An Introduction from Ronk - My Pacific Northwest home.

by: Ronk

Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 18:25:26 PM EST



Hello Motley Moose,

 This is my introductory diary on the Moose and it is mostly a photo diary illustrating the part of the world in which I have lived for 43 years. I apologize for the sometimes awkward layout and structure as I have yet to master the finer points of editing on this site.
I posted something similar but not identical in the past on DKos but this one is a bit wider ranging and more local.  The present diary comprises some of my amateur photos depicting Bellingham Bay and its environs. Bellingham, a city of about 80,000 is bounded on the East by the Cascade Mountains that loom over our city as an extension of the Cascade Range that includes Mt. Baker, a 10K foot volcano. To the north is Canada and its extension of the Cascades. To the West and South lay the San Juan Islands, arguably the most popular cruising islands in the U.S. and perhaps the world. Of the 172 or so islands in this archipelago, only 4 are served by the State's ferry service, hence they are largely cruising islands. These islands are set within the  Salish Sea which extends from Puget Sound north into Canada incorporating also, Georgia Strait and the Canadian Gulf Islands.  

Ronk :: An Introduction from Ronk - My Pacific Northwest home.
                           

I'll start with a shot of Mt. Baker taken from Bellingham Bay and then take a look around the bay from the shore. Next we will journey into the Bay and the San Juan Islands where we'll see Baker from various distances and perspectives. We'll cover both flora and fauna that inhabit this wondrous area, both in the sea and along the shore.

The tour begins at Squalicum Marina, one of the largest on Puget Sound, mooring some 1,400 power and sail boats including a shrinking commercial fishing fleet. The marina is encircled with a highly popular paved walkway for cycling, walking, or just viewing.

The city wraps around the bay and our foresighted parks department has provided plenty of green space from which to enjoy the water. And they connected the parks with paths and trails. Boulevard Park sits on the east side of the city and is another favorite for walking, picnicking, or just sitting and drinking coffee. Continuing south, the walk way becomes a trestle over the water as one moves toward the Old Fairhaven Historical district and Marine park. Below is Boulevard Park and a commercial gill netter fishing for salmon just off shore.    








From the trestle we can see the Alaska ferry that visits us twice a week transporting goods and tourists to various ports in South East Alaska. Wednesday and Thursday evenings are sail boat races on the bay.


Along the trail will be numerous sea and shore birds such as the stately, ever present Great Blue Heron patiently fishing along with shore.

Other shore creatures abound along the trail as well: Sea Stars and River Otters coming down to the bay to fish. 

                   

Here is a sunset to the west taken from the trestle and the evening sun on the Canadian mountains to the north.



With our abundant rain, moss, ferns, and trillium are found growing in the nooks and crannies of our garden.

Heading out into the bay on our way to the islands, we have additional treats such as Dungeness Crab for the taking and viewing harbor seals, mom and pup.

When out in the islands we can look back to see Mt. Baker from most all of the islands. Here we see it from Blakely Island Marina and from Echo Bay, Sucia Island.

More wildlife: Bald Eagles and an ancient aerie.

A stellar's Sea Lion and a Humpback Whale's tail often frequent this area.

A tug boat tows a log boom into Deer Harbor, Orcas Island. The Lady Washington visits the islands and Bellingham each summer.

Roche Harbor Marina on San Juan Island is a very popular for boaters and general tourists alike as the island does have car ferry service. In the late afternoon sun sits the chapel on the hill (note the boat shadows on shore).

Beautiful Madrona trees with their distinctive red peeling bark are found throughout the islands.

Spectacular sunsets are seen every night in the islands.

Beauty here is not all on or from the water. Just a few miles south on the Skagit River delta is one of the largest tulip bulb growing areas in the country, supplying Holland with its bulbs to send back to the US.

So as not to leave the impression that it is always boating or growing season up here, we do have winter once in a while. And you have probably heard that we get some rain too.

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Thanks to princesspat and JanF for their encouragement and guidance. (2.00 / 37)
Layout feedback on posting photos, how to space text and photos, and put captions where I want them will be most welcome.  

A lot of the photos overlap, at least for me. (IE9) (2.00 / 18)
I mention this because I LOVE LOVE LOVE your diary, Ron! It's great to see  you here, and before long someone with mad photo skillz will show up.

Your home territory is spectacular. When I left Texas thirteen years ago I knew I had to live on the water or in the mountains. I chose the mountains, but if y'all have a guest room I may invite myself one day!

