Sequim Daily Photo Views of Sequim, the Olympic Peninsula. . .and beyond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:01:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 65678419 Dot walls Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:01:06 +0000

Here’s one of my favorite shots from my recent trip to Fort Flagler State Park. This was taken in a military fire station bermed into an overlook onto Port Townsend Bay and Puget Sound.

The room has an openwork grid ceiling that makes irresistible light patterns. Can you see why I like Fort Flagler?

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Horsetail Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:01:51 +0000 Continue reading "Horsetail"]]>

It’s common to see horsetail (equisetum) in moist places around Washington. The way it radiates outward from its stem is interesting. But I hadn’t realized that it’s one of those plants purported to have numerous health benefits and has been used to treat various health issues since Greek and Roman times. And unlike most plants that reproduce from seeds, horsetail reproduces via spores. I’ll bet that’s more than you ever thought you’d know about horsetail plants. Click here if you want to learn enough to impress/bore unsuspecting friends and family.

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Battery Calwell Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:01:48 +0000

We spent a couple of days at Fort Flagler State Park last week. It is an historic park with a number of military batteries built for coastal protection in the early 20th century. In addition to its being a beautiful location the old fortifications are worth exploring.

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Taking wing Tue, 15 Aug 2017 07:01:06 +0000 Continue reading "Taking wing"]]>

I saw this ultralight at the Sequim Airport last month. It reminded me of a craft that blogger Paul in Powell River (B.C.) had caught in flight not long before. The one he saw was home built and I suspect that’s the case with this one too. Paul’s plane looks small and and light to me. This one almost looks like an ambitious dragonfly.

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Almost good enough to eat Mon, 14 Aug 2017 07:01:09 +0000 Continue reading "Almost good enough to eat"]]>

I’d gotten in the habit of celebrating my blog anniversary with a cupcake each year. Light a candle, take a picture, congratulate myself, and then enjoy the cupcake. This year, number six, slipped by completely unnoticed last Friday. Thanks, “SAM,” a local friend, for the reminder.

In the absence of my traditional trip to That Takes the Cake, herewith some soy cupcake candles from CupcakeCandle Company, a local candle maker.

The candles were nicely displayed during the Lavender Festival. It seems almost criminal to make something that yummy looking inedible, doesn’t it?

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Peek-a-boo Sun, 13 Aug 2017 07:01:40 +0000

Can you see the fence creature hanging between these posts? It’s an unexpected ornament next to a driveway. It reminds me of the sketches we used to do in school where eyes, a nose, and hands were shown poking over a fence. Perhaps that was the inspiration for this little work of art.

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The other woman, again Sat, 12 Aug 2017 07:01:27 +0000 Continue reading "The other woman, again"]]>

Back in June, I posted a photo of Sunnfjord in a more disheveled incarnation. As we drove by, DH ogled her, as he is wont to do with boats.

Last month we saw her again. I was impressed with her improving looks. Heck, if they can make her look better maybe I ought to consider checking in at that boatyard for a makeover.

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Meet Sarah Fri, 11 Aug 2017 07:01:21 +0000 Continue reading "Meet Sarah"]]>

Sarah is the bird here on the left. She is a sulfur crested cockatiel who routinely accompanies her people as they go about their days. She’s curious, gregarious, and quite ready to be the center of attention.

Sarah is 27 years old and according to her people she can live up to 60 years or more. Although she didn’t regale us with opinions we were told that she has a vocabulary and readily makes her needs and feelings known. Click here for more information on cockatiels.

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Whatever floats your boat Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:01:35 +0000

I’ll admit it: I’m at an age where I’ve seen more than my share of styles come and go. Hair, clothes, shoes. Hip one year then passe. I don’t keep up with it anymore. This leaves me an amused observer…as I’m sure I amused many an elder in my day.

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Summer scene Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:01:51 +0000

A fence near Old Olympic Highway has sprouted a new mural. It captures a classic summer garden moment and I know it will brighten my days as I pass it during winter.

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Western Flyer, four years later Tue, 08 Aug 2017 07:01:38 +0000 Continue reading "Western Flyer, four years later"]]>

After my post about it four years ago, Western Flyer’s fate moved into uncertainty. We read in the local newspaper that the real estate developer who intended to restore it and move it into a hotel in Salinas, California stopped paying fees to keep it in Port Townsend. Its fate seemed perilous.

As desperate as its condition was, the Western Flyer was nonetheless an iconic vessel with a storied history that joined a lion of American literature, John Steinbeck, with Ed Ricketts, an equally great figure in American marine biology and ecology. It couldn’t be left to crumble into a pile of rotted wood and barnacles. In 2015 the Western Flyer Foundation was created.

The Western Flyer has been moved into the Port Townsend Shipwrights Coop where it is being painstakingly restored. However, it’s not being rehabbed just for the sake of renovation. The foundation plans to regenerate the vessel to a state of the art marine research vessel which will bring a marine lab and educational platform to coastal communities. Students will engage in marine science with the assistance of a remote operated vehicle and below decks workshop. A committee of qualified teachers, scholars, scientists, and engineers are collaborating to design curriculum specializing in the Western Flyer’s multi-disciplinary nexus: American literature, marine biology, and maritime history.

It’s an exciting project and the enthusiasm of Western Flyer’s proponents is infectious. Click here to go to the foundation’s website with a video and additional information about the project.

I plan in coming months to drop by to see Western Flyer’s progress.

