Sequim Daily Photo Views of Sequim, the Olympic Peninsula. . .and beyond Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:01:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 65678419 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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Post boxes Tue, 02 May 2017 07:01:08 +0000

Boxes like these used to be a mainstay at Post Offices. Ornate trim and solid little fittings, very fancy by today’s standards. I hadn’t seen ones like these at Roche Harbor in a long time. They disappeared while I wasn’t looking.

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Theme Day: Let’s eat! Mon, 01 May 2017 06:20:29 +0000 Continue reading "Theme Day: Let’s eat!"]]>

I went with a classic for today’s first of the month theme day, “Let’s eat!” But this wasn’t just any old burger and fries. This was a rather fine dining experience at the Roche Harbor Resort on San Juan Island. Kobe beef, apple wood bacon, a slab of Gruyere cheese, carmelized onion, smoky ketchup, and greens on a Brioche bun. My cholesterol went up simply reading the menu.

But it was arguably the best burger I’ve ever had, accompanied by equally good fries. And half of this meal was still delicious reheated the next day.

To see other City Daily Photo interpretations of today’s theme, click here.

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Driftwood Sun, 30 Apr 2017 07:01:13 +0000

Driftwood sometimes reveals an even more beautiful grain than wood that hasn’t been subjected to time and tides. The wood shows its growth and path through life with the currents of its grain.

An appreciation for wood comes with the territory when you’re married to a woodworker.

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Catch ’em while you can Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:01:43 +0000

I took this shot about 10 or 11 days ago on a trip to the vet’s office. I went back again early this week, about a week after this shot was taken. These little tulip blossoms were all gone.

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Mini moos Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:01:42 +0000

Little calves can be very curious if a person walks up to a fence and looks at them.

I find their faces very sweet and expressive. Look at the eyelashes on this one.

Mom was nearby so even the shier guy on the right came out to see what was going on.

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Willow catkins Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:01:57 +0000 Continue reading "Willow catkins"]]>

I routinely have to remind myself of the differences between pussy willows, cattails, and catkins. These, I believe, are catkins, “a flowering spike of trees such as willow and hazel. Catkins are typically downy, pendulous, composed of flowers of a single sex, and wind-pollinated.” These little downy bits are on a willow. And there’s another sign of spring: notice the leaves unfurling at the tip of the branch.

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Who knows? Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:01:11 +0000

Here’s another log structure that I found, at a distance. I think a window is visible through the door. The open door is small for a barn. Then there’s the white and red chimney. A home? An outbuilding?

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Red Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:01:04 +0000

There is a spectacular rhododendron bush in front of our vet’s office. After a long, grey winter it is always a stunning sight.

It’s a head-turner, a big, vibrant bush covered in blossoms. Hello Spring!

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The deck Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:01:30 +0000 Continue reading "The deck"]]>

After seven years we’ve finally decided to get a proper deck behind our house. Considering our winds and the very short season that might be called “summer,” it hasn’t been a hardship. Still, what we had just didn’t cut it.

DH worked with a contractor to make it happen. It’s mostly done. These stairs-to-be await their moment.

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Different era Sun, 23 Apr 2017 07:01:51 +0000 Continue reading "Different era"]]>

I came upon this display of old medical devices on a trip to the doctor a while back. This isn’t the shot I wanted but it does show an interesting assortment of doctorish stuff. While some of these devices may still find a use, I suppose, that big black bag is pretty much extinct. Anyone remember house calls?

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Please Mr. Postman Sat, 22 Apr 2017 07:01:37 +0000

Please Mister Postman, look and see
Is there a letter, a letter for me…

…So many days you passed me by
You saw the tears standin’ in my eye
You wouldn’t stop to make me feel better
By leavin’ me a card or a letter…

Today’s earworm courtesy of the Marvelettes, 1961.

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More logs at work Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:01:16 +0000

DH has become a dedicated log barn hunter. He caught a glimpse of this one on his way to Lazy J farm recently. It’s nestled back on the property behind some ancient looking trees.

This is a view from the side. It doesn’t seem overly large.

