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.

2014-04-27 Misc 019 
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.
2014-04-27 Misc 025 
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.
2014-04-27 Misc 034 
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.
2014-04-10 Misc 006 
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 10/30/13 Scoters, Sea Lions, Seals, Illahee Film Showing, Weather Station, Mushrooms

Scoters.  The winter mix of ducks have begun arriving in Illahee.  The Surf Scoter is a deep diving sea duck that eats shellfish whole which is probably why they are around here every winter.  These were sighted off the Illahee State Park dock last week.

Sea Lions.  We were sent some film clips of a sea lion eating salmon off of Point White.  We were able to get just one still photo from the clip as it seemed to be throwing the salmon up in the air and then trying to catch it.
Seals.  There seems to be no lack of seals this year, so many that they almost submerge a local float.
Illahee Film Showing.  The Illahee film is showing on Saturday (11/2/13) with some other great salmon films and they have presold over 200 seats, so if you are interested it is recommended you prepurchase your tickets.  Information on the film showing is in previous updates that can be seen on the website.
Weather Station.  We are having problems with the Illahee weather station, the webcam, and some of the time-lapsed postings.  The weather station’s solar cell was having problems with its battery after so many days of fog.  The webcam has been having problems with the USB connection points.  They are being worked on when our volunteer IT person is available.

Mushrooms.  There are many mushroom photos that have come in recently, along with one taken at the mushroom show last Sunday showing some poisonous ones.  Here are a few of them, thanks to Sally.

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.”

Illahee 10/10/13 Mushroom Identified, More Wood Chips, Seals, Tree Trunk Art

Mushroom Identified.  Thanks for all the help in identifying this mushroom.  

We thought it would be good to copy down some of the many responses we received.  We learned much from the comments – especially the fact that if part of it is left, it will come back next year.  Thanks for all your help and knowledge!

that is a cauliflower mushroom, sometimes called a brain mushroom    delicious!!

This is a Cauliflower Mushroom.

this is the best…..a Cauliflower(Sparasis crispa) ……super good. If you don’t like it I would LOOOOOVE it.

the mushroom in the picture is a cauliflower mushroom.       it is excellent eating if it is not wormy.

the mushroom looks to me to be a sparassis.  They are very good to eat.  Was it in the  preserve?    (the answer is yes)

Here’s link to your mystery mushroom:  I hear they are among the most tasty, and have health benefits.   

It is a cauliflower mushroom, kinda rare to find and very tasty!  It is important that not all of it is harvested so it will come back next year.

Oh wow! Those are cauliflower mushrooms, Jim. Where did you see them?  They are one of my all time favorites!
More Wood Chips.  Thanks to the East Bremerton Rotary for arranging for wood chip deliveries to the Preserve.  This load of maple chips came in today (10/10/13) at the Almira parking lot.  
Seals.  Seals regularly occupy Illahee floats.  The other day someone counted 13 on this first float.  There have been a few salmon jumping between the floats and the shoreline.  Hope they make it past the seals. 
We did notice a small dead seal on one of the floats, that got the attention of an eagle and later some seagulls.
Tree Trunk Art.  Noticed some tree trunk art in the Preserve today.
Jim Aho

Illahee 7/18/13 Orcas, Seals, Shiner Perch, Salmon, Preserve Kiosk, High Fire Danger, Campsite Fire Pit

Orcas.  It appears not many noticed a small pod of orcas coming through Illahee this morning (7/18/13) about 8:30 am.  Thanks to an observant neighbor we got a call that they were out in the middle of the channel.  They evidently were hunting as it took them some time to surface again, this time on the Bainbridge side.  We got a couple of photos just to document their presence, but they were at least a mile away by them.  We noticed the Kitsap Sun reported on their sittings as possible transient seal eating oracas.  The article will probably show up in Friday’s paper

Seals.  We did notice a seal hugging the shoreline right after they went through, and then a little later saw this baby swimming by.
Shiner Perch.  At the dock they are catching what they refer to as pogies.  They are actually shiner perch and they don’t get very big, averaging between 4 and 6 inches.  
Salmon.  We noticed the following article in the Kitsap Sun on Tuesday that caught our attention.  While we like the fish story, we like it that Illahee is a recognized community in the area.
Preserve Kiosk.  Changes are coming to the Illahee Preserve kiosk, that was recently stained.  Soon there will be a more professional covering so maps and other information can be posted.  We also heard there will soon be a garbage can for pet waste as it has become a problem with many pet owners leaving their waste bags at the Preserve.
High Fire Danger.  At a recent meeting we asked who put up the fire danger signs, but no one knew.  Let us know if you know who posted the signs.
Campsite Fire Pit.  Every now and then we have people who want to camp in the Preserve in spite of the signs saying that it is prohibited.  Our biggest fear of campers, and smokers also, is of a fire.  As you can see from the photo they had a charcoal fire next to a log.
We have been told that local fire departments are not equipped to fight a forest fire.  This campsite was along a trail and the Sheriff’s Department was notified and quickly posted it, and the people left soon after, except for their tent, which eventually disappeared.  

