… it MIGHT be the real-estate site Zillow. We got a note from Michael in Gatewood this afternoon, saying someone suspicious was taking photos of houses along his street. A neighbor, he told us, asked the person what they were doing; they said they were with Zillow. After we tried contacting the company via Twitter just to ask, they called us to confirm yes, it’s a project they’re working on, to “improve the images on (their website)” comparable to what you might see on Google Street View. However, the spokesperson assured us, they aren’t taking photos with people in them, and if you tell the photographer not to take a picture of your house, they’ll honor the request. Just thought we’d share what we found out.
Even if you haven’t seen them, you’ve probably heard them over the past two hours – today is the day the Blue Angels have two rounds of practice for the upcoming Seafair airshow. Kory Love at Alki Lumber shares the photo of the lumberyard’s flag and a Blue Angel flyby. We also received this link from Kevin Freitas, who photographed the practice from West Seattle. The I-90 bridge is scheduled to reopen again shortly while the Blue Angels take a break, and then close again 1:15 to 2:40 pm for more airshow practice.
In case you haven’t noticed it while passing by – there’s a hydroplane in West Seattle! On display in the Les Schwab Tires parking lot in The Triangle (Fauntleroy/Alaska). Read about it here. By the way – there’s more of a connection than just the hydro’s current location – its sponsor, Red Dot, has its roots in West Seattle, as CEO Randy Gardiner explained, keynoting last year’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Awards Breakfast.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:52 PM: Texter this morning asked about Ospreys seen over West Seattle – the kind with rotors, not feathers, most recently mentioned here three months ago during preparations for a Presidential visit. This time, we are fairly certain they’re part of Marine Week, a new addition to Seafair. Here’s the schedule. No specific aircraft mentions, but the Museum of Flight at nearby Boeing Field is expecting some for its part of Marine Week, with arrivals Tuesday night, according to its website. Add all this to the Blue Angels‘ impending return, and the sky’s going to be a lot busier than usual this week.
BLUE ANGELS UPDATE, ADDED 6:59 PM: It seems they’re keeping a different schedule this year. Seafair is showing one Blue Angel arrived today, and TV stations are reporting more coming in tomorrow, reportedly a 12:30 pm downtown flyby. We’re checking…
Thanks to Gary Jones for sharing photos from the P-51 Mustang flyover previewed here last night – scheduled to wrap up right about now at the Snohomish County home of the Historic Flight Foundation, which coordinated it in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day today. The warplanes flew over downtown around noontime:
Click the top photo to open a similar view at twice the size. (And thanks again to Bob, who gave us the heads-up about this!)
ADDED 5:48 PM: A view from Jim Clark:
Did you see/hear the V-22 Ospreys flying over the city a bit earlier? We were downtown when we saw them, but a couple notes say they passed over West Seattle too. We and others had been searching for info for a while – and then, the video above turned up. It was tweeted from Snohomish County by Tyler Brunkhorst, who described it as the Presidential
helicopter fleet preparing for President Obama‘s scheduled visit to the Oso mudslide zone on Tuesday. This CNN.com story suggests the Ospreys just joined the Presidential fleet last year.
P.S. In what so far as we know is just a coincidence, an Osprey flyby was reported here exactly three years ago, on April 19, 2011 – Anne and Doug dug up the WSB link.
P.P.S. While trying to find info about today’s sightings, we noted that NEXT Saturday (April 26th) is the Mariners’ Salute to Armed Forces Night. In years past, that’s brought flyovers. The pre-game events next Saturday are scheduled for 5:30 pm.
Thanks to Judy Bentley for sharing photos of the rock art near the north end of Constellation Park, south of Alki Point. Earlier in the week, Patricia O’Connor‘s photo of the sun/star formation was shared on the WSB Facebook page; today, Judy’s photo showed patterns beyond the sun/star:
As Judy put it – “artist unknown.”
