>Miscellaneous Items – 5/19/10

>Geese Try to Drown Eagle. We just have to report on this story as we see the number of Canada goose gosling’s get fewer each day.

The other day two families of Canada geese were swimming in Illahee when a bald eagle evidently swooped down to get one of the goslings. I heard the commotion and saw three adult Canada geese jumping on top of the eagle and trying to drown it. The eagle eventually got free and left without the gosling, probably just glad to make it out alive as they kept him underwater for some time.

Port Needs Input For Grant. One of the ways the Port of Illahee has been helpful with keeping the tax rate down has been through its success with obtaining grants. The Port is applying for additional grants and they need to show citizen support, in this case either for or against. Please click on the underlined link to see the plan write-up and then email your response to Luis Barrantes or to us and we will forward it on. This is essentially the plan supported by the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, the Illahee Forest Preserve, and the Illahee Community Club, and they would all appreciate you taking the time to comment

The Port of Illahee is applying for 2 grants from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. As part of these applications the Port needs to adopt a habitat conservation plan and needs to show that the community is supportive of the plan. So we are asking that the residents read this plan and submit comments. These comments, positive or negative will be submitted as an appendix to the plan as evidence that the community weighed in on the process.
Your comments are very appreciated and since the schedule is very tight for the grant process we ask that your comments be emailed as soon as possible. Like this week sometime.
Thank you,

Kitsap Sun Reports on Settlement. Illahee made the front page of the Kitsap Sun this morning with the following headline: “Accord May End Illahee Land Battle.” The Sun heard about the Illahee Community meeting on Monday and called to ask about what had transpired. They also called the Port and Ron Templeton, the attorney for Jim James. We know not everyone gets the Sun so please click on the attached link and read the article as it helps explain why the petitions are needed.

Raccoons. We have noticed a number of raccoons out foraging during the day in Illahee, both inland and along the beaches. We thought they were mostly nocturnal and were surprised to see so many during the middle of the day, including one napping along side the road.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 4/20/10


Short Nesting Time for Local Canada Goose.  Four days and two eggs was all a local Canada Goose had for her nesting effort before some animal, probably a raccoon or possum, found her nest.  We heard the commotion at 2 am and in the morning found the two broken egg shells on the grass the next morning, along with a sad looking female goose.

Young Eagle Thinks Twice About Taking on One of the Geese.  A few days after the above event a young bald eagle started to swoop down on one of the Canada Geese, and only backed off when the goose flared its wings.  We have watched eagles attach Canada geese before but they are usually just a lone goose on the beach. 

Deer Reports.  When their raspberry bed looked like a bunch of sticks sticking up out of the ground, one resident put up a new 7′ high fence around the area.  He said three deer were visiting the bed every night until they had decimated nearly all the raspberries.  A neighbor tried to shoo the deer away and found them reluctant to leave the area.  So far the netting has worked and they said they found the netting at Lowes for $12 something and it was 7′ by 100′ which is reported to be a good price.  

Rainy Day for Rain Garden Mulching.  There were 6 brave souls who weeded and mulched two of the Illahee Preserve Almira parking lot rain garden plots on Saturday, April 17th.  It was suggested that a week day after-work evening be scheduled for finishing the mulching as many have their Saturdays already booked.

Red Elderberry Being Pulled Up.  We have has several people concerned that someone is going through the Preserve pulling out Red Elderberry plants.  These are good native plants and we are wondering if someone might be thinking they are invasive species, as there doesn’t seem to be any other explanation for their actions.  If you see anyone pulling these plants out, please let us know by calling 479-1049.

Brush Pickers.  There have been reports that there are brush pickers in the Preserve recently and specifically the last two days.  This is illegal activity and they need to be reported by calling 911 or by calling us at 479-1049.  

Rogue Trail Makers.  We have also heard that there are rogue trails being cut through the Preserve.  Any new trail needs to be approved by the Stewardship Committee and the Parks Department.  There are no new trails being established at this time.  If you see someone cutting a trail, please call the Park’s Department or 479-1049.

Illahee Preserve Stewardship Meeting Tonight (4/20/10).  The Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee meets the third Tuesday of each Month at the Port of Illahee office at 5560 Ocean View Boulevard, between 6:30 and 8:00 pm, and anyone is welcome to attend.  For more information call 479-1049 or 792-6934.

