The News from Port Townsend

13 May

This is just an update to what we’re doing here at our volunteer position at the Coast Artillery Museum in Fort Worden State Park.  As many of you know, Arlyne and I volunteer at various locations around the U.S.  Our blog is a thread about what we do, what we see and occasionally our views on the world around us.

The Eagles.  On our days off, Arlyne and I continue to visit the nesting bald eagles in Sequim.  Finally, we saw one of the chicks stick his head up when one of the parent birds brought it some food.  It was just a fuzzy little head but it was very interested in the food being offered.  Some of our new birding friends said they watched the parents bringing fish for the eaglets.  We hope to get some pictures of the action next time we go.  The other birders came with a sulphur-crested cockatoo named Sarah that was super smart.  She talked and understood virtually everything.  She told her “parents” when she wanted to poop and when they held her out, she would do it.  I think she poops on command.  We’re not sure about one thing.  As we were watching the eagles way up in the trees, one of them screamed to the other and the cockatoo jumped immediately from Keith to Kathy.  The cockatoo may have thought it was in danger. 


On our way back from the latest trip to Sequim, we stopped at a small estuary near the John Wayne Marina that is noted for having birds.  We say a beautiful red-breasted merganser in the bay but the pictures aren’t good.  As a bonus, Arlyne saw a bobcat.  We go there on occasion, hoping to see some long-tailed ducks.

At the Museum.  I was working in the museum with the curator when he showed me several original WWI and WWII posters for war bonds and recruitment.  They are owned by the Coast Artillery Museum but not currently displayed in the museum.  These posters, about 3 by 4 feet, have fabulous artwork from those periods and are wonderful.  I’ve included some images from my phone camera so you can appreciate these beautiful artifacts.  My Google search indicated that each poster is worth nearly two thousand dollars.  I captured some of these from the computer and others I photographed from the real thing.  They are beautiful.


A Few Other Things.  A few days ago, the curator (Alfred) and I repainted the Fort Worden State Park entrance sign.  It was in bad shape but now looks a lot better.  We also moved a large file cabinet to an upstairs room, with the help of another volunteer.  We had to take it apart first.  This wasn’t fun but we got it done.  The last time I moved something heavy up some stairs, I needed surgery on my knee.

I made some peanut butter cookies and shared them with the other volunteers and the museum staff.  Seven of us volunteers went to a funky little hamburger place that is famous for giant hamburgers.  The entire restaurant, walls and ceiling, is covered with dollar bills stuck up by visitors, with messages written on them.  I pinned one of mine on the wall.  It seems that they periodically take all the dollar bills down and donate them to the local boys and girls clubs.  Take a look at the picture.  Tim and his wife Darlene are volunteers at the Commander’s Quarters here at Ft. Worden.


Local Port Townsend News.  While reading the local paper in the Laundromat, I noticed an article by a local woman who wrote to the Port Townsend newspaper about the local Farmer’s market.  She complained about the inconvenience and potential dangers of the market.  She said the dogs could contaminate the market and wanted them banned.  She then moved to children; she said they disrupted the Farmer’s Market by running around and playing.  She wanted them banned too.  She then said, oh by the way, she thought wheelchairs were dangerous and one of them run over a child’s foot.  She wanted them banned as well.  Then, almost as an afterthought, she said the music was too loud and wanted that banned as well.  So, in total, she didn’t want dogs, kids, wheelchairs or music at this local event.  I wondered what kind of person she was. 

This story reminded me of another editorial I read in southern California a few years ago.  My son and his wife lived in a hilly area in Murrietta, California.  Every evening, hundreds of ravens flew up a canyon to roost in trees near the top of the hill.  We enjoyed watching and listening to the ravens as they flew by.  It was quite an event each night.  A woman, however, complained about the noise of the birds and wanted the government to “move” them somewhere else.  I wanted to explain to her that these birds have been flying up this canyon for thousands and thousands of years, well before people moved into the area.  Just how was the “government” going to persuade hundreds of birds to fly somewhere else?  I hope as I get older that I don’t ever, ever start thinking like this.

Rescue in Admiralty Bay.  Two girls, 10 and 12 years old, were playing in the water near the beach on a raft and drifted away on a strong current.  We heard sirens and saw a fire rescue truck, a Park Ranger and a police car rushing by our museum.  Reports came in that some people were in the water.  A man swam out to pull them back to shore but was unable to overcome the current.  A wave boarder saw this and paddled out to the three people, bringing in first one girl and then the other while towing the would-be rescuer by rope.  An article in the Leader, the local newspaper, described the event, citing the two local men as heroes. 

Next week, Arlyne and I are taking a “vacation” from the Museum and the motorhome.  We’re going to spend a couple of nights in a local Bed and Breakfast.  Our long-time friends Dave and Aileen Windows are going there as well.  It should be fun.

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Bird Lover


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