31 December 2009

Ridgefield - An Early Assortment

On the front side of the auto route at Ridgefield, a Golden-crowned Sparrow, a Great Blue Heron (the most numerous of the large birds) eating what looks like a vole, a Bald Eagle (perched in a tree directly over the road), and a Northern Harrier privately enjoying lunch...

30 December 2009

Ridgefield - Rough-legged Hawk

As promised, here are two shots of the White-tailed Kite light-morph Rough-legged Hawk seen at Ridgefield, just west of Rest Lake, on Tuesday afternoon.  One shot is the original frame, the second is the close crop...  S/he was NOT close to the road :)

I want to thank Truffles and her driver for spotting the Kite Hawk. Without their sharp eyes, I might have missed it entirely...

Ridgefield - Mystery Raptor

Does anyone know what species of bird this is? Size reminds me of a Red-tail, but I don't honestly see any red in the tail;  breast is mottled like a Cooper's, but my memory says it wasn't that small a bird.  Red-shouldered Hawk, perhaps?  Admittedly, the lighting is bad; s/he probably wasn't going to let me get out of the car and venture across the field to get a better look :)

Photo was taken at the 9th Street entrance to the River S Auto route at Ridgefield on Tuesday afternoon...

LATER: At the moment, the ID for this bird is vascillating between Red-shouldered and Red-tailed, the vote being split almost 50-50...

19 December 2009

Poster # 76: Chirp, on Dogs and Cats

Chirp, always helpful, lets people know the difference between dogs and cats in a most succinct way... :)

HD Video from Norway

An HD video download from Norway, all 7.5 hours worth, is available for bittorrent download. If you are into trains, scenic landscapes, etc, and have somewhere around 23 gigabytes of free disk space (not to mention the time involved with downloading and watching), this may be for you...

Oh, and if you DO download, PLEASE invite me over to watch... I'd be happy to bring the popcorn :)

16 December 2009

As Seen on TV. Really...

From what I can find, this is a REAL product!

15 December 2009

XKCD does it Again :)

Thank you, XKCD :)

Image URL (for hotlinking/embedding):


'Tis the Season...

Red & Rover
with grateful embed permission from comics.com

11 December 2009

Kellogg's Spokesman

"... the neighbour's dog is having a go in my grass!"

09 December 2009

Evening Grosbeaks

Just before leaving for the gym this morning, a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks (joined by the neighbourhood regulars) dropped in for a bite at my local seed feeder.  For a second, I wasn't sure they were really there...

I managed to get a couple of half-decent shots through the window (it was still -7C out there) before I tried to go outside and get something better.  Unfortunately, once outside, not a one wanted to come closer than the birch about 30 metres away...

Here are a few shots from those five mostly-freezing minutes:  a male Evening Grosbeak adjusting his too-large body to the feeder, and one of the dozens of Dark-eyed Juncos fluffed up against the cold...

Also had an Anna's Hummer flit in and around the crowd for about 30 seconds before buzzing away at speed...

08 December 2009


A gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog, playing with everyone (including a fun Golden Retriever puppy) on a recent afternoon when the park was just a bit "dirty" :)

Passenger, the

Where's the Vulcan Nerve Pinch when you need it? :)

07 December 2009

Tigger and Koda

Tigger, here, is a Hound + German Shepherd mix.  He has good speed, a nifty herding instinct, and displays colourful markings...

Koda, a Siberian Husky, is a regular at the park.  You have to love the anthromorph'd smile and those electric blue eyes...

Project Management 101


This is one of the truest, scariest, and funniest Dilbert cartoons I've seen in a while...

05 December 2009

Roland and Cedar

Roland is a gorgeous Australian Shepherd, but not one given to posing for photos...

Cedar, a Golden Retriever, didn't mind being available all afternoon :)

Fantastic News from the UK

Seems there is call to reverse certain photo-related provisions of Section 44, which made it a criminal offense to photograph anything a police officer said was illegal, even when it wasn't...

Congratulations for common sense in the UK!

Clara's Holiday Artichokes

Have to say, this looks delicious. I'm going to try and remember to give these a go...