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


[ Parent ]
The dormer windows overlooking the snowy Alaska Cedar..... (2.00 / 13)
....look over the garden in the summer:) The guest room is ready and waiting!

He (we) had to use Chrome to navigate between Flickr and The Moose, and in Chrome the photos are spaced apart more than he wanted them to be.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


[ Parent ]
Does that bed have a memory foam topper? (2.00 / 13)
LOLLOL! I'm so damn spoiled.

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

[ Parent ]
You and me both Kelley! (2.00 / 12)
All my beds have memory foam.....and so will my daughter's guest bed if I am able to visit her in March.  

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
Thanks Kelly, (2.00 / 15)
We do a couple of spare bedrooms. Come on up.

[ Parent ]
Way cool (2.00 / 12)
Loverly place and great pics of it!

Thanks

Republicans only care about Republicans.
Democrats care about the Republic


[ Parent ]
Wow! What a great intro and welcome to the Moose! (2.00 / 16)
Beautiful country and stunning pictures, quite the splashy entrance, and enough to make any Moose heart soar! :-)

My sister and her family used to live in Bellevue, and I visited them there once for about a week or 10 days - it was a long time ago, but it was a memorable stay.


Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


Bellevue is not all that far away. Some of the scenic areas have been well (2.00 / 16)
preserved, even with the huge growth.

[ Parent ]
Stunning photos and glad to see you! (2.00 / 17)
I am inspired to put together a photo diary extolling the virtues of the Carolina Low Country, my soon-to-be-permanent home when I pull up stakes in Texas where I found myself as a transplanted New Englander. Anyplace can be "home" with the right person ;-)

I look forward to more of your diaries!

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


Thanks for the nice comment. I'd love to see the Carolina Low Country. (2.00 / 16)


[ Parent ]
Lovely diary. thank you so much! (2.00 / 17)


Thank you Blue jersey mom. It was fun to do. (2.00 / 17)


[ Parent ]
Wow. i just opened this diary in IE and it is a mess. If you can, please (2.00 / 16)
open it in Google Chrome. It is totally different.

[ Parent ]
I use Google Chrome, and it is just gorgeous. (2.00 / 15)


[ Parent ]
I think we have decided that Bill Gates hates teh Moose (2.00 / 13)


[ Parent ]
::: nods ::: (2.00 / 11)
You would think he would make an exception for Washington State photo diaries.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
He might if he knew about it. But that would be a good rec. (2.00 / 11)


[ Parent ]
One problem is that some people only have IE. :( (2.00 / 9)
We found this out the hard way during our Days of Despair when the Share button from hell made the site unviewable.

The problem with the aligns is that the photos won't fit side by side without manual adjustment of the sizes (which Chrome does for you). When the diary runs up against the physical boundaries of the page, something has to give and you get the overlaps. Unfortunately, the overlaps make some of the photos unviewable.

So you could resize with a width=350 on each photo or take out the align=right commands.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Thanks, JanF. We have looked at this now on 3 different computers using IE (2.00 / 9)
Each is different varying from one overlap to many. PUtting the zoom to 100% takes care of most of it. I will mess with the ones that overlap and see what happens and check back tomorrow.

Thanks for your thoughts.


[ Parent ]
I deleted the align right on the otters and everything else fell into line. (2.00 / 9)
From my IE at the moment, with zoom set at 100%, it is as it was meant to be.

But I bet other IE computers are seeing something different.

I'll check again in the morning.


[ Parent ]
The sad thing is having to "code" for the lowest common denominator, in this case IE8. (2.00 / 7)
I opened the diary on my test computer running IE8 and I still get the overlaps ... on all but the otters, which you fixed! Looking at your code, I see that all the other photos still include "align=right" after the image file.

The problem is that every browser uses a different HTML code set and the three browser makers: Internet Explorer (Microsoft), Firefox (Mozilla) and Chrome (Google) hate each other. So instead of consolidating on a common code set, they create their own nuances that drive developers crazy. For example, borders on tables can have colors on some browsers but on others the colors show as shading.

I think I might have a fix for this and will experiment with it later this morning. It might be as simple as adding a break.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Test (2.00 / 4)




More wildlife: Bald Eagles and an ancient aerie.





Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Test 2 (2.00 / 4)

More wildlife: Bald Eagles and an ancient aerie.






Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Test 3 (2.00 / 7)
More wildlife: Bald Eagles and an ancient aerie.





