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Repost: John Steinbeck’s boat Mon, 07 Aug 2017 07:01:08 +0000 Continue reading "Repost: John Steinbeck’s boat"]]>

Today I’m offering a backward glance at a post from 2013, when I looked at and provided information about an historic boat in Port Townsend. Rather than link you back to the original post, I’m providing it to you today. Tomorrow I’ll give you an update on this very interesting vessel. Here’s my post from July 23, 2013:

If you’re familiar with the work of writer John Steinbeck, you may know “The Log from the Sea of Cortez,” a book he wrote with marine biologist Ed Ricketts after a research voyage they made in 1940. Steinbeck and Ricketts chartered the Western Flyer out of Monterey, California for six weeks and the Log is a narrative of the experience. After a long and interesting history, the Western Flyer has arrived in the Port Townsend shipyard, unquestionably worse for wear.

The Western Flyer is a 76-foot wooden purse seiner built in Tacoma in 1937. Over the years it worked as a fishing trawler in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and as a survey vessel along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska. Eventually renamed the Gemini, the boat finally ended up in Washington’s Swinomish Slough where it sat idle beginning in 1997.

A real estate developer who owns several buildings in Steinbeck’s hometown, Salinas, California, bought the Western Flyer in 2010 intending to restore and return it to Salinas, to display inside a restaurant and boutique hotel. The boat ran out of patience last year. In September it sank in 30 feet of water. A crew raised it, pumped out the water, and put a temporary patch where planks had given way. In November it sank again.

Coated with barnacles and sea life inside and out it was hauled to Port Townsend earlier this month. Estimated restoration is $700,000 and a nonprofit group hopes to raise funds for the work. As you can see, they have their work cut out for them.

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Ridley Sun, 06 Aug 2017 07:01:05 +0000

Ridley visited our home recently. He’s got the “cute dog” pose down cold.

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Evergreen State Sat, 05 Aug 2017 07:01:02 +0000

We’ve got a lot of trees in Washington, the Evergreen State. And they grow in the darnedest places.

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Sweethearts Fri, 04 Aug 2017 07:01:38 +0000

A special moment at the Lavender Festival.

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Summer with a vengeance Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:01:44 +0000 Continue reading "Summer with a vengeance"]]>

We’re sharing Canada’s misery. As of yesterday afternoon there were around 23 wildfires burning in British Columbia. Easterly winds have brought the smoke onto the Olympic Peninsula, hidden the mountains, and made air quality somewhere in the range from poor to downright terrible. The view into the Dungeness Recreation Area looks foggy here but that’s smoke. These conditions have occurred before but this is the worst I’ve experienced since my days in California where the state underwent regular incineration.

And yesterday was my hottest day yet in Sequim. The number on the upper left is the outside temp, 99 degrees Fahrenheit…or 37 for those who operate in Celsius. We don’t get temperatures like this here. Not usually.

Ignore that rain icon in the middle. Our weather station seems to throw that in regularly just to keep things interesting.

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All that lavender Wed, 02 Aug 2017 07:01:10 +0000 Continue reading "All that lavender"]]>

Here’s another way that the lavender in Sequim gets processed: it’s dried. We were invited into the drying barn at Kitty B’s Lavender where workers were busy processing bundles of lavender to be hung and dried.

Bundles are hung like string bound vines with fans running to keep down mildew.

Dried lavender is sold as aromatic bouquets and sachets, woven into wreaths and flower arrangements, and some strains have culinary uses as in herbs de Provence. It can be mixed into baking soda and used as a carpet freshener or mixed into sugar as a flavoring.

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Theme Day: Young at Heart Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:01:47 +0000

What better way to express “young at heart” than through those who are fresh with youth? These children discovered how to make a joyous day with a miniature tractor and an open field at Sequim’s recent Lavender Festival.

Click here to see how other City Daily Photo bloggers have interpreted today’s theme, “Young at Heart.”

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Nice hay Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:01:27 +0000 Continue reading "Nice hay"]]>

Even hay is pleasant around here. The grumpy stuff is sold at a discount.

This has been a good haying season, which means it hasn’t rained during the harvest. It’s almost over. During haying you can see people out mowing, furrowing, and baling nonstop until dusk. The aphorism “make hay while the sun shines” rings true.

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Greetings, your majesties Sun, 30 Jul 2017 07:01:54 +0000

A queen and four princesses are chosen each year to preside over our Irrigation Festival. They ride and wave in the parade. And they show up in full royal regalia at other local events, classing up the small town atmosphere. Really. Who can resist pretty girls in tiaras?

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Bookworms Sat, 29 Jul 2017 07:01:46 +0000 Continue reading "Bookworms"]]>

Our local Friends of the Library have a couple of small buildings behind the Library. One is a drop off location for donations, the other is a small outlet for their monthly sales of used books and both are popular spots. The donation window was loaded with books when I recently dropped off mine. And during the monthly sales sometimes it’s almost impossible to get into the book sale because there are so many people. Sequim is a community of readers.

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Oily business Fri, 28 Jul 2017 07:01:36 +0000 Continue reading "Oily business"]]>

Lavender essential oils are used in products such as soaps and lotions. Undiluted essential oils are also sold. We were pleased to find an expert to answer our questions staffing the distillery at Lavender Connection during the Lavender Festival.

Distillation essentially steams the oil from a lavender plant. At Lavender Connection the blossoms and stems from 19 plants are used to produce the equivalent of about 7 ounces of essential oil. This is the equipment that Lavender Connection uses.

