Friday, January 30, 2009

Magic Fingers

Have you ever had a massage? Am I odd that I had gone more than six decades without having had one?

When I called to make an appointment this morning, I was asked what I wanted. I replied that I had never had a massage so I didn't really know. "Never in your whole life?" The young lady on the phone was quite surprised.

I will not let another sixty years go by before I have another. Thank you Ana.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I always wonder

...when I see shoes on the roadside.
Do you suppose someone is wandering around barefoot?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hop to it!

They continue to set up new hopyards in the Yakima Valley. This dried hop "berry" remained the other day after last year's harvest.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


When we were up at the Oak Creek Wildlife Area a couple of weeks ago, we spotted these eagles feasting on some carrion up beyond the elk feeding area.
Last night's news told of an eagle which had been released into this same area. It had been found near death and nursed back to helath.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Little Known

Up the hill above the Valley to Satus Pass, we found ourselves above the cloud cover. Just beyond the pass is Brooks Memorial State Park. Many people use it as a pit stop when traveling that way. Some camp there in the summer as we did when the kids were small. But if you have snowshoes, and you go across the road to the trail that heads off by the Environmental Learning Center cabins, you can hike up to the meadow. If the clouds are not below you and beyond, you might get a glimpse of Mt. Hood--way over near Portland. We didn't see it on Sunday.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ducks Unexpected!

I did not expect to meet ducks in this little canal on my walk yesterday. In fact, I did not expect to see water there at this time of year. The ducks did not expect to see me, either, and set off to swim away. When I got ahead of them and tried to establish myself to get a shot of them headed toward me, they changed their minds and went back the other direction.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


If the weatherman mentioned this last night, I must not have been listening.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is the weather changing?

The fog of the last couple of weeks seems to be lifting somewhat. It is still cloudy and dreary. It would be nice to have a couple of great blue sky days interspersed among the gray.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kids Club

This young family had just left the children's activity at Ace Hardware on Tieton Drive a couple of weeks ago. Their crafts and projects program takes place on Saturday mornings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Late to dinner

Many of the elk just hang out at the feeding area. Others return to the hills after lunch. They can be seen coming down the ridge about a half hour before the trucks come out. These two were late for dinner, but there was plenty for them.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dinner Dispute

The cow elk also have their disagreements. Lacking antlers, they argue with their hooves.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dining companions

The trucks drop a hay bales at intervals. The elk seem to gather in groups of about eight at each bale.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Feeding

The reason for the feeding progrma at Oak Creek Wildlife Area is not because the elk are hungry. They would do find without theprovided hay. No, they would do fine eating the orchards and farmlands just a few minutes farther down the slope. As our guide said, "The nearest farm is twenty minutes away. If we did nto feed the elk here, they would be there in fifteen minutes."

Friday, January 16, 2009

And even younger

Elk are normally born in the spring, but this youngster at the Oak Creek Wildlife Area was a "late drop." Still sporting his spots, he stayed pretty close to mom.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Those teenagers--just ignore them

At least that seemed to be the thought of herd members as these two young bulls practice butting heads while waiting for lunch at the Oak Creek Wildlife Area feeding center.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oak Creek Wildlife Area

During the winter, as many as 1200 elk come down into the Oak Creek Wildlife Area outside of Naches on Highway 12 for a daily free lunch. Some of them stick around in the feeding area like this guy. Others go back up into the hills between meals.

