Hey everyone, we're back from vacation now. We went up to Sequim, WA to visit my parents, and now I see why so many beeks are from up there in the PNW. Wow, Sequim is FILLED with lavender... not to mention all kinds of other bee friendly flowers. Never the less, I still didn't witness much in the way of bee activity up there, except a very few forragers out and about. Still, much more activity than I see down here.
In comparisson, I can see why we don't have as many bees down here... we simply don't have nearly the amount of forage they have elsewhere, or variety in forage plants available.
Of course the best part of the trip was that our 18 mo. son was an absolute delight on the flight. While all the other kids were fussing and creating a scene, he was cool as a cucumber. I was really worried because when he starts screaming, it's about 200+ db... enough that I think I'm starting to suffer hearing loss from it. Well, that and I was worried flying could cause him some kind of problems with his ears... as I have been plagued with ear troubles my whole life, stemming from perforated eardrums... and I really don't want my son to have to endure the same thing.
We took a day and saw the Olympic Game Farm up there, and that was pretty cool. Especially the bears. Holy cow those brown bears are a lot bigger than our little black bears down here... of course, they might seem a bigger, considering that they are only a few feet away in the park. I think they were mostly retired circus bears, as they would do tricks for you as you went by, though they did have one mother with two cubs. The gazelle were probably the coolest animals there... but they have them in an area with bison and elk and other large pushy, kinda scarry animals... so we fed the gazelle on the run. Oh, I guess I should explain that they let you feed the animals there. The elk were the scarriest though... and consequently got most of the food... thrown as a diversion because when you see a 1500 lb elk running at you, even if you know it's only because you have food, something in your brain goes: "THROW THE FOOD AND GET OUTTA HERE YOU FOOL!!!" :-D
On another day we rented a boat from the John Wayne Marina (named after John Wayne because the property actually belonged to him, and was donated to become a marina by his estate) and went crabbing/fishing. I have to say, that marina is a first class establishment. I would definately rent there again... and probably will next time we go up to visit the folks. They have a pretty fancy restaurant there too... though a bit pricey, the food was exquisite. Anyway, we did more crabbing than fishing, on account of plenty of crab, and no bites on the fishing line. Had we stayed out another 15 minutes, we would've had our limit in crabs... man, what a thrill when you haul up the crab trap and it's completely full... and you had just dropped it like 20 minutes ago. Of course, most of them were females and had to be thrown back... too bad, too... some of them were gigantic. Got LOTS of red rock crabs, and a few dungeness, too. They both tasted about the same to me though.
We were going to try and go up to the olympic mountains, but the weather just didn't permit it... but we did get some nice views of them. Of course we also got to see the new house my folks built. It was pretty cool what they did with it... like the cabinets for example... my dad wired up magnetic switches to turn on lights in every cabinet or closet when you opened the door to it, and it shut it off again when the door was shut... and the switches were all recessed into the door jams and the magnets were recessed into the doors, so you could barely see them if you were looking for them. Very cool idea. The only problem is that now my wife has a large honey-do list for me. Well, I don't mind so much actually, I kinda enjoy that stuff.