Jardin du Soleil distills in this equipment. Click here to learn more about the distilling process at Jardin du Soleil.

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Harvest time Thu, 27 Jul 2017 07:01:08 +0000

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.

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Kitty B’s Lavender Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:01:09 +0000

My favorite lavender operations have a dreamy setting with nice views. Kitty B’s is one of those operations.

The farm is beautifully manicured and has the requisite gazebo that adds just the right touch.

Like most of our lavender farms, Kitty B’s has a residence on site. Its garden is a knockout.

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In the fields Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:26:15 +0000

The weather was good for the Lavender Festival this year and the crops cooperated with profusions of blooms. People came to town in droves and immersed themselves in lavender…picking fresh bouquets…

…strolling through the fields to take in the sights and scents…

…and, of course, taking pictures, lots of pictures.

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Lavender lookback Mon, 24 Jul 2017 07:01:08 +0000 Continue reading "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.

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Sequim Rocks Sun, 23 Jul 2017 07:01:57 +0000 Continue reading "Sequim Rocks"]]>

DH found this Sequim Rock recently at the Sequim Library. Sequim Rocks is a thing here. People paint rocks and place them around the community. Finders are encouraged to take a picture of the painted rocks they’ve found, post it on Facebook, and then leave the rock somewhere else for another to find. It’s a day brightener and some of the rocks are beautiful little works of art.

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Rusty and retired Sat, 22 Jul 2017 07:01:13 +0000

I think we can safely say this truck has been retired.

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Purple days Fri, 21 Jul 2017 07:01:21 +0000

The Lavender Festival starts today. We have family coming to town and hope to take in some of this year’s highlights. Stay tuned!

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Earth Muffin Lavender Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:01:10 +0000 Continue reading "Earth Muffin Lavender"]]>

Earth Muffin is another small lavender operation in Sequim and is one of the more recent additions. There are 270 plants locally and another 120 offsite in Everett. Like most of our growers, they distill their own essential lavender oil and produce lotions and flower water. Admission is free and they welcome visitors during the Lavender Festival.

They are easy to find at the corner of Woodcock and Cays Roads.

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Meli’s Lavender Farm Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:01:57 +0000 Continue reading "Meli’s Lavender Farm"]]>

One of the newest small lavender operations in Sequim is Meli’s Lavender Farm. But in the universe of lavender, it’s no newcomer. It is an expansion of Victor’s Lavender and is owned by Victor Gonzalez and his brother and sister-in-law, Sergio and Monica Gonzalez. Victor is one of Sequim’s most expert growers and consults internationally on lavender cultivation.

The new farm adds 1,000 plants to Victor’s current operation of 150 varieties and over 3,500 plants. Victor’s wife, Mirabel, makes more than 30 lavender products. The expansion is an attempt to keep up with high demand for his plants and products.

I visited Victor’s original farm at the Lavender Festival two years ago here and found him very engaging. He has an interesting history with lavender and has been an important source of information and plants for the Sequim Valley and beyond.

Earnings from the new operation, Meli’s Lavender Farm, will go toward the education of Victor’s niece, Melissa, at Western Washington University. The farm is located on West Diane Drive off Elizabeth Lane which intersects with Old Olympic Highway about a quarter mile west of North Fifth Avenue.

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Purple Haze Tue, 18 Jul 2017 07:01:57 +0000 Continue reading "Purple Haze"]]>

Purple Haze is a big lavender operation at the east end of Sequim. There are over 15,000 plants of more than 50 varieties of lavender, according to their website. In addition to the shop you see here in the distance there is a a vacation rental onsite and a retail store in downtown Sequim.

The farm is beautiful in every direction.

Purple Haze is one of several large lavender farms that charge admission during the Lavender Festival later this week. The farm will host craft vendors as well as live music. Food and drink is sold on site, including several ice cream flavors made with lavender. Smaller farms around Sequim are open at no charge.

The owner of Purple Haze is ready to retire and has put the operation up for sale for over $3 million.

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Jardin du Soleil Mon, 17 Jul 2017 07:01:14 +0000 Continue reading "Jardin du Soleil"]]>

I made preview trips to two of Sequim’s biggest lavender operations yesterday. Jardin du Soleil, shown here, has lovely fields on rolling hillsides and beautiful vistas of the surrounding area. At the end of this week the open areas between the fields shown here will have crafts and food vendors as part of our annual Lavender Festival.

The gardens have a beautiful, manicured air. And on a warm afternoon that air is softly scented with lavender.

Jardin du Soleil has a gift shop which sells its lavender essences and lavender scented products.

Sequim Lavender Festival, also known as the Lavender Weekend, runs from Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23. Most of our local growers will be open for visitors and will sell u-pick lavender, lavender plants (there are dozens of varieties), and products.

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Through the fence Sun, 16 Jul 2017 07:01:21 +0000

This horse caught my eye at Over the Fence. They weren’t yet open, so it’s a photo through the fence.

I read recently that this business is for sale as the owners are ready to retire. This is a wonderful place to shop. I hope it stays as great in the future.

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The view next door Sat, 15 Jul 2017 07:01:52 +0000

Port Angeles, Sequim’s neighbor to the west, nestles like Sequim at the base of the Olympics. Its location offers a different perspective of the mountains. At this point in summer there’s not a lot of snow left on the peaks.

