Archive for the ‘nature’ Tag

Been a bit…   1 comment

Hi all…  I know it has been a bit since I last posted.  I was doing good at keeping up with a weekly post and then I hit a snag.  I went down to my parent’s house for about a week and a half at the end of May.  The full purpose while there was to clear away some of the years of clutter that had built up.  This left no time to think about writing or taking pictures.  The we did accomplish a great amount…  but, there is still plenty more work to do… but that is for another day.

With missing two weekends of blogging, it pulled me out of habit I had been building.  And then June came and went… I’m honestly still trying to figure out what happen to June.  That month just seemed to disappear.  If anyone knows where it went, please tell me.  That leaves me with it now being July.  And hence, I am starting back up and hopefully (fingers crossed) will build the habit back up to where I keep this going.

So.. pictures.. During that missing month of June, my daughter (who just turned 13 this past week!!) and I went over to Port Angeles for my cousin’s graduation party.  We just made a quick weekend trip over there.  I took my camera along, as you just never know.  Saturday we drove over taking the Edmonds to Kingtston ferry.  By the time we arrived in P.A., there only enough time to visit with family and then a retreat to hotel.

Sunday morning, after having a nice breakfast and finding a car wash (the local sea gulls didn’t seem to like my car), we had a chance to head up to Hurricane Ridge.  I was very excited, as I had hoped we would have a chance to go.  My daughter was being an “almost teenager” and showing no interest at all in going.  After making the decision that she would just deal with it, we made the drive up.  I was nervous because it was cloudy that day.  I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to see anything once we got up there.  Up we drove… and up… and up… and WOW!  We went right on up past the clouds that were hanging over the city.  The ridge was sunny and warm.  It was just beautiful up there.

By the time we got to the top and walked around, my daughter’s mood had improved.  She was happy and talking and wanting to play in the snow that was still hanging around.  The sad part was we only had about an hour to spend there before needing to head to the party.  On the way down we made one last stop.  Along a curve there was a pull out that allowed this great view of looking over the clouds.  My daughter actually offered to “pose”.  This was a little shocking, as she doesn’t like me taking pictures of her.  Of course I said yes!  and here are the results.  I did a few different color options.  I can’t make up my mind which I like best.  Feel free to voice your opinion. 🙂

Color

Sepia

Black & White

Yesteryear

Have a great week!

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Around the Yard   4 comments

This past week the weather has been great.  The hubby and I decided to take full advantage of it around the yard to first part of the week.   We got my raised bed finished, weeds pulled up from another bed, and the lawn looking great.  My Grandma came for the second half of the week.  We spent some nice time visiting.  Her and I went and picked up some starts to fill up my raised bed.  Overall the week was fantastic!  Who can complain about sun and time with family?

Yesterday my hubby, daughter and I went out to a wild bird store.  We picked up a new platform feeder and a squirrel feeder.  The hubby set up the squirrel feeder and I got the new bird feeder up on a hook.  Within ten minutes of having it filled with seed and going inside, a flock of evening grosbeak had found it and were happily chattering and eating.

The one thing that I did not find time to do this week was to get out and take photos.  So, this morning I quietly went out onto the deck and snapped some pictures of the visitors in my yard.

My raised bed.  I’m attempting to grow some vegetables.

This little guy briefly visited my yard.

The grosbeak are enjoying the new feeder.

These two are checking out a piece of plastic that blew in to the yard.

I’m thinking this little one was maybe trying to find a spot to start a nest.

This little house finch was sneaking in some food. 

A Golden Finch is visiting the thistle feeder.

Our resident squirrel is enjoying a snack.

Have a fabulous week!

Bay View – Washington State Park   Leave a comment

When I woke up yesterday, I was greeted by rain clouds outside.  Now, this was not what the forecast had promised.  And I was very tired of the rain.  I was ready for the nice weather that we were suppose to have.  Frustrated, but knowing there was nothing I could do, I might as well move on with the day.

So the my family went out for the morning and by the time we were done with lunch and heading home the sun had finally made an appearance.  All the grey clouds were making their way to go over the Cascades.  Now the decision, to go out for the afternoon or work in the yard.  The grass was certainly in needing to be cut, but it could wait one more day.

I gathered up my camera bag and my hubby and I hopped into the car.  Where to go.. where to go…  I knew I didn’t want to go east, since that was the direction the rain clouds had taken.  So we went west.  I was wanting to go to the Breadfarm in Edison anyways to pick up a loaf of bread (They have such delicious bread!!).

We then wander the roads around the area.  One of stops brought us to Bay View State Park.  Being part of the Washington State Park system, it does require a Discovery Pass or you need to pay a parking fee.  Lucky for us, we have our Discovery Pass!