04 December 2009

Lacey and Maggie

First, we have Lacey, a Bichon Frise, enjoying the brisk weather (and the open running spaces)...

Next, I'm divided as to which version of this photo I like more:

This is Maggie, the boxer. She's semi-regular at the park, and that this particular moment, is enamoured with a tennis ball being thrown by someone who doesn't mind that the ball is gunky beyond all belief; she WANTS the ball, but is so well-behaved she's willing to wait for it :)

Do you have a preference between the two boxer shots? Let me know...

01 December 2009

2009.12 Desktop Calendar

A few weeks ago, I had a mini-fallout occur just a few linear metres from where I sit typing this: Dozens of Townsend's Warblers and hundreds of other more likely (for me, anyway) passerines dropped out of the sky and attempted to empty both the neighbouring trees and my seed feeders of sustenance...

It seems apropos they should be this month's Desktop Calendar...

Please feel free to download this photo for personal use on your computer's desktop. To download, just click once on the image, which will bring up the enlarged image on a new webpage. Then, right-click on the image and follow your operating system's instructions for pictures / images.

29 November 2009

RIP: Lee Frias

Sigh. Just heard from my mom that my uncle Lee just passed away. Not sure how old he was, but I'm guessing he was in his mid 90s. He was a beautiful man, always helping whenever people needed help, never a cross word, a gentle man who I only recently found out was in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II...

He and my aunt were the original reason I travel as I do. In their working days, they would work extremely hard for 10 or 11 months of the year, then take the off-time and simply go places. They were always cruising, flying to far-away locations, enjoying whatever culture they found.

They weren't rich in physical things, but so very wealthy in family and living life itself... They always had time for my mother and family when we needed someone...

I wish my aunt all the love and support she deserves for her future. The holidays simply won't be the same this year...

Vaya con dios, tio...

28 November 2009

Chewy, Bullet, and Callie

OK, hitting a carriage return early didn't do what I expected :)

Let's start with Callie, a Rat Terrier...

Bullet is a (muddy) Golden Doodle new to our canine portrait gallery...

And Chewy, the Rottie/Chow mix was just plain fun to photograph in the sunshine...

26 November 2009

Let Us Talk of Turkey Stuffing

One of my favourite television programs, with an incredible cast of actors and writers...

25 November 2009

Let Us Sing of Thanksgiving

Reminding people that the holiday song for Thanksgiving is Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant Massacree". If you don't have a copy of the music at home, you can listen (or download) a 1997 version at http://www.arlo.net/massacree/ ...

please ignore the "buy" thingies underneath this fair-use image from wikipedia -- fotomoto doesn't quite recognize the difference between my stuff and other people's, and i have no idea how to remove it for just this one image :)


Do you know anyone who matches this description? :)

24 November 2009

Hoping to Win...

I'm a Facebookie. Yeah, hard to believe, but among the many reasons I've found to stay is a simple contest: Give up something dear to you for a chance to win airfare and a few nights in Amsterdam next year...

I've entered a poster I created using a local Australian Shepherd; if I win, the contest promoters will obtain the ownership rights to the poster, and I will receive the trip.


If you are on Facebook (and perhaps even if you aren't!), please vote for me. Often! Apparently, you can vote once every 24 hours until the contest is over (second week in December, if I remember correctly)... So, please, OFTEN! I haven't been to Amsterdam in a few years, and it may be the only way I'll make it there before I retire...

Here is the poster itself:

Glenn Gould's Mozart

Currently listening to Glenn Gould's interpretation of the first few Mozart Piano Sonatas... he certainly takes liberties with tempo; oh, and you can hear him humming along in the background, though not as pronounced (usually) as Errol Garner :)

23 November 2009

Chirp == Schroedinger's Cat?

Of the many quotations I have regarding felines, this one seemed the most appropriate for the photo in question :)

22 November 2009


As I was getting ready to do some grocery shopping, I happened to notice someone being very stalker-hunter in the bedroom... Not a lot of light in that room, so I'm surprised it turned out as well as it did; I had to open the ISO/ASA to 3200, then brace the lens and my arm against the door jamb for the 1/8 second shot...