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The bridge at Deception Pass Thu, 20 Apr 2017 07:01:51 +0000 Continue reading "The bridge at Deception Pass"]]>

Our cruise through Deception Pass on the way home from the San Juan Islands was placid enough that I enjoyed the views of the Deception Pass Bridge.

This is one of those lovely, classic bridges, completed in 1935. It was complemented by one of the few brief periods of blue skies that we enjoyed on the trip.

Before it was built travelers used an inter-island ferry to move between the islands that are now connected by this bridge.

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Deception Pass Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:01:02 +0000 Continue reading "Deception Pass"]]>

We headed home from our trip through the San Juan Islands moving east then south, passing Guemes Island, Anacortes, and La Conner before cruising through Deception Pass, a body of water locally famous for tides that rip perilously through the narrow passageway. Though I’d crossed over the area on the bridge shown here I never expected to cruise through on the water below.

We went through on a slack tide, as placid a period as can be expected. Still, the water was obviously pouring westward. We moved through the pass with the engine killed, pulled along by the force of the water. It was gentle movement but I could well imagine a totally different experience on a moving tide.

Slack tide or not there were whirlpools of water. Tidal action can magnify these whirlpools such that they can completely spin a boat, motoring or not, and worse. Here is a description of the currents from Wikipedia:

“Deception Pass is a dramatic seascape where the tidal flow and whirlpools beneath the twin bridges connecting Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island move quickly. During ebb and flood tide current speed reaches about 8 knots (9.2 mph), flowing in opposite directions between ebb and flood. This swift current can lead to standing waves, large whirlpools, and roiling eddies…Boats can be seen waiting on either side of the pass for the current to stop or change direction before going through. Thrill-seeking kayakers go there during large tide changes to surf the standing waves and brave the class 2 and 3 rapid conditions.”

]]> 6 21574 Northwest coastal living, 2 of 2 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:01:50 +0000 Continue reading "Northwest coastal living, 2 of 2"]]>

I suppose if you’re going to the effort and expense of building a house in the San Juan Islands why settle for a humble cabin? We saw some fine dwellings on our Puget Sound Express trip. Some would be nice on any sort of site.

Others took advantage of the rugged landscape

If you’re going to go so far I suppose you may as well have room for a crowd.

No quick stroll to a grocery store or theater from these spots but I expect there are plenty of other diversions if you can pull off a house like this.

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Northwest coastal living, 1 of 2 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 07:01:23 +0000

Lest you think the San Juan Islands are uninhabited, I’ll share images of some of the beachfront housing we saw on our trip with Puget Sound Express.

Beachfront property? Beautiful, remote island setting? Spectacular water view?

What’s not to like?

The settings are incomparable.

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Lunch with a sea lion Sun, 16 Apr 2017 07:01:53 +0000 Continue reading "Lunch with a sea lion"]]>

Here are the last of my wildlife shots from our San Juan Islands excursion with Puget Sound Express. We came upon a Stellar, or Northern, sea lion enjoying some lunch. It was another of many exciting moments.

Lunch was probably a salmon. Now…how did we find this one sea mammal in a very large body of water?

The poor guy was being mercilessly harassed by a flock of seagulls that dive bombed him, pecking at the fish in his jaws.

Think about that today if you’re among those who have a feast planned for Easter and dread dinner table conversations. It could be much worse.

There were other sea lions not far away that seemed content with their lot.

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Sucia Island Sat, 15 Apr 2017 07:01:16 +0000 Continue reading "Sucia Island"]]>

One of the many highlights of our trip through the San Juan Islands with Puget Sound Express was a visit to Sucia Island, a Washington State marine park. The island is a gem. Parts of the landscape have the mood and beauty of a large, perfectly composed Japanese garden.

There are beaches and picnic tables. Walking trails circle much of the island.

There were brief light rains while we were on the island and we had the island entirely to ourselves after the only other boat departed. Weather in April is unpredictable but it means that many popular spots are uncrowded.

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Other birds Fri, 14 Apr 2017 07:01:57 +0000 Continue reading "Other birds"]]>

Though I sadly missed shots of many smaller birds on my San Juan Islands excursion with Puget Sound Express last week, I didn’t miss them all. Cormorants posed on piers, driftwood, and rocks as we passed.

Occasionally they took flight.

