Exploring Washington’s Southwest Coastline

It’s been a while, but I was able to get back Cape Disappointment State Park, located along Washington’s most southwestern coastline, near the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. This park is one of the state’s most beautiful, hidden gems. The headland was named by an exploring fur trader in 1788, who turned back his ship after bad weather, thereby just missing the discovery of the mouth of the Columbia River. Lewis and Clark arrived there in 1805. The park sits in a forested area along with rocky cliffs and beaches, including a small, coastal rainforest. There are two lighthouses located within the park. I’ve been to both before, which includes some hiking, but this time I just revisited the North Head Lighthouse. Here are some photos I took of the area.

Another I area I visited, and for the first time, is Waikiki Beach. One visit and you’ll see why it is named after a Hawaiian beach. It has two, large caves along its cliff fronts and bright, green mosses growing on them, along with light and black sands mixed together on a beautiful beach. It truly does remind one of a tropical island beach!

If you decide to visit, please be aware that this state park has a fee entry area, as do all Washington State Parks.

All photo images property of Peggy A Thompson


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Changing Seasons

Still have lots of summer blooms to show and also noticing early autumn changes in some of the gardens I frequent. I’m now noticing this Stonecrop species that is a nice, rosy pink color right now. Later in the season, its color will deepen. Blooms close together form a spectacular carpet of pink!

“Autumn Joy” Stonecrop (Sedum spectabile)

Here’s an interesting plant that exhibits its fruit in late summer. It is the Castor Bean Plant. It grows tall and has huge, purple leaves and red, spikey fruits that contain poisonous seeds.

Here’s an interesting plant called Purple Leaf Bugbane. It grows really tall and has purple leaves at its base. The long, fuzzy plumes have a lot of fragrance and attract bees.

I spotted this little Hummingbird among the Fuchsias and tried to get off some shots, which is really hard to do with these fast moving guys!

I was pleasantly surprised to find this Kousa Dogwood full of red berries. They are edible from this particular Dogwood species. Not all Dogwood berries are edible.

Another pleasant surprise I found! Here is a pink fruit hanging from a Oyama Magnolia tree. Later in the season, the fruit will open up to reveal the seeds inside.

Another site this time of year are the bright, orange-red berries of the Mountain Ash.

Here’s something that I have not seen before: White Baneberry, sometimes called Doll’s Eyes. A poisonous plant! I think it quite pretty with its pink stem and white berries with black pupils, hence the name Doll’s Eyes.

And lastly, I couldn’t help but notice the contrasting colors in this setting. One can see how autumn is definitely starting to set in!

All images property of Peggy A Thompson


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Mount Rainier’s Hat Styles

For the most part, our hot, dry, and smokey summer is over with, here in the Pacific Northwest. The start of the rainy season is upon us, and temperatures have cooled considerably. And that means that viewers in the South Puget Sound region can expect to see some dramatic cloud formations over Mount Rainier. I am referring to Altocumulus Standing Lenticular cloud formations, or “cap clouds.” When seen over the mountain, we like to say that “the mountain is wearing a hat”…sometimes more than one hat, as was witnessed yesterday. This type of cloud forms over the mountain, many times, when a weather system is moving in from the west, bringing in cool, moist air. When I realized what was happening, I grabbed my camera and headed out to snap a few photos of the marvelous spectacle. I ended up inside the national park. Below are examples of multiple Altocumulus Standing Lenticular clouds.

Here are a few photo taken inside Mount Rainier National Park, from the Kautz Creek Viewpoint.

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

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Nature’s Little Imperfections

I recently came across a couple of Dahlia flowers with the most amazing petal colors. They may be imperfections of nature, but are they really? To me they are perfectly beautiful!

“There is no real beauty without some slight imperfection.” – James Salter


All photo images property of Peggy A Thompson

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Regal Summer Blooms

The best of summer blooms are at their peak, here in my area. I was out and about this past week visiting local gardens, and I was totally amazed by the color and abundance of blooms. From snapdragons to dahlias, to rudbeckias to zinnias, there was no shortage of color. So here I present a small sample of what Mother Nature is offering up these days in the world of flowers.

All photo images property of Peggy A Thompson



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