The simple life of the Black Oystercatcher

Haematopus bachmani, aka the Black Oystercatcher doesn’t really catch oysters. It’s catches mussels, limpets, barnacles, and various shellfish, all do well for their natural diet.

The Black Oystercatcher loves rocky shorelines, and often seen along the North American Pacific Coast. They don’t like human development or high industrialization where pollution and disturbances to their nesting areas disrupt their delicate existence. 

I took the above picture a few months ago from the Seattle Aquarium, which this little bit of info from its seattleaquarium.org site:

Oystercatchers nest and spend winters in the same basic area. They’re monogamous—the same two birds will return to the nest they create together, season after season. They make nests near rocky tidal areas where food abounds. By flipping their bills sideways and backwards, the birds toss rock flakes, pebbles and shell fragments to create a nest that resembles a bowl. Each pair will raise a clutch of eggs (one to three eggs) at a time. If anything happens to a clutch, pairs will raise two or more clutches until they have a successful brood.”

Black Oystercatchers are often very noisy, for reasons I could not uncover. Those noises are a little silly and cute, different from other avians. I love them for that…

That’s why I am sharing this joy of nature now. Maybe this will cheer you and others in this long, difficult pandemic time, for at least a moment. Then, feel free to make a little silly noise of your own.

Orion T

.

The realization of long life, according to Jonathan Seagull

“Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short, and with those gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed.”

― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

That moment above was taken atop a tide pool at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas (North San Diego County) California. That was one of many great things about that area, which I must share of, soon.

Orion T

Freedom to be yourself…

photo dec 31, 2 42 42 pm

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way” ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The pic above is a moment here at Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada.

– Orion T

 

Picture of Today 3/2/2016, Afternoon Delight

Photo Mar 02, 4 08 39 PM (1)

This American Robin is a simple city bird within the noisy and complex Downtown od Seattle. Yet, it makes the most of the local city park behind the Washington State Convention Center, taking time to enjoy the small pockets of nature between the concrete floors in the shadows of the surrounding towers. For the afternoon, it goes the healthy route and eats small berries, one at a time. Soon it will flutter away, perhaps to its nest to relax and read something.

I try and do the same.

– Orion T

Big Bird in a Big City – last weekend in San Diego, California

  

I was in San Diego, with feathered company.

And I was constant with busy activity, with a huge comic convention and other business going on. I stayed on a boat during that last weekend with new friends for some days. I wrote and photographed quite a bit of that trip for another web site (strangerworlds.com), and will feature some of that work with personal commentary on that, in my next posting here.

For now, enjoy with mild amusement these pictures, of what I believe is a blue heron..

  
   

– Orion T

Pictures of Today 6/19/15, Little Park Friends

I love birds, as I am considering a new hobby in ornithology.

This moment is my third time seeing the white-capped sparrow on the same tree in Denny Park, in Seattle. You may see them upon the center trees there, singing often, then fluttering away quickly when noticed. This time I sneaked a pic with some evening sunlight, for awesome effect.

Also in the same park, but during the morning on the way to work.. I noticed my ol friend, Sam Squirrel; hidden beneath, probably on some important mission. Good Luck Sam!!

 

Orion T

Meanwhile, at a small wildlife santuary..

Big birds!

Here are two pictures shot from a recent stop in Bothell, Washington (north of Seattle). I, and friends birdwatched through a dense and swampy wildlife sanctuary near the Kenmore Park and Ride bus Station.

Here we have: a bald eagle (above), and some blue herons in a nest (below).

Orion T

Picture of Today 6/13/15, Descending Sparrow

 

I believe this is a White-Crowned Sparrow. I observed it chirping high on a small tree in a local Seattle park. 

No filter, no edit spur of the moment shot by me. I really like this particular still. 
– Orion T

When Seagulls Attack..

Seagulls can be intense..

Especially towards each other, like in the following situation. What appeared to be one gull capturing a small bit of grass or something in its beak led to some escalation. Another gull apparently tried to take that away, as other birds cheered (or acted as referees). It was hard to tell what was really going on, as I am not much of an ornithologist. Still, interesting to observe…

         

Orion T

Vashon Island Adventure, on Fisher Pond Trail 

Vashon Island is a magnificent escape for anyone wanting a good step outside from that busy work week.

You can visit the island, southwest of Seattle. The trip is easy and cheap by ferryboat from the nearby lands. For nature lovers, this is a paradise of many options and places to go. Not all could be covered in a short visit here. I chose the Fisher Pond, a mile west of the small town of Vashon within the center of the island. I spent much time in town (which will be covered in another post), and had only a few hours until the last bus to the duck would go back.So with local advice, I went there for a few hours.

So, here are some pictures taken, mostly from the Fisher Pond Trail surrounding the pond…

 

On the way to to the pond trail on Bank Road. The walk was about two miles, very peaceful with views like this between the houses..

 

The trail itself, pretty short compared to the time it took to get here. Most do the time spent here was in being still taking pictures and reading short stories. 

