(sub) Urban Wild Life

I’ve been working on both a newsletter to my neighbors and a post lately about how lucky I am to have so much wildlife right here in my neighborhood. I live on a long-ish dead end street right in the middle of one of Washington State’s wealthiest cities. It’s one of the few streets left where you can still see traces of the days when this area was considered “out in the country”. In my time living here (almost 45 years now) my little lane has gone from a small handful of older houses with horse acreage, to 25 homes, many qualifying as McMansions (homes with 5,000 plus square footage, selling for well over $1,000,000).

When I saw Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge for this week,

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Wildlife

I decided to combine my two projects with her challenge.

So here is the letter I sent out to my neighbors.


Sub-Urban Animals!

A letter from your self-appointed S.E. 7th Street Wild Life reporter and Game Warden.

A few months back, I was pretty low, with all the dark hours and gray skies. I didn’t even want to go for one of my short but usually uplifting walks. It was so dismal out, for so many days in a row, I think I was developing some serious empathy for my clients over the years who have suffered from SAD. (Seasonal Affective Disorder!)

But I made myself go out there anyway.

And a few steps into my climb up the hill (yes, for me, it is a climb) I heard them!

Our SE 7th Street Bald Eagles are back!

Last year they graced us with many regular visits, perched up high on branches that seemed way too skinny to hold their heft. On most days, they could be found facing the sunrise, and later the sunset, either in the trees in my front yard, or up the street to the East across from the Mathes house.

As I hiked up the street on this gloomy day, head tilted back at a neck-killing angle, I saw them. They were circling, very low, right above the treetops, probably hunting for breakfast. Then they landed, and stayed for a long time.

I took this sighting very personally…like they had stopped by just to cheer me up.

gray day, low light, camera phone

I was so uplifted I wanted to write to the whole street to share about my encounter.

That made me remember that I actually used to do that a lot…write to the whole SE 7th Street list. It started with simple reporting of Coyote sightings.

Then one day, I witnessed something so amazing, I wrote a whole article about it.

Early one morning, I saw a Murder of Crows take down a Bald Eagle, on the busy road right at the top of our street. I’m sure the Eagle had gone after a crow’s nest or something but the Crow Call went out and a huge crowd of them came. Some Seagulls even stopped by to join in on the attack.

The event stopped traffic. Well, I guess I kind of stopped the traffic, pulling my car sideways across the street to prevent massive bird death. A cop happened along, saw immediately what was happening and helped chase the birds away and get the traffic moving again. I spent hours afterwards watching, and photographing, the escaped but clearly injured Bald Eagle up in a tree across the street from the Burdick house.

hurt eagle

Soon after this event, I proclaimed myself the Game Warden and Wild Life Reporter for our street. I sent out a “newsletter” article called Urban Bird Gangs.

I had so much fun writing up the story, it is in part what inspired me to start a Blog. Now, I write about my animal adventures right here in our neighborhood all the time. Please feel free to check it out, although I do write about a lot of other things too. Some inane, and some harsh. Lots of animal stories; beautiful seed feeder birds, marauding deer, our neighborhood cats, the brazen Coyote pack (looking for our cats), and many Hummingbird shots. You may even find photos of beautiful plants, trees and flowers from your own yards.


Back to S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I think I’m cured now. Especially in the last couple of weeks. It appears, we are being chosen again, by a beautiful pair of Bald Eagles. Maybe the same ones who roosted last summer, sunrise and sunset, in the biggest tree in front-yard (or as James calls it, “frun-chard”.) They seemed to be hanging out around 10:30 AM some mornings, on the more gray, windy days. Not great photos with only my phone but two mornings ago, that really cold, crisp, clear day, they were posing for the local paparazzi, so I ran for my real camera. So glad I did.


What a beautiful, majestic bird!

Again, please feel free to stop by the Blog and tell me what you think!!

Love our street!!


Kathie (your oldest resident…well, longest anyway)


So that was my letter to my wonderful neighbors but for Cee’s Challenge, I want to add this HUGE slide show. (Wish I knew how to do music for it too.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Wildlife

Congregate for The Daily Post-one word prompt


“Hey I heard about this great new breakfast place. Wanna go try it out?”


“Sure, I could eat.”
“Great menu but it gets pretty crowded.”
“Yeah, check out the line waiting.”
“And apparently they will serve just about ANYONE here!”

IMG_0914 (1)IMG_1046IMG_0783IMG_1043IMG_1036IMG_0132IMG_0897

“Hey, wait a minute!!! I don’t think THAT guy had a reservation!”
“Yeah, so what? Wanna make somethin’ of it?”









  1. gather into a crowd or mass.
    synonyms: assemblegathercollect, come together, convenerallyrendezvousmustermeetclustergroup


A Face in the Crowd for WPC 2/21/18

A Face in the Crowd

This might be a stretch. But if you happen to be a regular reader, you might be getting the idea that I am kind of a Rule Bender in a quiet-ish way.

This week, first came the Weekly Photo Challenge. I searched and thought and plotted to find or take a great Face-in-the-Crowd shot. I had the same weird internal ethical debates I always have about taking photos of strangers without their permission…even a face in a crowd.

