The Fifth Beetle?

Monday, August 31, 2009

I decided to give you a look at another one of the sights we saw at Watershed Park this past Sunday. I suppose I could have posted another scenic shot of trails and trees but why not treat you to one of the living creatures of the forest. This is Scaphinotus Angusticollis, better known as the Ground Beetle. He was just sitting there minding his own business. He didn't seem to mind the photo op too much.

Watershed Park

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Living in the Olympia area since 1994 I've been to most of the local parks and trails. There aren't many that my wife hasn't been to either, but today we took 2 of our 3 kids and went for a walk through Watershed Park. This is a place we will definitely be returning to. A nice clear trail winds through lush green old growth forest. There are several foot bridges that cross small creeks & the moss hangs from many of the trees. As you look off to the side of the trail you see trillium, fern, skunk cabbage and plenty of Gandonerma Applanatum. It took us about an hour to walk the trail at a leisurely pace, and that includes stopping for numerous photos. This truly is an area that besides the trail itself has been left in it's wonderfully natural state. For myself and my family this shot from our walk is our contribution to Scenic Sunday.

For more Scenic Sunday photos click the link below.

Scenic Sunday

Easy Rider

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My wife and I both work on Saturdays. Today when we came home our daughter asked if we could all go on a bike ride. No problem we said. Earlier this summer my wife got a new set of wheels. A couple of months ago she ordered a sturdy basket so that our French Bulldog Otis could go with us. We loaded up the bikes, kids and the dog and headed for the Chehalis Western Trail. We put Otis in the basket and secured him in place just in case he decided to jump out. My wife took off and it didn't take long before he looked like Joe Cool, cruising down the trail with the wind blowing through his wrinkles. After putting on a few miles we headed back for the truck. We lifted him out of the basket and set him down. You should have seen him strutting around. Boy was he proud of himself. It was pretty darned cute.

Fiery Finale

Friday, August 28, 2009
As hard as I tried, I couldn't get a single sky shot to come out today. All I could get was the same shade of gray everywhere I looked. What to do?? Dig back about two weeks and show you a sunset that just made you pull over and watch. This SkyWatch Friday photo was taken just slightly north of Olympia near Nisqually. Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and.....

If you care to see more SkyWatch Friday shots click the link below.

Skywatch Friday

A Tribute to Abe

Thursday, August 27, 2009
There are a quite a few blogs that I thoroughly look forward to reading on a daily basis. I can't wait to sit down at the computer and see what today's posts bring. Some of my favorite blogs belong to Abe Lincoln. Not only is he a talented writer, but that man can take some impressive close ups of birds, flowers, bugs and just about anything related to nature, so tonight's close up is dedicated to him. If you have the chance treat yourself and check out his blogs: Abe Lincoln Blog, My Birds Blog, Abraham Lincoln's Blog and Pick a Peck of Pixels. You won't regret it.
Abe, if you happen to see this post please keep on doing what you're doing.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This waterfall is just inside the entrance to Pt Defiance Park in Tacoma. This was taken this past Sunday. We went to the park to see the magnificent dahlias and roses. I'll be posting a couple of those shots in the near future, but this one seemed just right for Watery Wednesday.

For more watery scenes click the link below.

Fiber Optic Tree?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A few days ago as we were walking through downtown Olympia we spotted this beautiful Mimosa or Silk Tree. It seems we caught it at the right time as it was just covered with clusters of these blossoms. To learn more about this showy tree click here.


Monday, August 24, 2009

In my last post I had mentioned that we were downtown for an event. It was "Sand in the City", a sand sculpture contest. Well, we went, we saw, we photographed, we loaded said photos on computer, then promptly (and quite accidently) deleted them. Oops! While we were there though we spotted this beautiful bronze sculpture titled "Motherhood" by Simon Kogan. The plaque reads (b. 1959 - ) Donated to the City of Olympia Art in Public Places Program, September 29th 1999. Is the boardwalk at Budd Inlet an odd place to put such a statue? All I know is it seems to attract a lot of attention. Whenever we there people are gathered around admiring it.

Fountain and Youth

Saturday, August 22, 2009
This evening we headed to downtown Olympia to check out an event that will be the subject of tomorrow's post. On the way back to the car we spotted this kid zig-zagging his way through the gauntlet of water jets at the Heritage Park Fountain.