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Olympic Medical Center Sat, 15 Jul 2017 07:01:36 +0000 Continue reading "Olympic Medical Center"]]>

Olympic Medical Center recently completed construction of this new clinic in Port Angeles, about 15 miles west of Sequim. Like many rural areas there never seem to be enough doctors. Recruiting and retaining specialists is a particular challenge and many of us travel to Seattle, an all day affair, for care that isn’t available locally. The new clinic, above, helps centralize and expand services.

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A day in the life of the library Fri, 14 Jul 2017 07:01:21 +0000 Continue reading "A day in the life of the library"]]>

The Sequim Library is a very popular spot. I dropped in yesterday morning a few minutes before it opened. There were a dozen people waiting at the door. When the doors opened 16 of us poured in, with more steadily arriving.

It’s modest as libraries go but it’s got the goods and is well loved.

The Summer Reading Program is popular. The multi-colored shapes on this board all have children’s names, cultivating a new generation of book lovers.

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Purple preview Thu, 13 Jul 2017 07:01:59 +0000

Our annual Lavender Festival is next week. Lavender plants all over the area are looking good. This may be a banner year.

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That house…again Wed, 12 Jul 2017 07:01:55 +0000 Continue reading "That house…again"]]>

I’ve previously posted pictures of this house here and here. I thought I was done with it. But then came landscaping: trees have been planted on the three open sides around the place. My snarky side suggests they were a gift from the neighbors.

“A physician can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” Frank Lloyd Wright

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Housing boom Tue, 11 Jul 2017 07:01:50 +0000 Continue reading "Housing boom"]]>

Over the years we’ve added to the local bird housing stock. First a few. Now we’re up to ten little houses, including a couple of duplexes. Tree swallows are the tenants. We’ve numbered each house as we’ve watched for new families. This is unit six, this year’s most active property.

Birds perch on the tree branches we’ve attached to the posts. I like to think they’re enjoying the view.

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New trail Mon, 10 Jul 2017 07:01:44 +0000 Continue reading "New trail"]]>

There’s a short new branch off one of our favorite trails in the Dungeness Recreation area. It’s the one on the right here. It replaces a steep pitch that branched downhill further ahead from the left hand trail. Thrill seeking bicyclists occasionally favored it but it was sometimes perilous. I managed to fall on it in the snow once while actually going uphill. I won’t miss it.

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More volunteers Sun, 09 Jul 2017 07:01:07 +0000

Just about everything that’s blooming in my garden now is a volunteer. I planted nasturtiums about three years ago and they’ve been coming back ever since. The colors now get more mottled and interesting. We put the blossoms in salads. The deer leave them alone. Go figure.

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Chow time Sat, 08 Jul 2017 07:01:51 +0000

Anytime is meal time for our local deer. Grass, shrubbery, flowers. Anything’s pretty much on the menu, including items that the Sunset Western Garden Book says are “deer resistant.” The young ones, especially, haven’t read that.

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Your table’s waiting Fri, 07 Jul 2017 07:01:31 +0000

It’s the season for outdoor dining.

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Mural included Thu, 06 Jul 2017 07:01:04 +0000

There’s an eye catching mural on the side of a building on the road into Port Townsend. It was a Honda motorcycle and engine dealership but the building’s empty now and a “For Sale” sign adorns the front.

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Bliss Wed, 05 Jul 2017 07:01:13 +0000 Continue reading "Bliss"]]>

I recently had lunch with friends at Alder Wood Bistro. It was one of the first perfect weather days we’ve had this summer and the outdoor patio was ideal. Lunch was great. Dessert was better still. Bliss, in fact. Chocolate bliss, one of their signature sweets.

Shaker lemon pie was also on the menu, also a winner.

The patio area is shaded by two enormous cherry trees and landscaped with edibles that are used in the kitchen. A wonderful spot for a good time with friends.

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Volunteers Tue, 04 Jul 2017 07:01:39 +0000 Continue reading "Volunteers"]]>

Golden poppies arrived in our garden a couple of years ago. I was tickled. I never planted them but they brightened the landscape. And last year there were more. This spring it seemed that any patch of bare ground sprouted the distinctive foliage of golden poppies. I weeded for days to keep a clear walkway to the front door. And they’re still flourishing.

We have Asian poppies back behind our house. Multiple attempts at seeding them failed. This year they appeared on their own, pink, red, white, and even orange.

The bees couldn’t be happier. They actually lined up, taking turns to dive bomb poppy pollen as I took photos.

Happy Independence Day to my fellow U.S. citizens. Stay safe and sane.

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Deck shadows Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:01:39 +0000

At Cedars at Dungeness etched glass panels on the deck make a double showing late in the day, throwing patterns on pots of plants.

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Sunset stunner Sun, 02 Jul 2017 07:01:05 +0000

This was our sunset a week ago. I nominate it for the best June sunset, if not for this year so far.

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Theme Day: Motion Sat, 01 Jul 2017 07:01:49 +0000 Continue reading "Theme Day: Motion"]]>

For today’s monthly theme day, “Motion,” I have chosen a bit of whimsy. Last week at lunch my friend Marilyn presented each of our group with a small plastic flower pot, activated by a tiny solar cell. With sunlight the flower commences to move its leaves up and down and the flower wags back and forth. It’s a cheerful little day brightener. I’ve recorded its motion for today’s theme.

Click here to see how other photographers have considered “Motion.”

