visitor Center and a tour of Wupatki Pueblo with over 100 rooms and thousands of people living in the area at one time. Our last stop was Walnut Canyon N.M. where the dwellings were located both on the upper surface and also along the cliff. It was over 200 steps down to the Island Trail--we were just a little sore the next day! A lot of the canyon walls had very unique erosion that just had to be photographed. These were three great National Monuments, not to be missed. To be continued...
Spring Newsletter & Teacher Appreciation Week!
Mon, 22 Apr 2013 Well our school year is slowly coming to an end but there is still so much to look forward to! Coming up in May we have Teacher Appreciation Week from May 6-10. There is a lot of opportunities to help out this week! We are looking for volunteers to donate food for the Teachers Breakfast on May 10th and the Teachers Lunch on May 7th . If you are interested please email Ryan @ firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have Bring Your Teacher a Flower Day on May 8th . The FHES PTA is accepting orders for Carnations for your child to give to the teacher. The flowers are $2 a piece and we just need the child's name, teachers name and money turned in with your kid by Monday April 29th .There is a slip you can cut off at the bottom of the newsletter that went home last week! Also coming up at the end of May is an assembly and workshops sponsored by the PTA called VIOLIN ROCKS . This will be held on May 31st and June 1st. There will be 2 evening performances and a portion of the proceeds with go to the Arts program. Keep your eyes peeled for our next month Newsletter with plenty of more information on this exciting event. And here is our most recent newsletter with more detailed information on Teacher Appreciation Week and other upcoming events. Thank you for all of your support!
Wedding Freebie! Votive Candle Wraps Free Printables
Wed, 17 Apr 2013
Tips for Throwing a Geek Themed Birthday Party
Thu, 11 Apr 2013
FHES Principal Candidate Interviews
Fri, 22 Mar 2013 A parent/community presentation opportunity for each finalist will take place at 6:00 in the FHES Library. We will have finalists come to the district individually (one day per finalist) and spend their time getting to know us and for us to get to know them better. Each leader brings a great deal of insight and leadership to the role of principal and to public education. Here are the finalists and their interview dates: * Jerry Bauer: Monday, March 25. Mr. Bauer has served in the role of elementary school principal in Montana and in Wisconsin. He is currently working in the Education Department at Montana State University. * Diane Ball: Thursday, March 28. Mrs. Ball served nearly 20 years at an elementary teacher in the Conway School District in Skagit County. She is currently in her ninth year as an Assistant Principal in the Marysville School District. * Matthew Holshouser : Friday March 29. Mr. Holshouser is an experienced elementary school teacher and is currently serving as an Assistant Principal in Livingston, Montana.
Please post new questions to www.NorthwestAnswers.com
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 Notice, this message board is officially closed.. please post your questions to the new ( and easier to use ) message board at www.NorthwestAnswers.com
Re: Wheelchair access
Wed, 9 Jan 2013 Sorry to reply to this question so late.... here is a list of things to do and businesses that wheelchair accessible in the San Juan Islands: http://www.sanjuandirectory.com/about_the_islands/short-list-of-ada-complianthandicapwheelchair-acce.shtml
More Hurricane Sandy Info
Sat, 3 Nov 2012 OK, you are downright sick and tired of no electricity or gas by now. You are cold, have thrown food away, can't get gas for your generators and are downright pissed because you see several hundred power company trucks from all over the country parked in your local Walmart or Kmart. They are playing cards, barbecuing and drinking beer. Why the hell are they not out there making my power go on? Here's the deal: These folks arrived from some other state. Someone has to coordinate efforts to tell them where to go, what to fix and when to fix it. Because you are a union state, they can only work so many hours in any 24. You are not allowing non union companies from out of state to volunteer. They drove a long way for nothing. Anyway, some poor SOB has to communicate with all of them, give them driving directions to somewhere in a city they have never been in, work with equipment they have never seen with folks they do not know. And their workers have to work together. They can't just walk up to some pole and rewire it. We know you are pissed. We Katrina survivors went through it. We watched the guys try to work as fast as they could with live wires. Please try to understand. I know it's hard. But they are doing their best.
