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Jan 13, 2018

New Year Full Moon

Full Moon

Full Moon

Full Moon

Full Moon

Did you have a chance to view the perigee full moon on January 1, 2018?  There will be another full moon on January 31, 2018 which will also be a lunar eclipse!  More info at NASA:

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Dec 21, 2017

birdwatching and winter bird count

pine siskin

This year, for the first time, I joined the winter bird count at   The Project FeederWatch is a research and education project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology jointly with Bird Studies Canada.


I have a feeder that attaches to the window with suction cups and it works pretty well.  I can keep that one filled easily, so I wake up to birds every morning.  In the evening, I  bring in the feeders that hang from Shepherd's hooks outside in the yard to avoid feeding the night critters.  The hummingbird feeder stays out all the time.

dark-eyed Junco with pied leucism

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence. ― Robert Lynd

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. - Rabindranath Tagore.

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Nov 3, 2017

October bicycle trip

view from motel balcony while standing

At the end of October, we took an overnight bicycle trip.  Originally, we were going to camp but changed our minds in the morning and booked a motel room in Port Townsend.  The motel is old but has an ocean view.  The funny thing is that you can only see the view from the balcony if you stand.  If you sit in the provided chairs, the thick hand rail blocks your view completely.  No matter the oddities, we had a good trip, good food, good views and good fun!

Eagle high up in a tree, seen while riding

Both days had beautiful sunny, Autumn weather.  We took the 30 mile scenic route on our way to the motel.  On the way back, we stayed on the highway for the shorter 25 miles as we were worried we'd get caught in the dark.  Luckily, there wasn't much traffic.  I think everyone was home watching the Seattle Seahawks play.

Don't you just love Autumn!  I had to stop and catch a photo of me with all the maple trees and fallen leaves.  We were on a side road with little traffic.

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Oct 8, 2017

Aug 22, 2017

solar eclipse 2017

white chairs

It was a magical day! I wasn't sure where would be the best spot to view the solar eclipse, so I hopped on my bicycle and rode into town. I live in a small town and I am amazed each day by this community. When I arrived at the grassy area that overlooks Saratoga passage, I saw that the town council had set up a long line of chairs for viewers. I parked my bicycle on the lawn and sat down next to a mother and her baby. She remarked what a treat to find all these chairs. And I said, "I feel like I'm at a wedding with all these white chairs. Oh hey, the sun and the moon are getting married!"

solar eclipse inside the cereal box

me and my cereal box viewer, my bicycle too

Within 10 minutes, more and more people arrived. None of us knew each other, but we all became aquatinted quite quickly. I didn't have solar glasses but I had made a cereal box pinhole viewer per. instructions from NASA. It was a kick to see this work! The mother and her friend both had solar glasses and shared them with me and five other people.  So I got to view the solar eclipse that way too.

fog over Saratoga Passage and the marina

The passage was foggy but the sky cleared up at some point.

cascade avenue overlooking marina and Saratoga passage
Once the total solar eclipse occurred, I was starting to get cold.  I also wanted to get some shadow effects shots so I left on my bicycle to head out to the forest.

solar eclipse shadows outside the library

On the way out of town, passing the library, I saw these solar eclipse shadows.  When I arrived at the forest trails, there weren't any solar shadows to find.  I sat down on a log and wrote some notes.  The lighting was quite beautiful.

sitting on a log and writing notes

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Feb 26, 2017

Bainbridge Island

Seattle seen from Bainbridge ferry

We took a short trip to Bainbridge Island for a mid-week getaway. We did the trip entirely without a car. Somehow in all my planning, I forgot to map out the way from the ferry to the hotel. After asking two kind strangers for directions, we finally arrived at the hotel. We lucked out and could check into our room at 9:30 a.m. Hurray!

heading to Seattle on the Bainbridge Island Ferry

On the second day, we left the hotel early in the morning and walked about five miles out to the Japanese-American Exclusion Memorial in Pritchard Park. It was quiet and a beautiful park to take a short break. The memorial included photos of some of the citizens who were forced out of their homes and sent to internment camps. The warning "Ni Doto Nai Yo Ni", Let it not happen again, speaks out to the current times in The States.

Ni Doto Nai Yo Ni, Let it not happen again

wine tasting at eleven

Since we were on foot, that meant we had to carry our luggage everywhere once we left the hotel to return home. We decided to hang out on Bainbridge rather than roam Seattle. We stopped in at Eleven wine tasting room. We tried their $15 flight of wines which included two white and three reds. We could talk and people watch at the same time.

waiting to leave on Ferry at Bainbridge Island

Below is some video I shot while we neared Seattle. I love seeing all the tugboats and cargo ships.

