Posted in Birds and other fun topics

Evolution of a Crow Blog

This last couple of months I have been terrible busy at work and with other life things. My Crows of Arroyos has become harder and harder to find content that I am excited about.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand I am in a writing slump not a permanent give up on my blog about birds, nature, history and of course crows. We all have from time to time a moment of introspection on what we are about.

A good way to go about the future is to see what the past contained. Take away from that what really thrills one and what was a drag. So..here goes on a look back on 7 years of my blogging adventure.

It all started on November 21, 2010 with a new blog built on WordPress (which I still use and love). It was called Arroyos Crow World and it began with this:

Please join me in glimpsing the world of Crows.

For the past several years I have followed the local residents of my neighborhood.  We humans live in our houses and by looking up we can see a whole another world.   The Crows have territories, families and parties just like we do.

Wow – going back to read that I realize that I still follow that course. I have not really been able to completely understand the why they do things (I have tried) but it is  more about where they are and what I observed by looking up.

The next day on November 22nd, I uploaded my first picture and wrote the second blog called “Crow Snow Day”. Check it out! The first picture is a crow pair on my backyard fence. Something they still do today.

What is this white stuff all about?

Look at how far digital photography has come and how grainy my old camera was. Just one of many things that change over a few short years.

To my surprise of the 655 posts only 287 were about crows. Here are some more statistics for those that love math.

  • Total Posts in 7 years – not counting this one – 655
  • 36,573 views
  • 535 is the most views in one day – October 17, 2011 – Crow Stalker and Amanda Knox Paparazzi

And what retrospect would not be really worth its salt if we didn’t have a Top 5 countdown!

Number 5 – Crow Stalker and Amanda Knox Paparazzi

Here I was almost a year into my blogging fun and one Sunday on my walk to “stalk” crows ran across a pair of paparazzi outside Amanda’s mother’s house. She had just got home from being released in Italy and was all the rage in our neighborhood. That included lots of extra traffic and of course news helicopters.

This posting has had 931 visits over the last 6 years. As I noted above more than half happened on the day after I posted it. I got published on some Amanda Knox chat group and anything Amanda was grabbed upon. That included my encounter.

This weeks Amanda Knox Paparazzi

Number 4 – Crow Pellet

974 visits to this post show that lots of folks are interested in this icky subject. Could be they are just thinking guns? I like to think it is such an odd subject with little out there on it that my post got folks the information they wanted.

Check out what the crow threw up in front of me on a piling looks like. Placed perfect for a great photo!

Crow Pellet – interesting look at what this crow was eating

Number 3 – Crows – Ravens and Halloween

This October 2011 post got 1,046 views over time. Every year when Halloween rolls around folks find this posting and educate themselves on crow lore.  Here is my lead in paragraph that sets the tone of smart crows and our aversion to untidy sights.

Corvids (Crows & Ravens) are some of the most popular symbols of Halloween. Months ago I wrote an article about why people think Crows are Evil. In that article I talked about how we as humans might fear a bird that is so smart. Or is it that in our clean and tidy world we don’t take well to them feeding on battlefield dead.

Number 2 – Ruins of Longacres – The Foundations

Close to where I work in Renton, Washington is the site of where a horse racetrack of great aclaim and beauty used to stand. In the 1990s it was sold to the Boeing Company and then redeveloped into office space. The racetrack was torn down to the dismay of many. Almost 20 years later, I stumbled across what was left and started a series of articles to record the “Ruins”.  This blog has netted 1,088 views.  2,068 total views on the whole series. That made all the stomping around in the brush, hundreds of photos and hours of research worth every moment.

This series included 14 blog posts, starting with the a mysterious entrance unit that still stands under I-405 (Longacres Relic), then the three main posts “Ruins of Longacres” Foundation, Green Wall and The Track.  A former employee sent me aerial photos and I did a few posts of those. I produced a small video of the track which you can view below.

Number 1 – Its Molting Time – Crows, Herons & Madrona Trees

This is my all time most visited blog post at 2,921. When I wrote it in 2011 I never thought it would be the one that just kept on giving. It outlasted the Amanda craze, beat out the Halloween post and many posts on my everlasting love of Baby Crows (6 Baby Crows Crying is #10 at 380).

Mom – where are my new winter coat?

When I go look at the ways people find this blog, I find it is not the crows! It is the madrona trees that people admire and want to know more about. This photo of one molting (see below) is is in the top 5 photos you get when you google “Madrona Trees Molting”.  Batgurrl.net has 3 of those top 5.

Madrona Trees also molt this time of year. The bark is just like paper laying on the trail.

