Our Life in the Pacific Northwest

Archive for the category “Wildlife”

Sea Star Wasting Disease

Pacific Coast

Anyone who knows me knows that I have always been fascinated by low tides and tide pools. For years I  dragged my kids and whoever would go with me to low tide, especially the extreme low tides that occur 3 or 4 times a year. I’ve taken hundreds of photos of starfish in the last  7 years and the sun starfish has always been my favorite. I have a particular location in Edmonds that I go to where there has always been tons and tons of starfish during extreme low tides. For more info on that spot click here. A photo I had taken at this particular beach of a crawling sun starfish won an honorable mention in the Seattle Times Photos of the year.  (Pictured below)

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Dungeness Recreation Area Campground

Dungeness Recreation Area Campground

Sequim Washington

Olympic Peninsula

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Dungeness Recreation Area is known as the portal to the Dungeness Spit. When I found this out I was ecstatic! Dungeness Spit hike was on my to do list for a long time but since there is no overnight backpacking and I live hours (and a ferry ride) away I didn’t think it was possible. Since this campground is only half reserve-able and there were none left for that weekend, I felt anxious about chancing the drive all the way there. We planned this trip with our friends who couldn’t arrive until Friday night so we left early (6:30 am) Friday morning  in hopes that at least one camper would be leaving at a check out time. Fortunately for us several people were leaving, probably to avoid the busy weekend. The first site we found was decent but a little small for two families. We started to set up and noticed a couple packing up at what looked like a group site. They walked over to us as they were leaving and told us that their site was the best in the campground and that we should snatch it up before someone else grabbed it.

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New Dungeness Lighthouse

New Dungeness Lighthouse
Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
Sequim Washington

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New Dungeness Lighthouse is located on Dungeness Spit on the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge in the town of Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula. To get to the lighthouse you must hike 5 miles on a natural sand spit.  A “Spit” is  a narrow point of land extending into a body of water. The hike is long but worth it. You definitely need to time your hike according to the tides. During low tide there is enough sand to walk comfortably. At high tide you’ll be walking on logs and rocks and it will take you much longer. Check out my Dungeness Spit Hike post for more info.

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Sunrise on Lake Cassidy

Lake Cassidy

Lake Stevens Wa.

Snohomish County

 

  (If anyone knows who the fisherman may be in this photo let me know so I can offer him a free print)

Lake Cassidy is a little lake just north of Lake Stevens near Hwy 9 in Snohomish County. It isn’t well known most likely because Lake Stevens is much larger (Lake Cassidy covers 125 acres  and Lake Stevens covers 1040 acres).  I only live a few miles from Lake Cassidy and drove by it for years before I even knew it was there, which is a good thing I think.The photos I am adding were actually taken a while back, but I recently realized that I hadn’t posted them on my blog. The photo at the top “Fisherman Sunrise” was published in the Seattle Times and was chosen to be in the Washington State Photographers Exhibition Competition. It didn’t win but to be included in such a competetive show is good enough for me!

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Rialto Beach, Extreme Low Tide Day 1

 

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park   July 11 2010

Hole in the Wall Hike

Northwest Washington Coast                                                          

Day 1

One of 2 parts

This is a hike I have been dreaming of doing for 3 years. I visited Rialto Beach back in September of 2007 in hopes of seeing the low tide and to find the “Starfish Rock” (a large boulder covered in starfish) that I had seen on another website. We tried to get there early enough but didn’t quite make it. Even though we missed it I was fascinated by this beach and vowed to come back for an overnight hike on a day when there was an extreme low tide. There are only about 3 really low tides of the year, so 3 years later (yes it took 3 years! I was pregnant during one of those years so cut me some slack. : ) I finally had the chance to make this journey I have been dreaming about.  If you want to read my previous blog entry on Rialto Beach here is the link.   Rialto Beach Hike.

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Rialto Beach Hike, Extreme Low Tide – Day 2

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park

Hole in the Wall Hike

Northwest Washington Coast                                          Day 2

 As soon as it was light I  got up and walked to the beach to watch the tide begin to go out.  I skipped breakfast since I was so eager to get to Hole in the Wall and again, it was another incredible experience for me. I saw a couple of early morning hikers and I watched the surf  gradually lowering to reveal tons of rocks that weren’t there the day before. My hiking companions decided to sleep in since we didn’t get much rest during the night. So once again I was on my own to explore this amazing place at such an incredible low tide. The sun was coming up creating beautiful colors and the beach had a touch of early morning fog. It was going to be a perfect day!

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Back to Fir Island

Fir Island, Skagit Valley Washington

Hayton Bird Reserve

1/17/08

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My good friend brought me to Fir Island last year for a day of photography, and after a very successful day I knew I would have to return again. I live only a short distance from Skagit, so when the weather is cooperating I can easily drive up and see what is waiting for me. The snow geese are present from late fall to April, but the best time to go is after mid January when hunting season is over. For more details you can refer to my past post from last year. There are some incredible snow geese shots you might enjoy. FIR ISLAND 

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Seattle Times Photos of the Year

As I was checking the weather at Seattle Times I noticed a link to the Seattle Times Photo of the Year winners. As I browsed through the top 10 “honorable mentioned” photos, commenting to myself about how great some of them were, I was shocked when I came upon one of my own photos!!

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My photo of the “Crawling Sun Starfish” won an honorable mention award!! I am so excited. Mine was one of 10 photos that made the list.   Check out the link: Seattle Times Photos of the Year. I would have never known either if I hadn’t been checking our crazy weather.

Extreme Low Tide. Edmonds Wa.

 

“Crawling Sun Starfish”

**This photo was chosen for “Seattle Times Reader Photo of the Week” and will be featured in the NW Weekend section of the Seattle times, and at seattletimes.com on Thursday May 29, 2008

 More legs than the Rockettes-Seattle Times

** My photo of the “Crawling Sun Starfish” also won an honorable mention award for the Seattle Times Photos of the year for 2008!!

Photos of the year-Seattle Times

 

I love low tide. It’s one of my favorite activities here in Washington. I used to rush the kids to Mukilteo Beach everytime there was a really low tide, and now that they are older I think the enthusiasm has worn off. I, on the other hand, will cancel any and all plans just so I can experience the extreme low tides that come only a few times a year. During extreme low tides here the most amazing sea life is uncovered.

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Heirman Wildlife Preserve

Heirman Wildlife Preserve

Snohomish Washington                                                                                                                               

 

 

 

One day while driving in Snohomish on our way back from Flower World, my daughter and I stopped at a park we had recently read about. On a whim we decided to walk the trail to see what we might bump into. Fortunately I had my camera with me.

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