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Last of the antiques Fri, 30 Jun 2017 07:01:07 +0000 Continue reading "Last of the antiques"]]>

Today I have two last shots of some of the antiques collection of Sharon and Steve. I include these as examples of how beautifully they have restored their oak furniture and to show a few last unique items. Can you guess what the gorgeous piece in the middle above might be? I’ll tell you below. In the meantime, here are more gumball machines and an old scale.

This rolltop desk is a real beauty. I was so taken with it I failed to notice the cash register next to it. It warranted a starring role in its own right. I can only say I was dazzled and missed it. Drat!

Now, did you guess what the piece in the top shot was? It’s a Murphy bed. The front panel pulls down and a bed unfolds.

Sharon and Steve collected, restored, and sold antiques for 37 years. This was a part time avocation as each of them held down other full time jobs. Theirs is a collection that represents passion, hard work, good eyes, and a long term commitment. It’s truly extraordinary and was a treat and a privilege to view.

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Back in the day Thu, 29 Jun 2017 07:01:40 +0000 Continue reading "Back in the day"]]>

Some of the household equipment in my neighbor Sharon’s antiques collection is stuff I’ve seen over the course of my life, some is unfamiliar. The old Coca Cola menu was a fixture in many a cafe over the years.

Sharon’s laundry room is bright and beautiful, filled with signs and products that are part of the American heritage. (Note the sign that says “There’s a wealth of health in Karo,” corn syrup sweetener. I’m sure there are more than a few nutritionists who might contend otherwise.)

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A bit of Hollywood Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:01:40 +0000 Continue reading "A bit of Hollywood"]]>

Most people have seen period films that are populated with vintage cars. This 1937 Packard, in original condition, is one of those cars. It was in the 2001 Jim Carey film, “The Majestic.”

Neighbors Sharon and Steve, antiques collectors, restorers, and dealers for over 30 years, are no slouches when it comes to depth and breadth in their collection of vintage. From signage and product boxes to a 90 year-old working refrigerator and this Packard, they have a representative sampling, most of it beautiful and fascinating.

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Remember these? Tue, 27 Jun 2017 07:01:52 +0000 Continue reading "Remember these?"]]>

I think there may still be gumball machines here and there. These, part of neighbors Sharon and Steve’s collection, are of a sort that I don’t think have been around for years. The solid cast mechanisms are a clue. And when was the last time you paid a penny for anything? Heck, the Canadians don’t even use pennies anymore.

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Entertainment from an earlier era Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:01:49 +0000 Continue reading "Entertainment from an earlier era"]]>

The antiques collection of our neighbors Sharon and Steve provides a beautifully restored and curated look into Americana of previous eras. I’m familiar with references to Wurlitzers but I can’t recall having seen more than a few.

In addition to yesterday’s Edison player, Steven and Sharon also have a Victrola, a gorgeous stereoscope viewer, and a radio from an era where they came in wood cases.

Have you been to a casino lately? The typical experience is a near overload of lights and sound. These three slot machines are frozen in a period that could barely imagine today’s experience. The one on the right, by the way, is also a mint dispenser, the candy providing a handy way to legitimize gambling during prohibition.

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The collectors Sun, 25 Jun 2017 07:01:28 +0000 Continue reading "The collectors"]]>

I know I’m biased but I think I have some great neighbors. The more of them I meet the more I discover fascinating people and interesting lives. Take Sharon and Steve. They’ve been collecting, restoring, and selling antiques for 37 years. This was a sideline to their full time jobs, mind you. I had the privilege of viewing their personal collection recently.

This is one of several beautiful old Victrola type players they own, a trademarked “Thomas A. Edison.”

The collection includes antique cylinders that were used in the era when this unit was the iPod of the day.

There were so many gorgeous blasts from the past I’ll be showing you more of the unique collection in the next few days.

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Tall grass Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:01:29 +0000

Now that summer’s here grass grows like crazy. See the critter in the field? It shows up better now that I’ve cropped the photo.

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Gandalf, is that you? Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:01:32 +0000

This sculpture is in the front yard of a residence, partly hidden by large rhododendron bushes. We’d almost driven by before I saw it out of the corner of my eye.

The patina of aged wood lends it character.

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Whimsy Park Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:01:58 +0000 Continue reading "Whimsy Park"]]>

The temporary former location of the Sequim Farmer’s Market has taken on a new life. “Whimsy Park” is something of a popup park that has transformed a previously bare lot on Washington Street. A mural that was incomplete several months ago is now enhancing a space with picnic tables, a small stage, and straw bale seating.

Landscaping has been installed and wood chips soften the look of formerly bare soil. The space is inviting, colorful, and far more welcoming than it previously was.

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Coming ashore Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:01:44 +0000

I noticed a boat in motion at the Port Townsend shipyard. A worker guided it between obstacles as it came in my direction.

Sundancer moved into position for repairs.

This is the sort of apparatus that’s used to navigate boats on shore.

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The other woman Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:01:18 +0000 Continue reading "The other woman"]]>

Here’s a boat undergoing repairs at the Port Townsend shipyard. You can see some of the braces that I showed you yesterday put to work.

I snapped this shot because as we drove by my DH could barely contain himself. “Look at her stern,” he said, sounding almost raunchy. “Dang, that’s gorgeous,” as he admired its shape and curves. I saw the lines he visually embraced but I also saw the age and rust, once again grateful for his farsighted selective vision.

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Ready for duty Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:01:20 +0000

Bringing boats ashore for work requires a lot of supports.