I have to mention I have some favorites of my own.  Let us call them Honerable Mentions.

  • My Duwamish Adventure – This was many months of wandering along the trail or roads on the West side of the Duwamish ending at the river’s mouth. The end was a bit disappointing since it was not accessible to me but I did a video of it and what we had done to our river.
  • Georgetown Steam Plant – Electrical power was generated with steam more than a 100 years ago in Seattle. This plant is now a relic of a time gone by. I was enchanted by the many photo moments I got there plus some odd energy that I think are ghosts.

1906 Seattle Electric Company Steam Plant

  • Green River Trail – Like the Duwamish series I walked this trail along the Green River from South Seattle to its end in Kent. Lots to see and write about ranging from crows, old houses, the river, eagles, history and serendipity.

Eagle cools off next to Green River

  • Renton Crow Roost – every fall and winter hundreds of crows flock to the valley close to my office. I am never disappointed in how entertaining they are each year.

2018 is here and what will it bring? Is Serendipity going to carry me forward? Will a pair of crows nest in a tree I can watch from start to finish? Will a historical ruin catch my eye and the hearts of others again?

That is blogging!  Living in the moment and sharing it for others to enjoy too.

Posted in My Duwamish Adventure

Georgetown Power Plant Pump House

I couldn’t help myself yesterday to go find the Pump House for the steam plant. I was driving down East Marginal Way on my way between Estate Sales and took this small detour in the rain.  8th Avenue South was not as easy to find as I thought.  It angles off of East Marginal and now I know why I couldn’t find it using Google Maps.

South side Georgetown Steam Plant pump house
South side Georgetown Steam Plant pump house
North side Georgetown Steam Plant pump house
North side Georgetown Steam Plant pump house

Here is the view back to the West side of the river and the park commemorating the old 8th Street bridge.  The post with details can be found at Bridge & Steam Plant History.

Want more on Georgetown Steam Plant?  Georgetown Steam Plant Directory

8th Street South Park commemorating old bridge
8th Street South Park commemorating old bridge

The pump house is not in the best repair with paint of different shades on it covering up graffiti and tags.  Not surprised when you look at the sad state of this little river access park.  I searched to see who the park belongs to on both Seattle and Port of Seattle web sites. Neither mention it but it must belong to someone.  There is a sign holder, a bench and art.  The sign holder is not plain either.  It has two fish in the design.

Who's park is this? We have a sign holder but no info.
Who’s park is this? We have a sign holder but no info.
Duwamish access end 8th Ave So - East bank
Duwamish access end 8th Ave So – East bank
Battered Park - East side Duwamish - 8th St South
Battered Park – East side Duwamish – 8th St South

To see more of my Duwamish Adventure I have a directory post that links all of the pieces together.  You can find that post here – My Duwamish Adventure Directory

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant, My Duwamish Adventure

Duwamish – Bridge & Steam Plant History

Before the 14th Avenue South and 1st Avenue South Bridges across the Duwamish a Trolley Bridge gave access to Southpark.  It was at the end of 8th Avenue South and Portland Avenue.

It was erected in 1914 and demolished in 1937.  This small park has an art installation commemorating this piece of history.  This is part of Duwamish Revealed’s 2015 project to bring art and a celebration of Seattle’s only river.  Here is a close up of the information and credits of the artist.

Details on trolley bridge over Duwamish River
Details on trolley bridge over Duwamish River

This small park is surrounded by industry and small houses.  It was carved out of a corner that touches the river.

To my delight I found a small treasure that is related to the Georgetown Steam Plant.  I did an extensive visit and series of posts around this historical wonder of old electricity production.

Follow this link to learn more – Georgetown Steam Plant

Look across the Duwamish River and there is the pump house that fed the steam plant after they straightened the river.  Before it was dredged and they drained the curves out of the river the steam plant was next to the river.  Once the curves were gone it was stranded until this pump house a mile away was built.  Bonus to the photo is how it has Seattle’s skyscrapers contrasted to the 100 year old cutting edge technology of electricity generated by steam. Times change!

Pump Station for Georgetown Steam Plant - after course of Duwamish was changed
Pump Station for Georgetown Steam Plant – after course of Duwamish was changed

To see more of my Duwamish Adventure I have a directory post that links all of the pieces together.  You can find that post here – My Duwamish Adventure Directory

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant

Haunted Georgetown Steam Plant

When I got home from my adventure at the Georgetown Steam Plant I quickly looked at my 180 plus photos.  I discovered some disturbing things that I cannot explain except that they are paranormal.  The one that really caught my eye was where a heap of electrical cable was piled.  The last photo in the series is a glow and I have no explanation for this.

