Dizzy Swallows

Remembrances of Summer Part II

December 10th, 2014

Alternate title: Rock Portraits. Alternate alternate title: My Coastal Obsession Continues.

The day after our Marmot Pass hike we struck out across the Olympic Peninsula to the coast. Following a brief stop in Port Angeles for the requisite bear canisters, and hurrying through Forks least we get soul-sucked by any wandering Twilight fans, we hiked into Second Beach, supplies and all. After Ruckle on Salt Spring, this is the camping spot most dear to my heart…you may notice they are both seaside. (Incidentally, though I figured this would be the last camping trip of the season, Jacob and I managed one more excursion out to Second Beach in the fall, which was expertly documented by my good friend Hannah.)

There are no campsites as such on Second Beach. Rather, it’s find your favorite patch of sand and setup house.

Our second day dawned ghostly and white, the very air … Continue reading

Remembrances of Summer Part I

December 5th, 2014

We had our first snow last week. Naturally we were out of town for Thanksgiving (more on that anon), and so were only able to enjoy the last soggy dregs that stuck stubbornly to the as-yet-unraked-leaves drifting about the yard. While the holiday season is one of my favorite times of year, I know in a few short weeks I will be nursing a furious case of cabin fever, longing in vain for any vestiges of sunshine. Such thoughts turn me to the long warmth of summer days past, and several adventures I was unable to share with you at the time (what with flitting off to Costa Rica and all). So without further ado, let us all indulge in a bit of sunshine.

The days of August sing a irresistible siren song, luring me out of doors and to the sea or mountains to enjoy every last gasp of … Continue reading

Late Fall in the Pacific Northwest

December 7th, 2012

There are many things I love about our home in the Pacific Northwest. I could wax poetic for days on the merits of our craggy mountains, grey-green oceans, piney forests, and the blazingly verdant moss that covers it all. Anyone who has lived in this region for over a year can tell you that our summers are unsurpassed, but the colder months are a long, hard slog characterized by leaden skies and a damp cold that cuts right to the bone. This can be a deal-breaker for the uninitiated. We Northwesterners are hospitable, but admittedly take some time in accepting those tender, sun-warmed outsiders into our ranks. Perhaps this is because it is only once they see past the grey, and even grow a bit of moss themselves (on the north side, naturally), can they appreciate our region’s natural treasures as much as we do.

It is in these grey … Continue reading

Salt Spring Island, Part 3

September 5th, 2011

Happy Labor Day chaps! Hopefully all of you are still in the full swing of a long, restful weekend!

Today I’m wrapping up our wonderful Salt Spring Island camping trip with the third part of our adventures. One of my very favorite things about our tent (while it may not be quite so charming as that of the lovely Artemis) is that the dome is nearly all mesh. Lying inside at night, the stars are your ceiling. In the morning, enjoying a glorious sunrise is only a matter of sitting up.

After breakfast and a bit of lounging, we spent the morning roaming the rocky shore, enjoying the tide pools and their inhabitants.

I love the bulbous anemones. Their Jabba-like bodies are at once rather disgusting and fascinating.

The low tide exposed a bounty of mussels, barnacles, and seaweed.

I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the stones, … Continue reading

Salt Spring Island, Part 2

September 2nd, 2011

Our second day on Salt Spring dawned sunny and fresh. The tide had slipped away in the night, leaving the dark rocks naked and glistening green with seaweed.

Coffee never tasted so delicious.

After making ourselves decent for public viewing, we wound our way back to town for ice and to see the sights.

The largest town on Salt Spring is Ganges, a friendly, buzzing little metropolis curled round a small marina.

There are several parks scattered about town, with inviting lawns and charming residents.

As it so happened, Saturday was market day and our ears brought us to the music pagoda, complete with dancing hippies. This is an island after all. We hippies love an island.

But even I was surprised by a certain pastime in which three local girls were happily engaged. Chicken tossing. Yes. The three were gently tossing a fluffy, speckled bantam hen from one loving … Continue reading