>Miscellaneous – 5-14-11

>Where Are The Updates?  We have been asked about when the Updates will resume, so it must be time to continue them.  We had a nice trip around the Baltic Sea, visiting and touring in Germany, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.  We were surprised at the low salinity and lack of tidal fluctuations in the Baltic Sea.  After the trip I ended up with pneumonia and have finally recovered enough to want to sit at my computer.  Not too many items to report so should be able to catch up with all I know in this Update. 

Fawn Reports.  Two sets of twin fawns have been reported, with one being hit by a car last Saturday just south of University Point.  Some gardeners are reporting daily and nightly visits by deer and are realizing they need to get nets up if anything is going to survive.

Gosling Report.  Not as many young Canada goose goslings reported, possibly because some of the seagulls are reportedly getting them when they are really small.  We have seen this ourselves a few years ago where the goslings were swimming in a line between the two parent geese, and a seagull quickly swims up and takes a gosling before the adult geese can react.

Baby Possums.  We had two reports of strange looking rat type creatures, which of course were small baby possums.  These babies are cute when they are small and we have been surprised that cats seem to leave them alone. 

Humming Bird Report.  We received the following email regarding a large hummingbird:
Today 5-4-11, I saw or at least what I thought was the largest Hummingbird I have ever seen around this area (off of Wise Street). It seems to be about 4 or 5 inches long. Has a dark hood with white stripe from back of eye to back of head. Body is green, but may have dark/ Dk Blue back. I think at times you can see a red spot on the forehead area.  It perches on on top of a 40 to 50 foot ceder tree of a neighbor. Attached are photos taken through a telescope. I could not ID this bird. See attachment.
Beverly Deitch Obituary.  Received the following note while on our trip and heard a number of Illahee residents attended the memorial service.
Just to let you know that Bev Deitch has passed away.  Her obituary appeared in the Kitsap Sun this morning (Thursday) . We are saddened to learn of her passing. 
Commissioner Brown’s May Newsletter Mentions Illahee Film.  There is a nice write-up about what is happening in Illahee in Josh Brown’s May newsletter, which can be read by clicking on the following link:  

Garden Tour?  Have not had a chance to find out if a determination has been made about an Illahee garden tour this summer.

Jim Aho

>Wildlife Update – 12/19/10

>Illahee Orca Video Makes KIRO TV News.  We were surprised to get a phone call Friday evening from Issaquah that they saw the Illahee orca video on the Channel 7 News (they called for permission but we didn’t think they would use the video), and calls from others who saw it on the Kitsap Sun website.  If a little video gets that much exposure, we are optimistic the professionally made video of Illahee’s watershed issues (currently being filmed) will get even more.

Lost Cat.  While cats aren’t really wildlife, they do get lost and we have always tried to pass on quickly notices such as these.  We only attached one of the photos.

A stray cat showed up at our house on Rue Villa yesterday (Saturday, 12/18).  She is a large female cat, gray with black strips, 4 white paws and a white bib.  She has no collar.  She was very hungry, but appears to be healthy.  She is friendly and used to humans and other cats.  I have attached 2 pictures.  Would you send them out to see if anyone has lost her?  They can contact me at JoannaBaas@gmail.com

Seals Vacated Float.
  Since the seal eating orcas came through here we haven’t seen any seals on the float north of the Illahee community dock.  
We attached some photos to show what it looked like nearly every morning this fall, that is until this week.

Cormorants.  When the seals would leave the cormorants would normally take their place as you can see from this photo.

Deer Pictures.  We received some remarkable photos of deer and a couple of pileated woodpeckers.  At one time we were going to have a place for photos such as these on the Illahee Community Website.  This is something we hope to check on, as we can only include a few of the pictures sent.

Humming Birds.  We have seen lots of humming birds around this winter because people are feeding them.  The attached photo shows 2 males that are in a territorial standoff on a weather vane.

