Will it ever be summer?

I took this shot at Sunshine Lavender Farm last summer during our Lavender Faire events. It reminds me of how far away summer seems as we’re blanketed by overcast, rain, and at times relentlessly howling winds. (And yesterday as I wrote this the weather icon on my computer predicted snow – yet a predicted low of only 34 degrees F). In its various forms in many locations it seems that Winter isn’t willing to let go.

The Scamp comes home

First it was a viewing of the Scamp at the Wooden Boat Festival in 2011. Then it was a year’s worth of dreaming, comparing, and more dreaming. Next it was a set of plans and a class scheduled on the calendar. A few weeks ago it was a pile of lumber. Last Saturday, this is what came home from an intensive two-week class: our very own Scamp, the work of my frankly awesome husband.

Our new Scamp, now living in the shop, still has a way to go before she’s ready to launch. She will be named “Perigee” and will have a dark green hull with black and yellow boot top. The topside will be buff and she will have a tanbark sail. These are classic yachting colors – my husband is a traditionalist when it comes to boats. Think he looks happy?

Festival of the Equinox

Today is the first day of spring. We’re seeing signs of seasonal change: unfurling leaves and early blossoms, birds singing up a storm, flying in loopy patterns as they pair up, and weather that has that weird schizophrenia as it declares “still winter!” wet and cold and then “hooray, spring!” as the skies clear. Rain and dewdrops gang up on this clover leaf as it patiently waits for spring and its sweet blossoms to herald new growth. And, like clockwork, I’m impatient to get into the garden to nurse growth and beauty from this year’s seeds. Welcome, Spring!

Sharing with City Daily Photo’s “Festival of the Equinox” extra theme day. To see other interpretations of this theme, click here.

Tour de Dung 3, goofing around

Sometimes it seems that life speeds by so quickly. And never so much as when watching a bike race, it’s bitterly cold, and your reaction time is off a beat. I meant to try slowing things down as I watched this race last year, just as my camera battery went dead. Should I admit to these kinds of dumb failures?

This year I decided to try again, starting with a full battery charge before the race started. At times it looked almost like this as I watched, orchestrated with the whir of tires on the pavement and the blast of racing energy.

And just like that they were gone.

Last year some curmudgeon complained in the newspaper that the race prevented him or her from pulling out of their driveway. I’d trade this any day for speeding cars, air pollution, and the state of obesity in the U.S.

Tour de Dung 2, the gals

Here are some of the women who raced in the Tour de Dung on Saturday. And it bears repeating: It’s not off-roading through barnyards. It’s “Dung” as in “Dungeness.”

There aren’t as many women racers as men, but there’s a good enough turnout that it looks competitive. Bikers will race again this coming Saturday. If you’re local, do watch out for bicyclists and give them wide berth.

This competition is billed as a good warm-up competition for early season racing. I’ll post some final Tour photos tomorrow.

Tour de Dung 1, the guys

The bicyclists rolled into town yesterday for the annual “Tour de Dung.” “Dung,” as in “Dungeness,” the location. The Sequim Daily Photo roadside experts (moi) concluded that there were a lot of them. Today the guys pedal by. I’ll post shots of some of the gals tomorrow.

We had March “rainshadow” weather, everything but sleet and snow. Light mist turned to rain and then the wind picked up. And there was sun by the time it was all over. For the casual viewer standing idly by it was cold.

Bicycles are quiet vehicles and there’s not a lot of conversation. But there’s a palpable rush of wind and energy as the tide of racers passes.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you of the Irish persuasion!

Spring break for the birds

This is Protection Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Discovery and Sequim Bays. It’s just far enough from shore that it doesn’t lend itself to a good, clear shot. But it’s an interesting place. This is Puget Sound’s location for the avian version of spring break.

Protection Island is a 364-acre national wildlife refuge closed humans but it’s a hotspot for Washington state birds. An estimated 70% of the nesting seabird populations of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca come here. It’s home to one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinocerous auklets in the world and one of the last two nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area.

There is a 200 yard buffer zone around the island so taking closeups of the feathered visitors is off the table.