What’s New With Amoeba & Quilly?

Well, Amoeba spent a week in Louisiana, came home for a few days and then flew off to Hawaii. He came home from Hawaii for a few hours — literally just long enough to get the clothes in his suitcase washed and repacked — and drove to Seattle where he is now.

I have been busy, too, but not jet setting. I have been right here at home gardening and cleaning the garage. I had to clean the garage because we bought a second car. Well, it is sort of a car …. It is street legal and we have it licensed and insured, but calling it a car is kind of ambitious. It is a little electric Ford TH!NK Neighbor.


I call it a buggy and I love it. It only goes 25 mph, but that is plenty fast enough in town — and one can still get a speeding ticket in it on many of our local streets. (No, neither of us have done so nor do we plan to). I told Amoeba I would happily trade him cars. He can have the Malibu and I will have the buggy. He said no — then he got in the Malibu and went to Seattle!

Of course, going to Seattle in the buggy could be an ordeal since one would have to make at least 3 eight hour stops to recharge the battery along the way. And I am happy zip, zip, zipping around in the buggy.

A Picturesque Camping Trip

Once again we tripped off to Vancouver, B.C. with a group of students from UW’s Friday Harbor Labs.  This time it was the ZooBot class (a Zoological and Botanical survey of coastal sea life).

This is Megan.
Megan teaches the Zoo part of ZooBots.  I took this shot right after the class returned from the beach and caught Megan in the act of exchanging boots for shoes. Megan is just as fun and energetic as this photo implies.

This is the classroom.

This is the class.

Somethings to study.
sealife 2

Some more things to study.
sea life

Of course it wasn’t all work.
Kamp Kool Kids

When in camp we roasted hats.
roasted hats

Roasted socks.
roasted socks
Played games.

Celebrated a birthday …
… with cake …

… and music …

… and dancing.

We also ate.
Megan’s friend brought us a bucket full of fresh crab.  I am sure that somewhere in all the crunching and slurping we remembered to say thank you.

And of course I found time to take a few pics:



dancing grass

Dancing Grass (growing from a rock)

more scenery

River Tree


Seed Head

fiddle fern

Fiddlehead Ferns




Sea Anemone



berry soon

Berry Soon



Botany Bay path

Botany Bay Path

Botany Bay steps

Botany Bay Steps

Botany Bay lower trail

Botany Bay Boardwalk

furry trees

Furry Trees


New Growth

stellar jay

Stellar Jay

Friday Harbor Labs, UW

Come see where Amoeba works.  Dave Hays, a UW film making class student, interviewed Hillary, one of the TAs who works with Charley (Amoeba) and Megan in their “ZooBot” class which is an entire quarter (16 credits: Marine Zoology 5 credits; Marine Botany 5 credits; and a Research Apprenticeship in Intertidal Ecology and Physiology for 6 credits).   Hillary is currently working on her PhD focusing on the study of the interactions of marine organisms with their environment.

That might all sound intimidating, but the video below makes it easy to understand and gives you a glimpse of Amoeba’s working environment.

PNW Giant

This photo shows Amoeba with a cross section of a Pacific Northwest Douglas Fir tree.  These trees can live for a thousand years, primarily because they have a very thick bark that allows them to survive many pestilence attacks and moderate fires.

Technically, the Douglas Fir isn’t a true fir tree, as evidenced by a close look at the “needles” and the cones. I considered using “fake fur” as today’s Punny Monday answer, but I figured you’d all be even less likely to guess that.

Douglas Fir trees are the most commonly marketed Christmas trees in the United States.  They are usually trimmed to a perfect cone shape when young, and then they continue to grow that way.  The Noble Fir and Grand Fir are also sold as Christmas trees.

Lunch With A Woodpecker & Some Snow

Yesterday as I sat at the dining room table eating my lunch I watched the Juncos and Chickadees fighting over the suet in the woodpecker feeder and wondered why the woodpecker had never come back.  I figured our greasy spoon cuisine didn’t suit him.  Alas.

No sooner had that thought crossed my mind than his missus showed up!  I was so excited I deserted my Pad Thai noodles and ran for my camera.  Of course, when I got back, the woodpecker had gone. I put my camera down on the snack bar, returned to the dining room table and resumed eating.

The missus came back.  I jumped from my chair and she fled again.  Too much movement behind the windows.  I got my camera, moved to sit closer to the window, and waited.  I sat very, very still.

It paid off.  She returned.

a female Hairy Woodpecker hanging from a suet basket.

Mrs. Hairy Woodpecker

We know this is a lady because Mr. Hairy Woodpecker wears a bright red cap.  This little lady is quite liking her cherry-walnut suet.  She returned to it several times today and I’ll likely have to refill the feeder tomorrow.   The store didn’t have the same flavor this week, so I am hoping she likes oats, peanuts, almonds and pecans as well — and maybe the new menu will draw Mr. Woodpecker back!


We had quite a snowstorm today!

About the time I was getting Amoeba’s breakfast this morning, it started to snow — huge white flakes falling fast.  And sticking.   You all know by now that snow isn’t one of my favorite things.

By the time Amoeba was ready to leave for work, I had given him directions on how to run my errands, an assurance of my undying devotion in the face of anything but snow, and the keys to the car.  I kissed him good-bye and went and got a sweater.  I was staying inside where it was warm.  Just think, I could catch up on my blogging!

The power went out.


Oh well, I’ll make cookies … oh, no oven.


I could read.  I don’t need electricity to read and I have plenty of books to choose from.  I’ll just make a cup of tea and … crap.  A book just isn’t a book without a good cup of tea.

I texted Thom. I talked to Amoeba on the phone. I texted my sister.  I talked to my sister on the phone.  I talked to Amoeba on the phone.  I took a video of the hummingbird at the feeder while it was snowing like crazy (if I ever figure out how to crop it, I’ll share it).

Then I saw the orange-suited power company guys in my backyard and went out to talk to them.  They said they knew the outage occurred somewhere between Pear Point Road and Egg Lake.  Oh goody, that’s only half the island.  They told me the power would be up as soon as possible.  I wasn’t cranky with them, it was snowing and cold out and I was glad they were doing their jobs. I did, however, resign myself to a long wait.  Imagine my surprise when the power came back on about 15 minutes later.   The guys in my backyard might nowt have known where the problem was, but obviously somebody found it and it was a quick fix.

It quit snowing, the sun emerged, and all was right with my world again!