Thank You For Sharing Your Photos.  We want to thank you for sharing your wildlife photos.  We have been told by a number of you that is what you like best about the Illahee Updates.  We are still learning how to present photos and we have yet to learn how to title individual photos, so please bare with us.  We are still trying to come up with photo file sizes that are big enough for people to see the subjects, but not too big so they won’t exceed the size of their email systems.  We hope these all come through.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 7/7/09


Illahee Day.  Save Saturday, August 1 for Illahee Day 2009.  The theme is theABC’s of Illahee.  A for an Attractive Illahee, B for Breakfast and lunch at the community dock, and C for Community clean-up in-between breakfast and lunch.  Breakfast at the dock between 9-10 am.  Community clean-up between 10am -12 pm.  Lunch at 12 pm.
5 Clean Up Teams.  You can pick the clean-up team you would like to be on. The five of them are:  Team Dock, Team Illahee Road North, Team Illahee Road South, Team Ocean View & West, and Team Illahee Preserve.  The attached brochure provides the details.
Volunteer Receive …..  All volunteers will receive Illahee T-Shirts, and there will be drawings and prizes.  Sign up by sending an email or leave a message with your name and shirt size at docdmsret@msn.com or call 340-7257.
Aquifer Meeting.  We have been asked when we are going to report of the aquifer meeting that was held on June 30th.  On some of these meetings we wait to see if there is going to be any press coverage, since they do such a good job.  Because there was no coverage we will provide a brief synopsis.  The room was filled and the information was extremely informative.  We received many compliments for hosting the event.  During the question and answer time there was some disagreements as to the extent and influence of some of the deep aquifers.  The consensus is that the USGS needs to do some definitive studies of the area to define the aquifers.  What was not in dispute was the need to infiltrate our rainwater runoff and to do so as close to the source as possible, thereby mimicking natural conditions.  We will provide more information later on the subject.
BKAT Coverage & Viewing Dates.  The aquifer meeting was documented by Bremerton Kitsap Access Television (BKAT) and will be broadcast four times.  The dates are:
“The Illahee Watershed Aquifer Protection Plan” will air:
7/20      11am
7/22      10:30pm
7/24      3pm
7/30      10am
BKAT is Kitsap’s local TV channel. 
Channel 12 – Comcast
Channel 3 – WAVE
Thanks to Dr. Massmann, Dave Tucker, & Shawn Ultican.  We want to thank Dr. Massmann for his presentation and helping us better understand groundwater as an important resource that needs to be understood and managed.  We also thank Dave Tucker from Kitsap County Public Works for being there to answer questions, along with Shawn Ultican, from the Kitsap Healthe District who also fielded questions.
Brown Tap Water.  Every now and then Illahee residents experience a brown coloring in their drinking water.  We have had several instances where people have forwarded their questions to us, and we have asked them to call North Perry Water.  Attached is George Smalley’s recent response to a resident in the area south of Illahee State Park.
Just thought you should know that it is not a harmless bacteria in the water that causes a brown color when water is taken from a fire hydrant at a high rate of speed. It is typically sediment build up, or a concentration of a harmless mineral called manganese. The District does work hard to provide clean water to its customers by  flushing the water mains on an annual basis to try to keep the build up of these minerals and sediments down.The water is safe to drink however it is not to appealing to look at. The problem was caused by a brush fire on E.30th and Parklane Sunday morning 7/5/09.The fire dept. had to hook to a hydrant and flow water. We are sorry for the inconvenience however these things happen and they are beyond our control.The District did flush the area for most of the day on Monday the 6th.
Please call the District office if you are still experiencing discolored water.
Thank you,
George Smalley
Cat Chasing Deer.  During a walk on Monday morning a resident reported watching a large deer walking on the roadway past a house when a black cat took off after the deer, chasing it down the road and into the Illahee Preserve.
Mediation Clarification.  In our last Illahee Community Update we linked the Kitsap Sun article that discussed the County’s new mediation process and made some comments.  Scott Diener, Manager of Policy and Planning for DCD, sent us the following  info and link:
The article title is misleading.  The approvals made by the BCC only allow the Hearing Examiner to authorize mediation (as well as reconsideration).  The actual process language (when mediation is optional and when it is required) is going to the Planning Commission on July 7 for its initial work study (after being remanded back to them by the BCC in Dec 08).
To follow the mediation language development beginning with the Planning Commission process, go to http://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/pc/default.htm
Where Did the Canada Geese Go?  Some of the residents with waterfront yards report they haven’t seen the Canada geese since the 4th of July and wonder if they just moved elsewhere in Illahee, or if they left the area because of the fireworks.
Humming Bird Photos.  There are lots of humming birds in the area, and we were surprised to find them in the Illahee Preserve the other day when collecting water quality samples for the health department.  Katrina Knutson, the Kitsap County Planner who helped prepare the Illahee Community Plan sent us the following link to some amazing hummingbird photos.
BIRTH OF A HUMMINGBIRD                                              
This is truly amazing.                                            
Be sure to click on ‘NEXT PAGE’ at  the bottom of each page; there  
are 5 pages in all.                                                 
A lady found a hummingbird nest and got pictures all the way        
   from the egg to leaving the nest.  Took 24 days from birth to     
   flight.  Because you’ll probably never see this again in          
   your lifetime, enjoy and share.  The very last picture is         
CLICK THIS ADDRESS….                                                                                                                   
Timbers Edge Appeal.  We have heard the community’s appeal of the Hearing Examiner’s Decision to approve the Timbers Edge Development, may soon go before the County Commissioners.  There is a group that is working on a counter proposal to be given to the developer to see if there can be an acceptable resolution of differences.  The group needs to complete their work soon if they plan on getting it done before the appeal is heard by the commissioners.
Dry Conditions In Illahee.  It has been some time since any appreciable rain has fallen in Illahee.  There is an official or semi-official rain gage in Illahee where rainfall is measured.  That is about all we know and hope that we can find out more, maybe even some photos of it, along with any current reports.
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

