I love bird-watching, and when I’m outdoors I try to find them. But sometimes, when I’m doing something else, one will catch my eye.
This guy was on the roof of an accessory dwelling in the back yard of a friend in Colorado. What a place for a feeder!
We were surprised when a family of quail skittered across our path, down at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. I wasn’t looking for birds, just cactus. And they have such great camouflage, you have to be attentive to movement!
We were just walking the trail along the Sammamish Slough in Bellevue, Washington near where we live, when the sound of this little marsh wren attracted us.
People are probably quite familiar now with the big story of how a Google software engineer was summarily fired for circulating a memo around his company, positing the viewpoint (taking into account verifiable scientific studies that confirm this) that a reason why more women don’t work as software engineers could be that most women don’t want to be software engineers; not that the evil male empire is preventing them from becoming software engineers. Google circulated memos in opposition, and their reason for dismissing their engineer was that his memo “violated company policies”. Here is a link to a post on the Ricochet Main Feed. Maybe you’ll want to join.
Just recently, the Daily Caller newsletter published an article discussing the participation of Google and Facebook in a gathering called “Netroots Nation”, a meeting of a variety of far-left techies. It seems that this “net roots” group will be ganging up on a pro-life organization. A Ricochet member did this, which is absolutely perfect:
[Editorial Comment. If your organization protests a group that is “pro-life”, what does that make you? Why, it makes you and your organizations and your sponsors “anti-life”, or “pro-death” (here’s looking at you, Planned Parenthood)]
The Daily Caller story also referenced a video, with the Google name changed to Gulag. You may never think of Google in quite the same way again. I have stopped using Google for my internet search. I use DuckDuckGo instead, and it works just fine. You already know that I do not use Facebook. Here’s just one more reason why.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we live nearly surrounded by water. In Western Washington, anyway, you are rarely more than a mile from some body of water or other. Lake Washington, Puget Sound, the Green River, the Snoqualmie River, and Silver Lake are minutes away. No two bodies of water or rivers are exactly the same from minute to minute, or season to season. All those bodies of water moderate our weather here, and we rarely get extremes of heat or cold (recently we have been in a very unusual pattern of high temperatures and no rain at all for nearly two months). Water gives the Earth and all its creatures life, and sustains us all. Herewith, some examples of the beautiful water that surrounds me.
This is the Yakima River, just east of the Cascades in Kittitas County. It is wide and shallow, and a great place for fly-fishing.
The wake of a Washington State Ferry, leaving from Edmonds across Puget Sound to the Kitsap Peninsula town of Kingston.
Note how the color of the water is a reflection of the gray clouds overhead.
The Deschutes River at Tumwater Falls.
This is video I took of one of my favorite places, the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth.
Hard to believe that this flat, reflective surface becomes a raging torrent not too far away from this spot.
Glacial-fed Diablo Lake on the Skagit River. I am always amazed by the blue-green color of the water.
Calm waters of North Puget Sound, off the Port Townsend peninsula. We saw many kayakers that day, sticking close to shore.
Last, but not least, a rarity. Frozen water in the bird-bath in our back yard. Both ice and snow are present, and beautiful.
For years, we residents of the State of Washington have been hearing about the woes of our largest state psychiatric institution, Western State Hospital in Lakewood (south of Tacoma). This institution has had numerous escapes of dangerous inmates, reports of employees attacked by inmates (and sometimes attacking, themselves), and staff shortages and resignations. Once, a court commissioner nearly put Cheryl Strange, the Head of Western State Hospital in jail for not admitting an obviously insane patient who had been picked up by local authorities. The Federal Government, which contributes funds to the running of the hospital, has threatened to withdraw support if the hospital can’t improve its operations. This institution has been a hot mess for years!
So, today, the Governor has appointed a new head of the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), which has had its own problems for many years (mistreated foster kids, elder abuse, high staff turnover, very high caseloads for social workers). And that new head of DSHS would be…wait for it…Cheryl Strange! So the state now has a head of the most-stressed cabinet institution, who has already demonstrated failure to handle the huge institution she has been responsible for for years! It is my considered opinion that Governor Jay Inslee needs to be committed to Ms. Strange’s former institution, so he can see how really competent his new head of DSHS really is.
It seems counter-intuitive for a plant to be both soft and prickly at the same time. This Arizona cactus, at progressively-closer views shows two entirely different textures. Seen from relatively far-away, it looks soft, with rounded curves.
Seen closer-up, the big spines look pretty dangerous, and the plant looks like you wouldn’t want to get too close.
But when you get really close, you want to jump back. Those spines can hurt!
If you feel the plant carefully, between the spines, it is actually very soft.