Surviving Hurricane Sandy
Wed, 31 Oct 2012 I survived Hurricane Katrina. I know it was 7 years ago that Katrina hit, but when a storm runs away with your house and all its contents, you remember. Trust me, you remember. Now many of you are trying to survive after the biggest storm so far this decade. I learned a few things 7 years ago. I would like to share them and just maybe they could help you. First call FEMA. Program in it your phone. 1- 800-621- FEMA (3362) When you finally get through and it will take many tries and hours on hold. They will give you a case number. Do not ever forget it. Have your homeowners insurance declarations page . Never put it down. Have it with you at all times. This dictates what you can collect. Same with your flood insurance. Anyway, give that info to FEMA. The 'decs' page determines how you will make it through the next few months. You will become as familiar with 'decs' as I am. In fact, you will learn an entirely new language. Get a small spiral bound notebook or use whatever you have to start making notes. Every phone call you make, write down what time it was, who you spoke with and what happened. You will not remember even if you think you will. Write it down. Take pictures. Lots of photos. And then take more. Write down what they are and when they were taken. You will need them when dealing with your claims adjuster. Go to your insurance agent's office. They do not have a claims adjustor there. That guy comes later. But often the insurance agency will give you an advance based on your future claim. FEMA may also deposit money in your checking account, no questions asked. They did after Katrina. You can use that money and the advance from your insurance company to pay immediate needs. Even though you may not be able to work, all those bills still need to be paid. You may not have a phone or electric or gas, but all those companies want to be paid. Chances are your cell phone company will give you a few free months. Ask. It's also possible your mortgage company will suspend payment for a couple of months. You still have to make payments to catch up. They won't just tack the lost payments onto the end of the mortgage, but at least you can catch your breath for a month or so. Your insurance company will send a claims adjustor to your home. This man or woman is NOT your friend. His job is to NOT pay your claim or to pay the very least possible. Be strong, be adamant and do not accept his first offer to pay damages. Do accept an advance if you have to pay for something immediately, like tree removal perhaps. If you are not familiar with current constructions costs, find someone who is. Even if you have to pay someone who does professional estimating. Find a person who has been an estimator, not someone who became one a day or so and after the storm. Churches and local helping agencies may help you meet your immediate needs. They will give you food, water and ice. They also have mops and buckets on hand. They may even volunteer to help you clean up at your house, but if you are homosexual, butch up and do not mention that. You will lose that mop or bucket if they find out or suspect. Or they may run out of water and ice when you drive up. Do not hire anyone who knocks on your door and tells you they can fix your roof or driveway or walls or anything else. Chances are they will overcharge you and possibly just take your money are run. Use trusted companies you know. Or check the company at the BBB or even online review can help. Do not use an out of state contractor for anything. They only came to get a piece of your insurance money. They really don't care if they do any work or not. Watch out for price gougers at gasoline stations, grocery stores or hardware stores. If prices seem outrageous, call your state attorney general and report it. It does and will happen. I could write dozens more pages here. If you have specific questions, I will be glad to answer them here. Good luck and write everything down. I survived
Wheelchair access / Friday Harbor & San Juan Islands
Fri, 28 Sep 2012 Hi, I am looking forward to a weekend of island hopping with my son. He is in a wheelchair, we are hoping to hear where we should go and where we should avoid - camping, smooth trails etc.
Pond Design, Continued
Sun, 16 Sep 2012 Let's keep showing pond design solutions. I know it seems simple just to dig a hole and fill it with water and in many ways it is, but making that pond fit where it's dug is as different as the people who will live with the pond in the garden. This client had a long, narrow back yard. He wanted to hear waterfall noise. In fact, he installed a baby monitor outside the bedroom window so he could hear the sounds inside while going to sleep. This pond is 22' long and about 8' wide. I built a hill in the yard, so we could put a path behind the pond and it could be viewed from 'behind the set'. Of course, that meant there was no 'behind the set', so I used plants on both sides of the path to cover the back of the waterfall where the tubes and hoses are and against the wall that formed the back of his yard. You can see both waterfalls. For some reason two waterfalls worked better than one long one. This pond was mainly in the shade so the plant palette had to be specific to shade plants. Notice the ferns and even a croton in back of the waterfall. Putting plants behind a waterfall and in front of a fence solves two problems: Covers the back of the waterfall and separates the pond from the fence. One of the biggest mistakes DIY pond builders make is to back the pond right up against the fence. Water does not come out of fences and we can't figure out why we don't like the way it looks. Put plants in between and you will suddenly like your waterfall more. Visit my website at pondlady.com . Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond. To learn more about pond design read my book. A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http:// ow.ly/btFJQ Learn to build your own pond.
