It has been a good summer but especially so for sighting Killer whales. They came, they went and we saw. All summer long. They repeated that spectacle every two weeks or so it seemed. Whales to the left us, whales to the right….
But yesterday was another exceptional day. Or, so it has been reported. I was on boat repair duty but Sal was home and she saw another pod of orcas throughout my absence and this time they were up to some new tricks. One of the tricks was similar to what grey whales and humpbacks do – they blow bubbles deep underwater that rise in a bunch and bring with them to the surface some kind of feed. It is like they are fishing with giant breaths of air and the air, like a net, sweeps up their target and takes it to the surface. We haven’t seen orcas do that before.
And this time one of the pods split up. Kinda strange. There were whales across channel, whales in front of the house and several distinctly separated groups going up the middle. Usually they stick pretty close together. For some reason we have determined that this pod is the itinerant one, not the homeboys we usually see.
Fiddich may be, officially, a Portugese Water dog but, unofficially, he is a whale watcher. Whenever he hears them blowing as they come up or down channel, he alerts us. He is ‘into’ whales, that boy.
To be fair, he also alerts us when boats go by if they are not in the main channel or further out. Should a vessel venture a bit close to our shore, all Fiddich breaks loose. He isn’t so much a watch dog or an attack dog but he is an alert dog, or so they say. Regardless, he is on the ball when it comes to whales.
Seals, sea lions, logs, planes, really big boats like barges and American yachts…..well, not so much. Not a peep, actually. I’d like to think he just knows our interests but we have interest in logs and he just doesn’t seem to care about that. Meg? She notices dinner and that is about it.
The ravens have been pretty good neighbours this year. They come when called, occasionally drop in on their own but, generally speaking this summer, they have gone about their business doing raven stuff. They have not been as large a presence this year. We think it was because of Fletch, their latest offspring. We think they are a bit ashamed of him. No question – that kid was a trial. Trouble on the wing. He was a rebel, a rule breaker, a hellboy. He is a raven without a cause except bad ones. Ooooh, that Fletch!
‘Course a nice, cute Ms raven might settle him down some day but, right now, he is the black sheep of the family, so to speak, and we are not sure we will ever see Fletch again unless it is on a poster somewhere. My heart goes out to the parents. They haven’t been the same since he arrived and they weren’t the same after he left. Kids, eh?
It is time to turn the solar panels down………….the angle is too high for a sun that is carving a lower axis. We adjust the angle of the panels about two or three times a year in an effort to maximize their output but, to be more honest, we are really doing it to minimize their inefficiency. There is a difference.
When the sun is high in the sky and we are not getting a big charge, we know it is the angle of reception on the panels. Usually, we don’t notice until the batteries start to show a bit flat. “Hey, it must be time to increase (or decrease the inclination). We better get on it!” And we do……….usually within a few weeks……………..we are always a bit tardy at that chore. And we have been so to the point of delinquency this year.
We blame Fletch, actually. He was a bad influence.