Illahee 5/31/17 Old Bear Photo, Bear Reports, Golden Eagle Report, Spring Young, Kildeer Nest, New Sign, Class Visit to Preserve, Preserve Shelter Progress

Old Bear Photo.  This photo is from June 2014 of a local bear that could be the same bear that has been seen recently in the area.

Bear Reports.  More reports of bears moving through Illahee, including by me who had the bear and her cub walk by me this past Thursday about 9:15 am, as I was working in my yard.  When they saw me they quickly left and walked north along the beach.

My neighbors report a few minutes earlier was more interesting.  
Carol had just finished hanging clothes on the outdoor clothesline when she noticed movement to her right on the lawn at the top of the path to the beach.  A mama bear and her older cub were about 20 ft. from her.  She slowly backed away toward the house, then came running in the house and told her husband there were two bears in the yard.  We went out on their deck as the bears ran up toward the Illahee Rd.  We lost track of then and phoned our next door neighbor when we heard a loud crack.  We stepped back out on the deck to see the mama bear tearing a limb off our Hawthorne tree to get at a small bird house, that was hanging on a branch.  She was eating something,  When she saw us she bounded off into the underbrush going south.  We didn’t see the cub at that time.
A photo of the bird house, which had a bumblebee nest in it, and the limb that was broken off are shown below.

Golden Eagle Report.  Another report of an irregular visitor to the area from Dody.
I live in the housing complex across from Rolling Hills golf course and saw my first ever golden eagle in a large fir tree yesterday. The crows were going crazy over something in a large fir tree, so got the binoculars out and sure enough, it was a golden eagle eating something (lost pets?) for at least twenty minutes before leaving with a large entourage of angry crows. Saw it twice later in the afternoon with the same murder of noisy escorts. Biggest bird I’ve ever seen. Didn’t know they were indigenous to this area until I looked it up in our bird books. Made my day, but I’ll be keeping a closer eye on my 7-pound poodle mix for sure!
Spring Young.  We haven’t seen the ducklings lately, but are seeing more goslings.
Kildeer Nest.  Will this nest survive better than the nearby goose and duck ones that were discovered by raccoons?
New Sign.  A new private sign has been posted at the top of Ocean View with the following note from Mark:
I also purchased a professional Bushnell speed gun and I’ve been tracking speeds as people make the corner. The good news is that many of the cars I thought we’re going too fast we’re actually very close to the speed limit I think a lot of it has to do with the sound as vehicles are making the turn. That said we still have a number of young people mostly who race up the hill those I intend to capture with the speed gun and pictures and post them on the Illahee Facebook page asking people to let those individuals know they’re just going too fast and they could kill someone or some one’s pet.
Class Visit to Preserve.  Another teacher is using the Preserve for learning experiences.  A few weeks ago we included a photo of a 2nd and 3rd grade class.  This is an Olympic College class that met at the Preserve on Tuesday.
Preserve Shelter Progress.  A major investment in the Preserve has been made with the installation of shelter by the Rotary Club of East Bremerton at the Almira entrance to the Illahee Preserve.
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 7/25/13 Blueberries, Baby Seal, Mushrooms Identified, New Sign, Deer, Bear Scat?

Blueberries.  We were asked not to divulge the location of this Illahee blueberry patch that had some amazingly large blueberries.

Baby Seal.  Just after the pod of orcas came through last Thursday we found this baby seal on the beach.  We heard mother seals will often leave babies on the beach and come back for them later on, so we didn’t touch it or bother it.  However, the next day we discovered the seal dead a little further down the beach.  Don’t know if its death had anything to do with orcas, but if the mother seal succumbed then it might have.  We were amazed at the photos in last Friday’s Kitsap Sun (7/19/13) of the orcas in Liberty Bay.

Mushrooms Identified.  We had several responses regarding the identification of mushrooms in the Illahee Preserve.  They were:
Those mushrooms are likely Lepiota atrodisca or similar.

Also called Black disc lepiota, and is described as a small white mushroom with purple/brown “eye spot” with white gills, whose habitat is second growth forest.

New Sign.  We noticed a new sign at the bottom of 3rd Street.  We also heard some residents have asked that wildlife signs be put up to caution drivers that wildlife are present along our roads.  We will let you know what they find out.
Deer.  Just like the baby seal, this story has a sad ending.  The other day we photographed a mother with two fawns.  Today the mother appeard to be alone.  We heard one fawn was hit near the Illahee dock, and another one yesterday south of the dock along Illahee Road.  The Kitsap County road crew picks up the dead deer if they are in the right-of-way and the number to call is 337-5777.
Bear Scat?  We received a photo of what they thought appeared to be bear scat.  It looked like deer scat to someone else who had a big doe that frequented thier property, but the first party said there were other signs that indicated it could be a bear.  We know there have been bear around Illahee before, in fact we had reports several years ago of a bear that came through Illahee, including one of it sitting in an apple tree eating apples near Illahee State Park.  A few years earlier the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) brought in a bear trap in north Illahee like the one below, but the property owners never did hear back if they caught the bear.  We saw this one last weekend while attending a birthday party north of Poulsbo.  Someone asked if it could have been a cougar trap, but we said it was baited with donuts and other pastries, so it was definitily trying to get a bear.  As for possible cougar sightings, we heard someone say they throught they saw something big with a long tail near the Cheney Estates, and they said it must have been a cougar.  
Wildlife Sightings.  Let us know of wildife sightings, especially those that are rare for Illahee.

Jim Aho

Illahee 2/5/13 Septic or Animal Pollution, Health Dept Surveys, Community Meeting on Monday, New Sign, Beavers?

Septic or Animal Pollution?  Last year residents noticed Health Department officials walking Illahee shorelines and taking water samples for what we understand was a grant to determine pollution sources.  Was it coming from humans via septic systems, or from natural sources such as birds and animals?

Health Dept Surveys.  In addition to beach sampling, other Health Department officials were going door to door to talk with residents about their septic systems.  We had a number of you ask if we knew what was going on, and so we reported some information last year.  We also heard of one so frustrated with what they thought was harassment because of the survey, that they actually left the area.  

Community Meeting on Monday at 6:30 pm.  The Health Department’s pollution study is complete and the Illahee Community group asked for a briefing of the results, similar to what was presented on the Bainbridge Island side.  This is a great opportunity to find out more and to ask questions.  The meeting is Monday (February 11th) at the Sylvan Way library beginning at 6:30 pm.  We attached the notice for the December Bainbridge Island meeting below (that we heard was sparsely attended partially because of the weather).

New Preserve Sign.  There is a new Illahee Preserve sign along the quarter-mile border the Preserve has with highway 303.  In spite of the quarter mile of forest, few of those traveling along highway 303 knew it was part of the 444 acre Preserve.  We watched the sign being installed on Saturday morning and were told there is still some touch-up work to do before it will be considered finished, such as painting the posts green.  How do you ever thank the Rotary Club of East Bremerton for funding and installing this key identification sign?  

Beavers?  One of the recommendations in the 2007 Parametrix report of the Illahee watershed to increase salmonid habitat in Illahee Creek is to introduce beavers.  We think this should be a community decision, and especially one for the property owners along the creek.  After hearing about a beaver dam bursting and causing damage to a downstream home this winter, we thought the recommendation may be problematic, until we visited Newberry Hill Heritage Park last Friday.  We saw two beaver dams and realized the water levels were not measured in feet, but rather in inches, and saw the places where fish are able to negotiate the dams (the last photo). We again think beavers may be a viable option for the creek, but only if the streamside residents agree. 
Jim Aho