I asked about this bull's collar. Some of the animals wear radio or satellite collars which allow the Department of Fish and Wildlife to track the migratory patterns of the herd. One cow elk, I was told, was tracked from the Selah area clear to Greenwater on the far side of Chinook Pass. Quite a wanderer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Before we set out on our excursion for the day, which hopefully will yield multiple subjects for upcoming YVDP posts, I am reminded that I have a second adventure that will hopefully start today as well. Thankfully, I will not have to contend with this construction at the main campus of Yakima Valley Community College, as I plan on enrolling in a class at the satellite campus in Grandview this afternoon. This is the second bit of major construction on the Yakima campus in as many years.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Also shot during the flooding

If you visited my flood shots on Katney's Kaboodle you already saw this eagle, who was also observing the waters.
We have an exciting field trip scheduled for tomorrow. Watch for it on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This is one place to access the Yakima Greenway for walking, jogging, running, biking, skating. The Greenway runs along the rivers--the Naches here, and along the Yakima when they meet. the news as I type is that the river will not recede to below flood stage until Monday.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Minor" Flooding

Okay, so it's not Katrina, but the Yakima river was high enough to suit me. I don't know what these guys were doing hanging over the river near the Sunnyside Dam. I only know that I am very glad that it was not my job to do it. I posted a couple of summer pictures of the area here and here. There will be more tomorrow, and more over at Katney's Kaboodle.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Night after night

We have been treated to nightly displays of glorious color this week. For more of our glorious sunsets, visit me at Katney's Kaboodle. For more skies from around the world, visit Skywatch.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nowhere Else

I have found French Fried Asparagus in one other restaurant in the Yakima Valley. But when fresh asparagus is not in season, French Fried Asparagus is definitely unique to Stokes Burger Ranch in Sunnyside.
Dean Stokes introduced the local treat in the late 80s and it was so popular that folks came clear from Seattle to try it. Later, he introduced French fried zucchini in late summer and fall, and French fried mushrooms when neither asparagus nor zucchini were not on the market.
At first attempts to use frozen asparagus failed, but just a couple of years ago Dean found the secret and French Fried asparagus is now on the menu year round.
It has been joined by French fried dill pickle--but I think Dean has gone a bit too far with that one.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Epiphany Prayer

Dear Jesus, as You led the Three Kings to You by the light of a star, please draw us ever closer to You by the light of Faith. Help us to desire You as ardently as they did. Give us the grace to overcome all the obstacles that keep us far from You. May we, like them, have something to give You when we appear before You. Mary, Our Mother, help us to know Your Son. Amen.
Merlin lives on a small farm between Grandview and Sunnyside. His mate, whose name I never learned, died a few years ago.
The funniest coincidence happened shortly after I had learned about Merlin and taken this picture (which comes from my files--it's not easy to get a good shot of Merlin as he usually hangs out in the back pasture.) I was in a shop in Yakima and somehow the conversation with the young woman waiting on me took a strange turn. She told me that her parents were going to buy a camel. The camel under consideration was Merlin. Apparently the sale did not go through, as, the last time I checked, Merlin was still sharing the same field with a few bovine friends.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Airport in the News

Some recent Yakima Airport news items:
* Interviews going on for new airport manager.
* Back down again to only one carrier.
* New regulations will impact private aviation such as air ambulance.
* Conditions at Sea-Tac can cancel flights into and from Yakima

Friday, January 2, 2009

Red sky by morning...

...sailors take warning.
You can't really see the how fiercely the wind was blowing early New Year's Eve morning from this picture, but sailors take warning would have been wise for the area (if it were on the sea.)
Find other Skywatch photos linked here. Thanks always to the team.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Was choosing a "Best" as hard for you as for me?

City Daily Photo Theme Day for January--"The Best of 2008"

It was really hard to choose the best photo of 2008, and I finally settled on this one. It may not be as perfect an image as others may post, but it has a lot going for it in heart. It has a lot going for it in the spirit of the Yakima Valley. And who can resist that winsome look.
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It was taken in September at the Prosser Balloon Rally, and is one of a series of eighteen that I posted in one post at Katney's Kaboodle. That was heaven for photographers. Oh, the color--just hinted at in this shot in the reflection of the balloons.
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I sorted through more than 75 favorites in order to decide. About half were taken well outside the Valley, so that helped to narrow them down.
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Click here to view thumbnails for all participants