Garden, Flowers, Trails, Birds

Sunday, April 28

We published the blog at 10:43 p.m. and we spent another ½ hour making correctional updates.

Monday, April 29

This morning I sent out the KV F&F note about scheduling for this week, and requested feedback for the whole month. Three people replied.

John worked outside today. Multiple projects going on. Nothing notable or special.

I left in time for my blood draw prior to Silver Sneakers.
It went well and I got to the AAC before they started the class. Got my equipment and went through the exercises. I tried to take it easy with my left arm, but I was still aching when done. When I attend next Monday, I’m going to be extra cautious about taking it easy. My muscles are just not yet ready to have a hard workout. Two months away takes its toll.

From there I drove to the Food Bank Senior Nutrition lunch for a very nice free lunch. It was beef & mushrooms in gravy over rice, veggies side, a roll, skipped the dark mixed greens salad, and had a piece of red velvet cake with white icing, for dessert.

On the way home, I stopped at Safeway for their Monday Fried Chicken special of 4 thighs/4 legs ($4.99) normally $3 higher, and picked up small mini marshmallows for topping butternut squash casseroles.

Once home, I moved the music for May/June into my music book and also into the one I carry for two guitar players in the group: Gerald and Charlie. I have yet to put the audience copies into my carrier and replace the ones from March/April. That got done Thursday morning, just in time.

One thing John did after I got home was harvest our asparagus. I made a package for our neighbor, Ken, which he just picked up on his way down to feed his father supper.

John harvested an ice cream bucket full, and here’s a collage of it. This is the first harvest. He will harvest more on Friday this week, and hope for the winds to die down so he can spray the ground to get rid of the weeds and grass.This is a combo of two shots of the same container of asparagus.

We had Fried Chicken for dinner, with French fries, and tomatoes.

I spent a bunch of time unplanned working on changes in Google Groups relating to the NW Geography Jobs list I co-manage with Caitlin LaBar (who got involved when I was in the ICU in 2009). She managed the list until I was able to return to run it. I shall be ever grateful to her. Tonight I sent her the alert and we decided all probably will be fine taking their deferred settings. We are the only two owners of the group, and no one else has privileges to post or otherwise be involved in the process.

Tuesday, April 30

We have an appointment in Yakima this afternoon for a special test to measure our circulation to our feet. More below.
While there, we will go to Costco for a few things.

We ate a brunch before leaving and took off about 11:20 a.m. First stop, WinCo, for our All Bran Buds. Then across the street for gasoline at Costco, at 20₵/gal. cheaper than in Ellensburg! On inside for things we and a neighbor needed. From there, we drove to our foot doctor’s office for the special vascular test.

I tried finding a good explanation on the web and failed, so I will go with my own experienced testing.

Our appointment was for 2:30 p.m. We were not brought in until closer to 3:30 because they were training a new person to administer the test, and she was the one who gave me my test, after John’s. I watched the test being given to John (by the teacher) so I had a good idea of the procedure. They use two measuring devices (a blood pressure cuff to fit the part of the body measured) and an oximeter to measure one’s pulse and SpO2. The parts recorded / examined, included a large cuff around the thigh above the knee, another of the calf below the knee, then the ankle, and then the ankle BP with the SpO2 on the Big Toe, and finally a small BP cuff on the Big Toe along with the SpO2. The order is top down, first the right and then the left for the thigh measurement. Then below the knee (right & left), and on down the same way to the calf, then ankle, and then big toe.

It was accomplished on an uncomfortable examination table. Normally, the test is completed in 15 minutes. With the training happening, and retesting necessary, John’s went ~ 40 minutes and mine was ~ 30 minutes. We did not walk out of the building until 4:30, so going straight home was not going to work.

We were scheduled at the Iron Horse Brewery at 6:00 p.m., so we went to Burger King getting a Whopper for John and a Crispy chicken for me. The mix & match is still on for $3.00/sandwich. We carried our own bottle of Coca Cola. Then we drove to the Ales and Trails meeting, an outreach for WTA (Washington Trails Association). We parked in our bank’s lot next door.Top left, John (orange WTA shirt) talking with our friend and local wind farm guide, Kristin Ashley. I’m to the left in front of them, out of view. She and John went to get glasses of beer, met and talked to one of the firm, and he gave them their beer. Neat.