I spied great blue herons now and then.

We saw lots and lots of rhinoceros auklets and even though these are small I have to post a tiny sample since these are such pretty specimens. Auklets are alcids, common residents here during spring and summer. They’re the chubby black birds with white markings in the center of the shot. There are shorebirds on either side of them, along with a duck. Auklets generally hang out in deep salt water and dive for fish.

Late note: I’ve incorrectly identified the rhinoceros auklets. These are in fact male harlequin ducks. My mistake. I’m certain they were correctly identified on our journey. My memory is at fault. For more details click on today’s comment section and see the comment from Paul from Powell River, a superb blogger and knowledgeable birder.

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Eagles Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:01:07 +0000 Continue reading "Eagles"]]>

Our trip through the San Juans with Puget Sound Express last week included plenty of birdwatching and it didn’t disappoint. The boat trolled near shores of many small islands that Bob Boekelheide, our Audubon bird expert, identified as bird habitat.

We saw dozens of different kinds of waterfowl, loons, grebes, cormorants and more. And I was nearly consumed with envy as other photographers on board zoomed in with their honkin’ big lenses to capture beauty shots of the smaller birds.

But the abundance of eagles throughout the region was no minor compensation for the shots that got away. We saw eagles young and old, in flight and perched.

From the looks of it the San Juan Islands support a robust population of these top raptors. And in the lower left of this shot those are seals, part of a population of at least a dozen that we saw at this location.

Some of them looked better than others. On a rainy afternoon this wet one looked pretty miserable.

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Porpoises and dolphins Wed, 12 Apr 2017 07:01:35 +0000 Continue reading "Porpoises and dolphins"]]>

After our first whale sighting our Puget Sound Express captain, Christopher Hanke, spied dolphins playing in the wake of a nearby boat. He volunteered to see if he might lure them into the wake of our boat and he did just that. Soon we had Pacific white-sided dolphins virtually flying beside and behind the boat.

Porpoises also came along for the fun. They matched the speed of the boat, close to the hull, or nearby in the wake, breaching and leaping as we sped along. This one is either a Dall’s porpoise or a harbor porpoise. Dolphins have sleeker bodies than porpoises and the jaw structure and teeth are different.

I’ve always wanted to see dolphins do this. It was one of my trip highlights.

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Orcas Tue, 11 Apr 2017 07:01:52 +0000 Continue reading "Orcas"]]>

Puget Sound Express (PSE) guarantees that its customers will see whales on their whale watching tours. Their captain and staff stay in contact with other tour boats and make a real effort to find and follow them.

We kept a respectful distance each time we came upon orcas, or killer whales, on two of our three days of travel. This was a pod of five and the PSE staff identified the group. There are both resident and transient pods in our area.

These whales are actually part of the oceanic dolphin family. They surface briefly to breathe. I have a couple dozen shots of their dorsal fins, all that’s left to view if you don’t catch them quickly as they surface.

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San Juans here we come Mon, 10 Apr 2017 07:01:24 +0000 Continue reading "San Juans here we come"]]>

This is a taste of the area through which we cruised with Puget Sound Express last week. We took a (spendy) three day trip but they also offer shorter day tours.

Ours was a birdwatching and wildlife tour and we did plenty of that, zigging and zagging as our onboard naturalist pointed out birding hotspots or the crew trailed and talked about marine mammals. But I was equally taken with the beautiful small and large islands we threaded through on our voyage.

Early April weather in the Pacific Northwest provides only the vaguest hints of spring. Grey skies and light sprinkles reminded us that it could have been much worse. The islands are sheltered enough that winds were light. No choppy seas!

Bob Boekelheide, our Audubon naturalist, even provided commentary on the geology that formed this gorgeous region.

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Spring adventure Sun, 09 Apr 2017 07:01:38 +0000 Continue reading "Spring adventure"]]>

I’ve wanted to go back to the San Juan Islands, arguably one of the most beautiful areas of Washington State, since the first time I visited by ferry decades ago. It was there that I fell in love with Washington.

A while back I heard about a San Juan Island cruise offered by Puget Sound Express in partnership with Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society. The three day birdwatching and wildlife cruise sounded spectacular. From Sequim our voyage was just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The photo above is of the MV Glacier Spirit, the family owned cruiser we traveled on.