 

Just a cool shot of some leaves. I trying for a small bird just beyond the leaves, but was a little late.

There were many of dragonflies fluttering about. This I think (based on a Google search) is a blue damselfly.

One of may birds you can hear chirping about on the trail. I wish I was good at taking pictures of birds, as they are hard to locate. Also, I also wish I could identify them better. Maybe on my next library visit, I will look more into this..

Another small red bird, enjoying a little sunshine..

Another bue damselfly, I believe

 

Fisher Pond itself, covered with leaves and pollen…I think.

A little caterpillar, crawling around.  I took this picture with my iPad mini, after failing to get these awesome details with my Canon Rebel T3i. I stayed next to me for quite some time on a bench overlooking the pond. I felt a had a little friend for that time..

Another blue damselfly, I believe. These things fluttered in small groups by the pond.

 

An odd arrangement, one of many noticeable’ along side the outer area of the trail. Some were much longer, some bent. This one was shorter, but sweet in its presentation. I was unsure if these are natural in design, or some man-made manipulation. But either way, I think is pretty cool.

An old chair in the distance, by Bank Road. I wonder when the last time someone sat upon that chair. Now, I think it’s work is done and has been left here to retire..

Another countryside view, on my way back to the small town of Vashon.

– Orion T

Pictures of Today 4/19/15, Trailing through Discovery Park

082

A hike through Discovery Park..yes.

That was the best remedy to a rough last week; as I needed fresh air, time away from the screens and sirens. Discovery Park has 534 square miles, of peace and nature for one to enjoy. There are open meadows, dense forestation, rocky cliffs, old historical buildings, and a beach. For anyone living in Seattle, it’s easily accessible by bus, car, and probably even a bike. Sunday, was my day of escape. To there, I went.

While hiking through, I took pictures. Here are some unedited raws, featuring the best of the today’s afternoon adventure..

072High above the upper meadow trails of Discovery Park. Downtown Seattle is somewhere behind the hills to the left.

060Today was a nice blue day, sunny at 70 degrees.

063Yet, there was a constant wind chill. Those bushes with the small yellow petals were in constant sway.

068Though much of the cherry blossoms and magnolias have vanished through the city, some were late bloomers and still showing some of that early Spring pride.

069No words, just cool shadow play.

082There is a beach down below. I just follow the trail and watch my step. But take time, because each view is fantastic.

083Some moss there. I like moss.

079Lots of birds chirping, as I walk more between the trees. I wish I was good at spotting them. There are some bird tours coming up, here in Discovery Park. I may join in on one.

037Okay, I found this one. Not sure if it’s a crow. I like this shot.

096The beach, with lots of dried wood and visitors.

090The West Point Lighthouse. A shot without anyone walking around it or taking selfies in front of it was pretty much impossible today. Still, worth the capture.

010Another group of local visitors, enjoying some off-shore strolling.

088Tides were picking up. The calming was over, and the wind also increased. The time to go back was now. Also, I am hungry and forgot to bring efficient snacks.

104On my way back, a nice small meadow to stare at. Argh, I forget what those puffy things are called..

006Okay then..

058Not Discovery Park, but my last minute visit to the Sculpture Park before heading home. I caught this awesome sunset, just in the nick of time.

That’s all for now. I will be back to Discovery Park again, soon. Hopefully then, I will see more birds.

– Orion T

Pictures of Days 3/21-3/26/15, Of Recent Randoms

Here below are some observations, in the great Seattle city. All were captured with my camera that barely works now.

High in the sky before the Key Arena entrance..

Noticed a little timey wimey stuck with a little icky sticky. By the way, today (March 26th) marks the 10th anniversary of the day Doctor Who new revival run began, initially starring Christopher Eccleston. He was a fantastic Doctor..

Singin the rain. Here is Hobbit and Hare, a wonderful Pike Market street performer duo..

Wow, look at these mushrooms (Pike Place Market)..

Gotta heart the Seattle spirit, as someone took time and effort for to bring smiles to those looking down..

Back in Post Alley, one could get lost in art.

In Fremont, I took a friend of mine to make friends with a troll. 

The colorful interior basement of the Narwhal, underneath the Unicorn Bar..

Back in Capitol Hill, on Pike Street and 11th.. 

After the rains..

 

A bird enjoying a small meal, I think. 

Me.. 

Pictures of Today 3/20/15, Hello Spring..

Today is almost done, and what a day it was!

Tis the first day of Spring, and very wet. In the Seattle and surrounding areas, there was light on/off rain. Very pleasant to walk through, especially throughout my paths. Here below, are some moments with notes..

Within a downtown park by the Washington Convention Center, a favorite little tree stands. Here, the petals seem very relaxed in the rain.

And the petals, I think enjoy this rain as much as I. Let em drop..

Much later, I journeyed far to the city of Redmond for a short research gig at Microsoft’s main headquarters. A nice busy place, but what got my attention for the longest was this little bird outside. That was a very chirpy fellow, but also not letting me too close for the more detailed shot.

