Birds and snow

Monday, Feb 17

Morning start, a beautiful view of the Stuart Range from the I-82 rest area on Manastash Ridge.This lovely photo was taken this morning by Evie Schuetz

Up early to leave after >5” new blowing snow to meet my friend Glenn at Briarwood to go to Yakima. Our mission for the trip was to return expensive items his mom bought and never used, from Costco and Lowe’s. We had a very busy and tiring day, but accomplished a ton. Returned $500 worth of stuff total of both places. Cash at Costco was nice; gift card at Lowe’s was better than nothing (first reaction by employee because of having no receipts). I asked to speak to the store manager to explain the situation.

I was up too late last night finishing up the blog. Our return trip on I-82 this afternoon gave us the view Evie photographed, but with different lighting.

Before meeting Glenn, I tried to arrange with my dentist for an upcoming appointment and an interpretation of the dental insurance paperwork I received about what the dental insurance planned to contribute to on the two new front teeth crowns. It made very little sense to me. Office did not return my call. Surprised they would be taking off President’s Day. (They called me the next day; just very busy in the office.)
I was so tired when I returned that I only took care of a few things, and had to lie down for a nap. The nap went to almost 3 hours.

John stayed home and moved snow off where he doesn’t want slush or wet/soft spots in the driveway. And he continued cleaning out the “stuff.”

He went to bed early; I didn’t get there as soon as planned. I did finish the details for records and sent to my friend Glenn, and stored in my folder for him. I still owe him some comments about our conversations on the trip down and back.

Did accomplish washing a dishwasher load tonight.

Tuesday, Feb 18

Top photo is another by Evie Schuetz of Guye Peak on Snoqualmie Pass. The bottom one is a “street view” panorama 360° from the top of Guye Peak, viewable in Google Earth Pro (free software everyone should have on their computer).

To get the bottom view around:

Guye Peak Photosphere via Google Earth

Michael Gunn explained this to me about those views (as above):

“There’s a few Photosphere views around there and everywhere else. Just hover the Street View man over the area and look for the dots. Those are Photospheres.”

I put out more offers of free stuff, and delivered dog feeding pans. Delivered 6 yellow plastic cups and 2 tumblers to another person who provided smaller sized clothes to me in 2017 when I lost weight.

Checked our numbers at Bi-Mart, won nothing but met a woman who arrived in town the same year as I (1988) and has a number starting with 184 as I do. Checked on 4 step stools with wooden tops, but they were no longer available in the store. So sad. We should have bought one when we saw it a couple weeks ago.
Do more ads for free give-aways. I did the Cuisinart pans on the Buy Nothing East Ellensburg site and have a taker.
Delivered the bicycle helmet to the gal today south of Helena, and visited with her and her neighbor Mike (a geology student atCWU back in 1990, who worked with Bentley, and knows Nick Zentner.) It’s really quite a small world.

Wednesday, Feb 19

Today, I was busy in the morning, and left for the food bank music about 10:45. Beautiful sunny (but very cold) day today. Not windy, thankfully. John stayed home sort and move stuff out of the house. Much of that is labeled “dump.” He was just finishing eating a late lunch when I arrived home. He’s out working again, but will be coming in soon to get ready to drive to town for a hiking trail meeting. We’ll go pick up some Burger King specials for our supper, and eat before the meeting starts. I’m not videotaping anything tonight. The meeting is about the
Manastash Ridge Trails involving community members and two State Agencies. John, as a volunteer, worked 4 days last spring. WTA will oversee 6 days this year. John does not get involved with the planning, but this was an informational meeting. We saw many long-time friends there. Trail work will be at the end of April and first week in May. We left home at 5:40 p.m., went by BK for a Whopper for John and a Crispy chicken for me, took our Pepsi, and went early for a front row seat.

We didn’t get home until 9:20 p.m. to 2 outside hungry cats, and two cats and a dog inside the house, needing out. Tried to catch up on a few emails, and set up the plans for chair count for playing music tomorrow at an assisted living home, Pacifica Senior Living.

I missed seeing a message from a newly made Facebook friend this year, Sid Peterson until Saturday, when I was checking messages for another reason, and found this:

From Wednesday, 10:42 p.m., on messenger through Facebook, for private messages:

Nancy, I saw your post about your old softball glove and would love to have it. I collect old gloves baseball and softball. My cousin who is a sports camera man for KOMO 4 in Seattle is teaching me how to refurbish and recondition old gloves. He is the camera guy for Eric’s little heroes. (Love that show). If you haven’t found a home for the glove I would love it. Cheers

Continuing with the story I had not heard of the “show” Eric’s little heroes, so I looked it up on my Facebook account and found this tear-jerker. I have to go back and look at the others, now that I’ve been made aware of them.

