Illahee 3/13/17 Photos, Port Meeting Report, Preserve Blowdown, Work Party Friday, Deer, Dog Attacks

Photos.  Marine traffic and the Saturday departure of the USS Independence (CV62).

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Port Meeting Report.  Lew Noah, a Port of Illahee commissioner in the 70’s and 80’s shared the history of the diving reef they installed in the front of the Illahee Dock.  It consisted of 5000 tires with four large Navy anchors holding it in place.  Lew noted that it was checked 6 months later and there were commercial quantities of two types of shrimp at the reef.
Preserve Blowdown.  Thursday evening’s windstorm brought down a number of trees across Preserve trails.  They were taken care of early Saturday morning by the volunteer maintenance crew.  Thanks to these guys who work even in the rain to keep the trails clean and clear!
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Work Party Friday.  Lots of wood chips along Thompson Lane and at the Almire parking lot where they are staged for a work party on Friday with the Washington Youth Academy cadets.  It is a pleasure to walk on the trails after a work party, though bicyclists are less happy as they like a hard and compacted surface to ride on.
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Deer.   These three deer, a doe and two yearlings, jumped out of the brush as I walked by.  
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Dog Attacks.  First there was a report of two horses being attacked by dogs, and then a few days later rabbits, a goat and a sheep were attacked and killed, evidently by the same dogs.  The reports were on the Illahee Community Facebook site, which is closed so you need to ask to be added.  It has provided a convenient place for unfortunate incidents like this to be shared and hopefully quickly resolved.
Jim Aho


Illahee 7/27/16 Deer, Illahee Day, Port Public Hearing Aug 10, Illahee Store, Illahee Day, New Sign, Cleanup Week/Day, Preserve Couch, Illahee Community Facebook Page

Deer.   Looking for photos of fawns.  This is a yearling buck.

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Port Public Hearing Aug 10.  This appeared in today’s Kitsap Sun.  Looks like an important hearing for those interested in the business of the Port and the Illahee Store.  The current Comprehensive Plan is available on the Port’s website:
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Illahee Store.  Lots of work going on around the former Illahee Store, thanks to Mark Moshay.  The Krick’s, owners of record, have given permission to clean up the area.

Illahee Day.  The Port has designated August 13th as Illahee Day and as the day to officially celebrate Illahee’s 100th Anniversary.  The Port will provide food for the event.  Others are wondering about the possibility of setting up tables in the area by the store for locals to promote their products.  This will be a discussion item when the Illahee Community Club board meets on August 1st.  
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New Sign.  We were impressed with the new sign that appeared recently at the Illahee Store.  It was provided by the Bremerton Bottling Company and they also contributed drinks for the celebration.   
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Clean-up Week/Day.  At the last Port meeting there was a request to spend some significant dollars on cleaning up the parking area, the planters, and the area in general for Illahee Day.  It was followed by a suggestion that volunteers could do the clean up and save tax payer’s dollars.  The morning of Saturday, August 6th, is the day the clean up is scheduled for, but we understand the dumpster is going to be delivered on August 1 and picked up on August 8, so the cleanup can begin anytime before and then finish up on Saturday.  Feel free to come down and help!
Preserve Couch.  Speaking of cleanup.  This couch along Thompson Lane, which goes through the Illahee Preserve, has been there for a long time.  If there is still room in the dumpster after the cleanup it would be nice to see moved there.

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Illahee Community Facebook Page.  We recently re-discovered the Illahee Community Facebook page and find it to be a very active and involved group.  It is a closed group which means you need to email Steve Pejka, the person who set up the group, to become a member, which is very easy if you are on Facebook. 

Jim Aho

Illahee 1/16/16 Illahee Photos, Deer, Illegal Cutting, TE Phase 2 Map, Cormorants, Barred Owl

Illahee Photos.  Some photos from and around Illahee.