This one has 10 line breaks between the two photos and appears to work with Internet Explorer. Breaks are <br/>. That code displays blank lines which forces the second photo down 10 lines and stops the overlapping. You can tell when you have enough <br/>s because a blank line shows between the two photos, even in Chrome and Firefox. Notice on Test 2, which only had 1 <br/>, that the two photos sit on top of each other with no spaces.

Tedious but it will give you the nice appearance you were looking for.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Interesting.......Thanks Jan (2.00 / 8)
I'm reading on my netbook with a 10" screen this morning, and with both Chrome and IE8 I have to set the zoom at 75% to see the photos as he formatted the diary.

Using IE8 and 100% zoom causes all the photos (except test #3) to overlap. Chrome rearranges the page so the photos don't overlap but the lay out is different.

Lots to learn! Thanks again for the lesson.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


[ Parent ]
Thanks Jan, It is good know about the line spacer. (2.00 / 5)
That was one of the things in particular that I found frustrating. I have used it and inserted a number of spaces to make separations more obvious. Since I do not have IE8, I'm not sure how comes out there but I like it better on both Chrome and on IE9.

[ Parent ]
That's why I thought I would mention it. You will know when you have it right. (2.00 / 4)
I had to do a number of tests before I figure out what was happening.

You can also put the breaks all on one line like this:
<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>

If you save that off into a document you can just copy and paste it between pictures.

I am going to write a diary about diary writing and HTML for those of us trained in DK someday soon. I am glad, in a way, that you had these problems because all of these tricks can be put in one place.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
That's great Jan, (2.00 / 3)
I just copied the
earlier and went wild doing paste all over the place. Very handy tool for this site.

Your HTML tutorial will be very useful. I will await it.

When the web first came out I learned some HTML in putting together my first web site but that was back in the 1980s. I haven't done any since and it shows.


[ Parent ]
I put the code in my reply and guess what? It spaced a new line! (2.00 / 3)


[ Parent ]
HTML hasn't changed much. (2.00 / 2)
I used to set up web sites in the mid 90s and the code was the pretty much the same.

When you put the code in a comment, it executes it unless you put a slosh (backslash) in front of it. So put \ in front of <br/> to show it to someone in a comment.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
My Firefox peeps tell me that it displays properly in Firefox also. (2.00 / 9)


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
What a delight to see you here. (2.00 / 14)
And your diary is marvelous. I really feel like I've just had a quick visit to northwest Washington :-)

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

It's a good reminder to remember how fortunate we are to live here.... (2.00 / 14)
Remind me again when I grumble about the endless winter rain, LoL!

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
LOL (2.00 / 14)
You know, you really shouldn't offer me anything that I can use to tease you at some future time. ;-)

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[ Parent ]
Hi Silks, Good to hear from you on the Moose. (2.00 / 12)
I'm happy you got a quick vicarious trip to the PNW. PP is right, we do need to remind ourselves that we can see some of this daily, even when it rains.

[ Parent ]
What a treat!! (2.00 / 12)
I love the photos and the diary, RonK. Your second heron photo is one of my all time favorites ... and some of the photos of the islands. And now you have given me eagles!!!

I am on my Droid which uses a subset of Chrome and your photos look spectacular. If you are having problems with formatting for Internet Explorer, I suggest you take out the "align=right" and "align= left" and let each photo have its own line. It is not as artistic but it will at least display properly.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


Thanks JanF. (2.00 / 14)
I had done that originally and while it is cleaner to leave out the align codes,it really seemed to be very long. I guess the align left is a default, and I could not get align center to work at all.  So I opted for pair them up. So, between working with Chrome and the Moose, I was in new territory. I'll eventually catch on to what works best.

[ Parent ]
This diary could never be too long. (2.00 / 12)
In fact, when I got to the bottom, I went back to the top to look at the pictures again. Twice.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
The photos taken from our boat make me so nostalgic..... (2.00 / 12)
As you know I have mixed reactions to boating, but the scenery is not one of them!. The photo from Deer Harbor is what I saw from the pool doing my morning exercises. I was driving when Ron took the pic of the Lady Washington. The marina at Blakley is quiet and small, and I love the view back to Mt Baker.

We may finally have a buyer for the boat....

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


[ Parent ]
i love the tulips (2.00 / 13)
growing in fields, in rows just like corn or beans ;-)  

i first saw that in the netherlands.  


[ Parent ]
Thanks, Isn't it interesting that now we supply their tulip bulbs? (2.00 / 13)
There are hundreds of acres of these in the delta which is very rich farm land and perfect for tulips.  

