Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Rufus are coming!!!

Our late winter snow delayed the arrival of the rufus hummingbirds this year, but they finally showed up about a week ago.  We have two feeders on the deck with lots of activity!

Holding pattern...waiting for a flower to open up!

Everybody gets in eventually!

This is what happens when the photographer turns her back!

Male Rufus Humingbird

We're not sure what this green Tweety Bird is, but he's developed a real taste for sugar water sharing the feeder with the hummingbirds!

Bald Eagle in a "tug of fish" with a River Otter

We have seen eagles and river otters wrestling over fish in the water on previous occasions.  The otters sometimes dive down and catch a great sculpin, which is a pretty big fish.  If an eagle happens to see the otter swimming with it, they can start tussling over it.

The eagle splashes down and tries to grab the fish with his talons.

If you look close, you can see an otter paw sticking out of the water, and his tail behind the eagle's head.

Looks like the otter gets to keep his fish this time!

The otter dives to safety with the fish in his mouth.
The eagle takes off to look for another opportunity.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Have you ever wanted to have a birthday dinner and invite everybody from miles around to join you?  Well, we do that every year we're here at the lodge.  That usually means a total of 3 or 4 people including Jen and me.  This year we really expanded our horizons as Andy, Leoni, and Christine from the Alaska Whale Foundation were in the bay to join us and the "town" caretakers Robert and Leigh.  I almost ran out of fingers to count the people celebrating!!!!

This party went to the dogs really fast!  Note that Robert thinks he can hide behind a party favor.  When Andy blew his party favor, it knocked out half the candles that took 5 minutes to light!

The best part of dinner.......

Alaska Whale Foundation swag makes a tasteful birthday gift! ( I thought Robert was going to give me his box of wine, but it went missing about the time he left.)

Of course, we had some fun chores to do on my birthday.  A nice dry day is helpful when trying to stay on a steep roof while wrestling large heavy pieces of chimney!

Feral supervises while I clean things out.

Did I mention it was a nice day?

Perfect for pressure washing the hull of the skiff.
Jen worked on replacing burned out bulbs on our boardwalk lights.

She was very proud of the portable work shelf she invented!

Feral checks all boxes for mice.

"All Clear!"

Time to take a break....

Swan Lake (or Swan Bay)

We regularly see Trumpeter Swans stop by the bay in the spring and fall as they're migrating.  They are usually in small groups of two to six.  During a gale this winter, we looked out to see a group of 30 swans in front of the lodge.  As we watched, another group flew overhead, swung back around and landed with them--we counted 62 swans in all!  Because of the storm, it was tough to get good photos, but here are a few.

We don't see Canadian Geese here in the bay that often, but there has been a pair hanging around this spring.  (The mallards are pretty normal to see.)

Some Harlequin ducks also moved in this spring.  They like to hang out on the rocks by Sadie Creek.  Like John Cleese says, "Lovely Plumage"!!! 

What a lovely couple!

River Otter Spring Break

We do have lots of river otters living in the bay.  We see them almost daily, swimming in front of the lodge, diving for fish, sliding in the snow, or frolicking on the dock.  They always seem to be having a good time, but I wouldn't want to run into one on a dark rainy night on the boardwalk!

The otters spend a lot of time on the dock or on the floats under the decking.

That nice rough wood makes a good back scratcher!

"Who's there?"

"Are you still there on our dock?"

"What fish?"

"I'm not eating a fish!"

"I'm not eating this fish either!"

Otter Log Rolling
"This should be easy!"


Overcompensation is to be avoided....

...or you will fall off!

To the amusement of the onshore audience!

Things are going to the dogs!!!

In Warm Springs Bay, Jen and I caretake at Baranof Wilderness Lodge, which is about half a mile from the head of the bay.  There at the head is a great waterfall, the public dock, and about a dozen cabins.  We call that area "town" and it was once a town that went by the name of "Baranof".  There are caretakers at the townsite every winter.  This year, we really enjoyed spending time with Robert and Leigh, and Robert's four dogs, Mika, Max, Maya, and Kenai.

What a day for a paddle!

Leigh prefers her own private vessel.

Here come the neighbors--that's Robert with the paddle!

There goes the neighborhood!

These dogs don't only paddle--they know how to sail!

Why are we all standing in the same spot--testing the ice?

Slip, sliding away on Baranof Lake.

Max is half tongue!

Robert's daughter Laura brought the dogs over to guard our "village white".