Sunday Stills: Under (And Over) the #Trees

suburban pine forest

Welcome back to Sunday Stills! I took a weekend break over the July 4th holiday, but I managed to publish two posts between July 2 and 7…whaaatt? I do like my once a week blogging schedule, but I enjoy mixing it up a little now and then, so thanks for reading.

Most of you know I love all types of pine trees, and finally moved to Eastern Washington last December where I am surrounded by Ponderosa pines. Having spent most of my childhood in San Diego surrounded by palm trees (which I love, by the way), my preference for pines was undoubtedly influenced by our two-year stay in Portland, Oregon. We lived on the corner of this Beaverton suburb and you can see the gorgeous view of the Sugar Pines (taken recently while there for a family memorial service).

suburban pine forest
Childhood home under the trees

While we were in the Beaverton area, we stayed in a lovely AirB&B and I discovered a wonderful suburban trail….

pathway under the trees
Suburban trail in Beaverton, OR

…That led to this pocket forest.

Suburban pocket forest

How wonderful to find a surprise forest in this neighborhood!

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

Tree images are shared for Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday and Becky B’s July Tree Squares.

I am still inviting links to Marsha’s Writers’ Quotes Wednesdays Writer’s Challenge while she is out and about exploring trees! Please link to THIS POST until next Tuesday–your choice of theme.

“But Don’t the Trees Seem Nice and Full?”

You may have read last Friday’s Bird weekly post where I shared our neighborhood eagle “Journey,” and my former home’s sweet hummingbirds. Journey, the young eagle is still being monitored at the Birds of Prey Northwest facility in nearby Couer d’Alene, Idaho, and is progressing nicely. He is housed with another adult eagle who can mentor him until he is ready to be released. The temps are still very hot, in fact record breaking for this area and time of year, so he will stay at the facility a while longer. The parents are still visiting and maintaining the nest which is a really good sign.

Partially inspired by Lisa’s Bird Weekly (common birds found in your neighborhood), I have three species of birds that can be found over and under the trees.

R-rr-rr–Raven

On my morning walks with my dogs, I take a tree-lined path off the main road. A huge family of ravens inhabit the area and seem rather tame. They are certainly not bothered by my presence even when I creep toward one to take a pic! Of course one will scold me for getting too close! Now that I know the heat caused many young birds to fledge early, perhaps they were keeping track of the fledglings (none that I saw).

High Above the Trees

Birds of prey abound here in Eastern Washington and especially in our rural area of Nine Mile Falls, 20 miles north of Spokane. On any given day one can look up…way up, and see a variety of birds circling. The best times to see them are early mornings and twilight as they search for food.

Hoping to see more eagles, I was surprised to see this particular bird, the Turkey Vulture, also seen in California, circling the skies here. They soar over 300 feet up but I got this shot with my Lumix!

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture

Another busy bird around these parts is the Western Osprey, a member of the hawk family. Lately a family of three soars the morning and evening skies, often heading back and forth between the forest and the nearby Spokane River (Long Lake). The osprey has distinctive face marking, like a black mask across its eyes. A really stunning bird and fun to capture in flight with my Lumix.

Western Osprey
Western Osprey

I’m always a little worried that these huge birds might see my little dog Aero as a tasty treat, but luckily, the Osprey prefers fish while the Turkey Vulture feasts on carrion.

So what does my heading have to do with this section? Let me explain:

The quote in the heading was inspired by an old Andy Griffith TV show from the 60s starring Andy Griffith as the Mayberry, North Carolina sheriff and Ron Howard as his son Opie Taylor.

In the 1963 episode “Opie the Birdman,” Opie accidentally kills a mother bird, then he becomes a foster parent to its three orphaned nestlings and hand-raises them, naming them Winkin, Blinken and Nod. After successfully releasing the birds, Opie sadly remarks, “The cage sure looks awful empty, don’t it, Pa?

Andy Taylor replies, “Yes son, it sure does… but don’t the trees seem nice and full?”

Awwww….I love that reply and the whole episode! And isn’t that how it should be with our birds?

Join me for Sunday Stills the rest of the month:

  • July 18 Monthly Color Challenge: Evergreen (yes, more trees if you wish)
  • July 25 Geometric–think triangles, lines, squares, etc

Great Outdoors Bloggers links

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. With 32 link-ups, you ‘all seem to love the great outdoors! Previously shared on last Wednesday’s Writers Quotes Wednesday, in case you missed the list.

Have a wonderful week!

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Bird Weekly: “H” is for Hummingbird and Haliaeetus Lucocephalus

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July

Catch your attention, did I?

Since I’m not posting for Sunday Stills this weekend as we are busy with a family gathering for the Independence Day holiday, I’m sharing for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Amazingly, to satisfy the prompt for Lisa’s Bird Weekly (birds starting with letter H), the scientific moniker of the American Bald Eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

Bald Eagle Soars over Lake Couer d' Aline

Terr’s actual image of Bald Eagle flying over Lake Couer D’Alene

I originally planned to only share my Anna’s Hummingbirds seen later in the post, but the story of a juvenile bald eagle is eager to be told.