>Miscellaneous Items – 1/1/09


New Years Greetings!

Lost Dog Report on 1/1/09.

We lost our female, great pryenees (big white dog) on a walk on the beach 1/1/09 about half way between the Illahee dock and the Brownsville marina. Her name is Koda and she is very friendly. Please call 360-633-7224 if you see/find her.

Thank you, Josh Jablonski

Website Used. Josh used the illaheecommunity.com website email address to post his lost dog notice. We want to send it out via email as not everyone monitors the website. Website posts are forwarded to several of us so if you want to get something out to the community quickly, send it to the website and it is likely someone will respond soon.

More Hummingbird Items. We continue to be amazed at the number of hummingbirds that winter over in our area, and the response we had to our email updates. Attached is the most authoritative we’ve received, from our blog:

fieldguidetohummingbirds has left a new comment on your post “Miscellaneous Items – 12/21/08”:

The wildlife rescue person misinformed you. The commercial hummingbird “food” sold in most stores (a.k.a. “instant nectar”) contains no extra nutrition. It’s just overpackaged, overpriced sugar with unnecessary dyes, flavorings, preservatives. There is a complete artificial diet for hummingbirds, but it’s very expensive, not sold in ordinary pet stores, and only necessary for long-term captive hummingbirds.

Free-living wild hummingbirds get the bulk of their nutrition from eating insects and spiders, and while there are not many of those to be had when the temperatures get very cold, your local Anna’s Hummingbirds are tough and cold hardy and can get by on sugar water until the weather gets back to normal.

You’re already doing the best thing you can do to help them survive unusually cold weather by to making your sugar water a little stronger than normal. A solution of 3 parts water to one part sugar will give them extra energy as well as freezing at a lower temperature than the standard 4:1 solution. Any stronger than that it it starts becoming too syrupy and hard to drink. See my blog for more. http://fieldguidetohummingbirds.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/helping-hummingbirds-through-winter-weather/

Robins. We received the following email and can respond that there are a number of robins that winter here. We’re not sure what the red berried bush is though which is visible in the first attached photo. There were a number of robins and varied thrushes observed near the Illahee Preserve during the snow. They were working the underbrush areas where the snow had not accumulated.

Robin or not … we love our wildlife, and just a few days ago, a ‘flock’ of about 6-8 “robins” appeared in the yard. Their target was a rigid bush growing up the chimney which was full of red berries. Don’t know what the bush is.. but the birds picked the branches clean and then went on their way … isn’t it too early for robins ??

Maybe your addressees might know what kind of bird this was ..