(P.S. Judy didn’t mention this when writing to us but we happen to know she too is an artist – with words – and one week from today, on Friday 4/4, she’s the next featured author in the Words, Writers, West Seattle series – details here.)
As explained by commenter Jane following our Friday note about no-parking signs for a Saturday “production shoot” on Alki, it did indeed turn out to be an Ivar’s production. Via the WSB Facebook page, Athena shared photos (including the one above) after happening onto the Saturday scene. Last Ivar’s production we recall in the vicinity was the notorious 2009 underwater-billboard yarn. The restaurant chain’s founder Ivar Haglund, of course, was an Alki native, and this past Friday (March 21st) was the 109th anniversary of his birth.
More news on the way … but in case you don’t have a westward view, we didn’t want these photos of the Olympic Mountains, out this morning in all their sunlit glory, to go to waste. Thanks to Alia Ali for sharing the top view from Fauntleroy; the view below was caught from Duwamish Head by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand.
We’ll confess we can’t name the peaks in Alia’s photo, but we do know the WSB photo shows The Brothers, 6842 feet elevation on the south, 6650 on the north. And check out West Seattle photographer Long B. Nguyen‘s Olympics gallery!
We are happy to be able to share this photo by Alki’s David Hutchinson. Just after sunset, we were walking along Don Armeni, where we found him staked out waiting to see if the moon would make this kind of appearance. No sighting by the time we moved on – but eventually, it showed up, spectacularly.
ADDED MONDAY MORNING: David shares this link with some trivia about last night’s full moon – and why it was nicknamed the “Minimoon.”
Thanks to Anand for sharing the photo of Seattle Fire Department‘s Ladder 11 at Link Apartments in The Triangle earlier this afternoon – right across the street from L11′s home base at Station 32. Noting that no fire calls were on the log for that area OR for L11, we checked with SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who verified that the crew was practicing: “Ladder 11 was drilling on aerial placement and rooftop ventilation. This is a relatively new building, so the crew worked with the building’s management to practice, in case a fire ever occurs at the property.”
A last look at Christmas Day 2013, beginning to end, in community-contributed photos. Above, our friend Rebecca Nelson from Ravenna Blog photographed West Seattle while passing on a Bremerton-bound ferry around 8:30 am.
Less than eight hours later, an anonymous reader captured the setting sun’s golden gleam on downtown high-rises, looking east from Seacrest:
Shortly thereafter, Annie Wynn tweeted the next image, observing, “Because when the sunset is this gorgeous in West Seattle, all you can do is stand and watch
Thank you to the photographers – and thank YOU for your collaboration and support. Since WSB was launched (originally with a very different mission) on December 24, 2005, we are beginning Year 9, and expecting this to be the liveliest yet.
Thanks to Chris Frankovich for sharing another stirring scene, photographed Christmas Eve morning; he explains, “It was a little gray and hazy but caught two spectaular occurrences: Two eagles in the tree (a first) and the Kenmore airplane flying by.” Click the image for a larger view.
Had no idea until Elissa sent that photo from Roxbury Safeway – the iconic (well, depending on your age) Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is there today. Checked online and discovered the appearance is scheduled until 5 pm. While writing this, we received another pic – thanks, Lawrence!
The store is at 9620 28th Ave SW. Elissa says they’re giving away tchotchkes including stickers.
We feel fairly confident in saying that most West Seattleites are thankful for the beauty all around our peninsula. In honor of that, we’ve been saving this video shared with us earlier this week by Greg Daly, who explained, “I built a tricopter to get some cool ski footage … I’ve been practicing around West Seattle and the end result is pretty cool!” It is! See for yourself.
P.S. Greg in fact shared a skiing video here almost two years ago – Gatewood to Lowman!