Inside was comfortable and warm with snacks, lunch, coffee, and good cheer.

This is a chart of our travels over three days through the San Juans, shown in yellow. Vancouver Island is the large land mass on the upper left; to the far right is northern Washington and the city of Bellingham. The thin pink and red lines show our route as we looked for whales, dolphins, birds, and other sealife through the large and small islands of the San Juan archipelago. I’ll show you what we saw over the coming days.

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Log outbuilding Sat, 08 Apr 2017 07:01:31 +0000

Since DH discovered the log barn I showed you recently I’ve been more aware of them. So naturally now they’re popping up more than I’d have expected. Here’s a different building style using logs. I have a couple more log structures I’ll show you in coming days.

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Little lambs Fri, 07 Apr 2017 07:01:37 +0000

Mama and two baby lambs sun themselves as the nearby goats look on.

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You decide Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:01:40 +0000 Continue reading "You decide"]]>

You can see this building from Old Olympic Highway, briefly, if you’re paying attention. I never noticed it but DH did and pointed it out to me. It’s shape suggested a barn; it wasn’t until we closed in on it that it revealed itself as a unique house nestled back in the woods. At least that’s what I think it may be.

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Gazebo Wed, 05 Apr 2017 07:01:19 +0000

This is one of the more interesting gazebos I’ve seen. Tomorrow I’ll show you the house that drew me to it.

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This one stayed still Tue, 04 Apr 2017 07:01:17 +0000 Continue reading "This one stayed still"]]>

I have a spotty relationship with the red winged blackbirds around here. They’re happy to show off their colorful shoulders to me just as long as the camera is nowhere near my face. They usually take off the minute I take aim. Except this fellow. He didn’t get the memo. He may have just been in a mood to show off.

He certainly had plenty to say.

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Really? Mon, 03 Apr 2017 07:01:33 +0000

A new house is being built. Not many around here go upward like this one — it’s more of an urban style and footprint. But it wasn’t until the paint started to go on that my jaw dropped.

Uhmm…Swedish flag?

This is the house next door if you want a sense of the neighborhood.

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Winter silhouette Sun, 02 Apr 2017 07:01:48 +0000

This tree never fails to catch my attention in winter.

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Theme Day: Wet Sat, 01 Apr 2017 07:01:09 +0000 Continue reading "Theme Day: Wet"]]>

You don’t have to look far on the Olympic Peninsula to find today’s theme of “Wet.” The Hoh Rainforest, part of Olympic National Park, is one of the wettest places in the U.S. with an average rainfall of 12-14 feet (3.5 to 4.25 meters). In places, as along this stream, it’s hard to see where the water ends and foliage begins. And if you’re visiting when it’s raining, water is everywhere. It’s impossible to not be wet.

To see other interpretations of today’s City Daily Photo theme, click here.

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Ranch life Fri, 31 Mar 2017 07:01:27 +0000

Here’s another of our local farming operations. Like many farmers this one supplements his income with other work, specifically mower repairs.

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Narcissi Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:01:58 +0000

Though fierce winds have been beating up these little cuties lately they’re still a cheerful sight this time of year. And they’re heartier than they look. They sprouted through our February snows.

Did you know that narcissi is the plural of narcissus? You do now.

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Fishin’ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 07:01:08 +0000 Continue reading "Fishin’"]]>

We visited the Dungeness River Fish Hatchery recently. The proper title is “Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Dungeness Hatchery.” As I understand it, the hatchery propagates salmon to help support their recovery under the Endangered Species Act. Although the Coho salmon, above, are not listed species, they are raised to help increase their population.

Here’s the hatchery operation.

The hatchery pools aren’t open to casual visitors but I think tours may be requested. Visitors can go inside the main building and there is a tiny visitor center with information posters. (Yep. This shot has a decided tilt to it. Either I declare it “artistic license” or I rotate and crop out relevant parts. I declare Artistic License.)

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Log barn Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:01:12 +0000

This is something you don’t see everyday: a log barn.

The corners are constructed like a classic log cabin.

