Illahee 2/6/14 Saturday’s Work Party, Piebold Deer Responses, Sea Star Wasting Syndrome, Cold Weather, New Signs

Saturday’s Work Party.   There were only eight volunteers who showed up to help on Saturday (2/1/14), but what they accomplished was amazing.  Thanks to all the volunteers who take care of and maintain the Illahee Preserve!

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Piebald Deer Responses.   In our last update we posted a photo and the question that came with it, whether the deer with white markings was a genetic anomaly.   There have been several theories, as evidenced by the first two comments.  The last one came in from a wildlife biologist, which is the definitive explanation.
 photo 1
….. that is the doe that we see time to time for 3 or 4 years now. There is a two acre wood, a common area, and she seems to come from there, between Aegean and Corfu, this year she had a fawn that I saw, and some neighbors said they saw twins. She is increasingly seen in the daytime. I think she came from those deer that escaped from the bed and breakfast at the end of 3 rd street…down on the water…they had some very unusual deer….that was over 10 years ago. Those deer scattered all over the hills and I remember them when seeing ones marked with white hindquarters.
It sure looks to me like it’s part of the albino gene that’s seen so often from Oregon to SE Alaska.  I’ve seen the well documented albino deer in Illahee myself a few years ago from my back yard.  In this case, it looks like a partial transmission of the gene to the deer in question.
I enjoy looking at your weekly emails. In the current one, I noticed the question about the unusual coloring of the pictured deer. This is a somewhat rare genetic condition known as piebald. The amount of white varies from a little bit to almost all white. If you google “piebald deer” you will find enough pictures and information to spend a whole day on. There are many other animals that exhibit  this trait including pheasants. We used to call them “partial albinos” before we knew better. There is no such thing as a “partial albino”. I had a piebald robin show up in my yard one Spring. It stayed around all summer. I anxiously waited the following Spring to see if it would return, but it didn’t.
Sea Star Wasting Syndrome.   In one of our recent updates we noted the outing to monitor a recently discovered sea star wasting syndrome.  The photo below show the people who showed up.  We also were forwarded what we think is a great link for those who want to better understand the problem .
 seastar monitoring group
Wow! Thank you to the 21 people who braved the cold night to learn about monitoring, measuring, and recording sea stars to track their health and abundance. Our citizen scientists play an important role in collecting information that will help us all better understand how sea stars are doing in Kitsap County.
Cold Weather.   The last few days of January we started photographing emerging flowers (crocus, daffodils, and tulips) and leaves, thinking we were going to have an early Spring.  Those emergents don’t look so good right now with the low temperatures.  Notice the ice on the Illahee North detention ponds.  The ducks normally frequenting the ponds are now on the salt water.
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New Signs.   We noticed the county was installing new dead end signs on street signs, which are replacing individual ones further down the road.  The new ones on the signs help drivers realize there is a dead end before turning down the road. 
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Jim Aho

Illahee 10/4/13 Mushroom Heaven, Culvert Cleanout, Sediment Dumped at Preserve, New Signs, Spider Webs

Mushroom Heaven.  We have been amazed by the numbers of mushrooms in the Illahee Preserve this fall and thus the description of the Preserve as a possible “mushroom heaven”.  And today (Friday) we saw a mushroom unlike anything we have ever seen before.  Hopefully it is easily identified – please let us know so we can pass the information on. 

Culvert Cleanout.  Also on Friday (10/4/13) the Illahee Creek culvert under Illahee Road was cleaned.  The photos show the process and we are often asked what it looks like inside the culvert.  While cleanouts need to continue, they are only accomplished at the down stream end of the culvert in hopes that sediment will fill the hole the cleanout creates.  As you can see from the photo showing the inside of the culvert, which is 65 feet long, there remains lots of sediment inside.
Sediment Dumped at Preserve.  It was mentioned that when the culvert is cleaned out and dumped at the Preserve that we are simply taking local sediment that was washed down stream and bringing it back upstream. The fact that there are many golf balls in the sediment gives a clue to where the material is coming from.  The sediment is being placed as fill at the Almira parking lot where eventually there will be a large picnic type shelter installed.  
New Signs.  We noticed a new sign recently installed regarding brush picking.  It will soon be time to watch for brush pickers and call 911 if you see them in the Preserve.
Spider Webs.  Another sign of fall is the many spiderwebs.  We noticed two kinds at the Preserve as you can see from the photos below.
Jim Aho

Illahee 8/4/12 New Signs, Saturday Opportunities, Illahee Day, Dumpster Ordered, Brownsville/Gilberton Community Picnic, Big Deer?

New Signs at Illahee Dock.  The Port has been busy making improvements at the Illahee Dock, including the posting of new signs to warn of the dangers of jumping off the railings, as can be seen by the photos above and below.  We will see how well they work with the warm weather.

Saturday (8/11/12) Opportunities.  This coming Saturday (8/11/12) Illahee residents will have two community opportunities.

Illahee Day (11am – 4pm).  The Port of Illahee has been sponsoring Illahee Day for a number of years, with the emphasis recently on clean-up and getting together with neighbors.  The poster at the end of Ocean View and along Illahee Road is shown in the photo above, and the flyer is below.  In the past residents have worked on the dock and now can work on the recently acquired Dietch house and property just north of the dock.  Residents in the past have also worked cleaning the roadways and the Illahee Preserve.
Early Start?  Because it was the last of the low tides on Saturday (8/4/12) some community volunteers moved junk from the area north of the dock to the Port’s boat ramp so it can be hauled away next Saturday during the Illahee Day cleanup effort.  
Dumpster Ordered.  The above beach junk hauling was initiated because the Port has ordered a dumpster to haul away any trash collected as part of the cleanup effort on Saturday.  This should be good news to those who cleanup the ditches and roadways in the area.  It has also been an opportunity for those working in the Illahee Preserve, to have a convenient way to dispose of the garbage they have found in the Preserve.
Gilberton Brownsville Community Picnic 12:30 – 4 pm.  Also on Saturday (8/11/12) is the Gilberton Brownsville Community Picnic, which is being hosted by the Brownsville United Methodist Church (see poster above).  The Illahee Community has been invited as neighbors to participate.  Attached is the invite notice and some photos of the Brownsville church.  

Members of the Illahee Community are invited to the

Gilberton-Brownsville Community Picnic  

12:30-4:00 p.m. August 11, 2012

8811 Illahee Rd NE – Brownsville United Methodist Church lawns, across from Brownsville Elementary School.

The church is celebrating the 60 years in the community by having a FREE BBQ and all the trimmings for our neighbors and honoring the Gilberton homestead – 120 years ago.

Bring your family, visit with friends, meet your neighbors, tell history stories and have fun.  There will be heritage displays and artifacts, CK Fire and Rescue engine and games for children and adults. Perhaps people in our small communities can gather and talk and see how much we have in common!    Did you know that the Brownsville Church was the 1916 Seabeck Elementary School barged from Hood Canal around Kitsap Peninsula to Gilberton in 1956?   Below are historical photos of the building on the barge and landing in Gilberton. 

Do you have stories about our community?  Please join us!

The Illahee – Gilberton – Brownsville Connection.  This past week Judith Krigsman did research on Thompson Lane, the road going into the center of the Illahee Preserve off of Riddell Road, and with the help of the county found Thompson Lane was part of the original Brownsville Road.  It has been a county road and county right-of-way since 1895, which would match-up with the Gilberton Homestead being 120 years old, as noted in the Gilberton Brownsville picnic announcement. 

Big Deer?  There are some big buck deer around the area that are hard to get photos of.  One is a 4 pointer (4 spikes on each side) and the other is a 6 or 7 pointer (with 6 on one side and reportedly 7 on the other side).  The big one has not been cooperative about getting its picture taken.  Let us know if you know where it can be seen as we have a small telephoto lens (80 power) that might help if it is off in the distance. 

Jim Aho

Illahee Update 2/2/12 Illegal Brush Picking Report, New Signs, Meeting Report, Sewer Manholes, Film Date, Sailboat?

Brush Picking Report on Front Page. The illegal brush picking in the Illahee Preserve received front page coverage on Wednesday.  We were surprise the first time Illahee brush picking made the front page of the Kitsap Sun and again yesterday.  See the photo below.  The story is at the following link: We are beginning to realize just how important the Illahee Preserve is to the surrounding community, as more and more people discover it and use it.  Someday it will probably be the only forested area in the Bremerton – Silverdale area as we noticed the logging today of another forested area on McWilliams west of SR 303.

New Signs. There are some new and larger signs around the Preserve to let everyone know that brush picking is not allowed.  These are similar to the old signs as some of the old signs had been torn down.  Most of the walkers in the Preserve we talked to today said they saw the article and were glad to know brush picking is not allowed.  They also said they didn’t see any signs of brush pickers today.

Illahee Meeting Report. There were roughly 50 residents who attended the Illahee Community meeting on Tuesday evening to hear Eric Baker discuss the Comprehensive Plan Remand Update alternatives.  Much of the discussions centered around the sewer requirements for urban areas and the costs associated with them.  At the end of the meeting residents voted unanimously that they wanted to see the zoning of the golf course changed from Urban Reserve to a Parks designation (based on the gifting of the golf course to the county), and they would like the shoreline residential zoning changed from Urban Low (5-9 homes per acre) to Urban Restricted (1-5 homes per acre) from historic Illahee to University Point in order to better match the shoreline’s Conservancy designation.  There were many comments at the end about it being a very good and informative meeting.  Thanks Eric and the Illahee Community non-profit group for putting on the meeting.

February 6 BOCC Meeting. This is a reminder that any comments or concerns regarding the Comprehensive Plan Remand need to be turned in by this Monday, February 6, 2012, either in writing or in testimony before the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), which begins at 7 pm.

Sewer Manholes. There are two developments in Illahee with sewers, Ambleside and Illahee North.  We happened to be walking by when surveyors were looking into one of the manholes between these two developments and we asked if we could take a picture.  We were surprised to see the pipe is open on the top and the sewage can be readily viewed just by looking in, which is because it is a gravity system.  Once it is pumped from the Illahee North holding tanks it goes through some specialized pumps and to a pressurized system, and eventually to the sewage plant between Brownsville and Keyport.

Illahee Film Date 2/25/12. It appears the initial showing of the Illahee film will be on Saturday evening, February 25, 2012 at the Norm Dicks Center.   More details will be provided once they are firmed up.

Illahee Dock Sailboat? We saw what appears to be the twin masted sail boat that spent about a year around the Illahee community dock, on the front page of today’s Kitsap Sun.  It was hard to tell because it was sunk.  We expect the Port of Illahee commissioners will be able to tell us if this was the same boat.  What is interesting is it appears in the background of one of the scenes in the Illahee film.  The link to the story is:

Jim Aho