Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Deer Herd? What constitutes a herd of deer? It was reported that two bucks, three does, and two fawns was too much for one gardener to have in her yard and she tried to make enough noise to scare them away. They reported looked at her and slowly walked across the road stopping oncoming traffic. Gardeners we have talked to are seeming less patient as the number of deer in the area increases. But maybe we should consider the number of deer in an area as an indication of where the great gardens are? We will be checking next month to see if those interesting in hosting a garden tour are still interested, assuming the deer have left them something to show.
Coyotes? There have always been coyotes in the area, but some who live next to the Preserve, say the coyotes are getting more aggressive around their residents and pets. We would like to post some pictures of local coyotes so if you have any you would share please forward them.
Baby Ducks. We had reports of two baby mallard ducks along the waterfront and we saw two baby mallards in the Illahee North detention pond (see attached photo). Years ago we watched a mother duck try to get her ducklings from the waterfront to the pond and they didn't make it.
Canada Geese Families. We have watched three families of Canada geese come and go (see attached photos). Once the goslings get bigger the seagulls seem to leave them alone. The first photo is of a single goose that is raising two young ones by herself and is usually seen with the family in the second photo.
Killdeer Nest. We have been led away from Killdeer nests several times this spring and finally we have discovered a nest. Actually it isn't much of a nest at all and it appears the eggs were laid on the beach sand and broken shells. The attached photos show the eggs in the nest, the Killdeer on the nest, and the Killdeer doing its broken wing dance to draw us away from the nest.
Bird Tour. There was a bird tour in the Illahee Preserve early on Memorial Day morning. These tours are held regularly and quickly fill up. They are led by a Master Birder and past president of Seattle Audubon. If this is something that interests you, please let us know and we will pass the information on so you can be notified of the next tour. The photos were posted on Facebook and the link is:
Lazuli Bunting Report in Last Update. This is a follow-up of the Lazuli Bunting sighting that was reported in our last Update. Joan Carson does a bird report in the Kitsap Sun each week and noted several sightings of these amazingly beautiful birds and also responded to the Illahee resident who reported the sighting with the following email:
Wildlife Pictures? We would love to pass on any wildlife photos or stories you have. We normally pass them on anonymously unless give specific authorization to use your name.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Preserve Litter & Cleanup? Tuesday morning we were asked to check on a campsite that had been in the Illahee Preserve for about a week. On the way in we were disappointed to see a stack of phone books and "Little Nickel" newspapers along one of the trails (see attached photo). When we came back later in the morning to clean up the campsite, the litter had been removed. We know of several people who regularly walk the trails who pick up the litter of others and we want to thank them for their efforts to keep the Preserve clean.
Illegal Campsite. We did find the campsite (see photo) and came back later with garbage bags to clean it up. The good news is that it was reported to the sheriff's department and a deputy visited the site and left a note that they had to leave. We found part of the note that had been burned. Others also reported the site and we thank all of you for notifying officials and us. After we cleaned up the site, the Park's department was notified that we had left the bags by the mutt mit station, and they came by later to pick up the trash.
Deer & Cat. We get a number of emails and photos and try to remember to send them on. This one came to us on Mother's day along with the photo.
Amazing Colorful Bird. We have had some interesting birds in Illahee. Today an osprey flew over the area. But the bird in this story is amazingly beautiful. The response email is from Vic Ulsh along with the attached pictures of the Lazuli Bunting.
Here is another quick reference web site I like to use.
You seem to have described a Lazuli. Does this look like your bird? Lazuli bunting is a beautiful, sweet little bird. Count yourself to be very fortunate.
Audrey Boyer Turns 93 Next Month. Audrey Boyer is one of the persons who was instrumental in the county obtaining the Illahee Preserve. We found out she will have a birthday soon and her children are having a party next month for her. See the following notice:
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Where Are The Updates? We have been asked about when the Updates will resume, so it must be time to continue them. We had a nice trip around the Baltic Sea, visiting and touring in Germany, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. We were surprised at the low salinity and lack of tidal fluctuations in the Baltic Sea. After the trip I ended up with pneumonia and have finally recovered enough to want to sit at my computer. Not too many items to report so should be able to catch up with all I know in this Update.
Fawn Reports. Two sets of twin fawns have been reported, with one being hit by a car last Saturday just south of University Point. Some gardeners are reporting daily and nightly visits by deer and are realizing they need to get nets up if anything is going to survive.
Gosling Report. Not as many young Canada goose goslings reported, possibly because some of the seagulls are reportedly getting them when they are really small. We have seen this ourselves a few years ago where the goslings were swimming in a line between the two parent geese, and a seagull quickly swims up and takes a gosling before the adult geese can react.
Baby Possums. We had two reports of strange looking rat type creatures, which of course were small baby possums. These babies are cute when they are small and we have been surprised that cats seem to leave them alone.