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Deer.  Just happened on lots of deer this week, some in The Lost Continent area and the last one (two photos) in the Old Growth area of the Preserve.  
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Illegal Cutting.  The illegal cutting on Preserve property on Rest Place was posted with a stop work sign.  
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TE Phase 2 Map.  A new map of Illahee Preserve 2016 projects was sent out today.  Part of the map shows the TE Phase 2 targeted acquisition for a proposed south entrance to the Preserve.
TE Phase 2 Map
Cormorants.  With so many cormorants around we have been ignoring them until now.
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Barred Owl.  A late afternoon walk near the Preserve found an owl following us.  Not a very good shot because of the lighting, but enough to tell it was a barred owl.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 7/26/15 TE Purchase Proceeding, THANK YOU, Pledges Being Honored, Deer, Wildlife Casualties, County Road Crew, Wildlife Harassment, Port Resolution, New Seahawks Sign

TE Purchase Proceeding.  The escrow process necessary to purchase Timbers Edge started off slow, but accelerated this past week, and it appear everyone is working hard to meet the August 5th closing date.

THANK YOU.  Below is a message that went out as a reminder to many of those who pledged and we thought it worth sharing.  Without every one’s support this never would have happened, and we need to thank them as for many the donation amounts were sacrificial (such as a postponed new roof, and a used car rather than a new car).

In case you haven’t heard we were successful with Phase 1 of our Pledge Campaign to raise the funds to purchase 25.5 acrea of prime forest and riparian habitat for the Illahee Preserve.

The escrow process has begun and closing will be August 5, 2015.
One of the concerns we had a few weeks ago was whether the $300,000 from the State would be available in time for closing, and yesterday (Friday, 7/17) we were assured it would be, and possibly be available this coming week.
With that concern alleviated, we are now asking those who made pledges to send their pledges, if you haven’t already, to the Kitsap Community Foundation (KCF) and note they are for the Lost Continent/Timbers Edge Fund.  The address of KCF is:
KCF (LostContinent/Timbers Edge Fund), PO Box 3670, Silverdale, WA 98383.  
We are also receiving funds through the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) so if you have already sent your donations to our IFP Treasurer, Jonathan Buesch, 6253 East Blvd, Bremerton, WA 98311, that is fine.  
We would like to have the pledge donations sent in this next week and at the latest by July 31st.  If there are any problems, please let us know, as we have people standing by the help with a bridge loan if necessary.
We don’t know how to thank everyone, as a week before we needed start escrow we were $330,000 short. What happened in that last week was truly amazing.  The state came through and the final needed pledges came in in the final hours.  
THANK YOU for making this happen!!!
Pledges Being Honored.  The question has been whether those who pledged would honor the pledges, and so far there have only been a few who were unable or had to cut back, but thankfully there was a little reserve that should take care of it.  At this moment we anticipate needing $120,000 because of closing costs and so far $99,000 has come in out of the $124,000 that was finally pledged (though with some donating more and some less than they pledged the anticipated number is proving elusive).  There were some this week who are wondering if it is too late to donate and we are reminding them that we will begin the Phase 2 pledge campaign soon, so the answer is it is not too late. 
Deer.  We were trying capture one of these fawns picking up a transparent apple.  Between the deer and the geese the apples under this tree don’t last long.
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Wildlife Casualties.  We have been asked to both not photograph dead animals and to photograph them to remind people to be careful of our wildlife.  We don’t post these often, but when two of our more prominent creatures are hit within a few days we thought it was time to put out a reminder.
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County Road Crew.  Thanks to the county road crew wildlife casualties aren’t around very long.  We just happened to be walking and taking a photo of the fawn when this crew came by and a few minutes later they picked it up and were gone.
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Wildlife Harassment.  We have had numerous complaints about a jet ski rider harassing Canada geese and cormorants. Even those who aren’t particularly found of these birds have expressed that they shouldn’t be harassed like that and possibly killed.  Here are a few excerpts from one email:
This morning, somewhere around 930 and 10 AM, I heard geese calling and looked out my window to see what was happening.  Usually if the geese land on my beach they call and I go down and give them bread.  Also I found a dead goose on my beach.  ….  There was a guy on a jet ski chasing the geese in the water.  Also I saw him chasing a goose as it was trying to fly away.  ….  He was picking them out and circling.  ….  I yelled but I don’t think he heard me. …  I looked in the water and there was still one goose swimming.  The guy came back and looked in the water to see if there were any more birds left.  He found the goose and stared to circle.  I yelled again and ran down to the beach.  ….  I was horrified that someone who lives in Illahee would do this.  ….. 
Port of Illahee Resolution.  There will be initiative on the November Election ballot to eliminate separate districts within the Port of Illahee boundaries.  According the Washington law (WAC 434-381-120) the voters pamphlet requires two committees be appointed to prepare arguments for and against a ballot measure.  I’m sure the Port would like to have people who feel strongly on the issues to volunteer to be on the committees.  The resolution the Port approved (in February) is shown below:
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New Seahawks Sign.  A talented artist and Seahawk fan is keeping the local community aware of the waiting time before the first game of the season.  There has been a sign up just after the Superbowl and the sign was just replaced with a new one.  Thank you Sharry!
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Jim Aho