George and Martha: Lake Steven’s Resident Eagles
Sun, 19 Aug 2012 George and Martha Lake Stevens, Washington August 19th, 2012 Last month I was deeply saddened when I found out that one of our Lake Stevens resident eagles, affectionately known as George and Martha, was killed by a lightning strike in a 125ft tree near the lake. The news reports had said that a bald eagle was found in the rubble of a tree that was struck by lightning at about 9am July 13th and that a juvenile eagle was spotted in a tree close by. They believe that the juvenile was the offspring of the adult eagle which made the news even more heartbreaking. For years I (and many other Lake Stevens residents) have become quite attached to George and Martha. They can be seen everyday flying around the lake, sitting near their nests and flying with their babies. I have been photographing them whenever the opportunity arises for the past few years, but this pair of bald eagles have lived in the Lake Stevens community since around 1991. Every year they have babies and every year they can be seen teaching their babies to fly. They have become beloved residents of Lake Stevens. My mother recently moved into a home across the street from the lake and is lucky enough to see them daily flying over the lake and right over her house. Everytime I’m there we watch them soar above sometimes diving into the water with their babies or hunting. In 1996 a group of lake Stevens citizens formed a non profit group and purchased the land just below their massive nest on Lundeen Drive to protect the area from development. Funds were raised by various individuals including a ‘Save the Eagle Land’ penny drive by students in the Lake Stevens School District. A 15 acre “Eagle Ridge Park” was then created with special lookout points to observe George and Martha and an area for motorists to pull over so they can view the eagles when they are perched in their cottonwood tree. To honor our longtime eagle residents the city commisioned an artist in 2010 to create an art piece to be displayed in the newest roundabout on Lundeen Parkway which is very close to their nest. George and Martha are now immortalized in a beautiful sculpture which was made of metal and stainless steel. The two eagles are soaring together over a mountain peak. As you can see these two long time resident bald eagles have made a great impact on the city of Lake Stevens and the news of the dead eagle quickly spread around the community. Facebook was exploding with posts about it and people were talking about wherever I went. I really hope the city does something special to memoralize our eagle. We still don’t know whether it was George or Martha who perished and probably won’t know for a long while. According to Doug Zimmer of the Western Washington Fish and Wildlife office, “When an eagle dies, the carcass is sent to The National Eagle Repository, northeast of Denver, Colo. The eagle is examined to confirm the cause of its death and then parts of the bird are shipped to Native Americans”. (Everett Herald) The most heartbreaking part for me is knowing that eagles mate for life. What will happen to the eagle that was left behind? *There is an Eagle Hotline in Lake Stevens which is used to report eagle sightings or unusual activities. Eagle Hotline (Marlene Sweet) 425-335-3400 KING 5 News Report http://www.king5.com/news/local/Lightning-near-Lake-Stevens-destroys-tree-kills-bald-eagle-162375946.html
Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive
Sat, 16 Jun 2012 Another National Park to check off our list the other day. Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive was a beautiful trip. It follows the crest of the Blue Ridge mountains for 105 miles but we only traveled about 2/3 of it before dropping off the the 3500 foot elevation and heading back home. We will let you enjoy the pictures. Mountain Laural and other beautiful flowers were in full bloom all through the Park. We are now in Seffner Florida making another change in our lives so maybe next week we will share some pictures of our new home. Looks like we will start our move next Tuesday. To be continued...
