A Trip to the Coast

Last week, I drove to the coast to enjoy our spate of unseasonably warm weather. If one lives in the metropolitan areas of Puget Sound, just hop on I-5 and exit in Olympia to get on the highway to the coast. There will be plenty of signage. When I say “coast,” I mean the far western coastline of the state. There is the northern coastline as well, but that is a different travel route. This particular day I visited Westport. One of the state’s most popular wineries is located just outside the city along the main highway (105) that connects Aberdeen to Raymond. This is a must stop, even if you don’t drink. They have lots of beautiful gifts and a restaurant that serves great, main meals and desserts, and they are open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stroll the grounds and admire the many gardens and local artwork displays.

While in Westport, visit the marina, which is their main tourist hang-out spot. There is a strip of shops, eateries, a maritime museum, and other tourist offices that offer the visitor choices of souvenirs, gifts, and food. If you like seafood, you can’t get it any fresher, here!

While strolling about the marina strip, I could hear what sounded like seal barks in the distance. I got in my car and drove to the other end of the marina, where I found out where the barking was coming from. Out on some floats were about a hundred sea lions basking in the sun and vying for spots on the floats. What a raucous they were making! I took lots of video and photos of them. Here’s a few snapshots I hope you will enjoy!

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On a clear day, one can view the snow covered Olympic Mountains from the marina. I seagull entered the picture, at the last second.

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Here’s a Western Grebe hanging out around the floats.

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All photos property of Peggy A Thompson

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Happy First Day of Spring!

Hellebores and Daffodil

It’s been a long winter, and I, for one, am so glad it’s over with! The past month was unseasonably cold, here in the Pacific Northwest. We had several instances of snow, which is rare for us. Our traditional, early blooming season was way behind as a result. And now, just within the past few days, we experienced soaring temperatures that rivaled summer temperatures. In fact, we broke a high temperature record for this time of year! As a result, blooms were popping out all over the place. It’s so nice to see color, once again…the yellow Daffodils, pink Hellebores, Camellias, and blue Anemones are the mainstay. Rhododendrons are just getting started as well.

Miniature Daffodils

Anemones (Grecian Windflowers)

Camellias

Rhododendrons

I also challenged myself during this warm weather spell to walk across our Tacoma Narrows Bridges. I didn’t walk all the way across, just to the highest point midway. I could have walked the full length, but then I would have to walk back, and I just don’t have the strength to do that. Besides, it’s very windy across there! In the end, I was quite sore for a few days after that little jaunt. Look at how beautiful the snow covered Olympic Mountains look from this viewpoint!

All photos property of Peggy A Thompson

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Seasonal Amaryllis Blooms

In this post, I will highlight a flower bloom that is synonymous with Christmas, and that is the Amaryllis, an indoor, winter blooming bulb flower. It is a popular gift-giving plant as well during the seasonal holidays. Please enjoy these gorgeous blooms! Many thanks to the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory for their outstanding holiday exhibit!

All photos property of Peggy A Thompson

 

 

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Colorful Holiday Poinsettias

It’s that time of year when colorful Poinsettias make their way into stores, everywhere! The indoor blooming, flowering plant is indigenous to Mexico, and is part of the family of plants commonly referred to as Spurge. Poinsettias come in an assortment of colors and combinations of colors, such as traditional red, pink, white, cream, variegated, and marbled. Enjoy these tropical, blooming plants during the Christmas holiday season!

Many times Paperwhites (Paperwhite narcissus) are added to a display of Poinsettias as well. They are small, winter blooming flowers with a strong fragrance, and their snow white blooms add a nice contrast to traditional, red Poinsettias.

Paperwhites and Red Poinsettias

 

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

 

 

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Christmas Decorations in Port Gamble

This weekend I drove to Port Gamble, a tiny, tourist town overlooking the the Hood Canal, in Washington State. I like to visit the old General Store during the holiday season to see the elaborate Christmas decorations inside. It is such eye candy! The photos I took do not do justice to their beauty. I highly recommend making a trip here. Lot’s of unique gifts and a small cafe in the back of the store that offers ice cream, sandwiches, soups, and the best tasting chocolate brownies I’ve ever had! And there are several other unique boutiques along the main street as well.

And while you’re there, don’t forget to visit the Marine Seashore Museum upstairs. It’s pretty fantastic!

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

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