Illahee 6/7/14 Coyotes, Pheasants, Deer, Crab Pot, Work Party Report, Canada Geese

Coyotes.  Thanks to those who remember we are always looking for wildlife reports and especially photos to go with them.  Coyotes are some of the hardest for us to see, much less get a photo of them. Below is part of the note we received with the two coyote photos.

I remember a while back you talked about a coyote pack roaming the area. We hear them out on the back side of our property all the time. My husband says that very fearless. He had the dog with him out there one day and they had no problem standing around in broad daylight with him standing in proximity (probably looking at the dog as a tastey morsel). I’ve always wanted to get a picture of one and send it to you. I happened to have mowed the acre and a quarter of yard with a field mower the other day and as usual scattered a mass of rats. This usually bring every cat in the neighborhood around for days. It apparently attracted the coyotes as well. 
Pheasants.  We have had reports of a number of pheasant broods, and have been unsuccessful at photos of them, so we were glad to get these photos. We also had a report that pheasants like strawberries, and the chicks were standing on the protective netting, eating the berries through the netting.
Deer.  It isn’t very often you get a photo of two active fawns stopping to nurse.  When they realized we were there, they decided to leave. They are already trying to get into local gardens.
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Crab Pot.  This crab pot was dropped off along the road, so if you are missing one let us know.
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Work Party Report.  Last weekend there were two work parties scheduled. One on Friday evening and the other on Saturday.  Those who volunteered liked Friday and lots of chips were moved and other work accomplished in the two hours.  Saturday was a bust with one person cleaning up a section of one of the rain gardens.  They are reassessing whether weekend work parties should be scheduled.  If you have an opinion, let us know.
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One wood chip pile was leveled as those chips went around the perimeter of the Native Plant Demonstration Rain Gardens (see the above photos), while the smaller chips were used for the paths.
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Canada Geese.  Some of the local geese families are large this year, and others are small, as can be seen by these two photos.  Keeping a garden around here is tough when you have geese, pheasants, deer, squirrels, raccoons, and possum to deal with, along with various smaller birds. 
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Illahee 4/27/14 Pheasant, Seals, Deer, Grants, Utility Questions, Preserve Trail Map, Killdeer Update

Pheasant.  More pheasants have been reported around Illahee.  We saw this one on the beach and just barely got this photo; and, while working in the garden the other day, we heard a bicycler yell at a pheasant he almost hit on Illahee Road.

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Osprey.  We haven’t seen many osprey around here, but a number of residents saw one last week that was evidently looking for fish, with a neighbor reporting one went from up high in a fir tree diving way under the water and came up with a fairly good sized fish.

Seals.  We are amazed at the number of harbor seals around here.  There were about 20 of them on this float the other day, with another one trying to decide where to get on.
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Deer.  We receive emails from those who love the deer here and those who would like to have them thinned out.  And we hear from gardeners who spend lots of money trying to keep the deer out.  The last few years the deer won the garden battles here, eating roses, young grafted apple trees, all the raspberries, and much of the garden, and they won the first go around this year, but so far not the second.
Grants.  We heard this week the Coastal Protection Fund grant application we helped with was not successful.  We are hoping for better news on other grants, including the one the Park’s Department is preparing called “The Lost Continent of Illahee, Phase 2” that is due on May 1, 2014.  This is a follow-on grant to a Lost Continent of Illahee (Phase 1) grant many years ago that resulted in about 90 acres being added to the Illahee Preserve.
Utility Questions.  We have had several inquiries about the utility markings at the bottom of Roosevelt Street.  It appears to us to be preparation for a project that goes all the way up Roosevelt since the markings extend up the hill, and should be on a Public Works website, but we couldn’t find it. Let us know if you know what it is.
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Preserve Trail Map Help?  We have been asked if there is anyone who could help verify the GPS location of trails in the Illahee Preserve as it has been many years since the waypoints were established as part of the earlier maps.  There are also some new and modified trails that weren’t on the old maps.  Let us know if you can help and we will pass your name on to the trail map volunteers.
Killdeer Update.  It evidently didn’t go well with the killdeer eggs we showed in an earlier update.  Below is the feedback we received.
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A day or so (or so)  after you took the picture, 3 of the eggs were gone with no sign of the shells or young ones. On the same day a few hours later the remaining egg was gone, again no shell remains or a chick. In the past I’ve been fortunate to get pictures of recently hatched chicks and it seems that shell remains disappear fast and it also seemed that the young ones leave the nest fast. In the past, I have seen mom (and or pop) with the young on the beach. The young grow fast.
Jim Aho

