Patience in a pot

Today is the second and last day of the Dungeness Bonsai Society annual bonsai fest, its 41st. If you’re local and would like to walk through a miniature forest of trees as art, it’s worth a trip to the Sequim Pioneer Park. The Satsuki Azalea above, over 20 years old, is one of the showiest examples of the art.

Bonsai artists confine trees in small pots and manipulate them through pruning and shaping. The effect, over time, is to create a gorgeous miniature tree.

This Japanese garden juniper is from 20 to 25 years old. Its owner began training its growth habits in 1994. This is a discipline of great patience.

There are more than 50 trees on display today, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park is located at 387 East Washington Street.

Race to Alaska

The third annual Race to Alaska (R2AK) kicked off at 5 a.m. last Thursday as 64 vessels large and small left Port Townsend, headed first to Victoria B.C. and eventually, for many, to Ketchikan, Alaska. The race structure is straightforward: “No motor, no support, all the way to Alaska.”

We were in Port Townsend on Wednesday as many of the boats arrived and people readied for an evening “Ruckus” sendoff event. Entrants ranged from standup paddleboards and kayaks to rowing boats and sailing crafts of all types. Smaller vessels generally entered for the first 40-mile Victoria leg only. The entire race is 750 miles, give or take, depending on capriciousness of the wind.

Can you see the three pedaling setups here? Sailors don’t always rely on wind alone.

Winds picked up on Thursday and boat were scattered across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and up into Oak Bay east of Victoria. Two rowers arrived first in Victoria on Thursday. Tomorrow 41 of the entrants will leave Victoria destined for Ketchikan. According to the R2AK website, the race can be finished in anywhere from four days to never.

The race website is entertaining, full of information, and includes a tracker which follows each of the boats. Here’s an excerpt:

“What is the best boat for R2AK?
Great question. We have no idea. We intentionally picked the start date because the winds are of unpredictable strength and duration. There is an ongoing debate on whether the optimal boat will favor sail, oars, or paddles. From the conversations we’ve had, usually sailors are scared of the rowers, rowers are scared of the sailors, and kayakers don’t seem to be scared of anything. Our best advice is to choose a boat design based on your skills, then go for it.”

Fused, fired, and stained

Sequim’s new Civic Center has exhibit space on its ground floor where local artistry is showcased. The latest art in rotation is various forms of glassworks. The fused piece above, “Under the Sea,” is by Marilyn Brock.

“Running Horses,” above, is by Cindy Fager. It features both glass and rock.

This stained glass piece is called “Butterfly Lady” and was created by Millie Harrell.

The butterflies on this piece stand out from the glass, giving it more dimension than typical stained glass.

There are about two dozen pieces in the exhibit which is on view through March 31. It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Crabbing around

crabbing-1

If you like crab this is the weekend for you. Port Angeles, Sequim’s next door neighbor, is hosting its 15th annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival. There was lots of crabbing activity yesterday at the John Wayne Marina and I suspect much of it was destined for the festival.

Besides many seafood vendors the weekend event has music, a craft fair, cooking demonstrations and a chowder cook-off. This is one of the last big outdoor events before it’s time to go inside and stay warm.

Paddle to Nisqually

Canoe journey

This summer there is another more-or-less annual canoe journey undertaken by groups representing Northwest tribes from Vancouver Island, B.C. and Washington state. The most northern group from Vancouver Island began their paddle on July 13, stopping each night along the western coast of the island and joining with other canoe groups heading south. Click here to see a map of journey starting and stopping points and layover dates. The journey will end in August in Nisqually at the southern end of Washington’s Puget Sound. It’s a long voyage, testing endurance and showcasing Native pride. Many of the canoes are made in traditional fashion and showcase the beautiful lines of large, seaworthy vessels.

Canoe journey drummer

Gale force winds last Friday morning forced some paddlers to trailer their canoes for a leg of the journey from Port Angeles to Jamestown Beach in Sequim where the local S’Klallam Tribe would welcome them. Others braved the journey on the big waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Paddlers headed next to Port Townsend.

Much to my disappointment I had to miss the event. DH took these shots in my absence. Pretty good, no?

Lavender time

Lavender and bee

Today begins Sequim’s annual three day Lavender Festival celebrating all things lavender. Most of our region offers good growing conditions for lavender and local crops range in size from a small backyard bush or two to large farms with hundreds of plants in dozens of varieties.

Lavender and bee 2

Most lavender growing operations are open to visitors during the festival and some offer entertainment, food, lavender education, and craft vendors. A downtown street fair fills in any gaps if you want to shop, eat, be entertained, and sniff lavender and lavender products all in one location.

Side note: If anyone’s counting, this marks my 1,750th post on Sequim Daily Photo. Time flies!