It’s an old building and shows its age but seems to be holding up. The metal roof helps.

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Whatever rings your chimes Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:01:42 +0000

Every respectable home should have a bell tower, don’t you think?

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Welcome back! Sun, 26 Mar 2017 07:01:47 +0000

These house finches were perched in the apple tree last week — the first I’ve seen in months. And the week before swallows again spiraled in the sky over our yard. {{Cue the applause.}}

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Crescendo Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:01:52 +0000 Continue reading "Crescendo"]]>

The little community of Carlsborg has had one disruption after another for the last six or eight months as the area is retrofitted for hookups to the Sequim sewer system. The work is intended to phase out older and failing septic systems. As construction moves closer to completion Carlsborg Road has been closed for resurfacing. For anyone navigating these local roads lately it will be a welcome conclusion.

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Love is where you find it Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:01:28 +0000

I have a collection of heart shaped rocks that I’ve picked up on countless walks. Others stay put.

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Time and elements Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:01:54 +0000

This time polished snag looks almost like a sculpture by the side of the road. Charring on its wood looks like it may have been a victim of a lightning strike.

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Not a moment too soon Wed, 22 Mar 2017 07:01:55 +0000

This tree at St. Luke’s Church looks like it’s about to burst into bloom at any minute.

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Creation story Tue, 21 Mar 2017 07:01:27 +0000 Continue reading "Creation story"]]>

This plaque is set into the pavement at Waterfront Park in Port Angeles. Entitled “Klallam Creation Story,” it is about one of our local Native American tribe and reads as follows:

“The Klallam tell us how the tribes of the region were created at a place on the Elwha River where there are two big holes in the rock called “coiled baskets.” It is there that the creator bathed and blessed the people.”

]]> 6 21396 Wagon ho! Mon, 20 Mar 2017 07:01:24 +0000

Our local Costco has cornered the market on shopping carts. At times it really does need most of them.

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Waiting Sun, 19 Mar 2017 07:01:28 +0000

A common scene when one person in the walking group must stop to take pictures. It works much better when the waiting parties have patience. I’m lucky on that count.

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Blue hole Sat, 18 Mar 2017 07:01:15 +0000

Pilots talk about the “blue hole” over Sequim. Weather patterns often favor Sequim with better weather than other spots in the region. And sometimes it means there truly is a blue hole in the midst of overcast. Exhibit A, above: blue hole.

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Erin go Bragh! Fri, 17 Mar 2017 07:01:21 +0000 Continue reading "Erin go Bragh!"]]>

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s an “only in Ireland” shot I took some years ago in a small village south of Dublin.

And I’ll bet you’ll never guess what sort of municipal building this might be.

This is the Garda Siochana.

Still guessing? That’s “Guardian of the Peace” in English. Also known as a police station.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Hardy’s Market Thu, 16 Mar 2017 07:01:16 +0000 Continue reading "Hardy’s Market"]]>

I’d heard that Hardy’s Market serves up a good breakfast burrito and stopped by for one recently. There’s a small dining room that displays a variety of antiques, including these pint sized milk bottles from an earlier era.

The burrito was good. A friend has also brought Hardy’s carrot cakes to local gatherings. Best ever, in my humble opinion.

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Test drive Wed, 15 Mar 2017 07:01:24 +0000

This little girl tried out an all terrain vehicle last weekend at the home show in Port Angeles. You go, girl!

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M.I.A. Tue, 14 Mar 2017 07:01:32 +0000

I’ve obscured the license plate here. I know — it’s messy. But I love the license plate cover.

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Fresh moss Mon, 13 Mar 2017 07:01:48 +0000

Can you tell it’s been a wet winter?

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Gone Sun, 12 Mar 2017 08:01:22 +0000 Continue reading "Gone"]]>

We don’t always come to this spot on the bluffs at Dungeness Recreation Area. It was a surprise to look south and see how much of the bluff had disappeared recently. The former trail beyond the yellow tape now disappears into thin air. The erosion has taken a big gouge out of the land.

The trail has been rerouted onto a shoulder carved alongside the road. Not as scenic but it’s also less likely to disappear from under your feet. Luckily there is a network of trails through the nearby forest and wetlands.

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