pacific northwest

--->Tag: pacific northwest

What We Are …

The post title derives from a Flickr friend who wrote this comment below my photo: "A sobering reminder of what we are . . ." I will add that what we are doesn't necessarily foretell what we become. :)   Against a scrim of Northwestern mist, the barge SeaLink Rigger chugs toward a scrap metal yard in the Port of Tacoma. I photographed from Marine View Drive, just past Browns Point, as the vessel headed toward [...]

2012-08-09T12:18:46+00:00August 9th, 2012|Pollution, Uncategorized, Urban|2 Comments

Seattle Sky Electric

:: They're tendrils of light, wicked with amperes, coulombs and megajoules ... :: A vision in voltage that sparked my night and then my morning, :: Cracking the sky into pieces until it murmured, then crumbled into a cup of reverie. I was awake for this 2am electrical storm over Seattle ... one that didn't stir a soul for its bare whisper of thunder. For more than an hour, these forks of lightning bolted across [...]

2012-07-09T02:52:29+00:00July 9th, 2012|Uncategorized, Weather|4 Comments

The Caching Benefits of Jays

Disclaimer: As you can see, this Steller's Jay is grappling with a few almonds, all of which were left out for the jays who are probably nesting nearby. In other words, this particular food was not foraged from local tree sources. At this point, the jay had four or five almonds stuffed into its expanding esophagus. ------------------- Shot through my kitchen window with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 + Lumix 100-300mm lens. ISO1000, 1/800, f4.5 [...]

2012-06-03T16:00:36+00:00June 3rd, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments


I'm shooting within a five-mile radius these days, trying to get my photographic fix as I'm on my way to or from something else ... on sunny days, interspersed with Seattle rain. Fortunately, within those five miles, there are three nesting Osprey couples, one Bald Eagle pair, many more Great Blue Herons in their rookery, and at least 300

2012-05-21T18:39:28+00:00May 21st, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Meanwhile … Back at the Cell Tower

When I last left the Cell Tower Osprey, they were in an apparent tussle over their nesting site. Photographically speaking, I chose the wrong time for this week's visit. But, I was in the neighborhood just after dawn and figured I'd drop in for a few minutes. The only place to photograph this tower is from the west, looking into the sunrise. So, the eastern sun left me two options: backlit Osprey or ... poorly-lit [...]

2012-04-22T14:21:36+00:00April 22nd, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Osprey Noir

I figured it was about time I added to my Bird Noir series. I was on Elliott Bay, looking out for the re-tern of the terns -- Caspian Terns -- when I saw this Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) flying toward me. I pre-focused where I thought she might be fishing, but she veered off to my left and hovered over a Port of Seattle storage yard that was obscured from my view by trees. Still expecting [...]

2012-04-19T02:32:37+00:00April 19th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Showdown at the Osprey Cell Tower

Three's a crowd ... even in the Osprey world. I'll get back to that thought in a minute. There are two Osprey nesting platforms within three miles of our place, plus several others within ten miles. Last week, all of the Osprey returned to my local spots within the span of a few days. I marvel at the synchronicity of this migration. A friend and I checked the various sites and found at least one [...]

2012-04-18T00:03:54+00:00April 18th, 2012|Birds|8 Comments

Steelhead Poetry on the 18th Weir

This is a postscript to my previous notes on Steelhead Youth. Every year, the audio system in the fish ladder viewing area (Ballard Locks) broadcasts a series of oral histories, each relating to a particular cycle of salmon migration. Right now in April, when you press the red button, you'll hear about the juvenile steelhead migration, and about the precious few individuals paddling tail first from the lake to Puget Sound and beyond. Each informational [...]

2012-04-16T12:02:09+00:00April 16th, 2012|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Steelhead Youth

Puget Sound steelhead travel through the Ballard Locks at a fraction of their glory-day numbers. According to this post at the Friends of the Ballard Locks blog, two to three thousand steelhead used to migrate through the locks. Now, if visitors see just one steelhead looking back at them through the window, they're lucky. A slew of environmental assaults put steelhead on the threatened list in the Pacific Northwest. Those factors include habitat loss, damming [...]

2012-04-16T00:21:54+00:00April 16th, 2012|Uncategorized|7 Comments

Arc of the Kingfisher

I have a few terabytes of backlogged photos I've never posted -- many of which should probably stay archived. But, I thought for sure I'd published this one. When I searched my blog archives, it appears this image never touched the pages of The Quark. This is a banner I created last year of a Belted Kingfisher in flight (Ceryle alcyon). I shot these frames off Elliott Bay in Seattle, and layered them in Photoshop [...]