The braces lean in to support the vessel’s hull.

I like the looks of the stands, scaffolds, and braces.

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At the shipyard Sun, 18 Jun 2017 07:01:43 +0000 Continue reading "At the shipyard"]]>

When we go to Port Townsend we invariably end up in the shipyard there as DH searches for some kind of maritime this or that at the marine supply store. While he shops I usually go on the prowl with my camera, which is what I did recently. The landscape is always changing as boats come ashore for maintenance and there’s lots going on. I’m not a mariner but I love this place. You’ll see more in the next few days.

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Patience in a pot Sat, 17 Jun 2017 07:01:08 +0000 Continue reading "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.

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Breakfast at the airport Fri, 16 Jun 2017 07:01:04 +0000 Continue reading "Breakfast at the airport"]]>

Before we went to the Port Townsend Aero Museum, here and here, we went to the Spruce Goose Cafe nearby. I’d heard the food was good. I’d heard right.

The decor is all about airplanes: posters, models, framed photographs.

It was a nice day and the deck was full. After they finished their meals several diners walked down to the air field, untethered planes and took off. That’s one way to make an exit.

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What’s not to like? Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:01:11 +0000

We camped at Fort Flagler recently. The backdrop of the Olympic Mountains along the shore of Port Townsend Bay is always a beautiful sight. And it’s only an hour from Sequim.

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Beautiful wings Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:01:27 +0000 Continue reading "Beautiful wings"]]>

The vintage planes at the Port Townsend Aero Museum are beautifully restored. The mirror finish of this 1946 Globe Swift (GC-1A) is just one of many dazzling examples.

The aircraft aren’t simply museum pieces. The planes in the collection are flown regularly.

The museum is located at the Jefferson County International Airport. It’s a busy airport but don’t get ideas about a bustling terminal and 787s taxiing. You can, however, count on a very good cafe, Spruce Goose Cafe, and no traffic jams.

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Fancy flights Tue, 13 Jun 2017 07:01:51 +0000 Continue reading "Fancy flights"]]>

I’d heard that the Port Townsend Aero Museum was worth a visit. Last week I finally made it there and was delighted that I did. I’m not an aviation enthusiast but this place is exciting, filled with interesting and gorgeous aircraft.

Visitors are surrounded by planes, on the floor of the museum and in virtual flight. About 20 1920s to 1940s vintage aircraft are on display. There are also hundreds of models in display cases.

Everything gleams with love and the museum is a visual delight. The beauty above is a 1937 Staggerwing Beech (Model C-17B, if you really want to know).

The museum is focused on youth mentorship, including job skills training through restoration, maintenance, and operation of the museum’s antique aircraft. Tomorrow I’ll share more of what I saw.

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You have my permission Mon, 12 Jun 2017 07:01:27 +0000

Feeling a little crabby? Go ahead. It’s Monday, after all.

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The pirate Sun, 11 Jun 2017 07:01:18 +0000 Continue reading "The pirate"]]>

Port Townsend is a great place to find interesting characters. We followed this fellow down a pier, hoping to get a decent shot of him. “How far can he go?” said DH. Then he disappeared down a stairway to a floating dock and climbed into an inflatable boat. A puff boat? How pirate-like is that?

He motored out to a rather nice sailboat anchored out. Never did get a complete shot of his getup which included just about everything except a sword, eye patch, and parrot on his shoulder. The boat is named Free Spirit.

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Race to Alaska Sat, 10 Jun 2017 07:01:49 +0000 Continue reading "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.”

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Bellflower Fri, 09 Jun 2017 07:01:38 +0000

I’ve been spending more time in nurseries lately. I can’t decide if I’m there for business or just to flirt with the flowers. This one was definitely a flirtation.

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Gracie Thu, 08 Jun 2017 07:01:51 +0000

A few years back I showed you little Gracie as a pup. It’s time for an update. She’s still a little sweetie pie.

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“I can see by your outfit that you are a cowboy…” Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:01:57 +0000 Continue reading "“I can see by your outfit that you are a cowboy…”"]]>

Now that we have the Coastal Farm and Ranch store those of us who aren’t farmers or ranchers can indulge in cowboy or cowgirl fantasies. In addition to a big selection of hats there are also plenty of boots.

I haven’t had a pair of western boots in a long time. But these fancy ones are eye candy.

I have so many other things on my shopping list these aren’t going to be anywhere near the top. But it’s fun to look.

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Achoo Tue, 06 Jun 2017 07:01:13 +0000

It’s daisy season again. They grow wild here.

I don’t exaggerate when I say we have fields of them. And where there aren’t fields they nestle themselves in with the rest of the landscape. Claritin, anyone?

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Dane’s ink Mon, 05 Jun 2017 07:01:38 +0000 Continue reading "Dane’s ink"]]>

Dane saw my camera and asked if I wanted to take a picture of him. I was trying not to stare too much at the art on his arms so I said, “Can I take pictures of your ink?”

I failed to ask any of the details I’m now wondering. For instance, how long did each one take? How long has he had them? Why’d he choose this one or the other? Where’d he have them done? I think I may have to go back to Home Depot.

Tats are not my thing but some of these were real works of art.

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More retail grazing Sun, 04 Jun 2017 07:01:44 +0000 Continue reading "More retail grazing"]]>

You can usually get what you need in Sequim or in Port Angeles. But if you want a lot of choices or need a specialty something it’s time for Internet browsing or an hour’s trip to Silverdale or beyond. But travel time’s been cut down with the arrival of a new Coastal Farm and Ranch store. It’s got a lot of stuff. I’ve never seen an entire wall of mens’ jeans.