Warning, this below is only available to Facebook users:

Eric’s little hero’s story: The Truck Driver’s Friend

Updating my comment Sunday night—I have been able to reach Sid Peterson for Eric Johnson’s actual KOMO video link so I don’t have to go through Facebook for those of my blog readers who do not have a Facebook account.

Here is that link, but you will have to search for The Truck Driver’s Friend. This below goes to all Eric’s Stories through a KOMOnews site. Look at MORE ERIC’S HEROES, and then down to the OLDER ones on the site for this one, 6 months ago: Eric’s Heroes: Boy with autism forms a special bond with Safeway driver. That’s the first one I watched on Facebook, which got me hooked.

ALL of Eric Johnson’s — Eric’s Heroes’ Stories

Here’s the photo of my old softball glove from grade school days through high school competitions.Nancy’s glove used mostly for being a pitcher (fast ball); I’ve now found a fantastic home for it where I can keep track of its restoration and story. Note: update 2-25-20, after delivering my glove to Sid. His comment was: “It’s in great shape and is awesome.” That made my day.

Thursday, Feb 20

Today was our normal day to play at an assisted-living home, 3rd week is the old Dry Creek facility, now Pacifica Senior Living. We had a large turnout (Gerald, Nancy, Manord, Kevin, Sharon, Charlotte, Dean, Minerva, Marilyn & Maury, Evie, Amy, and a very fun and appreciative audience.

On my way home from playing music at Pacifica, I delivered a gift to the front porch of her house, a friend who had surgery out of town almost two hours, and was returning later. Also, I picked up a dozen eggs and two magnetic clips to close dog & cat food bags of kibbles. Day before, I had delivered some old quality stainless steel dog feeding pans and larger watering pans for my friend’s dogs, from our stash in the 1970s when we ran a dog boarding kennel in Troy, ID.

I got ready to go to the Audubon meeting tonight with my cameras and tripod.
I had previously called in a pick-up for 6:00 p.m. from Burger King for their special Mix & Match special (Whopper for John & Crispy Chicken for me (total=$6.50), and we had it for supper while waiting for the room to be unlocked to set up my videotaping filming process of Jan Demorest and Steve Moore’s trip to South Africa, presented to the Kittitas Audubon Society’s monthly meeting.

Kittitas Audubon Society

From the Hooter Newsletter: February, 2020

I took the immediately following photos and descriptive text below directly from the newsletter but added some more below.Plant Safari: Finding Unusual Plants and Birds in South Africa
Presenters: Jan Demorest and Steve Moore

South Africa is an excellent destination for fans of natural variety. Most people go on a safari to see and photograph the large mammals that make Africa famous. The natural wonders don’t end with the animal life, as green and snowy mountains, vast plateaus, lonely beaches, and scorching deserts contain habitats for unusual and colorful birds and a large variety of strange plant life. This region is where familiar house and garden plants such as geraniums, aloes, jade plants, and African daisies grow wild.

At the Cape of Good Hope, the Mediterranean climate has fostered the growth of one of the most biodiverse plant communities of the world – thousands of species found nowhere else. Traveling northward from the Cape, the land becomes arid and a habitat for a large variety of succulent plants, those with leaves, stems, or roots that can store water through a hot summer, reminiscent of the cacti of our deserts. But these succulents are unrelated to our cacti, with aloes replacing our agaves, Euphorbias and tree-aloes recalling our Organ Pipes and Joshua trees, and spiny geraniums echoing the chollas of our southwestern deserts. Close to the ground, tiny stone-like succulents endure the desert heat to bloom early each spring and carpet the landscape with a show of flower color; these are the ice plants, most of which are endemic to South Africa.

In September 2018 – springtime in the southern hemisphere – Jan Demorest and Steve Moore of Ellensburg joined a “plant safari” of a dozen folks to explore the western part of the country by van, from the Cape to the Orange River. Our leader and organizer was a botanist from Argentina living in Florida. We spent two weeks focused on the unusual plants, frequently on hands and knees on the ground, but since we’re birders too, often went off chasing colorful birds with camera in hand.

For variety and a complete contrast, we spent an additional week in the eastern part of the country, but hardly staying at a quiet resort town in lush subtropical coastal forest. This trip was partly to see the iconic animals. We visited two game parks and boated with hippos, but also found a colorful variety of birds even among the trees in the town. In summing our experience, we could say we saw a world of detail in two small areas of the country but hardly began to know the place.

You’ll see from the videos below, about the various aspects of their trip to South Africa to view mostly plants (succulents), dessert flowers, etc., but they threw in some birding, hiking, and animal preserves plus a visit to the Diamond coast as well.KAS President, Judy Hallisey introduced Jan and Steve below:

Introduction of Speakers

Next is their presentation:

Jan Demorest & Steve Moore: Desert Plant Safari to South Africa

Followed by a short Question & Answer session, but they’d been responding throughout the evening:

Short Q&A (Questions and answers)

Friday, Feb 21

Dropped off a bunch of stuff to a friend’s porch in Ellensburg: world atlases, a box of frames in box, and an old world globe.

