erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx at first glance)
I actually had rather an interesting conversation with the neighbors about the various wildlife sightings in the area recently. One neighbor, in the little pocket house between our condos and the next set over, had apparently seen a bobcat a few days ago. She said it was a positive identification sighting, with the spots and the tufted ears and the bobbed tail. I can certainly believe someone in the area might have sighted one; there's enough scrub and bits of forest in the area to provide reasonable cover and food sources for a bobcat population.

There was an alleged cougar sighting (immature, most likely, if it was actually a cougar) by one of the neighbors in our condo complex. She said it was sunning itself out in front of Sally's place (my next door neighbor). I'm not sure this is likely. I don't know how much territory an immature cougar (which would presumably imply mature cougars also in the area) would require, or how much wild land it would need, but I'm not sure the Silver Lake neighborhood would quite do it. Then again, one sometimes sees deer, foxes, or coyotes in downtown Seattle. Stranger things have happened -- like deer and coyotes in downtown building elevators. Still, Sally called fish and wildlife and they said they'd have to take a report from the person who actually says she saw the cougar to determine if the sighting was what she believed it was. I'll be interested to hear if that was actually the case. I can report that I've been slightly uneasy walking the DoDC+3 at 2am the past few days, because if it really is a cougar, he's about snack sized.

The eagles are back in the area again. Apparently nesting crows have been chased off and the guy who lives next door on the other side has seen eagles in the tree where the crows had been nesting. He thinks there may be an eagle's nest there, but the foliage at this point is too thick to see if there is a nest structure. Eagle nests tend to be fairly large. We know there's an eagle's nest on the south end of the lake. I noted that I'd repeatedly seen ospreys in the area myself, though the others in the conversation hadn't realized that there were also ospreys in the area.

Anyway, that's the day's wildlife report.

I think I was still so rattled when I left the restaurant after I had lunch that I left my green scarf there. I'm going to have to drop by on my way into Seattle tomorrow and ask if they found it. That means I'll have to leave something on the order of half an hour early, I suspect, as I need to take a different route to I-5 than I usually do. Not looking forward to it, but I'm not interested in losing that scarf, either. I may just call first and see if anyone found it, to save myself a trip if they didn't.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
I arrived in Redding at about 8:30, after a really gorgeous day on the road. It was extremely hot a fair bit of the way along. Probably from a little south of Eugene, and was still in the 90s when I checked in at the hotel.

There's a little Mexican place in the parking lot here where I grabbed some dinner. Wasn't vastly memorable or anything, but they seem to be all about the tequila, because they apparently have something like 500 varieties. Too bad I've never been into the stuff.

I spent the better part of two hours in Oregon City with [ profile] martianmooncrab having lunch and schmoozing a little before I hit the road. I should get into Sacramento tomorrow probably mid-afternoon. Weather report for the weekend has the campsite in the mountains in the high 70s for the days and into the mid- to high-40s at night, so it'll be pretty much like the weather we ought to be getting in the Seattle area, rather than the continuing drizzle we'd been having until just a couple of days ago.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again.

The sib texted me at about 7:30 from Butte, Montana, where he was staying for the night. He didn't quite have it in him to continue the rest of the way to Bozeman, where he'd intended to finish up. The papers he'd been waiting for hadn't even been sent yet, so he called the woman at the office and told her to send them to the base instead and he'd pick them up there. Really crappy of her to keep him hanging like that and not even to have sent them out yet when he'd called. I just hope it's not a sign of other problems to come.

For now, I'm going to try to get some sleep. The insomnigrackles got me last night and I managed to lay down for about two and a half hours, but sleep evaded me. I headed out about 8:30am rather than 9:30 as I'd intended, but I was just as happy to do the last bit of the trip into Redding before it got dark. I drove from Portland with the window down, getting the full effect of the roadside plant life, from blackberry blossoms to pine trees to sagebrush at various stages along the way.

Despite that I was more or less on the road for about twelve hours, I had a really awesome day. I actually managed to see Mount St Helens for a change. I think this may actually have been the first time I was able to see it clearly, because every other time I've gone down that stretch of road, it's been hazed over, snowing, raining, dark, misty, or fill-in-the-blank obscuring the mountain. I got Rainier, St Helens and Shasta all on this trip in the daylight. At several points I saw deer grazing next to the highway, as well. Glorious!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Navy seal)
Women Veterans’ Stories, Photos Needed for Book

February 9, 2011

What: Women veterans' stories and photographs are requested for a book

Who: Published by the NOR-CAL Chapter 111 Woman's Army Corps Veterans' Association; written by Irene Castro

Why: "To reflect how the military shaped lives. Each and every woman veteran has had unique experiences and valuable service. All of these stories need to be told."