The Clouds are Winning

Friday, August 21, 2009
Well, here we are, the end of another week. Since neither my wife or I felt like cooking tonight we decided to go out to dinner. So, Applebee's here we come. Parmesan steak and shrimp for the wife, and chicken fried steak for me. When we were done we waddled out to the truck to head for home. Looking across the parking lot we decided to capture some of the last rays of the day for our SkyWatch Friday photo. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

For more great SkyWatch Friday shots click the link below.

Skywatch Friday

Fire in the Hole!

Thursday, August 20, 2009
I work near a rock quarry. Every once in a while a little rock needs to be moved. That's when they put on a show for us. I had noticed them working on the hillside for about the last week or so, but at first I wasn't sure what they were doing. It all became clear today. They called our business this morning to give us a half hour window of when it would be happening. I made sure I was situated where I could get a pretty clear shot then waited. Flagmen stopped traffic about a quarter mile down the road in each direction, the employees of the quarry took their vehicles and moved them a safe distance away. All was quiet for a couple of minutes until a horn sounded about five times, then silence again. We all heard those famous words "Fire in the hole!" The charges had been set pretty deep in order to minimize flying debris. The ground shook under our feet, then a second later the rock started flying and the dust rose. I left for lunch with my wife. When I returned the dust had settled so I took an "after" photo. I hope you enjoy the series.

Another Look Back

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
In yesterday's post I mentioned that I found the Digital Collections section of The University of Washington's Library website to have an extensive gathering of historic old photos of the pacific northwest. In looking further into that collection I ran across a number of them depicting the Olympia/Tumwater area. Above is a photo I took in October 2007. Obviously I originally was looking at the reflection of beautiful fall colors across Capitol Lake. Also pictured is the dome of The Legislative Building and the power house for The Capitol Campus. If you click here you'll see a slightly older version of the power house.

Now and Then

Monday, August 17, 2009
First of all, if this building looks somewhat familiar it's because I have posted it before from another angle here. It's the original Washington State Capitol Building in downtown Olympia. Why post it again? Well, this past Saturday evening my wife and I went to her grandmother's birthday party. It seems I am always the one at these functions taking the photos. At one point she called me inside the house to show me something. It was a book of photography , "From Tacoma to Paradise Park" by A.H. Barnes, Parkland Washington published in 1905. She told me that the book was a gift from her father, a tugboat captain for Foss Maratime. She treasured the book and carried it with her for years as it has strong sentimental value. She explained that it was time to pass it along to someone who truly had a love for photography and history. In searching for information about Barnes and the book, I found a wonderful website of digital photos courtesy of The University of Washington. For more information about A.H. Barnes click here. To see a slightly older photo of the old State Capitol Building taken by A.H. Barnes click here.

For more monochrome maniacs and their shots click the link below.

Rock On!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today my wife and I drove out to Yelm which is about 20 miles southeast of Olympia. The reason, my wife is a closet rock hound and the Nisqually Valley Rockhound Society was holding a rock and gem show at Yelm Middle School. I have to admit I walked in there the newbie so to speak. My wife can tell you the name and origin of about 90% of what was there, where I can only identify a few common rocks. Out in the parking lot there were the typical traveling retired couples with their displays set out along side their RV's, then inside the school's gym were the rest of the vendors with their goods beautifully displayed with bright lights showing off the many colors and varieties. Besides this magnificent amethyst we brought home tiger's eye, a large quartz crystal, a selenite crystal, red jasper, iron zebra jasper and a signed book on gem trees. Toward the end, I think I figured out why I was along as I ended up carrying the bag of rocks. I now lean to the right and have one arm longer than the other.

Going, Going, Gone.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Before my wife and I went out for dinner tonight we took a drive out Highway 101 past these handsome bovines. On the way back my wife managed to catch this Skywatch Friday shot reflected off the window and mirror. We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and for more great Skywatch Friday photos click the link below.

Skywatch Friday

The Rain Cometh!

Thursday, August 13, 2009
For those of you who are kind enough to follow along on this blog you may remember this recent post. Yep July 28th, 101 degrees. We had a streak of warm dry days like we seldom see around here. So when I went out tonight after dinner in search of a photo I didn't have to go far. The quality isn't the greatest I fully admit, but I think you get the general idea of what's happening around here tonight.