Beverly Deitch Obituary. Received the following note while on our trip and heard a number of Illahee residents attended the memorial service.
Commissioner Brown's May Newsletter Mentions Illahee Film. There is a nice write-up about what is happening in Illahee in Josh Brown's May newsletter, which can be read by clicking on the following link:
Garden Tour? Have not had a chance to find out if a determination has been made about an Illahee garden tour this summer.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Frilled Dogwinkles? An article in the Kitsap Sun on Wednesday caught our eye when it mentioned "frilled dogwinkles." A few years ago our neighbor was cleaning his garage and was going to throw out a box of old frilled dogwinkle shells.
Were They From Illahee? We questioned our neighbor whether the frilled dogwinkle shells had come from Illahee because they didn't look like any snail shells we have seen around here. The frills on the shell extended out and they looked so nice that you would possibly want to display them. He said he and his brother collected them from the Illahee shoreline when they were kids in the 1950's.
Questions Raised Last Year. Last year we brought some of these shells to a beach watchers class to see if there was anyone who could explain why we don't see these intricate frilled dogwinkles on our beaches anymore. We only see a few snail shells out there now, but they are without the raised frills.
The Answer? Which brings us back to the Kitsap Sun article, as it explained that the changing chemistry of Puget Sound was increasing in acidification such that the "shells of marine snails called frilled dogwinkles get thinner." Is this the answer to our question?
Shellfish Expert. We hope to ask the dogwinkle question of Betsy Peabody, a shell fish expert, who is being asked to be in the Illahee film project and to comment about possible reasons for the diminishing shellfish in Illahee and the fouling of the shellfish beds from excessive sedimentation.
The Kitsap Sun Article. The title and link to the Kitsap Sun article is:
Piebald Deer Question. We asked the question of whether the piebald deer north of Illahee had migrated to the area south of Illahee State Park. From the response below, the piebald deer by the park has different markings:
Black Deer Pictures. These photos (from near Beamsville, Ontario, Canada) were sent in by a resident who noted a black deer is even more rare than piebald or albino deer.
Earthquake Fault Lines. We still get comments regarding the Updates we sent out regarding the fact the we have earthquake fault lines running through Illahee and whether residents should have earthquake insurance. Attached is a map showing just the Illahee area fault lines, that was taken from the county's website. The link to the county map is: http://kitsapgov.com/dcd/gis/maps/Standard_Maps/Environmental/FAULTS_DEC2006.pdf
Monday, April 11, 2011
Trillium Blooming In Preserve. One of first flowers to bloom in the forest are Trilliums. We took the following picture on Sunday to show just how beautiful these flowers are. A couple of interesting facts from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillium are:
Picking a trillium seriously injures the plant by preventing the leaf-like bracts from producing food for the next year. A plant takes many years to recover. For this reason in Michigan and Minnesota it is illegal to pick and/or transplant trilliums from public lands without a permit from the State.
Trillium is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants. At maturity, the base and core of the trillium ovary turns soft and spongy. Trillium seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants extract the seeds from the decaying ovary and take them to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they germinate in a rich growing medium.
North Perry Water Response. We received the following response from North Perry Water's General Manager, George Smalley, regarding our inquiry whether the community could help or show support for a possible relocation of the Riddell well:
Piebald Deer Movement? We were asked whether the piebald deer seen south of Illahee State Park, is the same one that was observed north of Illahee. And so we have included the attached info on the north Illahee piebald deer so those around the State Park can tell us if it is the same one.
Possible Next Step re Timbers Edge? We heard that the finalization of the Golf Course gifting is what the Illahee Community Club has been waiting for as they will now be contacting the two Land Trusts that expressed interest some time ago about the possibility of purchasing the Timbers Edge properties. The golf course is evidently a major part of the bigger plan for expanding the Illahee Preserve and now they feel that they are in a better position for a land trust to want to come in to help.
Illahee Garden Tour This Summer? We were notified that a core group of Illahee gardeners are pursuing whether there is enough interest to have a garden tour in Illahee this summer. If you would like to be part of this group or have some suggestions for possible gardens that could be toured, please let us know and we will pass the information on.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Garden Tour Group Interest. There were at least 10 who expressed interest in an Illahee garden tour this summer, and they will hopefully be able to meet and decide on gardens and dates. Let us know if you have suggestions or want to be part of the group and we will pass the information on.
Watershed Curriculum Evaluation. Illahee has been selected to evaluate a watershed curriculum that was developed in Jefferson County and is now scheduled for 5 evaluations in our surrounding counties, Island (2 sites), Pierce, Kitsap and Jefferson County. There is some good information in this presentation and we will pass more details on later.
Out of Town. We will be out of town for a few weeks, but will be in email contact with our ipad. We are sorry to miss all the flowers and leaves that are emerging. Attached is a photo of a rhododendron starting to blossom out.