The NOR-CAL Chapter 111 Woman's Army Corps Veterans' Association has decided to expand the book its members are publishing to include ALL women veterans. Their goal is to get a story in the book about each member in the Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association and stories from women veterans of ALL military services.

Please send stories and photos to: Irene Castro, 31386 Emigrant Trail, Shingletown CA 96088. If at all possible please make copies of photos at a Wal-Mart, Costco or other photo copying location. All original photos will be returned if requested. Newspaper articles are also very helpful. Stories can be emailed to, but not the photos.

The association would like information on what the veteran did prior to joining the military, when and why she joined and what the duties and duty stations were. Please let them know how the military changed or affected your life as a veteran or the life of the veteran you are writing about. The association members also want to know what the veteran did, after being discharged, on topics such as: family, education, work and careers, and retirement. Please detail any specific incident, experience, and historic or humorous event. They want this book to reflect how the military shaped lives. Each and every woman veteran has had unique experiences and valuable service. All of these stories need to be told.

The book will be similar to the size and style of the cookbook Served and Still Serving, except the association seeks longer stories that will be at least one page in length or more. Please include phone numbers where you can be reached. Irene Castro can be reached at 530-474-5560.

-from press release
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Today I took a trip with [ profile] yiaya up Chuckanut Drive to Larrabie State Park. It's a gorgeous little place, and the drive up Chuckanut is really fantastic, though the road is narrow and twisty and it has been out already this year with landslides. Yes, [ profile] alfrecht, we stopped at the Japanese garden on the way out! More on that in a bit.

Birds, Photos, Prayers )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (strill lynx seek)
It seems that wolf packs may be returning to north-central Washington for the first time since the 1930s.

The Seattle Times noted: "TWISP, Okanogan County — One or more packs of gray wolves may be living in north-central Washington's Methow Valley, which would make them the first resident population of the endangered species in Washington state since before 1930, a state biologist says.

"There's certainly a distinct possibility that we actually have some wolves here, and they may be reproducing," said Scott Fitkin, wildlife biologist for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in Winthrop.

Backpackers have made numerous reports of wolves in the high country in the past couple of years, and residents have made increasing numbers of reports in lower elevations, he said."

Some people aren't happy about this. One rancher interviewed in the article sounded pretty disgruntled about the whole thing. Of course, any time large predators make a comeback, some folks get upset. Even large herbivores aren't immune to ill-will. Some ranchers around Yellowstone are still insisting that bison carry brucellosis, which has never actually been demonstrated, and buffalo kills are often carried out right outside the park's boundaries.

I'm just glad the wolves are returning. I hope they make it.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (strill lynx seek)
At one point last night I opened the door to take the dog out. Down under the door itself, just inside the doorway, was a little salamander -- black with a yellow stripe along its spine, probably this species. I'm not sure exactly how it got there, though admittedly we have a little wetlands area in the condo complex between the buildings and the road. It didn't seem to be very active when I picked it up, so perhaps it was just cold. At any rate, I took it and tossed it back over the fence into the pond area, hoping that wouldn't do any damage to it. I wasn't feeling up to dealing with crossing rush hour traffic to take it to the lake across the street.

Sally, the next door neighbor, says that she sees them occasionally in the little dip area between the mailboxes and the road -- it's about 15 yards long and probably 4 feet deep and sometimes we walk the dogs there. I hadn't seen any in that spot before, but it's an overflow for the pond and there's a culvert there that goes under the parking lot. Most of the time it's dry unless there's been a lot of rain and flooding.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (linen_tartaruga's tree of life)
Yep, it's been snowing all day. It's beautiful, but there's already maybe half an inch on the ground here. I'm just glad I don't have to go anywhere today. The forecast online says there's at least a 70% chance of more snow tomorrow, up to 2 inches, with possible snow Tuesday and Thursday as well. If it snows, I won't be going to astrology class tomorrow, needless to say. Snow and Erynn just don't mix very well.

More about life, the universe and everything )


erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)

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