Black-capped Chickadee

The very old cherry tree on our front yard finally had flowers, so I was taking pictures of the cherry blossoms.  A Chickadee flew in.  I guess the old cherry tree has yummy insects for them.

I thought the tree was dying, but I guess it still has some life left.  We got quite a few beautiful flowers.

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Dinner time at Fay Bainbridge Park

Fay Bainbridge park is my favorite park, and I go there at least 2 or 3 times a week to walk on the beach.   However, it is a small park, and you will not be able to get much exercise if you go at high tide.  So, we started to check the tides before deciding walk there.  Yesterday, when I checked at 5:20, it said the low tide was at 5:30, so we decided to go for a nice long walk.

It seemed quiet at first.  Gulls were hunting for dinner, and seals were laying on  drift wood.  A Pileated Woodpecker flew in looking for  good wood to peck on. One of the resident Bold Eagles was sitting on their usual tree.

Then, we heard some noise, and saw two Bald Eagles flying low.  One of them flew away, and the other one landed on a roof top of someone’s patio.   The eagle started to eat, and a crow landed on the roof and patiently waited for his turn.

     We were curious as to what he was eating, but it was so high up, I couldn’t get clear picture, but it looks like the prey was an animal. Click to enlarge the photo if you like.

 

 

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Bufflehead & Killdeer @Fay

This gallery contains 6 photos.

The Sun was shining when we returned, so we headed to our favorite park. We found a group of Bufflehead swimming.  Two breeding males and three females were chilling together. Several Killdeers were on the beach.  We heard them, but … Continue reading

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Cherry Blossoms

Spring arrived super late here in Washington this year, and we couldn’t wait for the sun any longer, so we booked a flight to Japan to see the cherry blossoms.  I particularly wanted to see them at Himeji Castle in my hometown. The prediction was they would be in full bloom in early April.   However, when we arrived there on April 3rd, the trees only had a few flowers.  Luckily, it was in full bloom when we visited the castle again right before leaving Himeji on April 10th.

Himeji Castle

While waiting for the full bloom in Himeji,  we saw on TV they had come to Osaka, so we took a train to Sakura No Miya station, and from there, we walked all the way to Osaka castle. The cherry trees started right at the station, and continued along a river almost all the way to the castle.

This was the first time I actually visited the Osaka castle.  It looked very pretty with the cherry blossoms.  We went inside and climbed stairs all the way to the top hoping to see Hideyoshi’s golden tea room, but I was totally wrong.  it was just like a regular museum inside.  The balcony on top had a nice view, but other than that, I was a little disappointed.   The grounds around the castle were very nice, though.

(We came by this on our way to Mori no miya station from the castle.)

My brother took us to Izushi, a small town in northern Hyogo prefecture where there once were small castles built by local warlords in 16th century (They were destroyed by Hideyoshi, the guy who built the Osaka castle).

(The view from a hill where one of the castle once stood.)

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Red-Throated Loon (Non breeding) and American Wigeon at Fay Bainbridge Park

The weather suddenly cleared up this afternoon, so we headed to Fay Bainbridge Park with my new camera.  The resident Bald Eagles were not home, but I was able to capture a picture of a red-throated Loon and some American Wigeons.   This Red throated Loon was swimming near the shore today .  E-bird says, in summer,  breeding adults have grey heads and red throats.  

American Wigeon

Two adult breeding males and two females hanging out at Fay.

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My front yard in a raindrop

It is almost April, but it is still cold, and rainy here in the Northwest.  I hear the arrival of the spring is super late this year, but we started see the signs it is finally coming.   My maple trees have buds now.

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Winter Roadtrip 2016-3: Mohave National Preserve

After Joshua Tree, we headed northeast to the area bordering Arizona, Nevada, and California to avoid driving through LA traffic and its smog, and camped at Mohave National Preserve before making our way home to Washington.

We first went to the “Hole-in-the-wall” information center, and did the Rings Loop Trail, recommended by the camp host there.  It was a nice short walk.  The scenery may not be as photogenic as that of National parks, but we enjoyed the solitude, blue sky and warm weather.  Toward the end of the loop, we came to very steep and narrow section where one needs to climb up using the rings on the rock.  It was fun!

Rings Loop Trail

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We were going to camp at the Hole-in-the-wall campground, but the person at the information center told us about the road side camping near Kelso Dunes, so we drove 30 miles.  About half of the drive was on a dirt road, so it seemed to take forever.  We were told we can camp where fire rings are, so we kept driving and finally found one past the the Kelso Dunes trail head.  The road side camping was nice.  You can enjoy wilderness from co mfort of your RV!

Kelso Dunes & Roadside camping

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Can you see our rv?dsc_0369

Teutonia Peak Trail

On the way out of the Mohave National Preserve, we hiked to Teutonia Peak.  It is a nice hike with tall Joshua trees, expansive views of the desert, and some scrambling near the peak.

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