Gutter System?  We have been asked by someone who is considering having a gutter system installed, if there are any happy residents out there who have a recommendation.  Let us know and we will pass the information on.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Update – 10/25/09


Black Bear Sightings.  A large black bear was sighted at 2:30 am Sunday morning in back of a Helena Drive residence along a green belt, and presumably the same bear in back of Nobles Lane residences at 7:50 am.  We assume other reports have gone into the Department of Fish & Wildlife and hopefully something will be published in the paper as it seems this might be more of a transient bear rather than a local bear.
Eagle Picture.  The attached photo was taken along the South Fork of Illahee Creek.
Jack just saw this Eagle swoop into our American Elm- which incidentally, according to Jim Trainer, is the 8th oldest in the state.  I’ve attached the photos.
Our Shih Tzu was attacked several years ago, but either shook it off or she was too heavy.  Dr. Relling confirmed it was an eagle by the claw punctures around her neck- one just missing her airway.  Later on we discovered the scratches on her ID tags which may have been why she wasn’t killed immediately.
Side Note.  A few years ago we heard about an eagle nest that fell out of a tree near the Illahee Preserve and in the nest there were a number of pet collars from animals evidently carried to the nest by the eagles.
Illahee Beach Watchers.  We were happy to see that at least three Illahee residents are taking the Beach Watchers Class being offered by UW Sea Grant and WSU Extension.  There were over 50 who attended the first class that is being held at the Norm Dicks Center.  We will let you know more about the program as it becomes available.
Squirrel Report.  We received the following squirrel report.
Yesterday while backing out our lawn mower I was momentarily starred down by a small brown squirrel.  At first it appeared she had a large nut or some kind of food in her mouth.  But, we quickly realized it was a baby!  She scurried away, but later we got a better look when she came out from under the VW.  The baby wasn’t in her mouth, but hanging on with his tiny feet wrapped up and around momma’s neck.  Way kewl!  (sorry no picture she was too quick)
White Black Tail Buck.  We had a report of a very white (albino markings) black tail buck and are hoping that someone will be able to get a picture of it and forward the picture so we can pass it on.
Beach Nourishment Informal Appeal Denied.  The informal appeal of the Illahee Beach Nourishment project was denied by the Dept of Fish & Wildlife.  Both the Port of Illahee and the Illahee Community Club are deciding what to do next.  A formal appeal needs to be filed within 30 days which would be by November 13, 2009.
Send Info In and We Will Pass It On.  Please send us info such as the bear sighting reports and we will pass them on to the community.  We have roughly about 400 who receive the updates (blind copies) and we hear it is the wildlife updates they most like to get, so please help us with any reports you think your neighbors would like to hear about.
Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Important Items – 8/19/09


New Eagle Nest?  We received the following email today of the possibility of an eagle nest being constructed at Ambleside, which included the picture below.
It would appear that we are in the process of getting an eagles nest in the
common area of Amblesides subdivision.  This attached photo was taken from
my deck.  We haven’t seen any eagles arriving or leaving but it sure looks
like an eagles nest is in progress.
“Letter to the Illahee Community” Being Distributed.  We heard that the Illahee Community Club is in the process of hand distributing a “Letter to the Illahee Community Concerning the Timbers Edge Project,” with the goal of trying to get copies to each Illahee resident.  As we understand it, roughly 200 plus letters have gone out so far with the remainder to be sent out Thursday and Friday.  We will try and get a copy to send out in our next Update.
Illahee Meeting Signs.  There are 13 meeting signs throughout the Illahee Community telling about Saturday’s meeting at the Library at 1:30 pm.  We have been asked to see if there are any areas that should have a sign that don’t.  Let us know and we will pass the information on.
Monday’s Commissioner’s Meeting.  We have been asked to remind residents that Illahee’s appeal of the Timbers Edge Project to the Commissioners, will be held Monday evening at 7:15 pm at the county administration building. 
A Very Interesting Monday Hearing?  This should be a very interesting hearing with the county staff presenting their arguments, followed by the developer’s attorney, and then the Illahee Community’s attorney. 
Appeal Process Just Starting?  We are thinking that, depending on what the Commissioners decide, this appeal could go on the the Shorelines Hearing Board and/or Superior Court.  The arguments presented on Monday evening will likely be the basis for any appeals up the line.
Jim Aho

>Wildlife Update&Other Items – 7/24/09


Eagle Gets Goose.  This past week I went out on the deck to take a phone call.  While on the phone I heard the crows making a loud commotion at the beach and saw a Canada goose that appeared to have fallen down and was using his wings to try to move or get himself up.  Seconds later, and before the goose could get up, a bald eagle was on top of him and immediately started to pick away at his feathers.  There was a slight breeze blowing and soon the beach downwind was covered with goose feathers.  I finished my call and took some pictures and have attached 4 of them.  I was told that two eagles spent most of the rest of the afternoon feasting on the goose.  A similar event took place last year with a single goose, which may be why the geese tend to stay in groups. 