Monday, April 4, 2011
BKAT Showing of Aquifer Briefing. We first heard that BKAT (Channel 12) was showing the aquifer briefing presentation by someone who caught the last few minutes of a showing and wanted to know when it would be showing again. We received the schedule from BKAT this morning and caught the 11:30 am showing and have some comments.
At Times the Microphone Cut Out. While the visual coverage was great, there were a few times when the microphone Dr. Massmann was using cut out, and we wished the external microphone's volume was higher for the question and answer time.
Remaining BKAT Schedule. The remaining airing schedule for the aquifer briefing is:
Piebald Deer Sighting. This sighting was in the area south of Illahee State Park.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Brush Picker Report. If the following report is true, we should expect to see brush pickers in the Illahee Preserve tomorrow. They evidently prefer to be there when it rains since there are fewer people there.
Unleashed Dog Report. We received the following account of an incident with unleashed dogs today that we thought should be passed on. Thankfully, this is only the second one we are aware of.
Last Preserve Report. When we put out our last report on tree clearing in the Preserve a week ago, we had not yet received the following report from those doing the clearing: (Remember, this was from last week (3/27/11)
These are some dedicate volunteers who would get up so early on a weekend to take care of the Illahee Preserve trails. Thanks guys for your dedication and support!!
Kids Tour Illahee Creek. Last Sunday an energetic bunch of kids from the Unitarian Fellowship were given a tour of Illahee Creek. They met at the Krigsman's and walked up the the old concrete reservoir that was put in by Dr. Schutt. The kids went through the water and brush easily while the adults struggled along. The picture of the group was taken by the Krigsman's potting shed along side the creek, before the wet and muddy excursion took place.
North Perry Water. We wanted to acknowledge that North Perry Water was at the aquifer briefing last week, along with their hydrologist. We thought about this when we went by the newly cleaned water reservoir on Sunset. It looked so nice we took its picture. The boom in the picture was used to elevate those doing the pressure washing. Thanks to all the North Perry folks for also keeping our drinking water clean and healthy!
North Perry Riddell Well. We heard that at one time North Perry was looking at relocating their Riddell well at Perry Avenue to the west side of the ridge going through the Illahee Preserve, which would put it in the Meadowdale Aquifer (which is in the Steele Creek watershed). We also heard they withdrew their request because of some issues with the Tribes. Some Illahee residents are wondering if it would help if the community were to publicly support the move. We aren't sure we have all the facts on this issue, but feel if the relocation supports the communities desire to restore Illahee Creek, then we should be doing all we can to help North Perry in its relocation request. We brought this issue up to get discussions started. Let us know your thoughts. This may be a good item to present at the quarterly Illahee Community Club meeting in May.
Input Needed and Appreciated. As you can see much of what we put out in these updates comes from your input. Thank you for trusting us with it and letting us pass it on.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Aquifer Briefing (3/29/11). On March 29, 2011 Dr. Joel Massman gave an informative presentation on aquifer modeling and specifically how the Bainbridge Island aquifer study and model related to Illahee Creek and the surrounding area.
Many Engineers and Hydrologists Attended. We were surprised at the number of engineers, hydrologists, and those working in the water industry, who attended the briefing, since the press releases sent to local papers did not get printed. Other educators and scientists also attended such that it seemed like the aquifer topic appealed primarily to those with scientific backgrounds and those with advanced degrees with at least 4 Ph.D's, including Dr. Massmann in attendance.
Illahee Residents - Low Numbers? We were also surprised that there weren't more Illahee residents in attendance, though a number of residents who could not attend provided questions to ask. There were a total of 14 signs placed throughout the Illahee community, and in the days preceding the briefing we were told by many that they like receiving the summaries of meetings so they don't feel they need to attend in order to be informed. We also heard some got the date wrong and showed up on Wednesday.
Bremerton Kitsap Access Television (BKAT). The briefing was video taped by BKAT for later showings, which will help those who could not attend on Tuesday. We will let you know when they will be shown on Channel 12.
Briefing Content. We do not have a copy of the Power Point of the briefing so this will be very short and succinct. The Bainbridge Island study did extend over onto the Kitsap Peninsula which takes in Illahee. The USGS gave Dr. Massmann access to their modeling software so he was able to use the model to extrapolate the affect of wells on the flows on Illahee Creek. The modeling exercise showed that there is a significant effect on the summer base flows of Illahee Creek from the various wells along Illahee Creek.
Many Questions Followed. Following the briefing questions from the audience and written ones from those who could not attend, were fielded by Dr. Massmann, with a few fielded by Dr. Matt Bachmann from the USGS. Comments from some Illahee residents were that the questions helped get the discussions down from the theoretical to the practical issues that local citizens are dealing with.
