Weekly Update #15: A Day Off

What I'm discovering with this homeless experiment is that I REALLY value the times I can get out of the truck and enjoy the company of friends. One friend is The Captain, a fine individual who has been a friend and mentor since I was 14. A couple weeks ago I went out to his place on the Olympic Peninsula to enjoy a day off at his Hood Canal home.

The most daunting part of this trip is getting out to his place. At the time of day I get done with work there is no "easy" way to go as you are battling traffic most of the way. On this day I made two stops on the way to pick up a couple treats. One stop was to get two bottles of Adan Carolla's Mangia, one each of the white and red. The next stop was to get two bottles of the super delicious Soft Tail Vodka for the evening martini's. You won't find a finer vodka anywhere else. 

I arrived on Thursday just in time for drinks to be made, so I quickly made up a couple martini's then we talked while watching three Bald Eagles bickering in front of his place. When the Eagles were gong at it a Red Tailed Hawk came cruising by looking for food along the shoreline. At the same time the Hummingbirds were constantly coming to get some food.

On Friday we went to town for breakfast the went down to he next town to see if the odd bird I had spotted the day before was still there, and if it would let me get close enough so I could get an image of it good enough to ID it with. With a little good luck I spotted it hanging out with some Surf Scoters well away from the shore. I was able to grab a few images, though nothing worth publishing. When I looked at the images later the next week I determined it was a male Common Merganser.

We then returned to The Captain's home and began some meal prep for that night. After some meal prep and some small projects around the house we headed off to the senior center for soup and some chit chat. The folks there are quite nice and have some really cool stories. I'm not a big fan of soup so I just donate a bit and enjoy the company.

After soup we headed down to another town to visit the butcher for a custom order for a dinner The Captain is cooking at the senior center. On the way back The Captain was driving and I was scanning the shoreline looking for any interesting wildlife activity. 

The first thing I spotted was this Immature Bald Eagle and Mature Bald Eagle fighting over some food scraps. The youngin' came up to snack on this pole and shortly after the elder came up to try and snatch the food. The youngin' was able to escape with his food and I was able to get this series of shots while hanging out the side of the car as it came to a stop. After we started moving again the elder took off after the youngin' and wound up flapping around in the water. There was a guard rail and fence in the way so I wasn't able to get any shots of that. 

After the exciting Eagle action we headed back towards the house. Once again I was scanning the shoreline and I spotted a few Buffleheads and Surf Scoters, but nothing in camera range. The right on the waters edge I spotted a Harlequin Duck couple. I instantly told The Captain to stop the car, this was my very for Harlequin Duck sighting. I got out and crept up on them and took a couple shots then headed back to the car. I don't know much about them so I didn't want to get too close and scare them off, I later learned that they are fairly comfortable around people.

Once I was back in the car it was time to make some time back home as it was almost drink time. A few drinks and a review of the back of the camera showed some real promise. Some of them aren't print worthy, but they do show some good action. To finish off the day we enjoyed the wonderful Chateaubriand steak and sides. 

This day off was probably the best thing I've had to boost my morale in a long time.