Sun, 10 Jun 2012 New favorite Island ride, about 10 miles from our home. Beaches and Hilltops!
Mon, 21 May 2012 Short but sweet blooming season
Mon, 7 May 2012
Turn N Burn
Sat, 5 May 2012 Kenzie wants to Race Barrels
Open House and Plant Sale
Wed, 18 Apr 2012 Come out this Saturday the 21st of April and the following Saturday the 28th for our annual open house and plant sale. We have a ton of great garden ready starts and we'll have the wood oven fired up cranking out some great pizza. Jp and the OK rythym Boys will be playing at noon. Come on out and see what your farmers are up to. Farmer John
Sun, 1 Apr 2012 Happy April! Sheesh is it wet. We have not been able to do as much as we would like to be but we are making progress. This spring appears to be even more wet/cold than last however I think we are doing better job dealing with it than we did last year. We've maxed out our greenhouses with both crops in the ground and newly sown flats. We've been able to get a few things in the ground outside such as leeks, onions, lettuce and Asian salad greens greens. we did get a few potatoes in however not in a traditional manner. Since it's been so wet we took to planting spuds above ground and are covering them in hay mulch. We'll see how well it works. I had a nice chat with a fellow farmer the other day. So great to bounce ideas back and forth. She's doing no-till which is something I've been thinking about. The above mentioned potato plot is a start. We have one field in particular that is very wet that could be a good candidate for further exploration of this idea. My computer acting up, gotta go. Farmer John
Wed, 18 Jan 2012 You are invited… Wednesday - 2/8/12 We are excited to bring Rachel’s Challenge to Friday Harbor on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. Sponsored by the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition with generous donations from the San Juan Island Community Foundation, Minor Reinforcement, FHES PTA, FHMS PTSA and FHHS PTSA. In kind donation by FH Presbyterian Church/Lighthouse Preschool. These Rachel’s Challenge programs will be free to our community! Please thank our sponsors for their contribution . A full day of age appropriate school assemblies start at 9:45am at FHES (Elementary) K-5 th grades and 12 noon at FHMS (Middle School) Commons 6 th -8 th grades (Our local private schools are invited to attend each age appropriate assembly at the public school assemblies and have a team training session, please contact Debbi at 378-9479 for details.) Peer-to-peer training session, 1:25pm at FHMS Commons (100 6 th -8 th grade students and teachers/parents) 1 ½ hours long Food for Thought Program prepares a “Family Friendly” Dinner starts 5:15pm in FHHS (High School) Commons, donation suggested at the door. More information to come… Childcare at Lighthouse Preschool/FH Presbyterian Church, drop off starts at 5:30pm, pick up by 7:45pm. Age limit: 3 years and older. Light snacks offered on location. Space is limited. Please note, the evening presentation is not appropriate for children under 7 years of age. Rachel’s Challenge Community Evening Presentation, starts at 6:15pm in FHMS-Middle School Commons. This powerful hour will be geared for adults and teens of our community. During the presentation, riveting audio/video footage of Rachel’s Challenge will help to capture the power one act of kindness can have and the chain reaction it can cause! Come hear Rachel’s story like millions of others have… And, learn how we, as a community, can help support our youth. BE THE ONE! www.rachelschallenge.org for more information. If you have questions or would like to volunteer with the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, please call our office at 378-9683 or email email@example.com
Top 10 places to picnic in the San Juan Islands
Tue, 17 Jan 2012 Load up your picnic basket with the finest cheese, breads, fruits and wines and proceed to these fantastic places to picnic right here in the San Juan Islands.
Seed Saving Workshop!