Let me set the stage for this.  I had already walked around the big boiler room area. That area as you can see from the other posts was large, creepy and a step into the past.  As I turned the corner back at the entrance end I saw this pile of cable.  Not sure why I was so fascinated by this ugly pile but here is the series of photos I took.

Electrical Cable - close up - 1st photo no flash
Electrical Cable – close up – 1st photo no flash
Pile of cable - 2nd photo with flash
Pile of cable – 2nd photo with flash
pile of cable - 3rd photo no flash
pile of cable – 3rd photo no flash

In this next fourth photo where did the glow come from?  This room has limited light and no way is this from an outside source or my camera.  I had the flash turned off and you can check the photo properties if you like.  I almost thought it was my shaking the camera but look at how clear the cable looks.

Glowing pile - final photo & no flash
Glowing pile – final photo & no flash

Next set of photos that had something creepy going on is a set of boiler doors.  These two doors are right across from the cable.  Coincidence?

Boiler doors - no flash taken after creepy photo
Boiler doors – no flash taken after creepy photo
Little Boiler door close up
Little Boiler door close up

At first I thought again this was just a bad photo moment.  However, with no flash used and the bands of light coming from the door it makes me wonder… is this a spirit or a poltergeist living in the boiler room?

The light is coming from or around the smaller boiler door
The light is coming from or around the smaller boiler door

The last example I have is not as obvious but has a higher creepy factor.  It is when I went back down those enclosed cement stairs that reminded me of Alcatraz.  By accident I took a picture of the stairs with my feet in the picture.  I don’t like to get my shadow or body in pictures.  No selfies for me.

Neither of these two pictures used a flash but in the one with my feet it has a glow or some unexplained aura. Yes it was right at my feet. Glad I was holding onto the railing. Remember my fear of heights in earlier posts.  That was a good thing I hung on huh?

Staircase after the glowing photo with my feet.
Staircase after the glowing photo with my feet. – No Flash used.
No flash photo with light blob glowing at my feet.
No flash photo with light blob glowing at my feet.

I could not find much on the Steam Plant being haunted.  The one thing I did find was the Georgetown Halloween walk from a prior year mentioned that the building might have a poltergeist.  That would explain the glowing lights on the cable and boiler door.  However, the glow in the stairs were more like a spirit due to the temperature and bad vibe I had.

What do you think?  Not sure we will ever really know but this world has lots of things we can’t explain.

Want more of the Georgetown Steam Plant?  Go to my master post on this subject for the other topics around this historic place.

More Georgetown Steam Plant

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant

Flock of Starlings arrive on Steam Plant

After I was done with the interior of the Georgetown Steam Plant, I walked around the entire building.  Of course I took photos as I went and got really cold hands in the deal. It was so worth it for the magnificent views of the building’s Neo Classical style.

Early on I had seen a huge flock of birds moving around Boeing field which this building borders. I hoped they were crows but instead they were starlings.  Not as noble a bird but just as awesome.  To my delight they landed on the building while I was photographing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Want more of the Georgetown Steam Plant?  Go to my master post on this subject for the other topics around this historic place.

More Georgetown Steam Plant

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant

Georgetown Steam Plant Building of time gone by

My trip to Seattle Electric Company 1906 building aka Georgetown Steam Plant was a step back in time mechanically and technologically.

Machines and more machines
Machines and more machines

If you look behind this machine you will see the elevator cage that is used to store signs. This cage does not belong to the building but I found the iron work lovely.

Elevator cage iron work
Elevator cage iron work

Then there is the boiler room, a combination of pipes, doors and dials.  Add to this a creepy factor that we all discussed as we stood there in awe.

Big Boiler Room - 8 to each side
Big Boiler Room – 8 to each side
Boilers with Seattle Electric Company on them.
Boilers with Seattle Electric Company on them.

 

Boiler doors
Boiler doors

I leave you with one of  the turbines or the heart of the plant.

 

Curtis Turbine
Curtis Turbine

Want more of the Georgetown Steam Plant?  Go to my master post on this subject for the other topics around this historic place.

More Georgetown Steam Plant

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant

Georgetown Steam Plant Pipes

The 1906 Steam Plant was full of pipes large and small.  They were made of brass, metal and painted over in different colors.  They carried oil, water, steam and who knows what else.

Lets have a walk around the plant and see what we can find.

Look up and you see pipes

The ceiling is a honeycomb of piping.
The ceiling is a honeycomb of piping.

These brass pipes were on the side of the turbines.  Oil or steam?

Brass pipes
Brass pipes

Up in the boiler room the pipes and valves were everywhere.  When I looked between the boilers looking to the west sunshine I got this photo. The spooky factor was high in this room.

