Monday, August 31, 2009

My World Tuesday #47 - The Pinks Are In

Pink salmon are returning to spawn in our local rivers including the Stillaguamish, Skagit and Snohomish Rivers. The males develop a large hump during their spawning run which gives the pinks the nickname of "humpies". Pinks are so named because of the pink color of their flesh. They are also the smallest of the true salmons with the average size being 3-5 lbs although some can get up to around 12 lbs. They have a two-year life-cycle before returning to spawn and in Washington, the spawning runs only occur in odd-numbered years.

Many people consider pinks to be less desirable for eating. We generally will eat fresh pink salmon on the day it is caught and then smoke any remaining filets. Karl makes outstanding smoked salmon. This year we might try to can some of the smoked fish rather than freezing it. We've never done it before but have been told it is very good packaged that way.

This year looks to be a good run for the pinks. We've had some years in the past where the pink season didn't open due to low numbers of returning salmon.

I drove up to Mount Vernon along the Skagit River to check out the fishing action. There was plenty of activity and I even saw a pink being hauled into one of the many boats on the river.

Ready - Aim - Launch!
One Lucky Fisherman

Fishing for pinks in can be a challenge since you are required to use barb-less hooks and live bait is not permitted. Buzz bombs and pink jigs are popular gear for catching the pinks. If you enlarge the picture above, you can see a pink jig in the fish's mouth.

Oh so close, only to lose it

Lined Up Along the Skagit

The Stillaguamish River will open for pink salmon fishing on September 1st. Karl already has the day off from work to go fishing.

"Leaper" by Tom Jay (2003)
Sculpture of Salmon (Not a Pink) in Mount Vernon's Edgewater Park to honor the salmon that spawn in the Skagit River

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #33 - Warning!

The Signs Say it All!

To see more neat shots with a yellow theme, click on the badge below. Drowsey Monkey hosts Mellow Yellow Monday for us each week.

Sunday Morning Scenery

I got up before the sun today with the express purpose of watching it come up. The colors on the lake were warm and inviting. It was so peaceful standing on the dock watching the mist float across the water.

Sunrise @ Sunday Lake
I had to drive down into the Stillaguamish Valley where the fog was a bit heavier as the sun came up. I thought about waiting for a train to appear out of the fog but the call of breakfast brought me back home.

Stilly Valley Morning

I'll venture out again later today.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday #59 - Sunset at Banks Lake

Last Saturday, we spent the afternoon at Banks Lake near Grand Coulee, Washington. Banks Lake is ringed with basalt cliffs and is a very scenic area.

Basalt Cliffs
Karl and his friend, Sean, were kayak fishing while I had a wonderful little beach practically to myself. The dogs and I played in the warm lake water and explored the shore area.

I found sixteen golf balls which I took back to the Okanogan house for whacking around our property. Then you go hunting for them in the tall grasses. It reminds me of an Easter egg hunt.

I watched the sun set across Banks Lake. The smoke from the Oden Road fire near Okanogan had drifted that way and added to the brilliant colors in the sky.

Sunset from the Beach...
...And a Few Minutes Later
Then the mosquitoes came out and it was time to leave!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The World Family of Archers

Every so often, the small logging town of Darrington, Washington is home to the Outdoor World Field Archery Championships. Archers from around the world come to participate in this event. Next year, Darrington will be hosting the National tournament in July.

The sculpture below was created in the early 1980's by Marvin Kastning, a retired art teacher at the local high school. Mr. Kastning also played a huge part in bringing the tournament to Darrington.

I've seen this sculpture many times when we stop at the grocery store on our trips over to Okanogan. Now I know the history of it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Remember Whensday No. 12 - Disney World

When I was about 13, my mother took me, my sister, Karen, and brother, Rick, to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The year was 1972 when it was just Disney World. No Epcot or anything else. Just Disney World. Accompanying us on vacation were my Aunt Sally (I am named after her), Uncle John and little cousin, Michael.

We camped at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park campground close to Disney World. Yogi Bear came around each evening with his pic-a-nic basket handing out candy.

Which one of you is Boo-Boo Bear?

One of our favorite rides was the "tea cup". Our cousin, Michael, who was two years old at the time, loved it. The faster we spun the cup, the louder he screamed with joy. The strangest part is that he was afraid of most of the other rides and attractions at Disney. Go figure.

Faster! Faster!

One of the highlights of our visit to Disney World over the course of several days was dinner at Cinderella's castle. It was a big deal to me to eat there. It was Cinderella's house and what little girl didn't want to be a princess? The bad thing is I don't really remember much about the dinner itself except for two things. One was we were serenaded during dinner by a balladeer. The other involved a trip to the ladies room with my Aunt Sally (at least I think it was with her). Apparently a toilet overflowed while we were in there and I remember something about a "royal flush" of the wrong kind. No, we didn't cause it either. Some other peasant did.