Deer Photo.  The other evening on a walk we saw six deer.  The attached photo shows four of the deer – two larger deer are on the left with the mother in the center of the photo and twin fawns to the right.  They were amazingly tame.  The other two deer seen were a mother and her fawn.  Some of you see these scenes daily and others only see the results of their nightly grazing.  The photo was taken at dusk with a flash so some serious editing of the photo was needed to take the glare from the eyes.
Illahee Day August 1.  Just a reminder that Illahee Day is next Saturday, August 1st.
County Notice Posting of Illahee Creek.  There are some residents trying to figure out what is being planned for the dredging of the Illahee Creek culvert and the placement of the dredging material at the beach.  It is interesting that the project name is “Illahee Beach Nourishment.”  Needless to say, some are not convinced, and are trying to get more information.  We are hoping that we can have a presentation on this project at the August meeting of the Illahee Community Club.  The time and place of this meeting is yet to be determined.
Aquifer Meeting Airing on BKAT.  The aquifer meeting was taped and is being rebroadcast on the Bremerton Kitsap Access Television (BKAT) station at the following time:

The last showing of “The Illahee Watershed Aquifer Protection Plan” will air:
7/30      10am
BKAT is Kitsap’s local TV channel. 
Channel 12 – Comcast
Channel 3 – WAVE

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 6/30/09


Aquifer Meeting Tonight (6/30). This is a reminder of the Aquifer meeting tonight (6/30) a 6:30 pm at the Norm Dicks Center.

Questions Already. We have some residents who have to work evenings or have other meetings and cannot attend the aquifer meeting. We took some their questions early which include these:
  1. We have a development that wants to put in high density homes with sewers along the Illahee Creek corridor. The adjoining residents would like to see lower density homes with septics. Should we be concerned about nitrates from the septics getting into the aquifers?
  2. Over the years there have been conflicting reports of where our ground water is coming from. Some of us remember hearing it was coming from the Olympic Mountains. Now it is said to come locally as our rain water infiltrates down through the soil and into the aquifers. Does anyone really know where our water comes from? And, how can we be sure the latest information is correct?
  3. If groundwater and aquifers are so important, how come we haven’t heard much about them from our government officials? Who is in charge of managing the groundwater and aquifers?
  4. I’m concerned about the low flows in Illahee Creek. Who is supposed to be watching out for our streams? The state, the county, the federal government? Does anyone really care? The only group we ever hear about caring is the tribes because of salmon. Should we be talking with them?
  5. Do things like rain gardens and infiltration pits actually work? And what happens when we get a major downpour like what happened on December 3rd of 2007 and the rain gardens and infiltration pits can’t absorb all the water?
  6. If the stormwater contaminates that are polluting Puget Sound are infiltrated into the ground, won’t they eventually pollute our groundwater?
  7. I live some distance away from Illahee Creek, about a mile, and want to know if my infiltrating of my roof rain water will help?
  8. What about people who have zinc strips on their roofs, or copper impregnated shingles, to keep the moss off? Won’t those metals harm the groundwater? And, what about pesticides and other lawn chemicals?
Canada Geese Eating Up the Blueberries. While we like our wildlife we have reports the Canada geese have developed a taste for green and ripening blueberries. They have already devoured the berries on some of the small bushes and are working on the big bushes. Time to put the nets up.

Another Deer Solution. Thank you to all who provided your remedies to keep deer out of garden areas. Here is the latest:
Just thought I’d throw my two cents in on the subject of critters in the garden …. so here’s a couple more suggestions ….not only does human hair work, but dog hair works great too, put it in old nylons and hang it around your garden area, chicken house,etc….. and it will keep those critters at bay, I have a friend who lives on a farm in Hungary and this is how she keeps the foxes out of her hen house….and deer out of her garden.

