Tuesday, February 06, 2007


As everyone knows, my Golden Retriever, Apolo is my buddy and walking companion. I have had Golden Retrievers since I was seven years old. My Dad, naturally, used the dogs we had as I was growing up as hunting assistants.

Apolo is terrified of loud noises so hunting would be traumatic for him but he is very birdie. Our walks are hunts for him. He would much rather scare up a bird than a squirrel. Our neighborhood does not disappoint. Here are some birds I see and hear every week if not every day in Mukilteo.

A couple of days ago, we scared up three blue herons. These things are gigantic and scare the bejeebers out of Apolo and me. I call them pteradactyls because of their size. Anyway, Hugo, Harvey and Henrietta squawked loudly and landed in the tops of 60 foot doug firs where they continued this low gurgling. I stopped and quietly Apolo had a stare down with the three huge dinosaur descendents.

Hugo: Do you think we can take the gold furry thing down there?
Harvey: I dunno---he's pretty big. Fat, too. He'd last several meals.
Henrietta: Come on you guys, we eat fish, amphibians and reptiles--not mammals. I say pass, you macho idiots.

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taken Feb. 1 by Stu Davidson for King5--blue heron eating a bullfrog.

On Sunday, a log jam was being pulled by a tug boat near our house. It was covered in seals going on a seal cruise. But the seals were joined by a bald eagle sitting on the stern of the log jam as if he owned the whole thing.

Susie: Look at that eagle being lazy! My gosh, he is just sitting there and letting the tug boat pull him from Tacoma to Everett to fish. And if you ask me, he is invading our seal cruise.
Sonny: Well, what do you think we are doing, Susie? We are not exactly getting our exercise, either, stretched out for the ride. And from the looks of you---just sayin'.
Susie: Shut up, Sonny.

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One of the eagles by my house who fishes the correct way.

Across the road from where I took the picture of the kids building a snowman (below), Apolo scared up two shore birds that I believe were sandpipers. They were probably looking for a good place to nest.

Sylvia: Steve, honey, this is not a good place to build a nest. We are being chased by a huge gold slobbery furry thing.
Steve: I know I know. But just look at the bluffs where we used to live. They are building these huge people houses all over the place. I thought we'd be safe here. Sorry, Sylvia.

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Everyday, we scare up flickers. They are a type of woodpecker and they just love all of our dead and fallen trees. Their other claim to fame is that in the spring the males try to outdo one another to mark territory by pecking on our chimney caps. And they do it at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning. Evidently, the loudest has the biggest--well, you get the idea.

Fred: There is that ridiculous gold dog getting his jollies again by scaring us.
Flossie: Oh yes, dear, but we know where he lives! And their chimney cap is now on nice and tight. It doesn't wobble anymore. And oh Fred, I just love it when you peck chimney caps.
Fred: Ha! I'll get back at him come March. Their entire family will think they are being attacked by a gatling gun. Yes. Indeed!

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Yep, just looking up and listening and being quiet allow you see and hear the routines of nature.