Inspired By the “Journey” of an American Bald Eagle

When I moved to Nine Mile Falls, Washington (near Spokane), I expected to see a lot of Bald Eagles. I have seen a few in my own neighborhood and I’ve managed to capture some grainy photos of some. Jonesing for a way to find and photograph eagles with my own lens, I stumbled on a Facebook group, Spokane Birders, from which I am inspired daily by wonderful images of local birds and eagles.

A local woman, Diana G, who lives a short distance away, discovered a Bald Eagle’s nest visible from her backyard and has been taking incredible photographs of the adult pair and their newly hatched juvenile eagle, dubbed “Journey.” She shares her gorgeous photos of these eagles and other birds on Spokane Birders, but as her images of eagles grew in popularity due to a slew of newspaper articles and local newscasts, she created a Facebook group called Bluebell Court Eagles.

Diana has graciously given me permission to use some of her amazing photos to share more about the Bluebell Court Eagles and their “Journey!”

It starts with the Bluebell Court Eagles preparing their nest.

A Baby Eaglet is hatched in early April!

Journey Matures!

As Journey prepares to fledge, the heat is on right now in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures are as much as 30 degrees higher than normal for late June. Many juvenile birds are fledging early and bird parents are extra vigilant (we hope)!

Videos and images of him flapping his wings and hopping to higher branches of the nest to beat the heat had us cheering him on as he strengthens his wings for his first flight. Until…

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practices while Mom look on

…he disappeared from the nest! “He likely fledged,” reported Diana G. This poignant image shows mom in the nest looking in vain for Journey, and panting from the heat.

BlueBell Court Eagles Diana Gigler
Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler

On June 28, Journey indeed fledged too soon due to the extreme heat and safely fluttered to the ground. A nearby neighbor found Journey in her backyard and reported to someone who supplied her with the contact for Birds of Prey Northwest in St Maries, Idaho, near Coeur D’Alene.

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
I’m safe in the loving hands of Birds of Prey NW

A volunteer reported they rescued Journey and successfully rehydrated him and intend to care for him until he can fly back to the nest next week.

Journey’s journey continues…please stay tuned.

More About Birds of Prey Northwest

This 28-year old non-profit is dedicated to rescuing and releasing birds of prey here in the Northwest. The organization received many donations as a result of following Journey’s story on Facebook. An even more incredible story is the how the talents of its staff rescued and rehabilitated Beauty, a bald eagle that was shot in Alaska and left for dead. The gunshot wound destroyed her upper beak. Not to be deterred, the talented staff used science and technology to create a 3-D printed beak used as a prosthesis to save Beauty from a senseless fate.

Here is Beauty’s story…better get a tissue handy! Read here HOW SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND A 3D-PRINTED BEAK RESCUED A BALD EAGLE.

I’m not kidding when I learned this organization is thee place for rescuing birds of prey!

Why the American Bald Eagle Symbolizes Freedom

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July
Colored by me via ColorPlanet

The U.S. Bald eagle, (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), is the only eagle solely native to North America, and the national bird of the United States.

The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent. The eagle represents freedom.

source

“The power and autonomy of the eagle in the air makes it a symbol of unrestrained freedom.”

Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, a professor of veterinary medicine and anthropology at Tufts University
Freedom quote Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
original image ©Diana Gigler

Freedom quotes are shared for Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays. I will be hosting WQW on July 7 while Marsha takes care of some business! Next week’s theme is Writers’ Choice or Culture.

Small But Also Mighty

Annas Hummingbirds are typically found in the Western US and migrate South in cold winter months. My hummer families lived in our former Sacramento home all year ’round.

These first two Annas Hummingbird pictures were taken at my Dad’s home in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

FLoating hummingbird
Floating to the feeder
Annas Hummingbird
All mine!
Male Allen Hummingbird
This perched hummingbird nested in our California Redwood Trees in Sacramento. Sharing for Becky B’s July Squares: Trees

“H” is also for HERO, recognizing citizens and volunteers who care for our creatures during extreme weather conditions, injury and beyond. And as we celebrate US Independence Day, please remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. Thank you to those who are serving now.

Are you crazy about eagles? Visit Tofino Photography. His images of eagles are a sight to behold.

Remember, Sunday Stills takes a one week break on July 4th. Won’t you join me as I host Writers’ Quotes Wednesday on July 7th as I stand in for Marsha at Always Write? There I will share all the Sunday Stills links from The Great Outdoors! We’ll be back on July 11 with the Sunday Stills theme of “Under the Trees.”

Stay safe and cool!

Bitmoji Birding

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Sunday Stills: #Water in the Details

Nine Mile Falls, WA

Welcome to the first Sunday in May! How did that happen? This week’s Sunday Stills theme is water. Not only will I share some images of water, I will get into the details partially inspired by this week’s Lens-Artists challenge “in the details” over at Patti’s blog.