Then my grandsons invited me to watch a movie. We watched Okja, an odd little Korean film. (Trailer down below, but it’s full of spoilers…better to watch unprepared, in my opinion.)  By the way, Common Sense Media says 15 years plus, and though my grandsons are 12 and 14, I agree. My oldest one kept saying “one minute you think this is a great kid’s movie and the next it’s really, REALLY not!”

I will tell you that while watching it, I couldn’t help but thinking about the Weekly Photo Challenge Theme….which made me start thinking in a whole new direction.

I love animals and I tell you what, it is getting more and more difficult to eat anything with a face. I have been mostly vegetarian for almost 50 years…no red meat of any kind during that time and only the occasional fish and poultry…including Salmon of course ( I DO live in the Northwest after all) and Turkey on Thanksgiving!

With this movie giving me a new way of thinking of the face in the crowd, I remembered an experience a few years back that left me both in awe for the beauty of it and a kind of disgust and guilt for the fact of it.

On a repeated vacation to San Diego, the place where we stay has this massive Koi Pond. For a quarter, you can feed the spectacularly colorful fish.


They were beautiful and I suppose there is value in sharing that contained beauty with people if it heightens their consciousness about our cohabitants on Mother Earth. (Don’t get me started on the two sides of the whole Zoo Debate.)

But it was also an example of a pitiful and frightening feeding frenzy.

There was this one fish-face that caught my eye. I kept my eye on him so I knew it was the same one over and over. His face kept appearing midst the fevered quest for food.


Maybe it was that he was so huge and that made me wonder if this had been his whole life, battle after crowded battle for tidbits of man-made cereal nuggets.


That thought made me incredibly sad. I mean, Koi can live for up to 200 years! And these guys had already been trapped in this resort pond for 35 years that I know of.

It just felt wrong.

I don’t know any resolution, or if there even needs to be one. I mean, I raise Giant Leaf Bugs and keep them in a terrarium for their entire lives…my rationale being they live almost a year longer in my captivity than in their native wild. My cats are strictly indoor cats for the same reason…longer lives than if they ventured out among the hawks and coyotes in my area.

Anyway, this is my Face in the Crowd post for the week.

I’d love to hear what you think.


5 Interesting Facts About Koi Fish from https://www.sweeneyfeeders.com/5-interesting-facts-koi-fish/


1. Koi fish originate from Japan and represent love and friendship in Japanese culture.


2. Most koi fish outlive their owners, having a lifespan of 200+ years.


3. They come in a variety of colors, not just orange. They may appear orange, yellow, white, red and black.


4. Owners who received their koi fish as a gift are believed to have good luck.


5. In Japan, koi fish are often passed down from generation to generation, as a family heirloom.



SongLyricSunday 2-18-18

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 2/18/18

Normally, a song immediately pops into my head when I read the theme for the week.

All I got this morning was Earth Angel by the Penguins from the 1950’s. Not the right mood for me today so I kept thinking and finally gave up and Googled. I found a U2 song I thought I had never heard of. Since I am a huge fan, I couldn’t wait to hear this new (to me) song!

Turns out, it is Peace on Earth combined with my all-time favorite U2 song by this amazing group, and I have not only heard it before…I even saw it on TV the night this version debuted….right after September 11, 2001.

AND, I have even posted this exact song before. Not in the context of “earth” but rather about power and escaping danger. It’s a song I have used in my practice for years, especially to inspire someone working to extract themselves from domestic violence.

Featuring Dave Stewart and Natalie Imbruglia. From the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon, which aired live on 35 broadcast and cable networks on Friday, September 21, 2001. The original versions of both songs can be found on the 2000 album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

There is a lot more about this song here:



Peace on Earth

Heaven on Earth – we need it now
I’m sick of all of this hanging around
Sick of sorrow – sick of the pain
I’m sick of hearing again and again
That there’s gonna be peace on Earth

Where I grew up there weren’t many trees
Where there was we’d tear them down
And use them on our enemies
They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you

And it’s already gone too far
Who said that if you go in hard
You won’t get hurt?
Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth

Tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth
No whos or whys
No-one cries like a mother cries
For peace on Earth
She never got to say goodbye
To see the colour in his eyes
Now he’s in the dirt
Peace on Earth

They’re reading names out over the radio
All the folks the rest of us won’t get to know
Sean and Julia – Gareth, Ann and breda
Their lives are bigger than any big idea

Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth
To tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth

Jesus in the song you wrote
The words are sticking in my throat
Peace on Earth
Hear it every Christmas time
But hope and history won’t rhyme
So what’s it worth?
This peace on Earth
Peace on Earth —

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/u/u2lyrics/allthatyoucantleavebehindlyrics.html#05



Walk On

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring
Not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no – be strong

Walk on – walk on
What you got, they can’t steal it
No, they can’t even feel it
Walk on – walk on
Stay safe tonight

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly – only fly for freedom

Walk on – walk on
What you got, they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it or buy it
Walk on – walk on
You stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on – walk on

Home – hard to know what it is if you never had one
Home – I can’t say where it is, but I know I’m going
Home – that’s where the hurt is

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on

Leave it behind
You’ve got to leave it behind

All that you fashion – all that you make
All that you build – all that you break
All that you measure – all that you feel
All this you can leave behind

All that you reason – it’s only time
Love in a fever – no, not mine
All that you sense – all that you scheme
All you dress up – all that you seem
All you create [fades]

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/u/u2lyrics/allthatyoucantleavebehindlyrics.html#03