It was worth it :)

20 November 2009

Honey and Lily

Lily is a Chocolate Lab who arrived with a safety cone on her head to protect the surgical stitches that were within days of being removed.

Lily doesn't know the word "slow".  Time after time, someone would throw a tennis ball, and each time you'd hear a loud KUTHUNK as the cone's outer edges contacted the ground at a good velocity while she grabbed the moving ball.

It had to hurt, and yet, she kept doing it.

Until...  :)

Honey was only slightly more sedate. Near the end of her visit, she was content to gnaw/chew/eat a small stick that couldn't have provided much in the way of useful calories.

And yet, she couldn't have been happier...

Amsterdam, I Shall Return

Will it be sooner than later, though? I've just entered a contest on Facebook that says I need to trade something of value for a chance to win a three-day visit (plus airfare) to that gorgeous city.

My choice? The ownership rights to a poster that I've only recently created, showing a beautiful Australian Shepherd named Mouser doing what Mouser does well: look happy... :)

The quote: Happiness isn't having everything you want. It's wanting what you have.

I'm trying to drum up word of mouth, see if my coterie of friends and family can create enough buzz to put the votes necessary to win the contest in my favour.

Here is the Facebook link... Once they validate my photo, it should be available for voting. Vote as often as is legal, and I hope the vote is for me! :)

19 November 2009

Lulu-Isis and Caesar

Hard to believe, it's been a week since my last posting. Life sure does seem to become cranky from time to time, eh?

Two of the larger Great Danes I've known came a'callin' to Beaver Lake last week: Lulu/Isis (not sure why she had two names), and Caesar, 160+ pounds of Big Dog...

Both enjoyed eating/playing with a Snoopy doll, though it wasn't theirs... :)

for all the enjoyment, the doll didn't seem the worse for wear at the end of the afternoon :)

11 November 2009

Dracula Feed and Blood Suck Birthday Party

Here is a fantastic way to spend an hour of your time, and have a fun time doing it:  Jeff Shuey is having a birthday party at the Puget Sound Blood Center in Bellevue, Wa...  His requested present?

A donation of food and/or a donation of blood...

What a great idea!

10 November 2009

Halloween Swinging

On Halloween, I was invited to photograph what I believe is called a Lindy Bomb, a congregation of like-minded dance enthusiasts engaged in a bit of spirited dancing at a locale that doesn't know they are coming.

I loved the idea.

Apologies in advance for the quality of the shots;  overall lighting was less than optimal.  Even so, a few turned out pretty nicely, I think, perhaps because of the slow shutterspeeds and said lighting "issues"...

Said establishment this night was the Lincoln Square Cinema's courtyard, just a few metres from their ticketing machines and vendors.  It was great fun to watch not only the dancers, but those who gathered before their movies to gaze at something you don't (sadly) see every day...

09 November 2009

Santa, in a Candid Moment

gotta say, this comic says it all for me.

especially since it was just after labour day that the first "holiday" items started to appear for sale in the seattle area...

05 November 2009

Char and Max

Two new (for me) canines for the Beaver Lake Hit Parade: Char (English Mastiff), and Max (Golden Retriever)

Char has such an adorable face, and a quiet (if fairly large) disposition. Max, on the other hand, is quite energetic, and the first Golden Retriever I've seen that is almost entirely cream white...

04 November 2009

Pet Names

Sometimes, it's hard to tell the players without a score card... A quick example from a few days ago, may I present Chewy and Chewy?

Chewy (the Australian Shepherd), shown here demonstrating some wrestling moves with Katie, a German Shorthair...

Chewy (the Chow - Rottweiler mix) is easily more distinctive, and (this is simply my own opinion) seems to match the original Chewy (Chewbacca) much more closely in size and appearance...

But, that's just me. Our small park has: Mia (> 2), Bella (> 2), Chloe (2), Cody (3), and Beau (3).

Most are different breeds, which sometimes helps. However: A week or two ago, I photographed two beagles named Snoopy on the same day, within 30 minutes of each other.