Snow Issues. We know that a number of Illahee residents were snowed in until this past Sunday. The most surprising for some was View Crest Drive, and at this time of year it is often referred to as Candy Cane Lane, when they went to view the Christmas lights on the evening of the 25th and found the street had not been cleared and they were barely able to get through. Evidently neither did the mailman for over a week to the disappointment of many residents.

Roosevelt Street. Roosevelt is probably one of the steepest roads in Illahee and one of the residents sent in the following snow comment to us early on, and probably wishes we had sent it out earlier:

Snowbound as we are near the top of the hill on NE Roosevelt, and with snow still falling, and with the prospect that we may not be able to get out by car until late this week, or whenever we have a significant thaw, I started wondering if there might be other Illahee residents who might want to contract for snow-removal service in the future. Maybe we won’t have another snow like this in our lifetimes, but the idea seemed worth bringing up.

Snowbrush. One of the more interesting shrubs around is the Snowbrush which is a native evergreen, it was especially susceptible to the heavy snow. Several residents went walking in the snow by Audrey Boyer’s residence on Ocean View during one snowy night during the storm and found Audrey working on trying to get several fallen Snowbrush branches out of her driveway. They helped her cut them up and haul them aside. We have attached some photos of Snowbrush shrubs in case you are not familiar with them. There are a number of them on Rest Place that came down as shown in the last photo.

Keep Passing on Information.

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous Items – 12/21/08


A Day Late. This email is a day late as a Fir tree branch took down our Comcast internet line on Sunday and they just got through splicing the line late on Monday.

Commissioner’s Meeting Delayed to Tuesday. The County Commissioner’s meeting that was scheduled for Monday evening will be held on Tuesday at 1 pm. This is the meeting where the Commissioners will be voting on the Illahee Community Plan. The county offices will be closed on Monday because of the inclement weather.

Timbers Edge Closing Arguments. The closing arguments for the Timbers Edge project were due this past Friday (12/19/08). We will see if we can get copies of both sides arguments to pass on, since they are public records.

Illahee Community Boundaries. We have had added a number of new email addresses and some have wondered what the exact boundaries of the Illahee Community are. The map is also available here on the Illahee community website.

Snow Photos. We received some snow photos and rather than try to attach all of them we have chosen one to attach and the rest are available by clicking on this link.

Additional Hummingbird Information. We have been surprised at the number of people reporting on hummingbirds. We have three more reports.

I noticed what seemed to be a small swarm of hummingbirds out my eastern window about three days ago. The same day I noticed a hummingbird sitting on a feeder looking lethargic and then it fell off. I looked out on the deck and couldn’t find it. In the mean time I started a vigil of keeping the feeder food in a liquid form and pulling our two feeders into the house at night. Day before yesterday I saw another hummingbird fall off the feeder and ran out to see if I could find it. There it was. I placed it in a towel and shoebox and brought it into the house. It was ready to leave within 15 minutes. I held it in my hand and it flew away. LaRae called a veterinarian to ask if we were doing the right thing. She was referred to a wildlife rescue (206 855-9057). They told her not to use sugar water and to use commercial hummingbird food because it has nutrients that the other does not have. Also, they said that some hummingbirds do go away for the winter but others choose to stay in the Puget Sound area.

Use at my hummingbird feeder was active all day today. The sugar/water solution (mixed a little rich for the cold weather) freezes at about 23 or 24 degrees, at which point I bring it into the house for a brief warm-up.

We have an interesting situation at our house where we have one dominate male hummingbird that has decided the birdfeeder is his very own and he is not about to share it. He sits on a tree branch about 20 feet away and guards the feeder attaching any other hummingbird that comes near. He sits there nearly all day watching the feeder ready to fly whenever another bird comes near. We decided to set out another feeder some distance away to see if some of the smaller hummingbirds will use it, or if he will chase them away from that one too.

Keep Sending Us Information. Keep on sending us information and we will pass it on.

Jim Aho

>More Bird Information – 12/20/08


We had several more comment on how timely the hummingbird information was.

We received a phone call about a hummingbird who was at a bird feeder and fell over onto the ground. The person picked it up and put it in a box and brought it inside. After awhile it evidently warmed up and became active and they released it outside.

