Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

One: Whirligig Pterodactyl

Pterodactyl Sculpture

At least we think this is a whirligig. There was very little wind when the photo was taken, so we didn’t see the pterodactyl fly.

I’m always amazed at how creative some people are!

Two: Rubber Ducky Raft

Rubber Ducky raft

There was some waterskiing going on in Commencement Bay, and these folks had pulled up to watch. Later we read in the paper that this was some kind of national championship competition.

These folks had one of the best seats in the house.

Three: Live Like the Mountain is Out

Mount Rainier: "Live Like the Mountain Is Out"

The area around Tacoma, WA, USA, is called the South Sound because we sit at the bottom of Puget Sound. And although Seattle, which is not in the South Sound area, likes to try to commandeer our mountain, we folks down here know that Mount Rainier is really OUR mountain.

Live Like the Mountain is Out is a slogan and movement of SouthSoundProud.

Over the years I’ve posted a lot of photos of Mount Rainier because I love it so much. But you need to see one more, because this one was taken last weekend, on perhaps the clearest day we’ve had in our four years in Tacoma. And it looks even better if you click for the larger view.

Once again, thanks to my husband for his great photo skills.

Have a wonderful week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

Four years ago we retired to Tacoma, WA, after living our entire adult lives in St. Louis, MO. We love our life here at the tip of Puget Sound, with the beautiful Commencement Bay just a few blocks away. Here are three things we’ve seen recently in our travels out and about.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

One: Parasailing

parasailing

All summer long we see this red parachute out over the water as a boat pulls one or two people along for the ride. When I was much younger, I might have wanted to try this. But I am now well past the age when such an adventure appeals to me.

It does look like a lot of fun, however. I used to worry about how those people on the ‘chute got safely down, but one time we got to watch the landing process. The boat reeled the passengers in, and the landing looked easy as pie. Still, I’ll pass, although I’m sure the view from up there is spectacular.

Two: Canoe

The other day we went to one of the restaurants along the bay for an early dinner. As we were driving toward the restaurant, I noticed several small things on the water that looked like sculls. Once we were seated at the restaurant, the boats got close enough for us to see that they looked like canoes:

canoe

We’re guessing that these were Native American canoes, although I couldn’t find any references to a particular event in the local newspaper. How lucky we were to arrive for dinner at the same time the canoes were going by.

Three: Great Blue Heron

It’s not unusual to see a Great Blue Heron walking in shallow water in search of a meal. But it is unusual to see one of these magnificent birds in a tree:

heron standing in tree

When my husband was out riding his bike a couple of days ago, he heard a bird squawking and looked up to see a Great Blue Heron land in an evergreen tree. He told me about this sighting when he got home, and we looked for nesting information on the Great Blue Heron in our bird book. According to the book, herons often circle, “croaking raucously,” while coming in for a landing on their “messy nests of sticks arranged in large trees.”*

We drove back to the spot where he had seen the heron land, and it was still in the tree:

heron in tree

Although we tried looking through binoculars from several angles, we couldn’t see a nest, messy or otherwise. But since the heron stayed up there in the same place for quite a while, we assume we were looking at a female sitting on her nest.

You’d never be able to find a heron in a tree unless you heard it approaching and saw it land. Someday I hope to see a Great Blue Heron walking along the water followed by her chicks (or whatever heron hatchlings are called).

*Source: Birds of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Nancy Baron and John Acorn

Have a good week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: Festival of Sail

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

Last weekend the Festival of Sail, commonly known as the Tall Ships, brought quite a few seagoing sailing vessels to Tacoma, WA. Although we missed the parade of ships on Thursday afternoon, when the ships arrived with sails unfurled in all their glory, we did get a chance to tour some of the ships at anchor on Friday.

One of the most important elements on these ships is their ropes. Here are some illustrations.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

One

Because ships played such a large role in the development of the city of Tacoma, our revitalized waterfront area features an educational museum that explains the naval importance of ropes:

Two

A ship’s rigging contains a conglomeration of ropes that come together at the bottom of the mast:

ropes around mast

Three

There are more ropes along the sides of the ships:

ropes on side of ship

The rounded thing that the ropes are wound around is called a belaying pin, from the verb belay:

to secure (as a rope) by turns around a clean, pin, or bitt

—from _Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Once again it’s time for Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

One: Civic Pride

I’ve been in Tacoma, WA, for almost four years now, and I still love learning new things about my new home town. And I’ve always loved being able to see Mount Rainier on clear days. So I was thrilled this morning to discover the article ‘Live like the mountain is out’ street stencils part of community branding campaign in the local newspaper, The News Tribune.

Our area is called the South Sound because, on a map, we are toward the bottom of Puget Sound. The news app from KIRO7, the Seattle CBS affiliate TV channel, offers sections dedicated to both South Sound news and North Sound news, but I’ve never heard the phrase North Sound used in any other context. It seems that the folks around here differentiate between the South Sound and Seattle, which includes that city and points north.