Jim Aho

Illahee 12/4/12 A Third Illahee Website, Preserve Dumping, Correct Phone Number for Illahee Film, Culvert Report, Lost Cat, High Tides, Seals

A Third Illahee Website.  For years there was only one website covering Illahee issues,  Then several years ago the Port of Illahee established their own website,  And more recently a separate website has been established for the Illahee Preserve,  Thanks to Rob Spearman for his great work in establishing the Illahee Preserve’s website.  The website is set up to cover the various projects going on in the Preserve and should be a great source of information for any who might want to get involved.

Preserve Dumping.  Another dumping of old furniture at the Illahee Preserve’s Almira parking lot occurred this past weekend.

Anyone recognize these items?  If so, we would like to find the person/s responsible.

Correct Phone Number for Illahee Film.  We were advised the phone number for those wanting to have the Illahee film delivered was wrong in the last update.  We apologize as it was our error.  The correct phone number is (360) 479-1049.

Culvert Report.  We have been asked if the recent clean-out of the Illahee Creek culvert outlet has resulted in an increased opening at the inlet.  The answer is it is very hard to see much of a difference.  We took a couple of photos on different days, with the last being on Monday, which showed a nominal 12 inches of clearance.  We wanted to get this photo since the culvert outlet will be dredged again on Tuesday (12/5/12).
Lost Cat.  Lots of these postings around Illahee of another lost cat.
High Tides.  There have been higher tides than usual the last few days, especially with the low pressure, which raises them even higher than the predicted heights.  This morning was exciting as the high tides and wave action caused a number of logs to go moving with the waves down the shoreline.  We had an old piling from the Illahee Community dock that washed up on our shoreline a couple of years ago that came loose from its rope today and probably ended up at Brownsville.  We took pictures of some shoreline plants that took a beating from the tide and waves.  The first one shows the plants and the second one shows how high the tide was by the piece of driftwood that ended up on top of them.
Seals.  We like to have at least one wildlife photo and choose this one of the seals as they congregated on one end of a nearby float.
Jim Aho
Note:  Past updates available at
We are always looking for Illahee photos or stories to share; please forward to

Illahee Community Update 8-29-11 Orca Picture, Seals, Peach Eating Squirrel, Website, & Wednesday Work Party

Saturday Orcas. While we were putting out a Saturday Update about the sighting of orcas on Friday, the orcas were out front playing around.  Our neighbor was out picking berries at the beach around 11 am when she heard a blowing sound, and turned around to see the orcas playing in the area north of the Illahee community dock.

Orca Picture. We were happy later to receive the attached picture with email below.  They later sent a video clip, but we were unable to open it and are still trying to figure out what program to use to be able to see it.

We didn’t see the whales (3 of them) on Friday, but we did on Saturday morning at around 9:30 am.  They were just a little north of the Illahee community dock traveling north.  We got a good view, but didn’t get a chance to whip the camera out.  We decided to try to follow them so we drove north and got the following camera shot between Brownsville and Keyport.  It’s not great because they were so far away, but it’s something.  We drove to the Agate Bridge thinking they were headed out, we looked for a while, but didn’t see anything.  By the time we got home we had heard they were in Sinclair Inlet.  So I guess they decided to turn around.  So we went in a boat into Sinclair Inlet, and didn’t see anything.  They kept avading us!

we also captured this video.  Quality is poor, but it’s still evidence of the orcas.  That’s what you get with a two-year-old tugging on your leg and a poor camera. :)

Seals Back on Monday. For those who were worried about our local seals being eaten by the orcas, the seals were back on their favorite float Monday morning.

Squirrels Eating Peaches. We also heard that deer are not the only animals eating peaches, as a gray squirrel was seen nibbling on one.  They said it was eating the underside, while the crows tend to eat the topside.  And we guess the deer eat the center portion, based on the photo that was included in the last update.

Updates on Website. We are in the process of updating our website,, as we have mentioned in other Updates.  Previous updates can be viewed and commented on at the website.

Wednesday Illahee Preserve Work Party. The Rotary Club (of East Bremerton) is hosting a work party on Wednesday evening beginning at 4 pm.  They are expecting the Washington Youth Academy to be there in full force to help move wood chips to the trails, and are looking for any extra wheel barrows that can be borrowed.

Flyover Funding Status. The Illahee Forest Preserve notes that they are steadily moving toward their $600 goal in support of a flyover of Illahee as part of the Illahee film project currently underway.  They have reached $425 in commitments as of Monday evening and they want to thank everyone for the encouragement in helping with the film.

Jim Aho