Daily Record Link:
Story of WTA Trails & Ales

It was a nice presentation and I saw folks from my past there, and also met some new ones. Everyone received a free raffle ticket, and the prizes were nice. I wanted the pair of socks called Darn Tough with a Lifetime Guarantee. They are expensive. We did not win any prize with our tickets.

Read through the article above to Beth Macinko’s message at the end. That will prepare you for this coming weekend’s WTA trail work party even John is serving on as an Assistant Crew Leader (an orange hat), with Beth as the blue hat, crew leader.

Tuesday is also the day to check Bi-Mart numbers, so we stopped there on the trip home. I was tired of standing and walking, so John did the honors of going inside to check. We missed one gift by “300”, and did not win anything for the last digit either. We didn’t make it home until after 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, May 1

Dave Hazlett, farrier, is coming at 10:00 to trim Myst.
I have to leave ~ 10:50 for the Food Bank to setup music stands and chairs. I’ll make my salad with John’s help cubing cheese, apples, and smoked turkey, to take along for lunch. I will not go to SAIL today, because of special programs at the AAC which cancelled out this Wednesday and Friday’s exercise classes at 1:30 p.m.

Washed dishes, never got to clothes.

After running into Gloria, Jeb, Gia, and Gary at Costco yesterday, I remembered I had never completed sending the videos and report of the KAS 30th birthday party.

I’m now updating the Kittitas Audubon Society’s meeting for the 30th birthday coverage the first week of May and sending to the members for whom I have emails.  I found these after I published the blog on April 18, while cleaning up my camera for Nick Zentner’s talk.  Here they are to finish the evening’s presentations I captured on a different camera.

Gloria Baldi on looking for Sandhill Cranes

Jan Demorest Introduces the Silent Auction

The next one is Lesley McGalliard presenting a delightful step into the past 30 years of our Kittitas Audubon Society’s local chapter beginnings. Check out the comments of when a speaker couldn’t come at the last minute, and CWU offered an 8-track movie of the Life Cycles of Egrets. The content was different from the expected title and provided an interesting evening.

Lesley McGailliard reads Steve Hall’s letter

Gloria Baldi Introduces Speaker, Wendy Shaw

I then changed cameras and you have already seen the videos captured of Wendy’s presentation.

I visited our neighbor Louaine Magnuson this afternoon. I told her about this photo, and will have to follow it with a photo when it flowers. It is a Hall’s Hardy Almond tree. She gave us a dozen seeds but they did not get planted when they should have. Still, we managed to get two trees that are now several years old. This is the largest and looks the best. We will take another photo to put beside it, when it flowers. I hope that happens before Sunday night, at publishing time. Not quite, but half is flowering.
Louaine’s Hall’s Hardy flowering almond-start almond blossoms

Thursday, May 2

John left a little before 8:00 a.m. for the dentist for an 8:30 a.m. appointment.

I finalized the count for chairs today at Rehab and reported them: ten needed. I put the audience copies in their bag and charged the battery in my mic. We may not need it today in the smaller room except for Charlie’s singing to be heard over the players.

John made it home but couldn’t call me on his cell phone, either dialing or through the Bluetooth. He later figured out (but doesn’t know how) his phone got set on Airplane Mode, and would not do anything.

Now I need to eat brunch, get dressed, and go to town to play music.

Before I left and before he ate, the cement on his temporary tooth cap came unglued and the cap fell out. He had to go back to town to have it re-cemented. Sad – it took him 40 minutes to drive in and return, but only 10 minutes to fix. Good thing his appointment was early this morning, because they are not open tomorrow for business. I managed to schedule his trip back in, and then I left for town.

We had 10 players and a large responsive audience. It went well. After playing, I left for Joanie & Ken’s house to offer some tops, but she didn’t want them. So, she offered me some tops and pants that she couldn’t use. I brought home a bag of new clothes and still haven’t had time to try them on yet.

John took a photo of some “yellow” goldfinches on our back feeder. The males are brighter now than when we first started seeing them this spring. See below for that description. Feeder on the patio behind our house on the Naneum Fan. The one red one is a house finch, not a red finch; other are goldfinches. Top right is a pair – male and female (both top pix are from the web). On our feeder, you can see the brightest yellow ones (males) and the duller are females. Interestingly, they are monogamous, having one brood annually.

More colorations with males:Breeding male . ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ . non-breeding male

Here are some of the female with her coloration through year:Winter coat – others to the right for other parts of the year.