Illahee 4/10/14 Killdeer Eggs, Blossoming Trees & Shrubs, Neighborhood Watch Meeting, Goose Hit Near Solar Speed Sign, Deer, Grant Applications, Interesting Facts

Killdeer Eggs.  We will be checking with the resident who pointed these out to see if the killdeer eggs shown below make it.

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Blossoming Trees & Shrubs.  There are some great photo opportunities for blossoms.  Attached are a few that were sent in along with one of ours.  The yellow-greem flower is a closeup of bigleaf maples flower, shown above it.  
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Neighborhood Watch Meeting.  Some great information was provided by the sheriff’s department at the recently held ICC meeting at the library.
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Goose Hit Near Solar Speed Sign.  It was a sad day for some when a local Canada goose was hit near the solar speed sign on Illahee Road.  Neighbors hauled the dead goose to the beach, and for two days its mate sat close by.  We heard Canada geese mate for life so it will be interesting to watch what happens to the surviving mate.
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Deer.  Are the deer in Illahee loved or hated?  Mostly liked, but we talked to one person who had planted 200 blossoming strawberry plants (having wintered them over in a greenhouse) and found them nibbled down to the ground the next morning.  They didn’t get many strawberries or raspberries last year because of the deer and were hoping this year would be different.  
Grant Applications.  Two grant applications affecting Illahee have been submitted this year with another due on 1 May 2014.  Now it is a matter of waiting to see if any of them will be successful.  We copied portions of the one requesting funds for safety lighting and security cameras at the Illahee Preserve.
The Illahee Preserve’s main parking lot is off of Almira Drive NE and is not lighted and has been the site of illegal activities, including vandalism, illegal dumping, drug dealing, and violence. We have been advised by the Sheriff’s Department that lighting and cameras will help deter the Illegal activities. Detering these activities is especially urgent because the Preserve entrance and parking area is directly across the street from the Kitsap County Mental Health facility and Drug Recovery Center.
The project will involve having PSE bringing in service power to the area, installing two utility poles, running power to the poles to support safety lighting and webcam security cameras, and installing a computer system at the Kitsap County Drug Recovery Center (located directly across the street) to receive and record the cameras’ wireless signals. The start date will be approximately one to two months after award of funding.
Interesting Facts.  Did you know that John Wayne had a summer home at one time on Bainbridge Island across from Illahee?  We just had the home pointed out and have asked if they could write something up about it.  A photo and more later.
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/30/14 Mergansers, Volunteers Needed for Saturday Work Party, Wood Chip Piles, Homeless Camp, Invasive Plants, Deer

Mergansers.   We have a variety of waterfowl during the winter months, including mergansers.  These are Common Mergansers checking the bay for fish and will move quickly when they find some. 
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Volunteers Needed for Saturday Work Party.   This is a first for the Illahee Preserve Stewardship group, where they scheduled a work party without having a definite group lined up.  They are hoping there will be some from the community who will be able to help them move some wood chips on Saturday between 8 – 10 am. Their container of tools and wheelbarrows will be delivered tomorrow (Friday 1/31/14) at the Almira parking lot.