Responses (Answers) Later. We will publish some of the more pertinent and interesting questions and answers when we get a tape of the event. One question and response proved interesting which was -- When will the USGS Kitsap aquifer study be completed? The answer was in another 4 years. (Comment - That is the reason the Port wanted to have Dr. Massmann review the USGS BI Study could give us more information on Illahee Creek, which many residents consider already at a critical state with respect to low base flows.)
Comments from Other Attendees? We would like to hear from others who attended the briefing on their thoughts. We did receive emails the next day thanking those who arranged for the briefing, which would be the Port of Illahee with funding from the Department of Ecology.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Deciding Whether to Attend Aquifer Meeting Tonight? If you are trying to decide whether to attend the Aquifer Briefing tonight (3/29) at 6:30 pm at the Norm Dicks Center, you might want to read the following article in the Kitsap Sun this morning. We have attached it below and also linked it . We will be learning about some of the same issues as they affect Illahee and the surrounding community from a noted hydrologist.
Aquifers Also Feed Illahee Creek. Not only do our aquifers provide our drinking water, they also provide for the base flow in Illahee Creek, which is necessary to maintain if the stream is to continue to be fish bearing. This will also be discussed.
Kitsap Sun Tuesday March 29, 2011
As expected, study predicts declining drinking water supply on Bainbridge
By Tristan Baurick
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Signs In Illahee. We heard there were 14 signs put up on Saturday reminding residents of the Aquifer Briefing being held at the Norm Dicks Center on Tuesday evening from 6:30-8 pm. It looks like there are two different versions, which we found near the Illahee Preserve parking lot on Almira.
What is the Status of Our Aquifers? There seem to be some differing opinions out there, with the four most common responses being:
1. Not a problem. "We get too much rain for there to be a problem."
2. There is a problem. "Illahee Creek's flow is getting lower every summer."
3. Don't know and would like to know more. (paraphase of most common response)
4. Don't need to know. "North Perry (Water) takes care of these issues."
Most Don't Know. Most residents do not know what the aquifer situation is in Illahee or how important it is to understand it, and what residents can do to help.
Hydrologist Expert Opinion Requested. That "not knowing" is the reason for bring back Dr. Massmann to help us better understand the aquifer situation in Illahee and the surrounding area. Dr. Massmann has studied the Illahee situation several times before, first at the request of the Illahee Community following a study by Aspect Consulting that said development along Illahee Creek could lower the base flow in Illahee Creek by 15-20%. The community paid for the study to verify those findings. The second study entitled "Illahee Watershed Aquifer Protection Plan" was prepared by Dr. Massmann as part of the Department of Ecology and Port of Illahee grant. Dr. Massmann presented those findings in 2009 at a presentation.
Important Subject. Aquifers are an extremely important subject, since Illahee's drinking water comes solely from our underlying aquifers. Our aquifers also supply the spring water that keeps Illahee Creek flowing during non-precipitation periods.
Latest Findings? When the Bainbridge Island Aquifer study was done by the USGS, they included some of the surrounding areas, including Illahee. Dr. Massmann has been asked to see if he can extrapolate any information from that study that might be applicable to Illahee and the Manette Aquifer.
Suggestions for Residents. Dr. Massmann has also been asked to provide residents with suggestions of what they can do to help protect and preserve our aquifers.
Stolen Car in Preserve? We heard today that about 2 weeks ago a stolen car was driven into the Preserve from Thompson Lane and had to be hauled out by a tow truck. We were asked why they hadn't seen the event or any pictures in an Update. Well, the reason is that was the first we heard about it. We would have been out taking pictures and getting more information had we known. Please let us know about these events. We don't mind getting multiple reports.
Rotary Trail Crew Work. Thanks to the East Bremerton Rotary's chain saw crew who cleaned up another downed tree this morning that was crossing a trail. The Preserve is almost entirely a volunteer maintained and supported park and we thank the Rotary and all the other volunteers who help day in and day out.
2010 Hours? Just how many hours were logged in officially at the Illahee Preserve in 2010? This does not include many hours of work that did not get recorded. We heard that the number was just a little under 3000 hours! Thank you to all those volunteers who help make the Preserve a great park and a success in volunteers planning, supporting, and maintaining a major county park.
2010 Dollar Support? In addition to volunteer hours, there were some major financial support, that we heard amounted to over $12,000 in 2010. The Rotary has been a major contributer, especially with the beautiful entrance signs which were installed in previous years. The Illahee Forest Preserve is the non-profit organization (501.c.3) that supports the Preserve. They paid for the dedication plaque, rock moving, etc. Additionally, the Port of Illahee and the Department of Ecology paid for the rain garden plants. Thanks to all these groups and organizations for stepping up to help.
Ducks in the Preserve Pond? It appears we again have a pair of mallard ducks who think the Illahee Preserve detention pond next to the Almira parking lot should be their home. We took the attached photo this afternoon.