Autumn glimpses

Weather forecast: Rain and winds, certain to defoliate trees that have been strutting their finest autumn stuff.

I’ve been trying for weeks to get shots I’m happy with. Even when I’ve been tickled with the light the camera hasn’t caught what I’ve seen.

So as the rains began I took some now-or-never shots. These are some of local commenter “SAM’s” favorites.

In the “Evergreen State” hillsides filled with fir, cedar, and pine trees glow with bright spots of deciduous trees saying goodbye before they take a winter snooze.

Alexander’s Castle

We camped for a night recently at Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend. Fort Worden is a compound of former military buildings that now house a conference center, education partnerships, vacation rentals, and eateries as well as campgrounds and beaches. And in the midst of it all is Alexander’s Castle, shown above.

In 1883 the rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, John B. Alexander, acquired 10 acres of land in this area and built what came to be known as Alexander’s Castle. He and his intended bride would live here after he fetched her from Scotland. Alas, she married another and he returned a bachelor. He used the building as a temporary residence. In 1897 the property was acquired by the federal government and the construction of Fort Worden began.

In the 1880s and 1890s Alexander held posts in the region as Honorary British Vice-Consul and Her Majesty’s Consul. In his later years he lived in England and died there in the 1930s. During military operations at the Fort, Alexander’s Castle was used for family living, as an observation post, and a tailor shop.

Luxury ride

I spied this golden oldie parked on a side street in Port Townsend. If I’m not mistaken it’s a LaSalle, probably a 1930 vintage. LaSalles were luxury cars produced by Cadillac from 1927 to 1940. The one looks like it may be getting restored.

I was wowed by the Art Deco hood ornament.

It’s a real beauty. I’m sure it will be worth the effort to restore it. Click here if you’re interested in more information about these vehicles.


We met friends for dinner in Port Townsend recently. We arrived early enough to enjoy the views in the late afternoon sun. I love the detailing on many of Port Townsend’s historic buildings.

This 1889 building currently houses the Waterstreet Hotel.

This building has recently been gutted and is being upgraded and strengthened. The beautiful exterior remains in place.

California heartbreak

Though I’ve witnessed the Northern California fires from the comfort and safety of Washington State, this has been a dreadful week. I lived in Sonoma County for seven years in a community immediately south of Santa Rosa, one of the ground zero locations of the fires that have destroyed over 3,500 houses and other structures. Knowing the area, the scale of the devastation there and in Napa County and beyond is inconceivable. California is in my thoughts and prayers.

The photo above is a winter view from an office window in Petaluma, about 15-20 miles south of Santa Rosa. The rolling hills in the background are along the eastern boundary of Sonoma County leading to Napa. Beyond them is terrain that is now on fire.