Fly solutions, For those of you who have trouble with those little flies that come in when you leave your door open and just circle around in the air this is an “old wives tale” that works….put water in a plastic baggie and hang it above your doorway or let it hang on little rope and you will never have one of those pesky little flies in you house….
Community Garden Tour Response. Just a few responders to the idea of having an Illahee gardens tour. We will see what that group wants to do and report back. Let us know if you would like to be part of the group.

New Format. We were asked to eliminate the underlining in our Updates as it makes it more difficult to transfer them to the illaheecommunity.com web page.

Eagle Attacking Ornamental Chicken Article. When we posted the “eagle attacking ornamental chicken” item in a previous update, we didn’t have a picture of the chicken. The next day the Kitsap Sun did a front page report, complete with a picture. The chicken looked very real so we now understand how this happened. Click on the following for the picture and article. http://kitsapsun.com/news/2009/jun/23/eagle-eyed-misguided-bird-leaves-illahee-empty/

Illahee Mentioned in Mediation Article. The Kitsap County Commissioner’s have added a mediation step to their land use process and said it was because of the Illahee Community’s outfall fight (which was to keep the 42″ diameter stormwater pipe from being installed under the Illahee Community Dock). While the community came to an agreement with the developer, the primary problem was with Kitsap County for allowing the outfall in the first place. We hope the mediation process also includes the Kitsap County employees, who in spite of being paid by the citizens, do not always act in their best interests of local communities. The link to the article is: http://kitsapsun.com/news/2009/jun/24/kitsap-commissioners-ok-new-land-use-mediation/

Illahee Referenced in Rob Woutat Article. There was a recent article by Rob Woutat in the Kitsap Sun where he mentioned what it was like living in the Illahee community. Unfortunately, the Kitsap Sun has not made that article available on its website. When it shows up, we will provide a link to it.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Items – 6/23/09


Eagle Goes After Ornamental Chicken.  There are several farms in Illahee and this one is unique in many ways, including how they have learned to live with the wildlife. 
…………..we’ve been having some Eagle problems.  However they were here before us so they might have been E-mailing (that’s Eagle-mail) to each other about humans getting in the way of their way of life over the years!  They probably also E-mail that Honeyhill Farm is easy pickins.

We are fairly certain that an eagle got our male Guinea rooster in the pasture 3 days ago………..only tons of feathers left, and coyotes can’t get into the pasture because of the hot fence we have around the bottom of the fencing.

The day after that I heard some banging noises on the front porch………and ran to look.  There was an eagle trying to steal a fake rooster that I use for decoration.  It is a realistic, life size plastic/fake with chicken feathers glued all over it.  There were several crows dive bombing the eagle.  I chased it off and put the fake rooster back on her “perch.”  Now they’ll probably E-mail that some of Honeyhill’s chickens are really tough!!

At this point I’m worried about our mini dachshund and my cats.  We still have 4 chickens left but I’m sure they are plenty tender.   I guess that’s the price we pay for living in their territory.

Illahee Eagle With Fish.  We were talking with an Illahee waterfront resident who said she snapped of photo just after an eagle had gotten a fish from the bay.  She gave us permission to send out her photo, which is attached.
Sunflower Sea Star.  Sea stars, or star fish, can come in many different species and colors.  We found a number of small sunflower sea stars at Schutt’s Point on Monday including the bright orange one in the photo.  Some interesting facts about sunflower sea stars: it is the largest and fastest sea star in Puget Sound, it can grow to 3 feet in diameter and can mover over 3 feet per minute.  It eats nearly everything, including clams, crabs, snails, sea cucumbers, urchins, and other sea stars.  They have an interesting water-vascular system, or hydraulic system, that allows them to move by moving water in and out of small tube feet in each of their arms.
Low Tides & Clam Digging Success.  We also came across a father and son digging for geoducks and they had mistakenly dug a horse clam.  We asked if we could lay the horse clam next to a goeduck so we could take a picture to show the difference between the two big clams.  The horse clam is on the left and the geoduck is on the right.