And then, after a long walk and briefly ending up lost. I found myself in a parking lot of scattered sakura blossom petals. There is seriously a lot to take in, and a little dangerous. More on this, tomorrow..

Finally, back in Downtown Seattle. Here is another pretty tree in the rain.

Up close and personal..

Later, I took a pit stop at the Kobe Terrace Park at the International District. When last here, there was little on the ground. I said I would be back to see them fallen, in an earlier post last weekend. Now…

More on this tomorrow, or the next day..or whenever I get around to it. But soon, I promise.

Picture of Today 1/19/15, Gulls of Mystery..

2015/01/img_3102.jpg

I missed most of the daylight today, as I remained busy in my working world for many hours. I heard mutters about protests and helicopters in the distance, and that was enough connection to the outside. There was nothing left in the end for me, but cold and quiet with the sun far gone.

On the way home, I walked a long nightly detour by the waterfront. Then suddenly on the over and up, many sea gulls circled about. Not sure what, but something got them riled. The light from the pier below lit their little flapping bodies, and I tried for a shot. Not quite what I wanted, but this is my first nightly bird swarm shot. I think it’s still worth a share.

Also, it brings to mind the X-Files theme. I miss that show..

Picture of Today 12/25/14, the Holiday Sky..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/82d/12486084/files/2014/12/img_2746.jpg

Today was a nice gift..

Especially to the feverish and sickly ill in need of fresh air, like myself. The beautiful unique sky became a sight for healing to my congested soul. The overhead brought crazy color mixtures and fresh still air. The space between felt cold but not freezing (a manageable 41 degrees), and clean for this big city of Seattle. The streets were almost quiet, with barely any cars and occasional people walking about. The sound was still, except for some birds and the distant running giant fountain (and some Christmas music on the distant loudspeakers, mostly ignored).

I eventually found a nice chair, and empty table at an upper platform of this local Seattle Center Park (pictured above). Then, I sank deep within my heavy coat wrapped with a thick red wool scarf; then kicked my feet up for lost time, in the celebration of nothingness and continuation of healing. I watched the sky change until..

I had a visitor, another local traveler drop by. Hello..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/82d/12486084/files/2014/12/img_2741.jpg

Picture of Today 1/27/14

20140127-212314.jpg

“Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Picture by Orion Tippens. NOTE: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2014 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved

Picture of Today 1/17/14

20140117-203235.jpg

Unrequited love..

Sigh.

….

Picture by Orion Tippens. NOTE: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2014 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved

Feathered Friends..

Birds, by Orion Tippens

A picture for today, from the south Puget Sound in Washington State. It’s not quite the morning, more of the noon as the low marine layer fog remains present for much of the day.

The birds, I have no idea on specifics. Their domain is a small platform surrounded by the water, marked many times by the feathered flyers around.

This shot, from the local ferry boat transit from the Fauntleroy, West Seattle Terminal to the Southworth Terminal, with Vashon Island as a stop in-between. I on some extra work for the ferry involving the collection of travel surveys, going back and forth for much of the day. I can’t recall which terminal was near, or what land is underneath that fog. I was very busy with the work, and enjoying the foggy exterior for that it was, not as much where.

And, I love photographing birds.

Saturday..

photo by Orion Tippens

is back.

Thank god.

What a crazy week..

Bombs in Boston

Explosion in Texas

Earthquake in China

Another bombing in Baghdad

Many hurt, some dead.

Heroes everywhere,

We could use more heroes..

Otherwise,

enough troubling news,

I hope.

For this week.

It’s gloomy outside.

Don’t care.

Going to go out anyway,

because I need to.

You need to.

Find the good in this world.

Take a walk.

Smile at random people.

Enjoy nature.

Because that’s all,

the many of us have left..

to enjoy the week.

The original angry birds, 50 years ago…

birds

50 years ago, on this day.. March 28, 1963.

A great and wonderful film made its debut. A thriller, being a masterpiece of horror, suspense. This film was directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, and will never be forgotten. This film is also a personal favorite of mine.

The Birds.

The Birds, broke out and terrified audiences everywhere.The brilliant editing, silent lack of musical score, vicious special effects, and overall paranoid tones developed fear, excitement. The story itself, demanded questions. Why are these birds attacking? Will they stop? Is this a sign of the Apocalypse? Can our star players in this drama escape? Can we escape?

Imagine being among the first to witness The Birds in its opening days on the big screen. I could imagine, and emotional tension to be stronger than my first viewing. I shivered in my childhood watching this, curious about the idea while after putting down my TV guide. I felt uneasy about birds for a while. Outside my apartment in San Francisco, I was often startled, excited when many birds gathered usually for bread crumbs in the park. After seeing this film, I believed they could attack or kill me. I still do, as anything could happen in our interesting days.

So today, I learned of its 50th anniversary and did some browsing.  I found these fun promos on Youtube, shared below. Enjoy!