Wed, 7 Dec 2011 Seed Saving Workshop! December 12th at Skagit Valley College Friday Harbor Campus on San Juan Island, you can learn the basic skills to start saving seed on your farm. Seed can be a valuable crop for sale or on-farm use. It also holds important implications for crop conservation and food security, but growing seed successfully requires a basic understanding of seed biology and production techniques. Micaela Colley from the Port Townsend-based Organic Seed Alliance will combine a class lecture with hands-on demonstrations with topics including selecting crops, harvest techniques, and seed cleaning skills. Thanks to a grant from the USDA this class is offered for a low cost of $10. Pre-registration is not required, but is available. To save a spot, contact Candace Jagel at 360-370-7664 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks Candace and WSU Extension Office for putting together this learning opportunity! We are so lucky! Organic Seed Alliance is wonderful. Anyone who has seen "Food Inc" or read or or experienced what is happening to our seed supplies and our nation's small farmers knows how important it is to protect and nurture the earth's seed supply - please take a look and see even just a little of what they do. You can support or become a part of the Alliance by going by going Here. You can also find some really great holiday gifts at this spot, believe it or not!
CHECK OUT HOBBES' NEW BLOG!!
Sun, 4 Dec 2011 San Juan Island vegetable farmer and cook Hobbes Buchanan Check out this new blog (click here) from great cook and SJ Island vegetable farmer Hobbes Buchanan. Part of Mr. Buchanan's bio: "Trained in the art of cooking for 22 years by Chef Jacquelyn Buchanan, N.E. (nutrition expert). I've gained experience at the following restaurants in the San Francisco/Bay Area: Post Street Bar & Cafe, Hayes Street Grill, and General's Daughter (Sonoma County). I sold my vegetables to many of the most successful restaurants in San Francisco and Sonoma and Napa Valleys..." Check our sidebar for other great island blogs from other local producers. including Thousand Flowers Farm . Matt's Fresh Fish , and the adventures of hunter-gatherer Eleanor, manager Anna, and many others in Eleanor's Letters from the San Juan Island Community Co Op .
Wed, 2 Nov 2011 Everything is changing. So many people moving on right now. good people, young folk mostly, headed for distant horizons and unknown opportunity. Many of these people I have been friends with for years now and have seen them grow from greenhorns to experienced farmer types. They've become fixtures in our community and It's almost as though I've begun to take it for granted that they would be here forever. I"m both happy and sad for them leaving, maybe even a little jealous. I understand, this is a hard place to make it. Opportunities are limited both on the job and social front. I wish all of you well. Go forth and conquer. Spread your knowledge and youthfull enthusiasm. the world needs you. We'll have a couple less farmers at the market next year. You could argue thats good for our business. You could also argue it will make our market less vibrant and not quite as quaint as its been. We'll see, I think it's up to us to keep it lively and diverse. Hopefully more cool people come on island and participate in our market. We could us some new blood. It's November and we are still farming. We've had a great fall. the weather has held in nicely and we're still harvesting lots of beautiful produce from the fields. Without question, this is my favorite time of year. Absolutely bountiful. In addition to our normal sales, we've been making weekly deliveris to the food bank. We're dropping of about 200lbs a week of assorted produce. We'll keep it up as long as we can. Not too much changing here at the moment. Wrapping up one season and looking forward to next year already. Keep well, Farmer John
PERCY SCHMEISER - A BRAVE EXAMPLE WE CAN FOLLOW
Fri, 21 Oct 2011 Hi Everyone - The San Juan Agricultural Guild (SJ Ag Guild) is sponsoring Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser's visit to the San Juan Islands. This is one very brave man, with a compelling story, who hopefully helped change the way the wind blows when it comes to genetically modified foods and a huge corporation's ongoing campaign against the small family farmer. You can read more - at the link above - about this quiet farmer who, with his wife, and against incredible odds, stood up - and has continued to stand up - for what they know is right. Mr. Schmeiser will be at the SJI Grange hall on Sunday, October 23rd from 7:00-8:30 pm. Cost is $15. Mr. Schmeiser will talk about the years spent battling Monsanto in the courts , and the dangers of introducing genetically modified organisms in the food system. On the same subject... Go here to find out how to let the nation's top grocery stores know you have concerns about Monsanto's new genetically modified sweet corn. Read the latest news on genetically modified crops here , and about simple ways you can take effective action. Fish consumers, Pacific Northwesterners: Read about genetically modified salmon - classified as a "drug" so as to take advantage of less stringent rules - now up for approval by the FDA, here and here .
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