Midshipman Fish.  Last year we gave a report on midshipman fish and decided to check under a rock to see if there would be a midshipman fish and some eggs.  We found two fish under the rock along with some eggs.  The male midshipman fish digs out the hole under the rock and then emits a croaking noise to entice female fish to come in and lay her eggs, which are deposited on the underside of the rock.  Sometimes there will be many eggs of different colors under a rock, indicating the male has been successful in attracting several females.  The second photo gives a better picture of what these fish look like.  They are nocturnal so they aren’t likely to be caught by those fishing during the day.
Jim Aho

>Wildlife&State Park Info – 4/18/09


Recent Photos.  In the past few days we have been receiving a number of wildlife photos.  In this update are some bird photos.  Deer (alive) photos will be sent in a later update.
Killdeer Nest & Killdeer.  The first three photos were evidently taken on Thursday.  Following is text of the email we received.
Here are some pictures of our Killdeer and her nest.  She first scolded me, then tried to lead me away with the old broken wing trick, then she watched as I took pictures of her babies.  Where’s Waldo:  In picture 10 can you find the nest?
Eggs Hatch.  On Friday we received the fourth photo and the following text:
3 of the 4 eggs hatched today.  The chicks are even harder to see than the eggs….
Eagle on Nest.  Today we received the eagle nest photos and the following text:
Attached are photos of an eagle sitting on a nest in Manette taken 4/18/09.  The Lombard Poplar tree has just begun to leaf out in the past 2 days.  I expect we should be getting very near hatch date for this nest within the next week or so (assuming 35 day incubation period). 
Plans for Homeless in Illahee State Park?  In Saturday’s Kitsap Sun there was an article about the cut in social services that contained one solution that was being proposed which is to recommended Illahee State Park be used to house the homeless if the park is going to be mothballed.  We thought Illahee residents might like to look at the linked article.
Thank You!  Thank you to all for sending the photos.
Jim Aho

>Wildlife Update – 3/20/09

>We have gotten behind in passing wildlife information on and other information and will try to catch up.

Bats. We have heard some interesting bat stories this past year and thought about those when we saw a “bat box” when touring the new Fish Park in Poulsbo. We have attached a photo of the “box” and would like to publish some of the bat stories of local residents if you send them in.

Eagles. We have been forwarded a number of eagle pictures and stories and will devote a separate update to those later.

Humming Birds. We recently received pictures of a humming bird nest from an Illahee resident wintering in Arizona and have attached their comments and pictures.

I have enjoyed the wildlife pictures that have been posted by my Illahee neighbors through the winter, especially the ones about the hummingbirds. I am in Yuma right now, I winter here. I have attached a couple hummingbird pictures from here. The nest is 1 ¼ inch diameter.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Update&Meeting Info – 1/26/09


River Otters. We asked for pictures of river otters and just received one. There have been three otters seen in the area for quite some time now, and it is good to get a photo of them.

Bald Eagles. We also just received some bald eagle photos. The latest were from this past Sunday when at least 5 bald eagles were seen taking turns eating something on the beach, with one of them being an immature eagle who had to wait until after the others had finished. We were trying to figure out what the eagles were feeding on, and it appeared to be possum based on the tail, shape and color.

Plant Salvage Question. We had questions of whether there was any plant salvaging done at the construction sites along Almira. There was some salvaging done a year ago at the Illahee Preserve parking lot site where plants were moved elsewhere in the Preserve. They looked at moving some of the huckleberry bushes a few weeks ago, but there were no good candidates as only small huckleberry bushes are normally successfully moved. We don’t know if there was anything done at the Keller House site.

Native Plants Available. We contacted Jim Trainer, our local Illahee forester, who noted the following:

1. Every year I giveaway between 10,000-50,000 surplus native trees compliments of Mike Driscoll of Hood Canal Nursery, Port Gamble,WA.

2. In Illahee I have a small native tree and plant nursery for sale. See Treez, Inc. website www.treezinc.com for tree and plant lists

3. 20,000 douglas fir seeds were distributed in the Illahee Preserve. Compliments of Treez, Inc. and Hood Canal Nursery.

Illahee Meeting Location. Some people have asked about the location of the Illahee meetings on Thursday evening (1/29/09). The Norm Dick’s Center is located on 6th Street in Bremerton and is the 6 story government building that is only a few years old. It has a main floor conference room that is state of the art and is the location for many meetings including the Bremerton City Council meetings. The big screen projector makes this an ideal place for presentations like we are expecting on Thursday.

Parking Available. The benefit of having this meeting in the evening is that there is usually ample parking available in the area.

Questions? If you have questions, please let us know what they are as others are probably asking the same ones.

Jim Aho