Friday, July 10, 2015

Alaska, Part One

This May, my folks treated me to an Alaskan cruise.  Woo-hoo.  My sister, who lives in Washington (state), works part time in Debbie MacComber's yarn shop (yes, that's the author, Debbie MacComber), and they hosted a "Stitch -n- Sail" cruise, so my mom and I went along.  I am no longer a knitter (although seeing all the lovely yarns in the shop, I am tempted to dig out my needles again), so I was going along strictly for the opportunity to see Alaska.

I spent two and a half months in Alaska nearly 25 years ago (it was 24 years and 8 months) - I was in Ketchikan and lived on Prince of Wales Island in the booming metropolis of Craig.  Hard to believe it was so long ago.  Anywho...I wanted to see more of the state, and hopefully some great wildlife. 

We arrived in Washington two days early:  here are some highlights of our brief stay in Port Orchard.

First we went down to the bay to take in the Farmer's market.  They have a number of really cool woodcarvings by some of the shops (and one shop is an amazing candy store - GREAT fudge).

Niece, Gordon Fisherman, Sister, Mom

 Pelagic Cormorant - watched a pair catching (and eating) fish.

Skull of a wee dragon?

Bird (raven) on a bird (statue).

This just amused me.

 Apparently it was Pirate Weekend.

Next we visited Debbie MacComber's shops.

 Debbie MacComber's Tea Shop (above) and Yarn Shop (below)

Isn't this great?  It's a squash my sister made for the shop's mammogram promotion!

 From there, we headed over to Theler Wetlands, so I could take in some of the local nature.

B-i-L with a big leaf maple.  New species for me!

Great gate!

Squirrel Corn

Devil's Club


A buttercup (never did get a plant ID book)

 A raspberry past blooming and getting ready to set fruit.

Banana Slug!!!

Apparently a young grey whale washed up on the beach a few 
years ago.  The skeleton is at their visitor center.

They have some really cool art around, too.

The tide was out, so water was low in the wetland proper.

No idea what tree this is.  Interesting fruits, though.

Savanna Sparrow. 

A lesson in the language of the local native people.

Great photo of Mom.

Horsetails...very large and beautiful!

Another mystery plant/tree.  

Loved this little bumblebee with a yellow stripe on either end.

Some plants were familiar - like miterwort,

 and this bedstraw.

It was well into evening (but still light out), when we returned to my sister's home and had dinner.  The next morning we would head for the Seattle and the cruise ship.

Fireworks from Home

Here are some fireworks as seen from my house this year.  I can see, gosh, something like five or six different shows, plus hear several more.  The joys of living in the midwest where the landscape is more or less flat.  (In addition to this, Joe Q. Public can purchase and set of his own fireworks, as most of my neighbors did.  Must be a long night at the area ERs.)  

This is my first attempt at firework photography...came out better than I expected.

Hope you all had a great 4th.