The park is located within the small town of Bay View, Washington.  The town sits on the coast line that looks out over Padilla Bay.  Nearby is the Padilla Bay Interpretive Center.  A great place to stop in the learn about the Padilla Bay Reserve.

The park itself isn’t large. It has an upper side that host camping for RVs, trailers or tents.  There is trail from the area that leads under the road to the lower park portion.  You can also just drive and park in the lower park area.  The park sits along the coast line.  There are lots of picnic tables, a covered area and fire pits.  There is even a couple of horse shoe pits.  This park does not include any play areas for kids.  However, with a beach to explore, who needs a  playground?

The beach is your typical rocky beach you find in the Puget Sound.  There is drift wood and seaweed too.  The views look out over to the refineries in Anacortes and out into the Sound towards the Hat Island and the larger Guemes island.  Overall, if you are looking for a park to visit for the day to enjoy a picnic, I would certainly recommend it.  I can’t speak towards the camping, but there were a good number of people utilizing it.

Have a great week everyone!

More Tulips!   2 comments

Yes, I know… not another post of tulips.  What can I say?  The month of April in my area is all about the tulips.  Therefore, another post about tulips.  I thought it was only fair that since my last post showed only tulips from Tulip Town, that this post show pictures from the other main tulip farm – RoozenGaarde.

I had a very brief moment this last week to go over to Roozengaarde to grab some pictures.  And I really do mean brief.  I dropped off my daughter for swim team practice then went to a quick appointment.  After that, I had an hour before I needed to pick up my daughter.  The rain had briefly stopped, so I figured it was now or never.  When I got there, I jumped out the car and quickly walked to the entrance to pay my $5 fee.  (Sidenote: Both Tulip Town and Roozengaarde charge an entry fee.  The nice thing about Roozengaarde, is the entry fee covers parking in at any of their other fields for the day.  Tulip Town doesn’t seem to have any other fields open to the public.)

I walk into their garden area only to realize in my haste, I forgot my tripod.  Knowing time is an issue between picking up my daughter and the threat of it starting to rain again, I decide I’ll just deal with out it.  I put my lens hood to protect not against the sun, but the miscellaneous drops of rain that are coming down and pray to the rain god it just stays like this.

I spent the next 45 minutes wandering around the garden area and the nearby fields, before dashing back to my car to pick up my daughter.  Most likely my quickest trip ever to the tulip fields.  I did manage to snag a few “decent” photos.  I hope you enjoy a few of the pictures I managed to capture.

The picture above and below were taken within the garden area.

The picture below is of the tulip heads that have been topped.

Looking out across the fields towards the Cascades.

Local’s Night   10 comments

Yes.. two post in two days.  Crazy huh?  Well, this is more of my “normal post”.  Unlike my Ninja vs Pirate story that will just pop randomly here and there.  So.. on with my post! 🙂

Like clockwork, every April in the beautiful Skagit Valley we have the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.  We celebrate all the beautiful tulips, daffodils and iris that are grown.  People come from all over to have a chance to see the tulips, along with all the other events that happen through out the month.  Of course,with all the people visiting, comes a lot of traffic.  There are many locals who just cringe when April comes around.  And all the locals know, if you want to go out to see the tulips yourself… don’t go during the weekend!!  One of the local farms helps support that thought by having a local’s only night during a weeknight in the month of April.  It just happened to be this last Wednesday.

I made plans during the day to go with my friend David that evening, since my hubby still was battling a nasty cold.  We were a little nervous that it wasn’t going to happen due to a downpour of rain in the middle of the day.  But the skies cleared up by the time we were done with work and off to the fields we went.  We spent a solid amount of time there that evening and I was able to capture a some decent pictures.

Hope you enjoyed your quick trip through the tulips. 🙂  Have a great week.

Baker Lake Road   Leave a comment

On Friday, my friend David and I took the day off from work to go to the “World’s Largest Garage Sale” at our local fair grounds.  We often go out during the summer months together to hit up garage sales.  It just seemed natural we go to this one.  We didn’t find much that we had to have, but David did snap off a few pictures of items.  Very interested to see if they turn up in his blog.

Once we were finished, we figured we might as well use some of the day to go get some photos.  Only logically, right?  We stopped at his house first, so I could borrow a couple of lenses he isn’t using right now.  We were then off for our adventure (well, after getting gas).  We had a choice to go out to the tulips or head east down Hwy 20.  We decided on the later.  We had both been wanting to explore Bake Lake Road.    The name just seemed to promise something good.

Down Hwy 20 we went.  Looking for garage sale signs on the way, along with any signs of elk or eagles.  Unfortunately, we got a little too busy looking for all those other things that we completely missed the road we wanted.  And when I say we missed it, we really missed it.  We were out past Concrete before we realized we were well past where we would see the turnoff.  David went to turn around at the next road.  Instead of just doing a basic u-turn, he decided to drive down the road.  What the heck, might as well, right?