A Look Back on Watery Wednesday

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

About a half hour north of Olympia sits the city of Lakewood where I grew up. Actually at the far end of this lake right about in the middle of the photo. This photo was taken from the bridge that crosses the lake. You'll learn a little more about the lake and see the bridge pictured here. As a kid, I boated, rafted, swam and fished this lake, usually with my best friend John. We would pack a lunch and raft from home to the bridge where we'd tie up. Then we'd put on our masks and go diving to see all the treasure that had been thrown off the bridge. Old appliances, stolen bicycles, you name it. As for this shot, it's a trip down memory lane, and our contribution to Watery Wednesday.

Click the link below to see more great Watery Wednesday shots.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Some time back my wife and I took a drive up to Pt Defiance Park in Tacoma. The gardens there are beautiful and well kept. They are filled with roses, dahlias, hydrangea and much more. You might remember this previous post from there. As much as I love posting my photos, tonight I have to give the credit to my wife for capturing this lily.

Monochrome Sunset on the Delta

Monday, August 10, 2009
The last rays of the day slowly disappear over the horizon on a Monochrome Monday. This shot was taken just north of Olympia at the Nisqually Delta.

For more Monochrome Weekly photos click the icon below.

Clouds in the Lake

Sunday, August 9, 2009
It's not always easy to catch Capitol Lake this calm.  It just had to be our contribution to Scenic Sunday. I hope everyone had a great weekend.
To see more wonderful Scenic Sunday photos click the link below.

Scenic Sunday

Department of Labor and Industries

Saturday, August 8, 2009
Over the past couple of years or so a number of the departments of The State of Washington have relocated from the downtown Olympia area to the Tumwater area several miles south. One of the departments that didn't have to move was The Department of Labor and Industries. They were already established in Tumwater just one block off Interstate 5.  Whether you view this building from the front (pictured here) or the backside from the freeway the blue glass cone catches your eye.  

Look Up!

Friday, August 7, 2009

For tonight's post I dug into the deep dark archives to pull this one out. Some time back I was on a bike ride on the Chehalis Western Trail. It was a pretty warm day, probably in the mid 80's. I stopped to take in some water and look around. When I looked up this is what I saw.

For more magnificent SkyWatch photos click here.

The Real "Culture Club"

Thursday, August 6, 2009
After last night's post I figured some of you thought you were visiting the seedy part of Olympia. Oh contrare! If you put your back to "animal alley" and look across the street you'll see The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. This wonderful facility hosts numerous events throughout the year. For a more detailed description click here.

Hidden Zoo?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Downtown Olympia is a pretty interesting place. Modern buildings right next door to historic old ones. Office buildings next to tattoo parlors. It is a diverse place to say the least. While out photographing various places last night I spotted this colorful alley. It's not the only one like this in the downtown area either.  The more well known one is the Free Wall at the Capitol Theater. Check out this Flickr group. Tomorrow I'll show you what's right across the street from this alley.

Bank Bling

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This evening while driving through downtown Olympia we spotted this beautiful gold medallion on the Bank of America building. Knowing that over the years numerous banks have changed names, been bought, taken over and absorbed into the entity I decided to find out a little more about the connection between The 1st National Bank and Bank of America. I found out that the story is way too long to post here, but if you're interested in a short explanation click here

Muff vs Mac

Monday, August 3, 2009

Okay, so last year for my birthday my wonderful wife told me she wanted to get me a dog. She knew I wanted a Boston Terrier. We already had a French Bulldog (Otis), but he's kind of slow moving. The Boston is more of a high energy dog without being all out hyper. Enter Muffy, (August 2008 birthday present). She has been wonderful. She's a great companion for Otis as well as the rest of us, she is as friendly as can be, (to people that is) and she's just a loving dog. So, why the worried look you ask? I don't know if you noticed but over her shoulder is this year's birthday present, a sexy new 24" iMac!!!!!! Wahoooooo!!! I've been waiting for years to get one, and now finally here it is. As soon as I brought it home today I started clearing the old PC off the cool gray retro tanker desk. Then I started unboxing it. Once it was all set up and in place I have to admit, that modern silver iMac sitting atop that desk was pretty cool. Cool enough I think that someone is a little worried that she's being replaced. I told her not to worry though. There's room in the house for both of them. Then I told her not to get any hair on it.

There's a Fungus Among Us

Sunday, August 2, 2009

And a pretty good sized one I might add. We saw this mushroom on our last visit to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. If you're going to pick 'em this size you'd better bring a truck to take them home.

Theme Day: Night

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tug boat slowly chugging his way through the water, Budd Inlet, downtown Olympia.
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