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Wood Chip Piles.   Thanks to area tree services we have lots of chips available for trails, which keeps the trail nice and our volunteers busy. (We are just starting to work on how many hours were spent by volunteers in the Preserve last year.)  These are two piles they hope to move on Saturday.
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Homeless Camp?  We are surprised when we find tents in the Preserve, and post them with notices from the Sherrif’s Department. The good news is there are fewer and fewer each year.
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Invasive Plants.   There are invasive plants in and around the Preserve, but Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) is one that spreads faster than many of the others.  It forms dense, homogenous mats in forests and is a serious problem in Western Washington and British Columbia.  We will be contacting the county’s Noxious Weed Coordinator for help on this patch.
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Deer.   Not many deer left in the area with white markings. Thanks for the photos today (I just attached one photo) and the following note:
Attached are a couple of shots of some ‘visitors’ that came by our corner yesterday around 4 p.m. (Corfu and Thebes).  My husband said they walked down Corfu big as you please, looking pretty casual and confident, then went through the neighbor’s yard and disappeared.  Deer aren’t totally unusual in our area, but we found these pretty unique looking.  I’m sorry about the (cell phone) photo quality, but if you zoom on the pics, check out the odd white coloring on their back ends.  Both deer have it, so it isn’t white hair regrowth on, say, an old injury/scar or something.  (In photo 2, the second deer is visible just behind the back bumper of the blue car near the rock wall)  Very different looking – like someone splattered white paint across their rumps.  Any idea if these are just a genetic anomaly, or if they’re a variety that I don’t know about?  Can anyone identify?
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Jim Aho

Illahee 12/9/13 Deer, Float Removed, Humming Birds, Pheasant

Deer.  We normally see deer when we walk through the neighborhood, like the ones below.

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Float Removed.  The errant float was removed by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) salvage boat M/V Puget during high on Monday (12/9/13).  We took some video of it that we need to edit so it maybe awhile before we can post it.  Below are a few photos – notice the float on top of the logs in the last photo.
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Humming Birds.  Thanks for all the information on humming birds.  Below is some good information from the local Audubon.
Our hummingbird friends need food throughout the winter   The Seattle Audubon Society offers the following tips for cold weather hummingbird feeding:   1. Do NOT adjust the mix! Keep the mix at 1:4 ratio sugar to water. Nectar concentrations vary greatly among a variety of plants hummingbirds visit, but they are typically low in sugar. Recipes with a higher concentration of sugar do not necessarily benefit hummingbirds because it cannot travel up the grooves of their tongue easily and may also damage kidneys and liver. Though increasing the sugar may help to prevent freezing, our experts recommend staying consistent with a 1:4 mix. White sugar and water only! No honey, brown sugar, maple syrup etc. Pure sucrose is what they need to survive. We do NOT recommend Red dye. A simple recipe of 1 part sugar and 4 parts water, mixed in a pan, bring to a boil, and then remove from heat and cool. You may store extra in the fridge up to two weeks. Clean feeder once a week during cold weather more often during warmer weather.   2. Have two feeders and rotate them. The mix will begin to freeze around 29 degrees. Rotating the feeders throughout the day will keep the fluid moving and available to the birds. Hummingbirds do not feed at night so you can bring the feeders indoor however they start at dawn so get a feeder back out as early as possible. Anna’s can be very territorial, and may not share a feeder (especially multiple males), so having multiple feeders can help break up the fighting and competition for a single feeder.   3. Don’t enjoy setting your alarm for 5am? String Christmas lights around the feeder, the ambient heat can be just enough to keep things thawed (depending on how cold it gets). Or hang a trouble light nearby the feeding station, or from the bottom of the feeder. This is the light commonly used by car mechanics, or garage enthusiasts. It has a little cage around it and a hook at the top. Depending on the watts, it can put out enough heat on those especially cold nights.   4. Duct tape a hand warmer to the feeder. These hand warmers (or feet warmers) are pouches with chemicals in them that get activated once out of their packaging. They emit heat for approximately 7 hours. They are commonly available around town, Fred Meyers, sporting goods, probably Ace even has them. We have them at the Nature Shop as well.   5. Finally, another method to try is plumber’s heat tape. These flexible electric tapes are similar to a flat extension cord and can easily be wrapped around and taped to many types of feeders. Most heat tapes are equipped with a built-in thermostat in the cord. The wattage of these tapes is very low and does not draw a lot of energy. Try home supply stores and hardware stores for this product.   6. Don’t stress too much about the welfare of the Hummingbirds. Generally, our winters are mild and the cold snaps are usually not that long. Hummingbirds are capable of reducing their body temperature at night and conserving their energy. They roost in trees and shrubs and do not use nest boxes or bird houses. They need a lot of sucrose (nectar) during the day to keep them going especially in the cold. In addition to nectar for fuel, hummingbirds will consume any insects they encounter which help them meet their protein, vitamin and mineral requirements. Insects can be found under bark and plants even during winter cold periods. Extended periods of cold such as the one we are experiencing right now, is especially hard on these small birds designed to spend winters in warmer climates. Some birds will not make it, however the strong ones will find a way to survive. Continuing to offer nectar is a way in which we can assist them.   The Audubon Society also recommends providing a water source for all wild birds.
Pheasant.  We haven’t seen a hen pheasant around for some time so it was good to realize there is the potential for more if this one makes it through the winter without getting eaten by a coyote, fox or raccoon.  
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Jim Aho