Creepy space between boilers
Creepy space between boilers

The boilers were eight on each side.  Down at the southern end of the long room the light streamed in from a window high up.  It gave this shot of the front of the boilers two different tones of color.  Add more pipes and gauges to the picture for a good photo opportunity.

Front of two boilers
Front of two boilers

Later you will see a picture of the coiled heavy electrical cable that I was drawn to.  After I took several photos of that I weaved behind that area and found this huge pipe and valve wheel.

Big pressure pipe and control wheel.
Big pressure pipe and control wheel.

I leave you with two more sets of pipes at the Steam Plant.

Want more of the Georgetown Steam Plant?  Go to my master post on this subject for the other topics around this historic place.

More Georgetown Steam Plant

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant

Seattle Steam Plant Gauges of time

Georgetown Steam Plant was full of gauges and control panels.  Let’s talk about visual overload for my camera and me.

Similar to the Seattle Electric Company Plant Stairways post let us go around the building in order that I saw them.

At first I was fascinated by these oilers.  The workmanship of the brass and glass is from a time before things were made in foreign countries.

This next piece of the machinery must have twirled and turned as the machine worked.

imagine this in motion
imagine this in motion

Then I turned to the big generator made by General Electric over 100 years ago.  Not only do I have good shots of its inner workings but of the manufacture’s plate.

Generator up close
Generator up close

Let us get down to the gauges and there was plenty of them.  Some looked like they belonged on a ship and some had pipes and faucets around them.  A delight to the mechanical eye.

In the boiler room area there was a few tools and other odd things from the century past.  They were dusty and just lying around like the workers had left them decades ago. This added to the unsettling feeling that I had interrupted someone. I was fascinated by this old heater and how its coils on the outside were visually delightful.

Old space heater a graphic treat
Old space heater a graphic treat

Remember the mystery stairs photo?  At the same time I came out of the boiler room and took that shot I captured the control panels on the third level. This multiple tier kind of reminded me of Alcatraz too.

Control Panels of yesterday look like today
Control Panels of yesterday looks modern

This next photo gives you a better look at the start stop dial and the wench hook that hung from the ceiling. I recently received a comment from Clyde Furd who told me that the dial may look like a clock (which is what I thought it was originally) but it really shows the electrical output of the plant when it is running. It has numbers from 0 to 25 megawatts.  The hook in the upper right corner is a 50 ton crane.

Start Stop clock and control panels
Start Stop clock and control panels

Want more of the Georgetown Steam Plant?  Go to my master post on this subject for the other topics around this historic place.

More Georgetown Steam Plant

 

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant

Seattle Electric Company Plant Stairways

The Steam Plant in Georgetown had some amazing stairway photo opportunities.  The site is multiple leveled so the workers could get to all the huge machinery in the building.

The feature photo was one I captured when looking at gauges.  Then I saw light from the big windows at the back of the building was illuminating the stairs and pipes.

Let us take a tour of the stairs in the building.  I am going to show you them in order of my discovery.  We entered the building by the back big door.  Then were directed to the left to circle around into the machinery area on the main floor.  The other option was to take the back stairs up to the second level.  I opted for machinery first.   This photo looks back toward the entrance and combines lots of visual variety.

Machinery, pipes and stairs
Machinery, pipes and stairs

After I wandered around the machinery I decided to take these enclosed stairs.  They wind up and into an office that had old newspaper articles. Having been to Alcatraz years ago I would say this set of stairs was just as spooky. Guess I picked creepy over the back stairs that made me queasy with height phobia.

Speaking of those back stairs that made my fear of heights act up.  Here is a shot of them from the second floor.  I had a hard time overpowering my fear to get close to the rail here.

This area gave me leapaphobia
This area gave me leapaphobia

After I wandered around the boiler area that continued to sustain the creepy feeling, I came upon this set of stairs going up towards the top of the boilers.  To the side were more oven type doors but they were painted red vs the black ones lower on the boilers.

Stairs upward in boiler room
Stairs upward in boiler room

Next when I moved back into the room with the turbines, I looked up behind the control panels and saw this next staircase.  It seemed to be lighted from the roof and I couldn’t tell where it came from or went.  Thus I named it mystery stairs.

Mystery stairs in rooftop distance
Mystery stairs in rooftop distance

Then the last shot I took was of the one at the back of the building.  Full circle was made.

Back of the house stairs to second level
Back of the house stairs to second level

Want more of the Georgetown Steam Plant?  Go to my master post on this subject for the other topics around this historic place.

More on Georgetown Steam Plant