A similar type of story as the previous entry was received.

A very timely subject! I had a humming bird going into hypothermia today. Usually the ones that winter over, they tell you to not worry if they go stiff on a branch, it is normal and often they thaw out and go on their way. This was different, I had one guy going to sleep on the feeder, fluffed out and not moving. I actually went out and picked him off the feeder with my hand, and warmed the little guy up. I put him on the porch with the fushia, we have it behind some plastic (it seems to make it through the cold that way) and the little guy then flew on out into the open air. Within the hour he was back on the feeder, again motionless. As I watched, a bigger one literally knocked him off the perch, and he fell to the ground. I went out to check, and he was sitting in the snow, addled.

He’s now in my room, I’m letting him fly around in here, and hung a feeder just for him from my overhead lamp. Had to put him in a cage as the sun went down, as he fell to the floor and was hiding, I was afraid I’d squish him. He seems to be a very young naive bird, and when the snow melts, I’ll try putting him back out again. I hate to interfer with Nature, but a cat would have had him anyway.

I brought my feeder in twice today, and set it near a heating vent, it melted in a half hour, and out it went again. It’s my understanding that hummers also eat bugs, so the feeders are not their only source of food.

We had a report of a number of different kinds of birds at a bird feeder today.

Birds at my feeders today (black sunflower seed and suet):

  • Varied thrushes
  • Mourning doves
  • Pileated woodpeckers
  • Oregon juncoes
  • Red breasted nuthatches
  • Chestnut backed chickadees
  • Black capped chickadees
  • Stellars jay
  • Downy woodpecker
  • Red shaftted flicker
  • Song sparrow
  • Song sparrow
  • Hairy woodpecker
  • Rufous sided towhees

We inquired about the Audubon’s Christmas bird count and found it was postponed today because of the poor road conditions due to inclement weather until January 4, 2009. If anyone wants to participate they should contact Vic Ulsh at 479-6900.

Jim Aho

>Humming Bird Response – 12/19/08


Quick Response. We received three quick emails regarding wintering hummingbirds in response to the photo and the person who was wondering what to do about about her hummingbird sugar water freezing.

Saturday Bird Count. Saturday is the day scheduled for the Audubon’s Christmas bird count, which we presume is going on today. So it is appropriate that we cover one of our local Puget Sound birds on this day.

Response #1

We put out our humming bird feeder and have a visitor.

Response #2

Hi, Jim…In regards to feeding the humming birds, we have had 4 or 5 that stayed over the last few years. In freezing weather we bring the feeder in after dark and put it back out early in the morning. Also the feeder is hanging under the eves on the southeast side of the house, so it gets some protection. It also helps to keep the feeder full. If you keep the feeder out and full after you think the season is over, they will stay around, but you must keep feeding them once you start.

Response #3

It occurs to me I hadn’t yet sent you the attached photos of the male Annas hummingbird I mentioned. The little Annas humming bird has taken up residence in our backyard this winter. The photos were taken from 400mm lens last Tuesday afternoon when skies were sunny and bright.

My wife and I are rotating two humming bird feeders to keep them from thawing, then bring them in at night. We put the feeder out at day break and within 30 seconds the hummer is at the feeder. Annas area known to winter-over in Puget Sound area, but this is a first for us.

Apparently, the Annas humming birds can go into a torpid state which is essentially short term hibernation overnight during sub-freezing temperatures, then wake themselves up in morning. It’s remarkable these little guys can survive in such frigid temperatures. We’re mixing at just over 2 parts water to 1 part sugar for winter time feeding. It helps the juice from freezing so fast. So far, so good.

Thank you for your input and the photos.

Jim Aho

>Snow Photos – 12/19/08


We received some photos taken in Illahee on Thursday 12/18/08. Please send us any photos you want to share and if you want credit let us know, so in case they get picked up by others, you will receive the credit.

The first ones are of an accident at the corner of McWilliams and Sunset that occurred Thursday afternoon.

The bird photo is of a humming bird that evidently decided to stay put over the winter. We will try to get more information from the person who is feeding it, like how do they keep the sugar water from freezing.

The picture of the sledding group was from the top of Roosevelt Street.

Jim Aho