You wouldn’t have seen this view today unless you, like Bill Schrier – who shared it – happened to be flying. There were great views from the ground, too, some of them involving aircraft; WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli photographed this restored DC-3 from Seacrest:
Christopher reports, “A little research on the tail number (N3006) indicates that it is called the ‘Esther Mae’ and is a model year 1946 DC-3, completed in California in December 1945 under government contract, though it was too late to be used in the war and was only ever used for civilian flights.” Further research shows it owned by an Oregon/Florida company called DC Flying Circus.
One day after we showed you the caught-in-Puget Sound ocean sunfish that was on display outside Alki’s Sunfish restaurant, a new look and perspective from one of the first to see it on shore after a Muckleshoot fishing crew brought it in. From journalist John Loftus:
Here’s a photo I took of the sunfish a few hours after it was landed on a dock on the Duwamish River.
Its weight has been estimated at 300-350 pounds. Wikipedia notes that the Monterey Bay Aquarium had a young specimen that arrived weighing 26 pounds and weighed 880 pounds just 15 months later, so it seems safe to say that, contrary to what one’s intuition may suggest, this is not an old fish.
You will also note a semicircular spot on its side where a pectoral fin used to be, apparently a healed-over wound. The fin, larger than a man’s hand, was present on the other side of the fish. It’s possible that the loss of this fin may have hindered the sunfish’s ability to navigate properly, resulting in its gradual weakening and disorientation. While very rare in Puget Sound, ocean sunfish are quite common all around the world and, unfortunately, are frequently caught in nets set for other fish.
I spent some time with the fish after it was moved to Sunfish on Alki, where it attracted a constant stream of curious visitors. Most found it fascinating. A few found it repulsive, a perception that was greatly exaggerated in KUOW’s report this morning. The owner of Sunfish and I both thought that the giant fish was very beautiful.
John Loftus, Editor
(Yes, that’s the 1st Avenue South Bridge in the background.) We looked but haven’t found a link to the KUOW discussion he mentioned; if you missed the link in the Wednesday report, The Seattle Times (WSB partner; paywalled) has updated its story. Here’s information about the species via National Geographic.
Three sights around West Seattle tonight:
We start with the mesmerizing moonrise, photographed by Carolyn Newman. (This means Saturday morning could bring a wonderful moonset IF the fog keeps its distance; you can check moonrise/moonset, and sunrise/sunset, times on the WSB Weather page.) Right before tonight’s moonrise/sunset, we were in The Junction, where we spotted firefighters from Junction-based Ladder 11 asking people to help them Fill The Boot for MDA:
(This photo & next one, by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Their donation collections at California/Alaska were just steps away from where Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) was celebrating Anniversary #9:
Proprietors Frances and John Smersh were there until 9 pm with snacks and sips for everyone who stopped in to help them celebrate. It’s been three years already since they moved the shop south from the Admiral District to its current home at 4540 California SW in The Junction.
Three reader reports to share tonight – starting with this one from a West Seattleite who doesn’t want to be identified:
I’d like to let people know about an attempted break-in (last) night near 34th SW and SW Henderson (by the Southwest branch of the library). The miscreant(s) removed an outdoor light that illuminated the area, slashed the screen in a back door, and then apparently used a baseball bat or crowbar to break the kitchen window. No one got in the house but it’s very unsettling to hear glass breaking when you’re sound asleep. I think it’s good for people in the area to be aware of these incidents so they can stay alert.
Second – be on the lookout for a little kid’s bike, spraypainted gold, stolen from a Highland Park home where its 4-year-old owner is heartbroken. More details and a photo are in this WSB Forums post.
And thanks to the tipster who spotted and photographed this abandoned – stolen? lost? -stroller:
It was spotted by the end of the Rite-Aid drive-thru in Westwood Village this afternoon.
On Saturday, we published Brian’s report about a new Little Free Library in West Seattle; in a comment, Kris mentioned another new one, and a subsequent comment from Gay brought a promise of a photo. Promise kept – there’s the photo above, with this report:
Here is a photo of Alicia’s Little Free Library 8702 located on 48th just south of Eddy [map]. It was built by local woodworker Matt Lukin and made from all reclaimed and scrap materials. It has fir siding with a shake-shingle roof. It is super cute and has seen a lot of action during the first weekend open.