Cinderella's Castle

Dinner at Cinderella's Castle
From left to right - Sally, Rick, Aunt Sally, Karen, unknown server, Michael & Uncle John

Some of our other favorite attractions were the Country Bear Jamboree and It's a Small World. I remember on our trip home my mom and Aunt Sally singing the theme song to It's a Small World. Even though we went through the attraction a couple of times during our visit, us kids never did catch on on how they knew the words to the song. We found out at Christmas when we received the album as a present.

(Click the link to hear the song and get it stuck in your head the rest of today)
Album Image Courtesy of Google

It's strange but cool to see that our favorites are still around at Disney World's Magic Kingdom park some thirty-seven years later. Talk about staying power. I did see that Jellystone Park is no longer. I have no idea if it still is a campground or if it was torn down to make way for some other theme park.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

My World 46 - Okanogan Farmers Market

The small town of Okanogan, Washington has a vibrant Farmers Market on Saturday mornings from May through October. When in town, Karl and I enjoy going to the market for fresh produce and other goodies, including breakfast. This is one of the best farmers markets around.

Part of the Farmers Market under the Shady Trees
A Wide Selection of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Homemade Baked Goods
Karl waiting for his favorite Fry Bread

This past Saturday, I bought a one dollar ticket for a chance at the basket of wares from various vendors at the market. The money goes toward supporting the farmers market. Lo and behold I won!

The basket included baby potatoes, corn on the cob, rutabaga, an eggplant, a couple of varieties of peppers, cherry tomatoes, donut peaches, an apple, a red pear, two plums, basil, cinnamon honey, huckleberry bread, a large chocolate and sugar cookie, a bracelet with butterfly charms, a cat toy, a neck cooler tie and a beautiful embroidered t-shirt that says "I love my garden". It was a totally awesome basket.

The Winning Basket
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Skywatch Friday #58 - Camano Sunset

A few weeks back, smoke from fires in British Columbia, Canada gave us some spectacular sunsets down in the Puget Sound area of Washington. This night was no exception. All I did was crop the pictures down to take out the power lines across the top.

Camano Sunset
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009


One of the fun things about the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park is the close proximity to the railroad tracks. They run right next to the park - fenced off of course. Several trains went by while I was at the park including Amtrak and freight.

They were several great vantage points to snap some photos. This one was one of my favorites. It looked like the train was coming right at me thanks to the curve in the track.

This track is the same one that goes through Stanwood farther north where we will have our own Amtrak stop in a couple of months. Although I didn't get a shot of the Amtrak Cascades trains, here's another one of their's streaming by.

I need to go back to the park again one day soon! I had too much fun.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Remember Whensday No. 11 - Happy Birthday, Gregg!

Today is my son's birthday. He is 29 years old.

I should have known from the start he was going to do things his way. He wanted to come into this world face up, ready to go!

Gregg @ Birth

Gregg was always a strong-willed boy who grew into a strong-willed young man. Luckily, the threat of "wearing water" kept him out of the thinking chair and in Mom's good graces.

Yeah, we hit a few rough patches during his teen years, but we managed to maintain a good relationship. Today he is a step-father to two teenage girls and is doing a fine job of it. I couldn't be a prouder mother.

Gregg with step-daughter Amanda - June 2009

Happy Birthday, Gregg!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

My World Tuesday #45 - Mukilteo Lighthouse Station

Mukilteo Lighthouse

Keeper's Quarters

Front of Keeper's Quarters

Fun Facts about the Mukilteo Lighthouse Station:
- Opened in 1906
- Convertered to electricity in 1927
- Automated in 1979
- 36 steps to the top of the lighthouse
- 4th Order Fresnel lens
- Light is visible for 12 miles (19 km) on a clear day
- Light operates 24 hours per day, 2 seconds on, 3 seconds off
- 2 Coast Guard Families lived in the 2 keeper's quarters until 1996
- Ownership turned over to the City of Mukilteo in 2001

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #32 - Classic Boat

Late 70's Bayliner - possibly a Saratoga Express
I do enjoy seeing these older Bayliners out on the water. This one screamed to be featured in Mellow Yellow Monday. Click on the badge below to see more great pictures with a yellow theme. Thanks Drowsey Monkey for hosting this fun meme.

Shadow Shot Sunday #65 - Barn Dancing

A Barn Dance of Shadows

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Flag Retirement Ceremony

This morning while Karl was out fishing in Puget Sound off of Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, I hung out in the park looking for photo opportunities and just enjoying my first trip to this wonderful park.

I noticed several Boy Scouts show up and start a bonfire in one of the fire pits. They had a roaring fire going in short order and then they performed a flag retirement ceremony.

Nick, one of the scouts in Troop 189 from The Point of Grace Lutheran Church in Mukilteo, decided for his Eagle Scout project to canvas the local community and replace worn and tattered flags. According to the United States Flag Code, "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

Nick (on the right) and his younger brother
Additional Members of Troop 189
Towards the end of the ceremony, one of the other scouts (whose name I forgot to write down) played patriotic music on his violin.

I applaud Nick on achieving the rank of Eagle Scout and the rest of the young men of Troop 189 on their very moving Flag Retirement ceremony.

Here is a link with additional etiquette when retiring a flag that addresses some common misconceptions (including one I had).