in a perfect world of yancies: September 2014

25 September 2014

I Was Happy To See It

Can't believe I haven't posted here in three weeks! Oops!

So, okay, where did we leave off? Marmots? Okay, here's Franklin reminiscing about part of the trip:

Just for the record, the whole "I was angry to see it" thing seems to be his idea of a joke. And I think it's pretty cool that he now is apparently old enough to tell jokes :)

What else... Oh, this might have actually been filmed before the marmot trip. I forgot about it, but maybe it's still worth a look:

At home, Franklin and I have switched to staying home together on Thursdays. Today was an excellent mix of books, dinosaurs, lunch with Pete, and even a nice nap. No photos, but here's one from a couple weeks ago:
Train Fun 2

Beautiful end to the summer, as I'm sure you know:
It's Still Summer!

What else? Ah, Franklin's really coming along in the kitchen. Helped us make stuffed pasta a few days ago, cookies with Emily recently, and here they are working on the chicken curry recipe from the cookbook his daycare class put together:
Making Chicken Curry

Can't always eat at home of course:
Seattle Fish Co. Dinner

Also some nice outings, including some cross-country racing at the Sundodger Invitational:
Sundodger Invitational 2

Sundodger Invitational

And a cool KEXP mid-day show at the Triple Door. I'm wasn't sure Temples was his kind of thing, but he was pretty transfixed at the show. Lighting was low and dad was distracted, so no good photos from there.

Did give us a good excuse to meet up with Grandma and take the water taxi though:
Water Taxi

Water Taxi Panorama

Also still enjoying the new neighborhood, including all the toys waiting to be used at Ercolini Park:

And of course the beach. Monday was the last day of summer, so I felt like I should get Franklin from daycare early and head over there. He seemed okay with the idea:
Fun at Alki

Last Day of Summer!

Sand Castles

Even convinced Emily to come over after work:
After the Beach
Pretty solid end to a pretty solid summer.

And here's sunrise on the first day of fall:
Autumn Sunrise
So, not a bad start. Cheers!

03 September 2014

Franklin Monitors a Marmot

Marmot Monitors
Great to see our little man making a contribution to science already. And don't worry, his name is on the official data sheets that we completed for this year's Olympic Marmot Monitoring Project!

In that photo up above he's holding the GPS unit that we used to mark the marmots; kind of rough that first day getting him to share it with people who could actually use it, but once we settled into a routine the trip was pretty awesome.

Lots of pictures in this post, by the way, but there's even more in this album:

Took the ferry to Southworth from right here in West Seattle:
Southworth Ferry 2
Unexpected bonus of moving over here: access to the Olympics without going through downtown or driving to Tacoma!

Our first stop was Peninsula College in Port Angeles, where some folks from the National Park Service explained the program and prepped us on the equipment. There was also a pretty fun lecture on marmot ecology:
Marmot Ecology Lecture
Paying careful attention to the marmot slides or to the granola bar: you decide.

Marmot Ecology Lecture 2

Then we set up camp at the Heart O' the Hills Campground:
Setting Up Camp 2

Campfire and tent: probably Franklin's two favorite things from the whole six-day trip :)

Next morning we set out to start our surveying:
Surveying Above the Visitors Center

Because some of our areas were right near the Visitors Center, we had to pull back on the off-trail hiking (at the, ahem, suggestion of a ranger), but we didn't let that slow us down:
Heading Down the Trail

Other things, however, did slow us down some:
And Done
I mean, he is just two years old, and just barely out of the toddler demographic...

Luckily we had a carrier, so we carried on looking, this time along the Wolf Creek Trail:
Surveying along the Wolf Creek Trail

Speaking of trail names, here's a little map I made if you want to take a look:

View 2014 Marmot Polys in a larger map
I uploaded the Park Service's map data for our survey areas, and also marked the marmots that we logged on our data sheets.

Meanwhile while we were doing things like looking at maps, Franklin got ahold of Emily's phone:
Franklin's Got Mom's Phone
Getting better with photos, I'd say.

Alas, even the thrills of outdoor photography aren't always enough...

Is it unkind to post that? I guess I just want to show that although Franklin often smiles, he doesn't quite always smile...

But few things can restore smiles as quickly as settings like this:

And after a hard day's work looking for marmots, zoop! Asleep in the tent:
Asleep in the Tent

Next day we hit Steeple Rock, the furthest of our areas, which involved driving down an exciting (one word for it) one-lane dirt road through the mountains.
Surveying at Steeple Rock
Didn't see any marmots there, but it's a beautiful area.

No one around, so we went back to the classic off-trail approach, at least for a decent chunk of the unit:
Surveying at Steeple Rock 2

Surveying at Steeple Rock 3
Can you see me up there? If not, try a bigger version here.

Plus blooming Fireweed:

Did I say the tent and fire were Franklin's favorite? Well, the Visitors Center should probably be on the list too. Warming up with some pb&j:
Visitors Center Snack

Lot of weather came in that day, so we took the afternoon off.
Fog at the Visitors Center

Luckily the weather was great down by our campsite, so we took a walk along the Heart of the Forest Trail:
Heart of the Forest Trail
Just did a mile, but I'm happy to report that Franklin hiked that entire mile! Impressive kid!

Heart of the Forest Trail 2

Saturday was our last full day, and what a full day it was! Started out sneaking off-trail through some trees to get below the Visitors Center:

Took a little break to walk up Hurricane Hill. Nice chance to watch some marmots without worrying about surveying them, since it wasn't our area. Also nice chance to enjoy other parts of the scene, as Emily's photo here shows:

On our way back down, we decided to take a peek at a unit we'd surveyed a couple days earlier. We saw a lot of evidence of marmots the first time (occupied burrows, digging, etc.), but no actual animals. But when we checked back on Saturday?

Great photos, Emily!
Marmot Profile

Then we did our last few units, along the Mount Angeles ridge trail up north of the Visitors Center. We'd seen a marmot in the first of these units a couple days earlier, but this time we hit the jackpot—five marmots on one slope, including a pup!
Marmot Selfie!
Had to get the selfie of course. And for the record, even the ranger who we ran into on day one was excited to hear about all of the marmots we spotted here.

Also spotted some more nice views, including all the way to Canada, which you can't quite see in this photo, but it's there I swear!
You Can See All the Way to Canada!

Rainbow Selfie

Heading back up the trail:
On the Trail

And then, one final bonus: when we got back to the Visitors Center, Franklin told us he was happy to see it. And we were happy to see this beautiful scene right next to the building:
Visitors Center Marmot
Right next to the building where we hadn't seen any sign of marmots in all our sneaking that morning, and yet now, what did we see not 100 yards from the building?

Here's a closeup:

So glad we did the Olympic Marmot Monitoring Project again this year, and so happy to share the experience with Franklin.

After that, well, we had one more snack at the Visitors Center, enjoyed one more evening by the campfire, then the next morning we packed up and set out home.

Tent 2
Can't wait for next year!