ADDED MONDAY: As noted in comments, and the photo-enhanced tweet embedded below, LFL 8702′s crafter has a musical sideline:
— Mudhoney (@_Mudhoney) October 7, 2013
Thanks to Mike Russell for that photo, which he captioned: “First flight of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, as seen from West Seattle just before landing.” That landing was at 4:17 pm, according to our partners at The Seattle Times, five hours after the jet left Paine Field in Everett – their story’s here.
Driving back from Alki in early evening, we noticed the Patriot Day flags flying on this building across from Don Armeni.
Thanks to Serena and Holly for the tips about a film/video crew at work in the east Admiral area, near Belvidere and Stevens. They wondered what was up; we went over to check. The crew tells us it’s a commercial for REI – fitting location since the outdoor-merchandise giant was founded in West Seattle, and until recently was led by West Seattleite Sally Jewell, now U.S. Interior Secretary. The setting appears to be lawn bowling (as our photo shows), with a sign noticed by one of our tipsters reading “Seattle Lawn Party.” West Seattle is a fairly frequent setting for commercials, given the peninsula’s great views and varied environments, from beach to forest. P.S. Just for fun, we searched REI’s website for “bowling,” and got back only this not-exactly-lawn-size set involving zombies.
While we get going on today’s news and events – four photos we ran out of time to publish last night, as the “last weekend of summer” begins (we know it’s not TECHNICALLY the end of summer, since the autumn equinox is still three weeks away). Above, Danny McMillin photographed a stand-up paddleboarder passing a rafting sea lion; next, Ryan captured the evening “parking” scene at Ercolini Park west of The Junction:
Back to the water – John Hinkey‘s view from Constellation Park:
And, also from the Beach Drive vicinity (east of Weather Watch Park), Greg snapped the sunset colors:
Thanks as always to community photo contributors – email@example.com is the best way to share yours! Now, on to the rest of the weekend – lots more to report, and share, as Saturday begins.
Another military flyby turned some heads on Alki Beach this afternoon: This time, 2 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. Thanks to Danny McMillin for the photo of one of them; he also shared a picture of the four Chinooks that drew attention last weekend. Boeing co-produces the Osprey, which is flown by the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps.
1:09 PM: Thanks to Danny McMillin for the photo of four military helicopters spotted passing Alki and Admiral within the past half-hour or so; we’ve seen Twitter mentions of sightings elsewhere around the city but don’t know yet if there’s a particular occasion, a VIP, or … ? We’re still checking around; please let us know if YOU have a clue!
1:21 PM: Could be a coincidence – but this is Boeing Family Day up at the factory in Everett, and the Chinook is Boeing-built.
8:31 PM: Still no official info. But an Alki Beach visitor got them on video:
The clip is by Ben Slivka. If we find out anything more about the choppers tomorrow, we’ll add an update here.
After a partly rainy day, the evening shaped up quite nicely:
Thanks to Jason for that photo from tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha event – Massy Ferguson joined by young fans. The rain stopped in plenty of time for the show to go on outdoors as usual (though the Hiawatha gym is always available as a backup), and Jason reports it was “a great show.” Next Thursday, Fly Moon Royalty! Meantime, two sunset scenes:
That one is from Carolyn, by Anchor/Luna Park on Alki Avenue, while further southwest, this one’s from Tim:
(added Friday morning) And Amy shared this view from over the Fauntleroy ferry run:
(back to original report) P.S. Sorry this site was inaccessible for a while earlier tonight. Still working on repairs and upgrades; we’re working to be readier than ever for whatever fall and winter bring. Luckily, a quiet night, but any time you can’t get us here, check the WSB Facebook page and/or Twitter feed, where we promise to get you the information about anything you urgently need to know, if the main site here is somehow out of commission.
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