As a former Aquatics Director for a large, urban parks and recreation department, I want to remind everyone to observe safety as you venture out into the waterways this month. Memorial Day weekend (end of May) here in the US marks the beginning of summer activities, especially around the water as temps rise. Here in my new neighborhood, I saw people already out in their kayaks and fishing boats.

May is National Water Safety Month

May in National Water Safety Month

People die every year of accidental drowning because they underestimate the cold water, fast currents, or drink too much and enter the water without life vests. Aquatic Professionals all over the world are hypervigilant to keep everyone safe in and around the water and actively promote water safety to their constituents. Please keep yourself, your kids and grandchildren safe!

Overview of Local Waterways

Water exists in all forms here in Eastern Washington, from frozen lakes, rainy days and insane amounts of rivers and lakes. Who needs an ocean?

Let me show you around my new neighborhood of Nine Mile Falls, Washington. As you can see in this featured image, this is the actual Nine Mile Falls dam, for which the town is named. The dam breaks up the Spokane River which originates in Lake Couer D’Alene in Idaho and flows 111 miles into the Columbia River in Oregon.

Nine Mile Falls, WA

Nine Mile Falls Dam is a dam on the Spokane River, in the unincorporated community of Nine Mile Falls, Washington. … The 58-foot-high cyclopean masonry dam and its powerhouse, storehouse, ten cottages and other structures were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. Built in 1906.

Wikipedia

Nearby Riverside State Park is a favorite destination in the area, complete with fishing and water sports like boating, kayaking and stand-up paddling. This image was from last October while smoke from wildfires in the West enveloped the area.

Riverside State Park, WA

Long Lake Dam overlook shows the stunning Falls, still slightly frozen in this photo taken in February.

Completed in 1915, the Long Lake spillway dam is 400 feet long, 250 feet thick at the base, and 208 feet from foundation to crest. It is constructed of concrete on a base of solid rock. When built, the spillway dam was the tallest of its type in existence.

Source

Between these two dams on the Spokane River, Long Lake was created. Our home is situated about a quarter mile from this lake!

On this same day trip, we drove to nearby Loon Lake for giant pizza calzones and a look at the frozen area of the lake.

A Rainy Day’s Details

Right in our neighborhood, unofficially called “Tum Tum,” spring has sprung, and with that, some seasonal rain showers. In between showers last week, I took the dogs for a walk on a “new-to-me” trail and enjoyed blossoming trees and wild sunflowers adorning the trail. Have I mentioned that pine trees and sunflowers are my favorites and they live together here? This is how I knew we found the right place to live!

If you look closer at the details, you will see the raindrops on these sunflowers, dubbed “noxious weeds” by locals, but are really “Arrowleaf Balsamroot,” a plant of the Asteraceae (sunflower family). Believe or not, this entire plant is edible and is known for its medicinal properties!

Water droplets also adorn these blossoming ornamental plum trees.

Adding this walk to Jo’s Monday Walk series!

I hope you enjoyed my tour of my rural neighborhood. Just for fun and to enter Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge: Birds in Flight, I share an old photo of swallows nesting under a marina boat ramp along the Sacramento River Delta.

Swallow fly in chaos around their nests.

Behind the Artwork Details, Part 1

Since we are on the subject of water, I wanted to share more about the details of the three framed prints I posted last week that sit over my dining room table. These three pieces are special to me and two are water-themed. For Part 1, I will share details about the center print. Next week I will share more about the Kinkade prints.

Dining room

The middle print, 34 x 44, is by Thomas Mangelsen, world-renowned American nature and wildlife photographer.

How did I get this framed print? Years ago, I visited my brother in San Diego who had just purchased a framed print at the Mangelsen Gallery in La Jolla. I accompanied him to pick it up during their gallery show and filled out a raffle ticket. The grand prize was a $500 gift certificate. I won! I looked all over the store but couldn’t find anything at the time. I had a year to claim the prize and at Christmastime, having viewed some prints online, I visited the gallery again and had narrowed my choices down to a couple prints. But then I saw the print you see now.

Not only did the stunning Autumn landscape speak to me but you may just be able to see a moose walking in the shadows.

Mangelsen Snake River

Turns out Mangelsen had captured this scene along the Snake River near the Idaho-Oregon border. The Snake River eventually feeds into the mighty Columbia River in Oregon. As we hung the print in our new home, I exclaimed to my husband that the moose has come home! Well sort-of. Thar be moose here in Eastern Washington.

This post is also partially inspired by Cee’s Flower of the Day and Jez’ Water Water Everywhere

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…meet the:

Lovers of Pets and Kids

Copyright Disclaimer

Images of prints are copyrighted by the original artist. I have permission to publish as a certified owner of the prints.

I look forward to your creative images, stories, comments, music and poetry related to water this week. Remember to please be safe in and around the water!

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