Illahee 10/16/13 Illahee Film Showing, Seals, Pigeons, Kingfishers, Deer, Mushrooms

Illahee Film Showing.  The film “Illahee – Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time” will be part of a series of salmon films to be shown on Saturday, November 2nd, in Tacoma at the Broadway Center for Performing Arts.  We just heard nearly 100 tickets have already been sold and at that rate it will likely be a sell out, so if you haven’t seen the film this is another opportunity.  Discount tickets are available.  See the attached flyer for all the details. 

Seals.  The other day we noted someone reporting seeing 13 seals on a float.  Not to be outdone, the float in the photo below has 21 seals on it with at least one more swimming around, probably trying to figure out it there is room for one more.
We do have lots of seals in the area so when we see a dead one, like we have seen several times this year, we are to report them. See the response we received after posting a picture of a dead seal in our last update.

Please advise them not to every touch or approach a stranded or dead seal. They can carry disease, and if alive, it is illegal to disturb them. Report any dead seals to

WDFW/ Marine Mammal Investigations

(253) 589-7235


Pigeons.  Every now and then flocks of white pigeons are seen flying around Illahee.  For the first time we noticed one with a white head and body and traditional blue wings in the flock, which was photographed when they landed on the beach.  
Kingfishers.  There was an angry kingfisher on Friday letting people know he didn’t appreciate his sailboat mast been taken down last week.  Neighbors got used to seeing him up there this summer and will miss watching him dive for fish.
Deer Damage.  With so many deer in Illahee is can only be expected some deer damage will occur.  The first photos show what bucks can do to trees and blueberry bushes. The second ones show what deer did to a new fall raspberry plant and to an apple tree, when the deer protection was removed.
Mushrooms.  With so many comments regarding mushrooms we will see if we can get more information about them.  We did have questions about havesting in the Illahee Preserve and just received the following information from the Park’s Department.
“The forest areas within Kitsap County Parks host environments for mushrooms which are shared between humans and wildlife. Mushrooms are consumed by deer, bear, small mammals, and mollusks. Some rodents rely on mushrooms for a significant part of their food supply and are, in turn, primary prey for larger species such as owls, hawks and eagles. Preserving the diversity of mushrooms in our local forest ecosystems is essential to Kitsap County natural parks.
To maintain a balance between humans and wildlife, the Parks Department will follow guidelines established by the US Forest Service for incidental removal of mushrooms for personal use. No permit is required for incidental removal of mushrooms to gather an amount for a meal. Daily limit for personal use is one gallon. Harvested chanterelle mushrooms must have a cap diameter of one inch or more. Gatherers are reminded to stay on trails and inner roadways as many are surrounded by sensitive ecosystems.

There are just as many poisonous mushrooms as there are delicious species of mushrooms. Use caution when picking mushrooms. Use guidebooks and pamphlets for identification.

Proper harvesting techniques provide the best possible recovery of mushrooms sites year after year. Mushrooms stems are to be cut at or above ground level, keeping the growing site as undisturbed as possible. Use only a knife or scissors to harvest mushrooms.

Kitsap County does not permit commercial harvesting of any products in County Parks unless a County Park permit has been issued.”