29 July 2009

More fun things growing in our yard

It has been fun this summer discovering all the things that are planted in our yard. There have been so many beautiful flowers! W planted two blueberry bushes in the spring, and they did get a few berries on them, but they aren't ripening very quickly...the neighbor's bushes are ripe and overproducing! We may not get to eat them this year, but we should have a good crop of them next year.

We did see the strawberry plants in the backyard, but didn't know if they would grow anything edible. I went out on Sunday evening, and there were several ripe berries! I only picked six...one for each of us, and then took some pictures. I hope we can clean up the foliage around them by next year, so we can get to them better.

25 July 2009

Saturday at the range

Today we took the kids out to the range to shoot. Everyone did a little better than the last time we were out there. Brooklin got three bulls eyes, I got two, and Darwin and Caleb both got one. In Darwin's defense, he didn't get very many turns. He was helping the kids more than I was and didn't get to shoot as many rounds as we did. We stayed out for two hours and then came home so I could work on my English paper again! It made me cry a little, but then Darwin helped me iron out my topic, and I was able to get half of it written before bedtime. Thank you Dar! The first picture doesn't show some of the bulls eyes, because we had to cover the targets with new ones periodically. The last picture is of a bullet that jammed in the .22...Darwin said hollow points will do that sometimes.

24 July 2009

Low tide

Today we had one of the lowest tides of the year. It was a -4 tide, which I learned was -4 feet down from sea level...not out. The water was out from the regular shoreline was like 100 yards! We went out at 8:30 this morning and got to stay out for a few hours. We had fun with our friends laughing and finding critters. I had to go home around 11:30 to work on my English homework, but Wendy said she could take the kids home later so they could stay and play longer...and I could have some quiet time to work on my paper.

Brooklin was the dirtiest of my kids. She picks up everything and had goo and mud all over herself. She is not afraid to play in the mud. Here she is pretending to eat an eel...the kids found tons of them, and then a shot of a clam she opened. She only had to think for a minute how to get it opened...the same way the birds do it! She tried to pry it open, and then decided to drop it on a rock! Smart girl! She picked off the top shell and then inspected the gooey contents with gusto!

London is a little more like me. She will touch some of the critters, but doesn't like to get herself that dirty. I don't like to touch any critters...so she is better than me, but has her limits. Isaiah has no problem getting messy either. He found this starfish and also a crab and some eels.

You can see where the normal shore line is...and it is really far out there! The first picture is from the beach, and the second one was taken with my heels in the water looking back at the beach.

This boat was left high and dry when the tide went out...two hours later when the tide was coming back in, I took another picture of it refloating.

This is a heron. He is hard to see, but while I was watching him, he snapped a fish right out of the water.

The tide was so far out, that this person's crab pot came clear out of the water! It was really funny! The buoy didn't have any identifying markings on it (which is totally illegal), so when Caleb and his friend harvested the dungonuss crab out of it, I didn't get after them too bad. They left the bait, and actually added another fish head they found to the pot, so maybe that guy was able to catch more crabs after the tide came back in.

These are sea anemones. They are everywhere. In the water they look pretty. Out of the water they look like big, slimey, colorful, boogers! (and worse) They were really interesting...I touched one (on accident) and instead of the fingers being slimy, they were like tiny velcro. It stuck to my finger and I jumped! =)

We found several tiny crabs. Caleb is yelling at his for trying to pinch him.

You will have to click on this first picture...I caught a salmon jumping out of the water. They were jumping all over! The other is a shell from an urchine.

Some starfish...some big and some really tiny! Oh, and then a picture of me...haha! I actually took it after I got home. I braided my hair for pioneer day! =)

23 July 2009

Tour of a Coast Guard Buoy Tender

Article from the Juneau Empire

The U.S. Coast Guard 17th District hosts its week-long annual District Buoy Tender Roundup in Juneau starting today.

This year's roundup brings seven buoy tenders from Kodiak, Cordova, Petersburg, Sitka, Ketchikan, Homer, Astoria, Ore., and Canada.

The event allows more than 250 Coast Guardsmen the opportunity to receive specialized training during the week in areas such as engine repair, buoy maintenance and first aid and allows buoy tender crews to exchange ideas and build camaraderie.

Due to the remote locations in Alaska where the cutters operate, the mission-essential training would be nearly impossible to complete otherwise and has proved successful for more than 20 years, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Participating in the week of training are the SPAR, Sycamore, Elderberry, Maple, Hickory, Anthony Petit, Fir and Provo Wallis, which is a 209-foot Ice-Strengthened Medium Navigational Aids Tender from Canada.

The Buoy Tender Olympics will be held Wednesday at Coast Guard Station Juneau from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Cutter Fir will host public tours Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Coast Guard crews aboard buoy tenders in Alaska service 1,250 navigational aids along 33,000 miles of coastline while actively participating in search and rescue, environmental protection and law enforcement missions.

We went down to the Coast Guard station this afternoon to tour the USCGC Fir. It was pretty neat.

The kids on the bow of the Fir

Didn't you know...
buoy tenders are so big, you can fit a whole cruise ship on their bow?!!



This is on the crane they use to pull the buoys out of the water

I was really amazed that they could "park" these big boats so close together! They were literally inches apart!

Isaiah next to a buoy. They are a lot bigger than I imagined them to be.

Caleb in the control room

Isaiah sitting in the captain's chair.

Kids on the dock waiting for our tour to start.