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Jan 24, 2017

My local Sister march for the women's march on DC

Love has manners

I wasn't going to be able to make the sister march in Seattle and was hoping my little town, Langley,  would have a sister march. I finally found a post on facebook through the Sister Marches index on the Women's March website. When I found the facebook announcement, there were only a few that would be marching and with no permit to march, we'd have to stay on sidewalks. The facebook page was pretty quiet as locals communicate through other means. That was obvious when I arrived. There were a lot of people, and several official town vehicles and a police car.

super girl

langley sister march with women's march on DC

Word had spread and the proper permits to march on the streets were finalized. At least 1000 people showed up to march. Before the march began, we were all bunched up in the meeting place. The energy level was high and hopeful. As we marched on to the street, that street dips into a valley and than rises onto a hill, allowing everyone to see each other marching.

women's march posters

Wow! That was when we all realized how many there were of us in our small town! Some had come from other parts of Whidbey island to march here in Langley. I got all chocked up at this sight and heard the same from other people.

dog marching with women's march

resist bigly

yours truly

According to the Women's March website:


Read my blog post on my poster art here:

May 30, 2016

Solo Bicycle Tour, Fort Ebey State Park

whidbey island, bicycle touring
rest stop at GreenBank Farm on the way to Fort Ebey

The Solo Bicycle Tour

Last May in 2015, the idea to do a solo bicycle tour popped into my head. As 2016 came around, I started seriously considering the trip and began planning in February. Learning how to do simple bike repairs, mapping a safer route, and getting back into shape after a lazy winter were checked off my list.

In the beginning, staying one night was my idea, but riding nearly 37 miles to sleep in a tent and then riding home the very next morning didn't seem fun, so I booked two nights. Fort Ebey State Park on Whidbey Island is a beautiful park with loads of hiking trails and beautiful ocean vistas.

camping at Fort Ebey State Park
camping at Fort Ebey State Park

There is a hiker/bicycle campground with a communal campfire and outhouse, but I wanted a private campfire a real bathroom with a shower, so I booked site 49 in the car camping area. The next day, just beyond where I camped, I discovered some walk-in campsites with their own campfire pits that look good for a future bicycle tour.  (skip the route part unless you're thinking of doing this trip)

The Route

I worked my way via side roads to highway 525 at Bayview road. I am on the Highway 525 until Newman road. Newman road took me into Freeland from which I caught Main Street Road. Traveling down Main Street until the highway, cross the highway 525 and now it is Fish road. Fish Road connects to Mutiny Bay road then onto Bush Point road which turns into smuggler's cove road.

I turned off on Lagoon Point road which turns into Day road and then Bakken Road. Bakken road will meet the Highway 525, and you travel for seconds on the highway until you meet N. Bluff road. I wanted to cut out as much of the Highway as I could, so I added North Bluff road which turns into Houston road. These roads run behind GreenBank Farm.

Heading north on Houston road, before it meets up with the highway, there is one major, steep hill that goes on forever. For me, walking the bicycle up that hill and the added time was worth it as I cut out two-thirds of the highway portion between GreenBank and Coupeville. Plus, in the morning on a weekday, there is not much traffic on these roads.

view from W Wannamaker Rd

Now I'm on Highway 525 for a brief time again until I come to E. Admirals Drive which takes you through a neighborhood. Stay on E. Admirals Drive until you reach S. Bryd Drive. Take S. Bryd Drive to S. Halsey Drive to Perry Dr up to W Wannamaker Rd. Continue on W. Wannamaker rd until you reach Fort Casey road. Take Fort Casey road to SE Terry road to Main st and now you are almost there!

Heading North from Coupeville to Fort Ebey State Park, there is a dedicated bike/pedestrian trail that takes you all the way into the park. How amazing is that! Once you get to Kettles Gate, kettles trail continues into the park all the way to the car and walk-in campgrounds. The hiker/biker campgrounds are in a different area just beyond the car campground. See my last year's blog post for more information on the kettle's trail.

This by no means is the shortest or quickest way to get to Fort Ebey.  My goal was to be off the highway and away from 55 - 70 mile traffic zooming past me.  Most of 525 has a wide bike lane, but that doesn't seem wide enough when you have cars texting on their cells as they pass you or semi-trucks and other large vehicles passing even when they are obeying the traffic laws.

view Houston road route on Map My Ride and a portion of the park trail to the campground.  Also, view my post from last year for more photos of the kettle's trail.

kettles trail map

Camping, Hiking at Fort Ebey

The second day I did several hikes in the forest and along the ocean view trails.

beach hiking trail, Ft. Ebey
beach hiking trail, Ft. Ebey

Fort Ebey, Strait of Juan de Fuca
looking out at Strait of Juan de Fuca

water tower, fort ebey hiking.
remains of an old, water tower

water tower, fort ebey hiking.
water tower, Fort Ebey hiking

jets flying overhead

Fort Ebey State Park, sunset over Strait of Juan de Fuca
Fort Ebey State Park, sunset over Strait of Juan de Fuca

Fort Ebey State Park, camping
on my way home

Thanks for coming along with me on this solo bicycle journey!

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