Whimsical sculptures in Seattle’s Neototem Garden

In 2002 the City of Seattle commissioned the creation of the Neototem Children’s Garden as a back drop for the massive whale pod tail sculpture. The marvelous and whimsical marine creations are the work of artist Gloria Bornstein.

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School of fish

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Seahorse

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Octopus

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Snail

When pigs fly

When pigs fly

The center of the garden

The center of the garden

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WWII Gun Emplacements Once Protected Puget Sound and Seattle

The Army had plans in place to upgrade the Puget Sound harbor defenses when the Japanese attacked Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack prompted a feverish scramble to implement those WWII plans.

Fort Ebey was constructed from 1942 to 1944. It overlooked the Straight of Juan de Fuca and the open Pacific
Ocean. It was the first of a series of defensive positions that also included forts Casey, Worden and
Flagler, also on Puget Sound.

One of the gun turret foundations

One of the two gun turret foundations that still look over Puget Sound

Historic Fort Ebey State Park on Widbey Island is home to the remains of Battery 248 of the Coast Artillery
Regiment of the Washington National Guard. The guns are gone, having been melted down for scrap at the end
of the war. What remains, however, are the two circular gun emplacements and the supporting large concrete
bunker where ammunition, powder bags, and other equipment was stored.

The bunker is open to the public. A flashlight is a good companion if you venture into the bunker, as the
rooms are not provided with any lights. You will see the massive steel doors on the powder rooms as well
as the concrete pads where the three large generators were placed.

In front of the bunker towards the edge of the steep cliff you will see the forward observation bunker. A
narrow slit provided a panoramic view of the waters. No ships could enter the Sound without being spotted.

Forward observation post

Forward observation post

Date on the main bunker entrance

Date on the main bunker entrance

The main armament of the fort was provided by two guns on swivel turrets. These guns fired a 108 pound
shell with a range of 15 miles. The 26 man gun crews could fire a round every 12 seconds.

Take a step back in time with a visit to Fort Ebey State Park. Walk where the artillerymen walked. Explore
the bunker. Stand near the forward observation position and imagine being on the lookout for enemy ships
trying to invade the Puget Sound.

Day passes are only $10, with a yearly pass available for $30. More information about Fort Ebey State Park may be found at the park website.

Washington State Cascade mountain range

Beautiful mountain stream

The Cascade Range in Washington is one of the features of the Pacfic Northwest that draws tons of folks each and every year . The Mt Baker-Snoqualimie National Forest offers a tremendous varitey of recreation and nature loving opportunities.

We have family in the Seattle area. When visiting we always try to allow for some time up in the mountains. The Mountain Loop Drive gives you some fantastic scenery, incredible photo ops and a chance to enjoy the lush forests of the mountains.

Roads turn to gravel but are very well maintained. Of course the season does make a difference, as winter snows can be very intense to say the least.

 

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Snow melt and waterfalls on Big 4 Mountain

Snow Melt and waterfalls on Big 4 Mountain

Bridge over Deception Pass

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This is the view from the bridge over Deception Pass. You are looking west through the pass and across the Straight of Juan de Fuca. The road runs south onto Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island. This northern route to Whidbey Island avoids the Ferry at Mukilteo, but takes a lot longer with more miles when coming from Seattle.

 

Brackett’s Landing North at Edmonds, Washington

The beach and jetty at Brackett's Landing

The beach and jetty at Brackett’s Landing

We found a really nice area at Edmonds, Washington. Brackett’s Landing North is located next to the Washington Ferry dock  that serves Edmonds and Kingston. What you don’t see is the 27 acre underwater park that opened in 1970. There are established trails and all sorts of underwater features including sunken ships and other structures that serve as a great environment for marine life.

.On the surface there is a very nice albeit small beach area. There is a clean restroom and a large changing room for the scuba divers who frequent the park. There were sea birds alll over the place. The views of the water were spectacular the day we were there.

 

Edmonds to Kingston Ferry

Edmonds to Kingston Ferry

A fun Halloween Pumpkin Glow at a pumpkin patch

IMG_0524_resizedYesterday evening we had a fun time at a local event outside of Snohomish, Washington. We went to a local farm named Craven Farm to witness their Pumpkin Glow event. This facility had given 100 pumpkins to the local Boys and Girls Club. They also offered free pumpkins and carving tools anybody else who brought their kids.

The carved pumpkins were put on a pyramid frame. Just at dark the “friendly Harvest Witch” told some stories and then after a countdown all the pumpkins were lit up! It was really fun to see, and the throng of kids were delighted as well.

We really enjoyed this event. Local happenings like this are great to seek out and attend.

A huge tree remnant on I-5

An interesting sight at a rest area.

A quick stop at the Rest Area on the northbound side of I-5 at mile marker 207 (north of Seattle, Washington) led to a surprise. There next to the rest room building was a huge tree “stump” with a roof mounted on top. I had to investigate! It turns out that this huge tree has quite a history, including being moved for display more than once.

The story of this Western Red Cedar reads like a historic novel. If only it could talk and give some details about those who over the years came in contact with this magnificent tree. Loggers like Ole Rodway and Ole Reinseth must have been real characters.

Bogart in the 2nd floor window

Occasionally something will catch you eye as you are out and about. This happened to Sher and I a couple of days ago. We were in the town of Stanwood, Washington checking out the old buildings. We had read about one old saloon being haunted, complete with people spotting ghostly visions in second floor windows. Imagine our surprise when we at the same time spotted this faint figure in a second floor window!

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Alas, it wasn’t a ghost. It was Humphrey Bogart.