Wednesday, January 18, 2017

December Snow

Warm Springs Bay has a microclimate that is a little colder than the surrounding area and we have historically been a snow hole.  Until recently, we would get at least 10 feet of snow each winter and our big year was almost 37 feet!  The last two winters have had a total of only three feet of snow, so we were glad to see four feet of snow by the end of December.

We had a 15 inch snowfall in early December.

It took us two days to get the snow cleared because both snowblowers broke down.  Our big snowblower burned up a belt as soon as I started it up.  The second, pictured here, did fine until it got to the slope of this ramp when it gave a backfire, a puff of black smoke, and then it died!

Replacing the belt on these snowblowers takes a while because you have to dismantle it to get at the belts.

A few hours later, we were back in business with the big snowblower (a Honda 1132).

Up the ramp and onto the deck.

This is a lot of snow for the snowblower and I have to go slow so the augers don't clog up with sticky wet snow.

I start at the lodge and clear towards the edge of the deck.

The back of the lodge is always tough to clear snow because the roof sheds there.

This is a big load of snow to clear!

Getting started....

One bucket at a time!

Taking five!

Getting close to boardwalk level.

Although this looks like I'm snowblowing through the forest, it's actually our path up to the creek and hydro shed.

"Now, where did I leave that snowblower???"

We get to shovel off the boats as soon as we get the dock cleared.

Watch that first step.  At least there's no slippery footing to worry about!

Jen shoveling out the skiff.

Almost done.

Feral supervising snow clearing operations.

Glynn clearing a spot to roost.

Rowing over to the neighbors to borrow a cup of sugar.  In the cold weather, the control cables in the skiff freeze, so this winter, we've been using Prime Time's skiff.

Friday, January 6, 2017


One of the great things about living in Warm Springs Bay is all the wildlife we see right outside our living room window!  We see everything from hummingbirds (in the spring) to brown bears and humpback whales.

This red squirrel has adapted to his local environment and has developed quite a taste for rice cakes and tortilla chips.

Whales do come into the bay on occasion.  This humpback whale has visited a couple of times.

As you can see, he often comes in close to shore, passing close to the lodge.

We think this is a song sparrow, but all these little birds look alike!

This immature Trumpeter swan stopped through on his way south, or possibly on his way over to Sitka.  There were probably other swans in the area, but we never saw them.  There's a group of swans that winter over in Sitka in the estuary by Starrigavan, and they sometimes visit Swan Lake, if you can imagine that.

We call this eagle "the commuter" and usually see him flying westbound in the morning and eastbound in the afternoon.  This day he made a pit stop at the water's edge right in front of the lodge.

This is "Jack", one of our resident belted kingfishers.  He's so-named because of his resemblance to Jack Nicholson in one of his earlier poses.

We have large flocks of Barrow's Goldeneyes that winter here in the bay.

We rarely see them out of the water, but this male came ashore one day.

After grooming, he decided to take a little catnap, one eye open for predators.

Unfortunately, he attracted the attention of the top predator on the island.

As Marlin Perkins used to say on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, "Watch out Mr. Goldeneye!".

"Damn--those things are fast!"

Everything is relative....a happy ending for the Goldeneye is an embarrassing ending for Feral!

Now she'll have to find something else to stalk.

Target acquired!
New definition to the term, "party animal" during the Huskies college football playoff game.

Feral is also a Seahawks fan!