The sound of fog

First of all baby, mom, dad, brother and her Pops are all doing well. She was discharged to home yesterday after a brief stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. I’m usurping her dad’s photo recently shared on facebook, here she is.


Isn’t she precious? I only have one sleeve left to knit and she will have a sweater. Hat and booties are next.

While the family bonds on the east coast, I continue to be the only person on this island, and it is fabulous. I am finding that I experience it differently on my own. For one thing, it makes me realize how many little things Tim is always doing – spraying seagull s**t off the house and solar panels, dishes, and just being a wonderful companion.  But … I am not making as many dirty dishes because my meals are very simple and desserts are fewer.

Now I am responsible for keeping things running. I’ve been mowing, weed whacking, doing some projects for Fish and Wildlife, filling the water tower, and cleaning the boat and dock, and filing reports. I’m keeping active with long walks every day. And of course I weave and knit.

The seagulls are in full nesting mode around the cabin and I do my tasks quickly while one or two guard gulls yell at me. I hope I don’t have to don the hard hats I see lying about. The barn swallows have little ones in a nest directly over the picnic table, which cannot be moved for a variety of reasons, and are making a big mess there. They poop before they land in the nest and right after they take off – on the picnic table.  We’ll reclaim the table when they leave.


IMG_1770IMG_1768Yesterday I awoke to thick fog.IMG_1817 I couldn’t see beyond the edge of the lawn. I heard water dripping off the windows and roof but the air was thick. As I drank my cuppa in the cozy cabin, I looked outside and saw the two river otters exit from under the porch, scamper across the lawn and head to the bluff.


The fog cleared around the cabin mid morning and I went to the other side of the island to do some work. I could tell fog was rolling in again because I could hear ships’ foghorns, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The sound was wonderful, I felt more than heard the low tones of the various horns. I went to the bluff to try to see them but it was too socked in. There is an app for the phone called Marine Traffic. Commercial boats and some pleasure boats have Automatic Identification System (AIS), automatic transmission of their name, location and course, ideally to prevent collisions. I use the app to identify ships I see off the island. It shows photos, course and final destination. Cruise ships leave Seattle and sail by on their way to Juneau all the time. Here’s this morning’s screen shot. You can see marine traffic anywhere in the world.

Screenshot 2017-07-01 at 11.19.21 AMThe other day I saw a dozen eagles flying together,  off the bluffs near the marina fighting over some bounty.



I’m especially mindful of my own personal safety now that I am here alone. I wear a life vest when I clean the dock. Look at this toxic plume I created yesterday from seagull s**t.


And I found a perfect way to listen to my music, podcasts, books without bursting my ear drums while I mow and weed wack. Before, I just turned the volume way up. Then I found these babies and can hear my music, etc. at a normal volume. But I can’t hear the fog or the foghorns.




Home on the range

IMG_1621where about 80 mule deer, or black tail deer, are reported to roam. We’ve seen 2 fawns and the males are sprouting fuzzy antlers. Happily there are NO deer ticks on the island. I’m so used to avoiding tall grass at home where Lyme disease runs rampant. Yesterday I combed through chest high grass for a few hours to highlight a path for a tractor that will thrash it down, without a care in the world.

The fog rolled in and we are on our own.


In contrast to Saturday.


Seagull shenanigans have slowed down a bit but they remain ever present.


IMG_1608And the eagles keep a sharp lookout.


All’s well on our home front.

A world apart

IMG_1083We’re only on the other side of the country but it seems like we’re in another world or in a time warp. People couldn’t be friendlier when we are ashore. Strangers start conversations and cars yield to our bikes, mostly. Our plans to swim at the YMCA yesterday were canceled because when we rode into town, a big party was underway for irrigation day. Who knew? Harleys, muscle cars, marching bands, firetrucks, and even the sewage truck took part.

Weather changes in the blink of an eye, it rains, the sun comes out, rainbows dazzle, the wind picks up, the waves build.

It took 3 tries to have a weather and tide window to pick up two Audubon volunteers who came out to install purple martin boxes on the dock. Mission accomplished today.

We learned that a great horned owl uses the area around the cabin as a dining room, which is why we find well picked carcasses about. The eagles enjoy almost anything but don’t dine near us.

We heard the owl at the end of the video.

We made it ashore today before small craft warnings kicked in again. The bikes need a little work. I’m having some brake trouble. If anyone knows the name of the doohiggy screw thing that connects the cable to the lever, please let me know. Mine is pretty bent and not holding too well and I want to order a new one. People thought we were part of the parade yesterday. I did the princess wave and smiled to the cries of, “Nice Bike”.


The grocery store had a dragon fruit, something I have never heard of.  I’m not brave enough to eat it yet because it was fairly pricey and I want to read about it first but the produce manager said they are even more stunning when they first arrive.


We’ve got our own stunning fruit tree on the island.


And the number of seagulls that greet us on the roof when we return home each day continues to grow. I think the one in the foreground was actually leaning on the spikes. So much for that. They’re still not sliding down the roof yet though. We’ll see.



Getting better every day

I can’t complain when my new work station looks like this.


Our caretaker cabin is quite cozy and was in ship shape condition when we arrived.  Pictures to follow some day.  We spent the past couple of days tidying up the inside and outside, and going through all the drawers and various buildings to take an inventory. After a little hiccup with the propane fridge, all is well. Bad weather was supposed to arrive yesterday.  It came today instead. Not too bad, just right.

We got out on the boat to patrol the island before it arrived.  Yesterday was one of 3 halibut fishing days in the state and there were way more boats on the water than we have seen.  None got too close to the island though.


The seagulls have company.  We spot more bald eagles every day.  Here’s a family that flies by the house.

One little egg wasn’t so lucky and we have spotted some feathers on the road.


I’m not sure if this is seagull love, but they were certainly close.  The eagles seem a bit more sedate.


Might be a night for the wood stove.  All’s well with the wind blowing outside. Time for tea and knitting.