There’s plenty of guy stuff. Fishing gear. Barbecues. Guns. Plus animal supplies. Saddles. Fencing. It’s almost overwhelming at first. Really. An entire isle of canning supplies?

It occupies the site of two former stores, Staples and Del’s Feed. It’s nice to see a revival of some local retail. The QFC shopping center was looking sort of quiet.

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Bait and switch Sat, 03 Jun 2017 07:01:27 +0000

We had a few days last week that previewed summer. That’s about as far as it got.

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After the winds Fri, 02 Jun 2017 07:01:33 +0000 Continue reading "After the winds"]]>

I mentioned our fierce spring winds about a week ago here. Our plum tree wasn’t the only one in the area that took it hard.

We saw a number of damaged trees in the Dungeness Recreation Area on a walk a few days later.

These native willows aren’t the strongest trees around but the wind still has to be pretty robust to cause this sort of damage.

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Theme Day: Nature Thu, 01 Jun 2017 06:10:31 +0000 Continue reading "Theme Day: Nature"]]>

Today’s Theme Day topic, Nature, is my favorite subject. For me it’s impossible to narrow down to a single photo. Or even a single concept. “Magnificence” comes to mind as it broadly encompasses the beauty of the natural world. Here, Washington’s Hoh Rainforest teems with so much life it’s hard to tell where water ends and forest begins.

And yet, in the moonscape desert of Death Valley in California the magnificence of time and elements never fails to evoke its own form of awe.

Nature’s creatures are another wonder. Who can ignore the wild majesty?

Great or small, Nature surrounds us with magnificence.

For other interpretations of today’s theme, click here.

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In plain sight Wed, 31 May 2017 07:01:08 +0000

DH found this wooden sculpture nestled under a tree at Anjo Soils in Carlsborg recently.

It’s the sort of thing that might easily escape notice. DH has been here many times and never saw it until recently.

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Red-breasted sapsucker Tue, 30 May 2017 07:01:08 +0000 Continue reading "Red-breasted sapsucker"]]>

A local friend heard this bird making a racket as it drummed on a wire fence at her house and shared several nice shots. Not surprisingly the drumming was part of a mating routine that’s undertaken by both males and females. Bang, bang, bang. “Hey, baby, what’s up?”

As best I can tell this is a red-breasted sapsucker. I tell you this not just to inform you but because I also find it one of those descriptive but amusing names. Maybe it comes with the territory if you beat your head on a wire fence to attract a mate. But then humans don’t always have very dignified rituals either.

Thank you for the photo, my dear local friend!

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When to give up Mon, 29 May 2017 07:01:06 +0000 Continue reading "When to give up"]]>

Camping usually suits me because I like to be outdoors. This wasn’t going to happen on our recent trip to Oregon. Puddles got larger and larger, though they were interesting as puddles go. The rain washed copious amounts of pollen from the evergreen trees around us and it ringed the puddles in varied patterns.

Branches sagged with rainwater. And I suppose I’d rather the pollen was stuck in puddles than airborn. Did I mention the hungry mosquitoes?

This was the campsite next to ours. We have a tiny trailer so we had some protection from the elements. But enough was enough. We called it quits after a couple of days and left early to visit friends in Vancouver, Washington. They have a nice house. Warm and dry, with hot showers. Wine in the afternoon and convivial meals. Civilization has its merits.

Feeling gratitude today for the generations that have served in our armed forces. Thank you, one and all!

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If you’re short on time Sun, 28 May 2017 07:01:08 +0000

I can’t tell you how this works. It’s a first for me.

But if after your prayers you fall prey to temptation this is available as you drive thru.

Really. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

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Buoy decor Sat, 27 May 2017 07:01:47 +0000 Continue reading "Buoy decor"]]>

Fort Stevens State Park is located in Warrenton, Oregon on the Pacific Coast, south of the mouth of the Columbia River. We didn’t get to any boat docks but there was plenty of evidence of a fishing community.

Buoys adorned garages and fences, lots of outdoor areas.

This was one of a couple of buoy trees we spied.

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Land of ducks Fri, 26 May 2017 07:01:26 +0000

Yeah, it was wet at Fort Stevens in Oregon. Based on this sign I’d guess the weather wasn’t all that unusual.

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Spring winds Thu, 25 May 2017 07:01:12 +0000 Continue reading "Spring winds"]]>

It was very windy on Tuesday, gale force all day and well into the night. DH wanted to investigate how the waters looked in Dungeness Bay, which as some sheltering influences. This shot can illustrate what he saw. Close in, where the water is less disturbed, is the bay. The line of land in the middle distance is Cline Spit, an important force in providing shelter to the bay. Further out is a thin strip of land. That’s the Dungeness Spit, another moderating influence. Beyond that, where you can see breaking waves and very choppy water, is the Strait of Juan de Fuca where anyone in their right mind would not have wanted to be.

I don’t exaggerate when I say it was windy. We lost a large piece of our plum tree to gusts. As you can see, it wasn’t as healthy as we might have thought and it was in need of a good pruning. But it takes some strong wind to tear apart a tree like that.

