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Sandalwood Tree

Or at least – ‘artists impression of a sandalwood tree’.  I admit it looks more like a madrone (and like all my other trees so far), but I’m happy with it.

A little break from photos of France.  I am getting ready for my fall soaps and thinking of new labels in color.  I wanted a wood grain, but when I tried looking for photos of that I was disappointed in the results.

And if you are thinking “what is a madrone tree?” They have a very striking cinnamon color bark that peels. The outer bark can get rough and darker, the inner bark is smooth, flowing and can be orange to green. They are a broad leaf evergreen that lives in the pacific northwest.

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Whidbey Island

Whenever we have guests from out of town and I’m looking for a day trip, this is one of my favorites.  We start by driving up to Deception Pass and walk out over the bridge to Pass Island.

View from about mid-span.

The current through the narrow channel can reach 8 knots at peak flow. I’ve been kayaking near there before but never through the pass itself.  This time there was a series of standing waves west of the bridge and high winds, which made crossing a white-knuckle experience.  I was afraid to look through the viewfinder, so this picture was taking by just pointing the camera in a direction and hoping it caught something good.

From the bridge we headed downhill into the park for a walk along the beach and a look at the ancient (800+ year old) douglas fir.  We’ve heard this called the “Monkey Tree” but I have no idea where that name comes from (we did fill it with our own little monkeys).

Then it was on to the hike itself.

A different wind-contorted tree with ukulele player
Ebey’s Landing
Looking up the bluff

Then our final stop was Fort Casey where we flew kites and let the kids run around in the tunnels. For some reason I always forget to take photos at Fort Casey, but here’s my dog looking alert in front of the old battery.

From there we headed south to the ferry for a short hop back to the mainland.

The only thing that would make this trip better is if it could be done in reverse so you wound up by Snow Goose Produce for gigantic ice cream cones on the way home.

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Arboretum

I managed to come down with the 3-week crud that has been plaguing everyone, but late last week I finally felt up to moving around and we went down to Seattle to catch the cherry trees before the blooms faded.  I didn’t wind up with too many great photos of cherry blossoms, but there was quite a bit to impress.

What I learned:  I need to think about the composition of my shots more and I find that difficult when I’m still tired.  It’s hard to nail the focus on macro shots, especially when I don’t have a tripod. I’m still learning how to take photos in aperture priority mode and it’s not always a success.

ferns and moss on a tree
tiny orange bells
mysterious fairy glen
fiddlehead
hellebore
katsura