News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

You don't have to get dirty to help Thornton Creek

October 28th, 2010 by master

If you’ve been meaning to volunteer at one of the myriad work parties at Thornton Creek Park No. 6 but haven’t yet made it, you’ve got another opportunity to give back that doesn’t require getting your hands dirty.

The Thornton Creek Alliance is urging the community to show its support for the park and for Thornton Creek by sending comments in support of a project it’s sponsoring that could provide $500,000 in funding, according to the Pinehurst Seattle blog.

The money would be used to establish a formal park entrance and to complete all the creek channel work in the park, reaching as far upstream as Thornton Place.

Ruth Williams with the Thornton Creek Alliance adds that the project, called Naturalizing Northgate, also will help establish a healthy habitat for fish and wildlife; create a quiet haven and educational opportunities for people; and help to control downstream flooding. [Read more →]

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Bees rescued from 15th Ave. bridge are on the fly

September 16th, 2010 by master

Has anybody seen a swarm of bees flying around Maple Leaf?

The lost swarm was from a large hive that was rescued in June by Maple Leaf resident Michael Neukirchen from underneath the bridge on 15th Avenue Northeast that’s now under construction.

Michael Neukirchen is a Maple Leaf beekeeper.

When Neukirchen first noticed the stream of bees coming and going from underneath the bridge, the contractors already working there were aware of the hive and, for their sakes as well as for the bees’, were more than happy to let Neukirchen take the hive.

The foreman was even a former beekeeper himself, and helped another area beekeeper remove the bees with an elaborate vacuum-powered bee catcher, while Neukirchen got to work breaking up the comb in chunks so he could bring it back for the bees’ new home.

In the end, they estimated the hive contained about 60,000 bees, while the comb indicated that the hive was at least 10 years old, if not decades older. However, the comb was also so old that some of it was decaying, which caused the bees Neukirchen had brought back to his home in north Maple Leaf to swarm four days later.


Neukirchen holds a piece of the comb from the 15th Avenue bridge hive.

Don’t worry, there aren’t 60,000 bees now swarming around Maple Leaf. Neukirchen only brought home half the hive, and when that hive swarmed, half of the bees ended up in his neighbor’s tree. Although Neukirchen managed to move those bees into an extra hive that is now happily buzzing away in Georgetown, the other half disappeared.

“There was still a little colony here, but they moved away,” Neukirchen said.

He hopes the bees have made a new home for themselves somewhere in the neighborhood, but if they’ve done so to the dismay of any of our neighbors, he’ll happily rescue you from them. But he’d prefer not to move the bees if they’re living in peace with you.

“It’s better for the bees to remain where they are,” Neukirchen explained. “The place that they find for themselves are generally ideal.” [Read more →]

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Goats on duty all week at City Light substation

August 30th, 2010 by master


Photos by Theo Henderson, a junior at Roosevelt High School

Say farewell to the blackberry bushes that have taken over parts of Seattle City Light’s North Substation, located in Maple Leaf at 814 N.E. 75th St.

All week long, up to 280 goats have been “hired” from Healing Hooves to eat the blackberry bushes as well as their now plump blackberries and the ivy that have grown on the steep, rocky hillside since the herd’s last trip.

“Goats have been a creative, affordable solution for removing this vegetation,” said Betsey Searing, landscape supervisor for City Light. “It’s environmentally friendly. No chemicals and no dump fees.”

The goat herder, Craig Madsen, says neighbors stop by to watch the goats graze and talk to him about the goats, so expect a few visitors through Friday.

City Light adds that there’s no reason to fear the goats: They’re kept in a fenced enclosure that prevents them from escaping to either the street or to where the substation’s electrical equipment is located.

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Bald Eagle at Maple Leaf playfield

August 2nd, 2010 by Mike

Wildlife alert! Eileen Anderson sent us this cell phone photo of a bald eagle at the Maple Leaf playfield on Friday.

“Are bald eagles seen often in Maple Leaf?” she asked. This one was perched at the top of a tree, being dive-bombed by one gull and one crow. “I hadn’t seen a bald eagle in the neighborhood before.”

The answer is, yes. Bald eagles are not an everyday occurrence in Maple Leaf, but they’re not rare either. A few months back there was a pair of eagles on Northeast 89th Street just west of 15th Avenue Northeast, also being mobbed by crows.

Simone Lupson-Cook, a birder friend who has written for Maple Leaf Life previously, recently said the eagles often seen at Green Lake have made forays here to raid nests for baby crows. Those eagles are known to have nested in Woodland Park.

During the war over preserving the trees at Waldo Hospital, mention was made of a bald eagle seen in one of the Douglas firs there.

Other raptor visitors to Maple Leaf include Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks, who are usually seen looking for prey near bird feeders. And many summers osprey (fish hawks) are seen overhead, or sometimes perched on the antenna tower at the Comcast building, Northeast 89th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast, eating a salmon poached from Lake Union.

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Not captured: “Front-Yard Bandit” on the loose

March 8th, 2010 by Mike

This masked bandit was rather nonchalantly climbing a hemlock tree around 9 a.m. today at Northeast 89th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast. Judging from the number of crows dive-bombing him, he might have been looking for a nest.

Maple Leaf is known to have roaming packs of these bandits, with as many as six adults and young (known as “kits”) previously seen in the backyard of this same house. They can grow to three feet and nearly 50 pounds, so keep pets away!

Seen this bandit on your street recently?

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Not captured: "Front-Yard Bandit" on the loose

March 8th, 2010 by Mike

This masked bandit was rather nonchalantly climbing a hemlock tree around 9 a.m. today at Northeast 89th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast. Judging from the number of crows dive-bombing him, he might have been looking for a nest.

Maple Leaf is known to have roaming packs of these bandits, with as many as six adults and young (known as “kits”) previously seen in the backyard of this same house. They can grow to three feet and nearly 50 pounds, so keep pets away!

Seen this bandit on your street recently?

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