Two: Signs of Spring

It’s been raining so steadily that I haven’t been able to get out to take photos, but in the last few days I’ve noticed daffodils in bloom, forsythia bushes covered in yellow flowers, and the early-flowering ornamental trees and bushes beginning to display flashes of pink or white. The rhododendron bushes, the Washington state flower, that line the roads in our retirement community have big fat buds all over, but none have broken open yet.

But pretty soon they’ll be in bloom, along with the ornamental pear trees that also line our streets. I promise some photos when the weather lets me get out and walk around.

Three: What I’ve Been Watching: Beck

Our daughter got us a subscription to streaming service Hulu for Christmas. Lately my husband and I have taken to watching foreign TV series. We’re currently about 2/3 of the way through season 2 of the three seasons of Beck, a Swedish police drama. Shows like this offer glimpses into not only the legal systems but also the culture and local customs of other countries.

I hope everyone has a great week. See you next Thursday!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

We’ve been retired in Tacoma, WA, for almost four years now, and I still enjoy learning about my new hometown. Here are three discoveries from the past week:

(1) A new-to-Seattle reading list, part 2: The nonfiction edition

Last week I included a reading list of local fiction. Here is the nonfiction companion.

(2) “Those Other Huskies”

I wrote about the University of Connecticut Huskies and the University of Washington Huskies in a Three Things Thursday post last year.

I was pleased to see this recent article, in which the giant East Coast newspaper the New York Times reported on “those other Huskies,” the ones that live near me:

Washington Women Paint a Target on Those Other Huskies

(3) A bit of local history

Tuesday was the anniversary of one of Tacoma’s most iconic events, the 1993 demolition of the ASARCO smelter smokestack:

The ASARCO smokestack — once the world’s largest — is demolished at the company’s old copper smelter in Ruston, north of Tacoma, on January 17, 1993.

Of course I had heard about this event before, but notice of this anniversary made me search for more information. And I found a lot:

{Feature photo at top of post from Toxipedia}

Have a good week, everyone!

 

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

Here are three things that warmed my heart recently.

(1) A new-to-Seattle reading list: the fiction essentials

We moved to Tacoma, about 25 miles south of Seattle, just a little under four years ago. I always love finding out new things about where we now live, and I also love reading, especially fiction. So I was pleased to come across this list of books that will introduce me to the region. There are enough suggestions here to keep me happily reading throughout 2017.

(2) Creative Colloquy: A Literary Site

I’m determined that 2017 will be my year to work on my personal writing. This site was a real find:

Creative Colloquy was founded in February of 2014 with the intention of fostering relationships built upon the mutual admiration of the written word and providing a platform to highlight literary talent in the South Sound.

We do this in a number of ways including the online literary site focused on short fiction, novel excerpts and essays but also including poetry and other prose penned by writers who reside in the Pacific Northwest.

South Sound refers to the area around Puget Sound south of Seattle. This organization holds monthly events in Tacoma. I had been looking for a local writers group. Perhaps this will be it.

(3) Inside Bright Lights, the Final Curtain for Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher

Who wasn’t touched by the recent deaths, just one day apart, of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds? HBO had completed a documentary on the famous duo scheduled to premier later in the year, but the network moved the date up to January 7.

In this article, “Documentarians Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens talk their moving documentary, which gains a bittersweet new meaning in the wake of Reynolds’s and Fisher’s unexpected deaths.”

I hope all of you will have a fantastic week.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

I’ve been gone for quite a while, probably about three months. Life happens. I’ve missed the weekly Three Things Thursday posts, since they usually brighten my spirit and bring a smile to my face. I’m glad to be back.

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Zoolights

Every year the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium here in Tacoma dresses up for the winter with Zoolights, a gorgeous and enchanting other world painted by thousands of colored lights. Here are three of the best photos from this year’s visit.

(1) Dancing Crab

crab

Since this is a static photograph, you can’t see this as the dancing crab that it really was, with its claws alternately opening and closing. But I’m still fond of it.

(2) Tree of Life

tree of life

I’m not sure who named this the tree of life or why it was so named, but if I had to pick one overall favorite display, this would be it. Perhaps I love it so much because purple is my favorite color. Whatever the reason, this is the centerpiece that draws me every year.

(3) Wolf Howling at the Moon

wolf howling at moon

The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium participates in the red wolf restoration project, and this annual display illustrates that participation. In past years we had to photograph this display from quite far away, and the pictures always came out blurred. But this year some of the traditional exhibits had been rearranged on the grounds. We were able to get much closer to the howling wolf, and this photo came out better than previous attempts.

I hope Zoolights brightens up your day as much as it brightened up my night.

 

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown