[Tweeters] Gimping Around

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Wed Feb 24 03:32:01 PST 2016

Finally back in Port Townsend after being gone for 15 days on a medical adventure. I had developed some blockages to the blood flow in my left leg (which turned out to probably be some sort of hereditary deal, which caused me a lot of pain, and made it very hard to walk at all. Little did I know, arriving at my doctors appointment on the 8th, that I would wind up in an ER all day, and then carted off in the night by ambulance to Tacoma General hospital for surgery. Then days in the hospital and a weeks recuperation in Everett. Thinking naively, that I'd be back to my little home in PT after my doctor visit , I'd left my cell phone there - big mistake. Next time I go to the doctor, I'm taking a rucksack with my cell phone, laptop, books, and extra underwear - you just never know what could happen.
Oh well. Just got back to town in the afternoon. Later I drove over to my hang-outs at Fort Worden, for a brief restorative gimp.
Going out on the pier at the Marine Science Center, I was pleased to see my first fish in awhile - winter fish watching has been pretty quiet up till now- so seeing hundreds of young one-and-a-inch Herring was cool. At least I think they were herring, and not anchovies, or something of a similar body plan. Watching fish with binoculars does have some I.D. limits.
In winter the sea takes a little nap, much as the land does. Like seeing different views in a leafless winter deciduous wood as opposed to leafy summer, viewing the floats and pilings this time of year allows different things to stand out in the somewhat sleeping seaweeds. This winter at the pier Kelp Crabs are a big standout as they cling to the pilings. One of many types of crabs around here.
Very calm and sunny - the waterbirds fairly scarce, but there was a little bonanza of Marbled Murrelets off the pier - I counted about 25 pairs - and they were mostly in pairs. The one Pigeon Guillemot I saw was now in summer plumage.
Then, putting my gimp to the test, I walked down to my favorite path through the dunes, looking for whatever. There I found my first flowering Draba of the year - a very miniature annual weed, particularly dwarfed by the sandy conditions.Looked for blooming Blue-eyed Mary - another tiny annual - but still a bit early.
Before all my leg problems, I'd checked out the miniature Kah Tai Prairie located at the NE corner of the golf course in town. Too early then, but now checking it out, I found the first Spring Gold (Lomatium) flowering yellow low to the ground. Just a few, and then spotted a load of upright new grassy (but not grass) growth - "aha!" I thought. And sure enough, soon found the flower of the plant - the bright and "Blue-eyed Grass" (used to be Sisyrinchium, now Olsynium) a showy little thing in the relatively uncommon native prairies, and open grassy bald in our region. Not really blue, it's sort of a hard to describe pinky, purple, magenta sorta color.
This little mini prairie is being restored and maintained by the Washington Native Plant Society. The flower show of unique prairie flowers is just starting now - show continues into summer. Well worth keeping tabs on thru the season - it changes fairly quickly.
Jeff, sort gimpy, Gibsonin Port Townsend Wa
P.S. Found a small pile of cards from tweeters well wishers in my PO box when I got back- thanks to all.

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