2012-04-10T13:13:04+00:00April 10th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|8 Comments

Bird Photography Outtakes

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) in Seattle, Washington. Okay, I'm pretty careful when I'm photographing around roosts. And, cormorants give you plenty of warning with all of the guano splatters below their perches. In fact, I can't think of the last time I got hit by a big bird ... so, it's funny that on the same day I photographed this display, my camera and I got a nice spray from a different cormorant -- filtered, [...]

2012-04-02T15:23:17+00:00April 2nd, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Utility Pole Eagles

Back in the Bay Area, if someone had described to me a place where Bald Eagles huddled on every utility pole like pigeons or Starlings, I would have thought it must be Alaska ... or somewhere along the Samuel Morse telegraph lines of the mid-1800s. I didn't expect that just two hours north -- through the Peace-Arch crossing into British Columbia, toward Vancouver -- I'd have a one-eagle-per-pole morning. I lived in Vancouver in the [...]

2012-03-13T16:47:08+00:00March 13th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments

On Double-Banded Knee

Seattle crows are among the most famous of modern crows, owing to studies by John Marzluff which are featured in A Murder of Crows. This PBS Nature episode looks at Marzluff's University of Washington (UW) research projects and the crows' ability to recognize and remember human faces. I've seen a few UW-banded crows around town, but they're usually wheels up with a Cheeto before I can pull out my camera. The other day, I saw [...]

2012-02-28T12:18:45+00:00February 28th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Was it Something I Said?

Spencer Island, Washington -- described by Audubon Washington this way: "A cornucopia of species! Come year-round for Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, Northern Harriers, Belted Kingfishers – and woodpeckers: Pileated, Downy, and Hairy, plus Northern Flickers and Red-breasted Sapsuckers. Spring-summer find Tree and Violet-green Swallows, plus Ospreys, Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Band-tailed Pigeons, Red-eyed Vireos, Common Yellowthroats. Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers migrate through in fall. Look for Merlins, Peregrine Falcons, Orange-crowned [...]

2012-02-25T21:35:54+00:00February 25th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|7 Comments

When the Crane Calls

Sandhill Crane Family - ©ingridtaylar Sandhill Cranes have distinctive calls you recognize immediately, once you know them. They rattle, and croak and reverberate through the estuary. The first time you hear that sound, you'll expect something magnificent, prehistoric, indefinable. And that's precisely what you'll encounter. Cranes have ancestry reaching into the Miocene Epoch, 24 to 5 million years ago. They are visions of that geological timeline ... of their past in the murky [...]

2012-02-21T00:59:13+00:00February 21st, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|8 Comments


This was a much better day for the Snow Geese -- better than my last visit to Snow Goose Central. Hunting season is done, and all of the goose shooting on Fir Island is now camera-only. I started off at this field with one other photographer, and by the time I left, there were six of us, plus a load of SUVs [illegally] lined up on the road shoulder for photo ops. We were waiting [...]

2012-02-04T23:21:07+00:00February 4th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|8 Comments

Eagle Noir

I joke (but it's true) that my best eagle and osprey in moments in the Northwest happen in silhouette. There's the issue of light, and how low and flat it tends to be in the winter. There's also the issue of my luck -- where the light is perfect, I'm pointed in the right direction, but the bird has other plans for me, usually flying overhead and hovering mere meters away with a lightbox of [...]

2012-02-02T12:48:00+00:00February 2nd, 2012|Uncategorized|10 Comments

These Feet are Made for Diving

Ducks have reason to be nervous around us humans in the winter, and diving ducks are always dive-ready if danger is imminent. Sometimes, I refrain from even pointing my lens at ducks, having learned that this act alone can be a stressor for them. Almost all flying ducks will divert course, even a little, when they see an object like a lens pointed at them. Yesterday, I came upon this male and female Barrow's Goldeneye [...]

2012-01-31T20:06:23+00:00January 31st, 2012|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Bald Eagles Wear the Pants

At the height of Bald Eagle season in Rockport and Marblemount, along the Skagit River, you'll see dozens of eagles, lumbering across the sand bars, dragging and pillaging salmon carcasses. I like to say that birds like pigeons have jodhpurs -- with flared plumes tapering into claws. Eagles, on the other hand, look like they're wearing Wookiee pants, a vision more amusing when these huge raptors cluster together in one spot. We saw such a [...]

2012-01-29T21:22:49+00:00January 29th, 2012|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Bird Noir

There are wildlife photographers who apologize for any urban elements -- like street lamps -- in their bird images. I embrace those shots, for three reasons: I admire the rugged survivalists that are urban birds and wildlife. What we throw at them in the way of obstacles, pollution, windows, automobiles, poisons, traps, wires and electricity, and still ... they persist. They not only persist, they thrive. They find ways to turn our infrastructure into shelter [...]

2011-12-03T20:56:03+00:00December 3rd, 2011|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments
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