Archive for the ‘Skagit’ Tag

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.

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!

New Exploration   2 comments

Where I work, the customer service supervisors are on a rotation for the opening shift.  This last week one of my co-workers asked if anyone wanted to take her opening shift, as she doesn’t particular care for it.  I decided to take her up on the offer.  I figured loosing a little sleep may pay off if the weather cooperated (and that is a big IF still), in that I would be off work earlier and have some time before the rest of the family came home.

Last Sunday I looked at the weather forecast and saw nothing but rain our future.  How sad.  However, I kept my hopes up and it paid off for Monday.  When I left work the clouds were hanging out, but there was no rain.  I ran home to grab my camera and changed into more appropriate shoes and clothes.  Now the decision was where to go.  I didn’t want to go to the fields, as I had gotten my fill of daffodils for the moment.  I have enough Northern State Hospital photos for now until Spring and Summer are more in swing.  Where does that leave me.  My vibe was to go east.  I always seem to travel west from my house.

So off I went, east on Highway 20.  And that’s when I decided to take the Cape Horn Road.  I knew it followed along parts of the Skagit River.  I made the turn when it came and headed down the road.  I did find a nice little spot next to the river where the trees weren’t completely blocking the view.  This picture I took there shows a beautiful fallen tree that is being reclaimed.   Part of the Skagit River floats past with a light reflection of the lowland hill that looms up on the other side of the river.

I then continued down the road to further my exploration of this new area for me.  I found a couple other spots that showed interest.  Each time I would stop and take a few pictures and then jump back into the car.  As I was going, I realized that instead of doing a “photo walk”, I was doing a “photo drive”.  However, I do hope to go back to a few spots and explore further by doing more of a photo walk.  Anyways, I was getting close to the end of this road to where it connects back to Highway 20 (It is really nice that it just loops back) when I drove by this old truck.  I literally stopped and backed up my car.

Looking at this truck, it has such great character.  I actually felt a little bad for it too.  To me it just seems to be crying out for someone to come reclaim it.  To bring it back to the beauty it once was.  It just wants to be loved.  Yes, I know it is just a truck, but I think adding “a voice” to something like this brings more life to the picture.  But maybe I’m just wrong or crazy.  More likely crazy. 🙂

I am glad I decided to explore a new area and plan to do more exploration this year to the east.  I can’t wait to see what I find and share it!   Hope you have a great week.

 

Spring! It is here!!   3 comments

Today, at this moment, as I write this very entry, the sun is out!  There is blue sky with some high wispy clouds.  The little Pine Siskin are fluttering around the bird feeder.  My tulips are working their way up in my flower beds.  All the perennials are showing new growth.  Heck, I even have one plant with some flowers on it.  Spring is certainly in the air!

After such a horrible Spring season last year here in the Pacific NW, we are very happy to see a bit of “normal” weather come back to us. Here in the Skagit Valley, the best indicator that Spring is on track and arrived are our daffodil and tulip fields.  And what a great place to visit if you can during the end of March into April.  We even spend the whole month of April having a Tulip Festival.

In the past couple years, by the time I get out to the fields the daffodils have already been blooming for a few weeks.  So they are certainly not looking their best.  Well, I wasn’t going to do that this year!  On Friday, my hubby and I scooted out of work a little early to kick off the weekend and enjoy the sun.  We stopped at the The Farmhouse for lunch.  Yummy as always!

We then went off to check out the daffodils.  Scooping out the bloom map by RoozenGaarde we knew there were a couple of fields in bloom.  The first field we went by was just starting to get some blooms.  So we continued on down the road.  As we got closer, you could see the field of yellow.  Almost like the beacon from a lighthouse guiding us to the field to where we needed to be.  I quickly parked the car and set up my camera.

Quick side note to this picture outing … While I was taking pictures, we met a delightful older couple, probably in their 70’s.  They had come up from the Seattle area for his birthday.  It just added to the joy of the day to see them enjoying each others company and being out and about together.  I told my hubby I want to be like them when we get older.

I am so happy with the way this picture turned out.  I had my camera do three bracket photos (just learned about that last week).  Used Photomatix to bring them together for the HDR image.  I then did some final editing in Lightroom adjusting the yellow in the daffodil, bringing out the green of their stems, and adjusting the blue of the sky.  While I know the picture is “perfect”, it is still probably the best I have done to date.  I hope you enjoy!