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Plan C Wed, 24 May 2017 07:01:43 +0000 Continue reading "Plan C"]]>

After our visit to Fort Clatsop in Oregon we decided to explore Fort Stevens State Park, an historic military reservation that guarded the mouth of the Columbia River. We followed road signs to the Columbia River, hoping to find an overlook. There was a path there somewhere but I admit that I wimped out. The rain was too heavy. Instead we followed a sign and walked down a boardwalk to a wildlife viewing bunker. It offered some shelter from the rain. But the wildlife was on a break. No sightings, no autographs.

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Fort Clatsop Visitor Center Tue, 23 May 2017 07:01:39 +0000 Continue reading "Fort Clatsop Visitor Center"]]>

Part of our visit to Fort Clatsop, shown yesterday, included a wander through the nearby visitor center. Interpretive information leads through the journey of the Corps of Discovery and highlights what life might have held for the 31 voyagers as they moved through uncharted lands.

The Lewis and Clark expedition would surely have met a different fate without the help of Native Americans along the way. Native American dugout canoes like the one shown here aided the Corps in their travels. Impressed by the vessels, Sergeant Gass wrote:

The natives of this country ought to have the credit of making the finest canoes, perhaps in the world, both as to service and beauty; and are no less expert in working them when made.

The exhibit was enhanced by copies of the incomparable photographs of Edward S. Curtis taken in the Pacific Northwest a hundred years later. If you’re not familiar with the work of Curtis, use the link to get to know him better.

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Fort Clatsop Mon, 22 May 2017 07:01:14 +0000 Continue reading "Fort Clatsop"]]>

The weather didn’t cooperate on our recent camping trip to Oregon. No beach walks or forest strolls. But we had a Plan B: Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, a collection of sites that honors the explorations of the Corps of Discovery in Oregon and Washington at the mouth of the Columbia River.

From 1804 to 1806 the 31 member expedition, led by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, explored territories west of the Mississippi River largely unknown to white settlers. The Lewis and Clark Expedition produced early maps of the western territories as well as providing extensive scientific identification of flora and fauna. It was an epic, fascinating journey.

The Corps wintered at Fort Clatsop from December 1805 to March 1806. The original fort has vanished but a reconstruction from Clark’s journal imagines the fort as it likely was.

The Corps of Discovery spent 100 days at the fort and it rained every day but 12. We experienced the fort under authentic conditions. It was pouring rain.

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Spring camping? I’m in! Sun, 21 May 2017 07:01:53 +0000 Continue reading "Spring camping? I’m in!"]]>

You’d think a camping trip in mid-May would be a great prelude to summer, wouldn’t you? Well, I did. It seemed like a great idea in March and April. Maybe it was impatience with winter. Maybe I was dazzled by spring blossoms. I convinced myself that even if it wasn’t all that warm at least it would be dry. Yeah, sure.

Here’s a view of our welcome at Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon.

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I’ll be seeing you Thu, 11 May 2017 07:01:32 +0000

I’m taking a short break. I’ll see you again soon.

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Flight of cormorants Wed, 10 May 2017 07:01:01 +0000

There are a number of collective nouns for a group of cormorants, a “flight,”, a “rookery,” a “gulp” (I found that on the Internet. It must be true, right?), a “rookery,” or a “swim.”

In this case I think it should be a raft of cormorants, don’t you?

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Let’s do lunch Tue, 09 May 2017 07:01:27 +0000 Continue reading "Let’s do lunch"]]>

Our gang of buddies did some retail grazing recently in Silverdale, a city that boasts so many stores, large and small, that it’s frankly not for the faint of heart. In my case that’s why I travel in a gang. There’s also an abundance of restaurants. But Silver City stands out. And I did some happy grazing on this offering. There’s a salad underneath all this yum.

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Coming attractions Mon, 08 May 2017 07:01:10 +0000 Continue reading "Coming attractions"]]>

The local papers recently announced that two new stores are scheduled to open next year: a Michael’s crafts and Ulta, a retailer of all things beauty and cosmetics. Above is the empty space they’re supposed to occupy. On the left is our local Ross store. On the right is Home Depot. And, as you can see, not much is going on yet, though in the foreground the parking area is paved, striped, and ready to go.

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Really? Chapter 2 Sun, 07 May 2017 07:01:01 +0000

I showed you this house last month as it was getting painted. Not long after the house was finished the front door color was rolled out: bright red. I’m told the door has green panels in it. Passersby can look the other way. The neighbors? I suppose they can plant trees. Tall trees.

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Spring obstacles Sat, 06 May 2017 07:01:14 +0000

Spring is a great time to take on projects that we’ve planned over the winter, such as our new deck. But spring hasn’t been very cooperative. In addition to the seemingly endless wind and rain, thunder and lightning was added to the mix Thursday evening.

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Exploring the details Fri, 05 May 2017 07:01:13 +0000

We walked past these rocks while exploring Sucia Island in the San Juans last month. I noticed an interesting shape on the bigger of the rocks.

I thought so! It was a heart.

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Little brown job Thu, 04 May 2017 07:01:21 +0000

This is a white-crowned sparrow, as best I can tell from flipping through a bird book or two. Birds of this sort can sometimes be called “little brown jobs” or LBJs if a better description is lacking. Isn’t it cute?

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Reaching Wed, 03 May 2017 07:01:04 +0000

Spring happens fast here. First there are buds, barely perceptible. Then a sunny day or two comes along and it seems as if everything turns green and flourishes. I’m spending a lot of time looking up and taking it in these days.

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