Friday, May 24, 2019


 I was going to put all the waterfowl in one post, but I can imagine looking at dubious bird photo after bird photo might be a bit daunting! So, this one is just loon. I'd not been up here long before I noticed these lovely predators paddling around again. I'm not sure how long they will stick around, the lake is clear and there appear to be fish of some sort in it.Loon prefer clear lakes with fish.  I'd love to see them raise babies, but this lake is often a decoy lake. As they fowl look similar, except in size, it is difficult to know which is which. At any rate, often only one will be here being territorial and the other is on a different lake raising kids. If you read loon websites, their lethal boss gang methods are rarely mentioned. I've seen them at the far end of the lake watching a young duckling blithely paddling around and suddenly the loon is gone and seconds later, so is the baby. They don't eat them, or so I'm told, but they will drown the ducks they sneak up under. I was in the kayak one evening watching a family and an adult duck jumped into the air, followed by the sharp beak of a loon! At the moment, there aren't any babies around. I'm not sure how many families will be here this summer. Mum used to put out cracked corn for the ducks, I'm not going to. I assume some will settle here, we'll just need to wait and see!
This photo made me laugh. Auto focus is so annoying sometimes, but every so often something fun shows up! 

 These last three were a couple of days later. There is only one loon hanging around now, I think the other is nesting. Although, according to loon information, BOTH parents take care of the nest. Maybe they are taking turns on our lake? The birds have been just offshore. I've never seen them this close to the bank before, but the water is a bit deeper than usual summers.They are such a fascinating bird!


Golden Eye are fairly common. Actually, the one we  see more often were not the Common Golden Eye, but the Barrows. The former has a lot more white on it and is a definite bright spot on the green water. Most of these photos were taken from the house through a window. For some reason the darn things didn't care to have me sit on the hill or on the bench near the water. Silly birds!!! 
We had some serious rain the first week I was in Alaska. It made me laugh to see the Golden Eye pair bobbing along on the rain pummeled water with their heads tucked under their wings! 

 This photo was one of those surprise shots. I had tiptoed outside and was focusing on the male when he noticed me and took off. Both of us were startled and I snapped the shutter in reflex. The picture isn't that great, but I was impressed it even remotely resembled a duck!!
This pair mom would have been thrilled to see. Last year was the first time we spied an American Wigeon male. It came up to feed with the mallards at mom's bowl of cracked corn. This year, there is a pair. The  lady looks a tad like a mallard, but not exactly. They are such a pretty couple!! I think he's still getting his summer feathers. The white on the top of his head isn't quite as white as it will get. 

It will be fun to see who else shows up around here and if any of them hang around! We could be a fly by sort of lake or maybe, just maybe, a few will attempt to raise broods. No matter, wherever the waterfowl eventually stay, that will be where they will build the best nest. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day Weekend

The Saturday before Mother's Day, it was decided we'd take the Mercury out for lunch. Steve drove the three of us to Walla Walla, where we picked up a very good meal at a place just a smidge older than the Mercury. The Ice-burg was first opened in 1952. It is always a super busy little restaurant. 

Steve noticed the locust in the parking lot was blooming. He said he used to suck the nectar out of the snapdragon like blossoms from a tree in their yard when he was a kid.  

Just a strange sort of angle. I was trying to get Steve and Jon, but not the young people I didn't know! It didn't exactly work. 
The menu is fairly extensive. Especially in the shake department. Jon decided to get a cheesecake shake. The burgers we received were wrapped in paper bags with little ears, I didn't get a photo of those. When the worker bagged them, she twirled them around, making 'ears'-pretty snazzy! I wasn't thrilled with the sweet relish. I didn't realise that was a choice I could have removed! The fries were excellent and all of us could have eaten more of those!
We opted to take our lunch to a nearby park. Steve and Jon moved a picnic table to the shade so we could eat our lunches in relative comfort. It was HOT!!!!!

Jon's shake was pretty thick and cheesecake kept getting caught in the straw! So, I fished a spoon from my bag for him. He was surprised I had one. I actually had two! 

After he ate, Steve went over to see the baby geese. The birds were fairly calm, but he didn't get too close. Later, we all stopped by the pond/lake and admired the lanky legged family. We decided they look a bit like emu! 

On Sunday, we took Dorothy to Roosters Country Kitchen for their Mother's Day brunch buffet. We left after church and boy were we glad I'd made reservations. It was very busy and all of us ended up completely stuffed with delicious food. I didn't get photos.  The restaurant was dark and I needed to get back to the house and finish packing for my trip north when we got back to Athena. 
I left Walla Walla around 7 pm and landed in ANC just after midnight. I got to Kenai on a earlier flight Monday, but needed to wait for my luggage. It was still scheduled for the later flight. The Kenai airport appears to be going through a complete remodel. I didn't recognize it and my view from the table near the dining room looks out onto a lovely green and rusty brown colored garbage dumpster. Thankfully, above the dumpster, you can still see the sky!!