As we drove down the road, we happened across this nice little creek that was flowing down to the Skagit river.  On one side of the road it had this beautiful woodland setting as it flowed down little steps to create mini waterfalls.  The other side, the creek flows out of a culvert to drop 20 to 30 feet before continuing on its journey.  There are pillars there that are covered with moss and saplings.  It appears that once upon a time a bridge crossed over at that point.  Maybe it was an old road?

After a short time there, we jumped back into David’s van.  After driving through Concrete, heading west this time, we found Baker Lake Road.  Which had a decent sign pointing out the road.  How in the world did we miss that?!   The first thing we noticed on Baker Lake road, is that you are certainly going up in elevation.  That felt promising.  The next thing you notice, there are just an awful lot of trees and a stream following the road.  However, there was nowhere to pull off the road at the points with a clear picture.  Next we come across Grandy Lake.  It looks nice and there is a camp ground.   We keep going until we come to a sign pointing to Baker Lake Dam.  Sounds interesting, right?  So we go check it, expecting some little dam.  Well, we were wrong.  That was a pretty good size dam.  Not the Hover dam, but still impressive.   I think we both plan to go back another day to get photos.

Back to Baker Lake Road.  We keep driving down the road without really seeing Baker Lake.  The road finally gets to a point it is no longer paved.  That is where we decide to turn around.  We figure that most of the views for the lake are at the camp grounds.  And those have not opened for the season.  Oh well, just means we will have to come back another day!  As we are going back, there is a marsh type area that we make a quick stop at.  There some flower things growing that interest David.  I snap a few pictures off.  One is of a an old stump with a tree growing on top of it.  Making sure it is keeping dry.

As we continue back down the road, David actually spots a bear as it runs across the road.  I was looking out my passenger window, and completely miss it. We drive up really slow (there are NO other cars in the area), hoping to catch a glimpse.  The bear had no plans to stick around and has disappeared into the forest.  *sigh*  Maybe someday I’ll get to see a bear and take a picture of it (and not one in the zoo).  Of course, from a nice safe distance where I don’t have to worry about being eaten.  haha

Anyways.. we continue on back home.  However, not before making two more stops.  One is just a short distance from the bear sighting (we made sure to keep the car doors open to escape into in case the bear came by).  Boulder Creek is flowing there and *BAM!*  an awesome view of Mt Baker.  It was playing peek-a-boo behind some clouds.  Even with the clouds, it is majestic.

While we didn’t get to see the Baker Lake, I was happy to see the actual mountain.  And I got two new lenses to play with!  The first photo in this blog was actually taken with a wide-angle lens, but I cropped it down.  My Flickr site has a couple of pictures I have taken with macro lens.  Thank you David!

Have a great week!

Rasar – Washington State Park   7 comments

This last week my hubby and I received our discovery pass in the mail.  The discovery pass allows you to park in any of our Washington State Parks without having to pay any fees.  It cost $30 and it is good for the full year.  To us, not a bad deal and some of that money will funnel back into the park system.

The day we received it, we headed out and went to a park we have never visited before.  Rasar State Park.  About a mile or so off Highway 20, it sits right along the Skagit River.  On our way to check out the park, we saw part of a herd of elk running along to catch up with the rest of the group.   They were meeting up to graze in a field right behind someone’s house.  I managed to get a few shots off from my camera after I had to turn the car around and come back down the highway. 🙂

After watching them for a few minutes we head off to the park.  We found as we entered the park that it is available for day use, but also camping.  Either by tent or by trailer.  Not that I’m huge on camping, but it nice to know.  Josh and I headed for the day use area.  We proudly put our discovery pass up for display and went for the trail that would lead to the river.

The trail, or really more of a path, leads from the parking down an incline that takes you to a meadow/field area.  The view of the larger foothills right before you get to the Cascades is fantastic.  We were lucky that clouds this particular evening were adding some character to the view.

From there we wandered down the path to the river.  Overall it is a short walk to get there, but it goes through a beautiful forest area with some great old trees with the moss hanging off their limbs.

At the river, there wasn’t anything spectacular about the view, but it was relaxing.  The water has a little bit of a teal/aqua blue to it.  This is usually signs of glacier feeds into the river.  We didn’t go to much further, as we wanted to get home before it was dark.  We could see the sun was starting to set of in the distance.  Just from where we were at along the river, there was a couple vantage points to watching the sun set.

So we turned around and headed back to the car.  As we talked, we both agreed that we will be returning very soon to further explore what this park has to offer.  This will hopefully be the start of a series for throughout the rest of the year in which we explore other state parks within our area.  Stay tuned!