Description of the goldfinches’ color scheme: (worth following)

David Sibley about Goldfinch Colorations

Be sure to follow the above link and watch the slide show. It is very well done and illustrative, especially for children.

More information from David Sibley:

Molt is the process of feather replacement. All birds do it; they have to grow new feathers once or twice a year to stay warm, dry, and airborne, and in many cases they grow differently colored feathers at different seasons to match their surroundings or to impress others of their species.

Among the small songbirds, virtually all species have a complete molt (replacing all of their feathers) in late summer, and in addition many species have a partial molt (replacing some of the body feathers but not the wing or tail feathers) in the spring.

American Goldfinch follows this pattern. Beginning in September, and continuing for six to eight weeks, they molt all of their feathers, ending up with a completely new and pristine set of feathers (and drab colors) as they head into the winter. In the spring, as they grow new body feathers the males especially transform into bright yellow breeding plumage, but the wing and tail feathers remain from the previous fall. As these wing feathers get older the pale buff edges fade to white and disintegrate, so that by the end of the summer the wings look essentially all black. And in September another complete molt begins.

Watch the slideshow, or click on the main image to advance, and see what other patterns you can notice.

Friday, May 3

The rest of our day was busy with outside chores for John and inside ones for me. First he picked asparagus and I gave some to three neighbors. It was not as much as was picked the first day that you’ve seen above. He picked everything today, so he could spray the ground for weeds and grass.

The purple tulips are in Garden #1, red are across the driveway.

Saturday, May 4

At 3:00 a.m. our friend Evie Schuetz was driving over by the Columbia River near Vantage, WA and capturing star gazing photographs that will blow your mind. She posted two. I recognized the location of one (explained below), and she shared some more information.Skies above the Columbia River at Vantage, WA, 3:00 a.m. Sunday, over the Wild Horse Monument (aka Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies),
{ Unfinished, described here }
. . . a neat sculpture high on a hill above basalt, upriver from Wanapum Dam and Sentinel Gap. Once years ago, John and I and several others from the Kittitas Valley Trail Riders club, rode our horses in from the north to the top of the hill right next to the sculpture. It’s really quite amazing close-up as it is from far away. The 15 horses are made from iron sheets and are about the size of our riding horses.

The last one she sent me after I made some comments and asked some questions. On that one, she said: Nancy, here’s a composite photo of the images I used for this shot, only difference is I used a different stack option, so you could see all the meteors. I (Evie) didn’t post this one because it’s so noisy, but I thought you might be interested in seeing it. I (Nancy) was and I share here as the bottom photo above (look for the streaks) – because of the predicted meteor showers starting this morning.

I sent this link below to Evie when she shared this photo. I received it yesterday from about the predicted meteor showers over the next couple of days (nights). The photo below came from that link.Taken by Astrophotographer Mike Taylor, of an Eta Aquarid meteor streaking through the sky on May 6, 2014 in Maine.

ETA Aquarid Meteor Shower for 2019

John left for Manastash Ridge WTA work party at 7:25 a.m. Not as far to travel as usual. This will be excellent for the next 4 trips serving as an Assistant Crew Leader (Orange Hat), and even nicer being an assistant to the Crew Leader (Blue Hat), Beth Macinko.

John’s day on the trail – Beth put out a nice report this evening with photos. Here are a few I chose with John involved. I was hoping for one of John and Beth together in the same photo.Top left, John explains his saw during the safety use of tools talk, and then is pictured using a McLeod tool (rake) on new trail build.

Jacquie Lawson issues with card dispersal
I’m having problems with no sends and multiple sends on my Jacquie Lawson greeting cards. I need to finish reporting today’s activity to the people in the United Kingdom. It finally was done mid-afternoon. I had about 5 problems to report. No response yet. Might have to wait until Monday.

I continued dish and clothes washing. The relatively new clothes washer is a funky slow thing. Progress!

Sunday, May 5

John left for Manastash Ridge WTA trail work about 7:20 a.m.

He made it home and said the creation of new trail was through more difficult terrain today, but they added 400’ to yesterday’s 700’. Everyone was pleased at the accomplishments.

We’ll end our week with our neighbor’s solar panel installation:April 22 – April 24 – April 28 – 30 solar panels on an old, unused, cattle barn. House is 200 feet past and to the right of the solar array. John took the photos from near the end of our driveway, with a 200 mm lens.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan