Illahee 7/25/14 Flycatchers, Illahee Stormwater Project, Stormwater Article, Benthic Testing, Other Bugs, SWD in Raspberries?, Illahee Day, Homeless Camps, Wood Chips, Interim Map

Flycatchers.  We were not aware of flycatchers until we received the email below showing photos of 4 babies. Wikipedia notes its diet “As a flycatcher it will wait on a perch and when it sees a flying insect it will chase it without any apparent effort. They also enter swarms of gnats, mosquitoes and wherever such insects congregate. They fulfill an important role in keeping insect populations in check, particularly mosquitoes. and they also eat caterpillars and spiders.”

A pair of Pacific Slope Flycatchers raised a brood in my back yard (see attached). They often use man made structures to nest on and in this case it was a ladder hanging on the side of my well house. It was on the bottom step. Fortunately, I have only a couple of cats in the neighborhood and they didn’t find the nest. The pictures are only 2 or 3 weeks apart.
Illahee Stormwater Project.  Kitsap County is currently working on a stormwater pond project in the Kariotis development that benefits Illahee Creek.  They are enlarging an
existing stormwater pond and increasing the size of the drainage piping. We heard the people in the development have not been happy with the disruptions, such that the county produced an information sheet to explain the project.  Below are some photos of the roadwork to put in the larger pipe and the pond after the surrounding vegetation has been removed. 
2014-7-21 Misc 024
2014-7-21 Misc 066 
Stormwater Article.  Last Sunday’s Kitsap Sun (7/20/14) had a great article on stormwater and we will try to find the link to it later. 
Benthic Testing.  And Monday’s Kitsap Sun followed with an article on benthic testing. We will try to find the link to this article also. Illahee Creek is tested every two years and the results have not been good, likely the result of the excessive sedimentation that has filled the culvert under Illahee Road, and threatens the culvert with a washout.
Other Bugs.  While the benthic testing looks at aquatic bugs, we found some bugs hatching out under a lettuce leaf, that appear to be stink bugs.
2014-7-21 Misc 059 
SWD in Raspberries?  Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) (Drosophila suzukii) is a
soft fruit pest that at least one Illahee resident feels it is attacking her raspberries, and possibly her blueberries.  She recently soaked her raspberries in a salt water solution and out came a bunch of very small white worms.  If they are the spotted wing drosophila they are from Asia and were discovered in California in 2008 and in Washington and Oregon in 2009. Below is a life cycle slide of the SWD from a WSU publication:
Illahee Day.  For planning purposes, the Port of Illahee has selected August 16 to celebrate Illahee Day.  The location is near the entrance of the dock and the time is from 4 – 7 pm.  We will post more information as it becomes available.
Homeless Camps.  Only two homeless camps found this month, but there are concerns as the word on the street is that homeless camps in the Central Kitsap area are scheduled to be removed, which usually results in them looking at moving into the Illahee Preserve.
2014-7-23 Misc 009 
Wood Chips.  Wood chips continue to be unloaded at the Preserve’s Almira parking lot.  The other evening we helped level a big chip pile near the Preserve’s sign and wish we had taken a before picture.  
2014-7-23 Misc 010 
Interim Map.  Good news about trail maps.  A new one is being developed, and an interim map was printed up and posted on Wednesday.  Thanks to Rob and the guys at the Planetarium on Pacific Avenue for the interim maps.
2014-7-23 Misc 014 
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/20/13 Preserve Work Party, Roses Removed, Mushrooms, Benthic Testing, November Community Meeting

Preserve Work Party.  We had a very productive work party on Saturday (10/19/13) at the Illahee Preserve.   Rain garden plot #1 was full of weeds and native roses that went wild and a group of volunteers from the Family of God Lutheran Church came to help rectify the problem.  Wheel barrow loads of weeds were pulled and two areas were planted with native coastal or beach strawberries (fragaria chiloensis).  We selected some photos of the event that show the group and the before and after status.

Roses Removed.  A few years ago we planted a few nootka roses (rosa nutkana) in plot #1 before we decided that we wanted the center to primarily consist of ground cover plants.  While the nootka roses were native and pretty they were too aggressive and prolific for our rain gardens and need to be removed.  See the photo below showing the underground runners of the plant, that had basically taken over the plot and the reason for it being taken out (we noticed  the new Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington does not recommend it for rain gardens, and we now understand why).  The removed roses were relocated to the perimeter of Compass Circle, again with the help from the Family of God Lutheran Church volunteers. 
Mushrooms.  Three more unique mushrooms were discovered this weekend, and hopefully we can get some more help in identifying them.  The first one was large and had a curvy body.  
The second looked and felt like cottage cheese.
The third one had a fringe around the edges.  
With such a great help last time identifying them, we thought we would try again with these newly discovered mushrooms.

Benthic Testing.  A week ago the county finished its benthic testing of local streams with Illahee Creek being one of the streams tested.  We have included one photo taken at the time and hope to have an update later that describes the reasons for the testing and the results from the samples taken two years ago.  More to come later.
November Illahee Community Meetings.  We were just notified that the Illahee Community non-profit group has scheduled a community meeting at the Sylvan Way library for 6 pm on Monday, November 18, 2013.  No other details will likely be available until they have a board meeting on November 4th.

Jim Aho 

Illahee Community Update 10-11-11 Potential Robbery Interrupted, Benthic Testing, Tuesday Rainbow

Potential Robbery Interrupted?  We received the following report after yesterdays update regarding area robberies.  This took place in the old Illahee area, and shows that this is more prevalent than just the state park area.

This is interesting Jim,  because my neighbor stopped by to tell me about an incident last week here on Olive Ave. He was up late one night and noticed a big Buck outside in his yard, when he stepped outside to see better, he noticed two people all dressed in black. One he said was a tall male, and the other was not so tall and he thought it was a female. Both looked fairly young, maybe late teens or early 20’s. They were walking down the street and stopped to look in the window of a neighbors truck, they were talking and pointing at various vehicles. (including mine) They noticed a truck in the carport of our neighbor and they both walked up to it, but as they approached, the security light came on. They both ran, crouched down to a ditch in front of the house where they laid down trying to hide. The neighbor yelled at them telling them to get out of our neighborhood and they both took off running down the street. 
Illahee Creek Benthic Testing.  This subject requires some explanation.  Benthic testing is a way of checking biological indicators of a watersheds health.  The types of fish, insects, algae, plants, and other resident aquatic life tell us about the health of Illahee Creek.  Kitsap County is conducting benthic testing on many of counties streams with the help of volunteers.  The photo shows county employee Mauro Heine and volunteer Frank Stricklin as they tested Illahee Creek on September 28th.  The fish is a fresh water sculpin  that was collected in one of the samples.
Tuesday Rainbow.  Since Monday evening we have received .84 inches of rain, according to one report.  John Lind sent us this rainbow photo that was taken close to sunset on Tuesday.
Jim Aho