[ Parent ]
pella, iowa (2.00 / 12)
has some tulip activity too, but i don't think they grow for crops.  

europe is so very densely populated, and farmland is so precious.  


[ Parent ]
That's true about precious farmland. I believe there is a large tulip (2.00 / 6)
industry in Holland MI as well.

[ Parent ]
Beautiful stuff Ronk (2.00 / 11)
Thanks for sharing this with us/me.

It is also wonderful to see that in all the time you have lived up there it seems that you haven't taken the beauty for granted and made it mundane, I've seen that sin far too often in life.

Thanks again.


Love love that area (2.00 / 12)
We lived once (or was it twice?) upon a time in Burlington smack in the middle of the Skagit valley. Deception Pass is just stunning, and sitting in my car on the bow of the ferry going through the San Juans in the mist will always stick with me.

Beautiful shots, enjoy your lovely home!

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


Holy Cow. You were in the thick of this. It is just as beautiful as always. (2.00 / 11)


[ Parent ]
We've managed to pack a lot into our little lives. :~) (2.00 / 11)
The whole world really is wonderful.

Sunrise in northern New Mexico, sunset from the top of Mt. Baldy in Utah, the swarthy greens of the Smoky Mountains, cushy coastal redwoods in the Santa Cruz range, dolphins and manatees in the canals on Siesta Key, lustrous winter in Ontario, the green hills of Hong Kong, towers of Manhattan, Tokyo, London, vivid colored houses in shining emerald Ireland, rocky headlands of Sydney Harbor...

The whole bloody planet is amazing.  BBQ shacks in the South, double carts in Trinidad, winding alleys full of food shops all across Asia, sandwich shops in Queens, fasa and feta in Sana'a. Great people, great sites, wonderful flavors and textures wherever you go.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
and there's always a new place to discover! (2.00 / 10)


[ Parent ]
There's no end to it. (2.00 / 9)
One of the things you realize when you get outside the US - the ultimate travel hope - is that you don't have to. The US is so freaking huge with so much diversity you could never, ever see it all.

But the elsewhere perspective is amazing as well.

Anyone afraid of Scary Arabs needs to go to the middle east. People everywhere are just like people anywhere else, with little cultural twists that only highlight the similarities.



John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
You're soooo right, Chris Blask (2.00 / 8)
I have been fortunate to travel within/to/through 45 of the 50 US states and a dozen foreign countries. I have discovered the obvious: people everywhere have very similar aspirations: a safe and nice place to live, meaningful work with fair compensation, a better life for their kids including education, and the opportunity to enjoy their golden year.

While in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for work, I found an amazing level of "live-and-let-live" philosophy. Here at the hotel I was staying in Abu Dhabi, you could see all manner of attire on this beach, from bikinis to burkhas. Everyone was just minding their own business.

Abu Dhabi Hotel Beach Early Morning

Americans harbor the most absurd stereotypes, many of which would crumble if they would get off their butts and travel to places far from their hometowns.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
Could not agree more that (2.00 / 8)
Americans harbor the most absurd stereotypes, many of which would crumble if they would get off their butts and travel to places far from their hometowns.

 

[ Parent ]
I agree, but would caveat that we don't have a corner on that market. (2.00 / 3)
Most folks don't get beyond their borders, wherever they live. Certainly in places like the EU it is easy to hop from one culture to another, but there are surprisingly many who still do not.

It is normal to stay cozy in one's comfort zone. Which is why it is even more important for those who can to travel elsewhere, so that people who don't get out can meet someone from somewhere else. Television and much moreso the Internet has been enormously helpful in that, and as time goes by I expect it will become more and more rare for folks anywhere to really have no idea what it is like elsewhere.

Thank god, because blind tribalism is the root of all fear and conflict.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
You absolutely correct on your last comment: (2.00 / 3)

Thank god, because blind tribalism is the root of all fear and conflict

This is what we are seeing in congress, as well as elsewhere in the world.


[ Parent ]
Great diary! Great photos! That area is just plain gorgeous.. (2.00 / 10)


what a beautiful place (2.00 / 10)
thanks for sharing the place you call home with us.

Seems to lack nothing, but then are there...moose? (2.00 / 3)
Or do those Canadians and Alaskans keep them for themselves?

They do not let the real Moose(s)? roam too far. We don't get them (2.00 / 3)
in the northwest. I think there are some in the northeast. If you remember the TV series from a few yesars ago, "Northern Exposure", it was filmed in the northwest, but the Moose were imported.

They are gangly but cool.


[ Parent ]
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