I went to our senior center for a Forget-Me-Not Bingo event, with lunch. Students from the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement (CLCE), sponsored it with help from the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center combined as a lunch event. Lunch started at 11:30, and consisted of a choice of 3 types of chili: meat, vegetarian, and chicken, all on a base of cornbread. Toppings of cheese, sour cream, chips, and for our sweet tooth needs, a bowl of chocolate candies. I took my camera and collected photos of the event (see below in link). I put them into a shared album, so I hope their photographer, Rollie, will be able to add some photos, or send them to me to add if he cannot.

You’ll get a nice introduction by looking at the still photos in the link below:

AAC-Forget Me Not Bingo, 2-21-20 hosted by CWU CLCE students

I left there and went to Kittitas to deliver several items. I gave 3 Rubbermaid leftover cups to Vicki, and John has since found another matching one while cleaning out our old pickup camper. I went by another friend’s house with a special red insulated cooler. Closer to home I left a large box and two large bags of packing peanuts for a neighbor, a couple miles away who grows lavender. {John says: The natural number line doesn’t extend far enough to count all the things needing a home.}

When I got home John showed me the insides of a chest of drawers that got severe mouse damage. Found one small photo of my father, and some of his cuff links and tie clasp, in addition to two Mercury dimes.

Now taking photos off my camera from the AAC.

Saturday, Feb 22

It is calving season in the Kittitas Valley. Bald Eagles know this and show up in advance of the birthing. They go to the big pines on the mountains to spend the night and come down in the morning to inspect the ranches. Somehow they share information about which herd has started with the new-borns. Their interest is the afterbirth/placenta. For a few days we did not see any. Then Evie Schuetz found them in the Reecer Creek drainage, 5 miles to our west.
Top an adult; bottom a juvenile. (I have never seen this age coloring plumage before.) Photographed by Evie Schuetz.

Interesting morning with John in Ellensburg. We drove my car to fill up with gasoline (nearing empty). We delivered 2 Cuisinart pans this morning to Abby and Karolina (Kittitas Hwy) where I got my “colorful” Nike bedroom shoes last year. They will take other baking items for the kitchen “. . . such as casserole dishes or baking dishes would be great.”

On to Mid-State Co-Op for Sr. Equine Grain and Rolled Barley. On out Dolorway to the gas stations at the other I-90 exit near the roundabout. There’s a new PILOT station there with quite a complex including Arby’s and Cinnabon. We pulled in for our first visit and filled up for $2.58/gal, a lot less than anyone else in town. I hope that is not a come-on trend, and their prices will remain lower, even after established. It does look as if it will be a benefit to our Ellensburg economy, especially adding 50 new jobs to our community. Having some of the amenities provided for travelers, 48 truck parking spaces, overnight truck parking for times when the pass is closed, drivers’ lounge & game room, public laundry machines, and 5 showers (even providing towels & soap freely to anyone needing a shower). Maybe this is a place for me to donate my rubber flip flops for shower takers.

John loaded 3 (of many) bags of aluminum cans from our old camper. These had been put in white plastic garbage bags years ago, that plastic has morphed into confetti – generating additional work. The camper was last used in 1994. There is an old truck canopy in that area, over odd pieces of wood. Everything is to be moved, and a gravel driveway created. More on that in March.

John took a large sombrero to the big stack under the hay shed. He now has brought it into the house for taking to its new owner next Wednesday, along with 2 other things, and another person will be coming by for some glass canisters. John says: {Staying sane by knowing I will never see these things again.}

We had steamed rice, chicken in wine sauce, mushrooms and onions for a nice supper. I like Lima beans so we heated a can of those. We are about ready to have chocolate cake for dessert just ~ 9:15 pm and go to bed earlier than usual. John will go now, and I’ll try for one more hour, but might not make it.

Sunday, Feb 23

John said no more sunrises, but here is a unique one:Denmark Pond on Fairview Rd. photo by Evie Schuetz

Nephew Eric called and left a message with a question about his dad’s place of birth. Richard was the second son, and 11 years older than John. We know some of these things, have much of it written and filed (somewhere), but it is easier to call cousin Ethel.

We did call Ethel at Pat’s (Sunday dinner time) and had a nice long conversation. Ethel was there at the beginning, being 102 this spring. Richard was born in the place her parents were living at the time – there was a doctor in the town. We gave Eric’s phone number to Pat and they can try a call when Ethel is rested.

We had a bit of snow this morning. Very large flakes, did not obscure the weeds before it quit. By afternoon it was gone. Our weather folks think there might be a foot of snow at Snoqualmie Pass by Monday Noon. At 10 tonight the DOT camera shows lots of snow already, but it is open with restrictions.

This was a long work day for both of us, but we had a wonderful hour’s call (on her dime) from our sister (Peggy Hultquist) in Parma, OH about the family history.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan