Totem art

We recently spent two days in Victoria, British Columbia. The trip included a visit to one of my favorite spots, the Royal B.C. Museum. There we spent most of an afternoon in the museum’s First Peoples Galleries. There is a rich exploration of the lives of Canada’s First Nations people and our tour led us to their superb collection of totem poles. They’re kept in low light and my photos reflect some judicious editing. There are additional totems on museum grounds outside. Click here to take a look at a photo of these from 2010. It is part of a series on totems that I posted in 2011. I’ll share links to that series tomorrow.

Totems include Nootkan, Tsimshian, Haida and other styles that tower over visitors.

Lighthouse views

New Dungeness Light Station is a gem, located at the end of Dungeness Spit. It’s not easy to get to. For the hearty it’s a 5-mile (8 km.) beach walk, timed to avoid high tide. We took a watery route on Monday as we fished for crabs on the last day of the season. Not much luck on the crab front but the lighthouse views were great. It’s otherwise quite distant from land.

The Lighthouse is maintained by a volunteer association and for a fee members can be volunteer lighthouse keepers for a week. It’s a beautiful, remote, and different place to stay. Keepers greet visitors and do light maintenance around the site.

Can you tell it was a nice day to be on the water?

Herbal ales

One of our recent guests is a craft beer aficionado so on a trip to Port Townsend we sought out a local brewery we’d seen but not explored: Propolis Brewing.

My Danish grandmother allowed me tiny glasses of beer as a child so I’ve long enjoyed beer and ale. However, nothing quite prepared me for the Propolis beverages. Made with herbs and botanicals in an “Old World” style, the tastes were quite unlike what I’ve come to expect. The one on the left, above, was a Golden Saison brewed with lemon balm. The other was an Amber Saison brewed with sage, hyssop and thyme.

The brewery has won a number of medals for their craft brews. We took home a couple of bottles. As one who leans towards India Pale Ales – and drinks them infrequently – I can’t really say what I think of them. They’re certainly different.

On the bridge

Railroad Bridge is an old railroad trestle across the Dungeness River, owned by our local Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. It is a link in the Olympic Discovery Trail and is well used by walkers and bicyclists. A couple of years ago the section of the bridge beyond the wooden trestle seen here in the foreground collapsed after being battered by debris during flooding. It was rebuilt and after it was completed the entire bridge was repaved.

The repaving incorporated beautiful plaques with motifs that are used in Native American art in this region.

The plaques are about 3 feet by 2 feet (.91 meters by .60 meters).

They are striking additions to the bridge.

Harvest time

While Sequim’s lavender farms sell u-pick and pre-picked bouquets of fresh lavender, there’s plenty left over for popular lavender products.

This summer’s weather cooperated with sunny, dry conditions and some crops were harvested before and during the Lavender Festival.

I’ll show you what happens with bouquets like these over the next couple of days.

Lavender lookback

There is a three day street fair as part of the Sequim Lavender Festival. Several blocks downtown become a pedestrian thoroughfare, lined with vendor booths. Lavender in every form is sold. And dozens of vendors also sell arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, candles, you name it. The fair is always a big draw and last Friday, the first day, was no exception.

This was one of the more clever tee shirts for sale.

And this was the day’s winner in the “my sentiments exactly!” category.