Mudflats at Padilla Bay

Mudflats at Padilla Bay

Sunday’s trip to Padilla Bay was my second excursion there.  Years ago my daughter and I took a bookmaking class at the Breazeale Interpretive Center.  This time I spent an hour or so exploring the grounds.  There is a short path, past multi-colored grasses, to a beach overlook.  A spiral staircase takes you down to the beach.  The tide was out, exposing acres of mudflats, pebbly stretches at the high tide line, and eel grass.

I marveled at all the colors in these grasses.

I marveled at all the colors in these grasses.

Short tunnel under the road to the beach overlook

Short tunnel under the road to the beach overlook

Sprial staricase from overlook to the beach

Spiral staircase from overlook to the beach

Padilla Bay

Padilla Bay

Eel grass

Eel grass

Raccoon track

Raccoon track

Padilla Bay

Padilla Bay

My poor attempt at a landscape sketch of Padilla Bay.  I was unhappy with many things, including the anemic colors.

My poor attempt at a landscape sketch of Padilla Bay. I was unhappy with many things, including the anemic colors.

Can this painting be saved?  A bit better with more saturated colors, but still not redeemed.

Can this painting be saved? A bit better with more saturated colors, but still not redeemed.

Next I explored the Upland Trail through meadows and woods.  Quite a sampling of varied habitats in s small area!

Upland trail through the woods

Upland trail through the woods

Noble fir

Noble fir

Walking the Upland Trail, Breazeale Interpretive Center

Walking the Upland Trail, Breazeale Interpretive Center

Andy Goldsworthy-esque sculpture as rock quarry along the trail

Andy Goldsworthy-esque sculpture as rock quarry along the trail

Big-leaf maples

Big-leaf maples

Giant rose hips

Giant rose hips

The next time I visit, I plan to walk the Padilla Bay Shore Trail, a dike path along the estuary.

 

 

 

August Days

August 23, 2013

“Nature has, for the most part, lost her delicate tints in August. . . . The spirit of Nature has grown bold and aggressive; it is rank and coarse; she flaunts her weeds in our faces.”
— John Burroughs, “August Days”

Dried ferns

Dried ferns

“August days are for the most part tranquil days; the fret and hurry of the season are over.  We are on the threshold of autumn.  Nature dreams and meditates; her veins no longer thrill with the eager, frenzied sap; she ripens and hardens her growths; she concentrates; she begins to make ready for winter.”
— John Burroughs, “Autumn Days”

We’ve had a drier-than-normal summer so far, so things are definitely weedy and seedy around here.  Here are some images from a recent walk about my neighborhood:

Dried fern

Dried fern

Bindweed

Bindweed

Is this yarrow?

Is this yarrow?

Seed heads

Seed heads

Rose hips

Rose hips

Watercolor sketch of rose hips

Watercolor sketch of rose hips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fallen Japanese maple leaf on hydrangea flowers

“Now the last leaves are down, except for the thick, dark leaves of the oak and ghostly beech leaves that click in the breeze, and we’re reduced to a subtler show of color — brown, gray, and buff, perhaps a little purple in the distance, and the black-green of moss, hemlock, and fir.  To my eyes these hues are more beautiful than the garish early autumn with its orange leaves — orange, the color of madness — and leaves the color of blood.  Let hot life retire, grow still:  November’s colors are those of the soul.”
— Jane Kenyon, “Season of Change and Loss”

“As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint, just before they fall, so the year near its setting.  October is its sunset sky; November the later twilight.”
— Henry David Thoreau, “October, or Autumnal Tints”

These photos show the late November color palette in the Pacific Northwest:

Tree-lined driveway at Maplehurst Farm, Skagit Valley

Rose hips

Stewartia pseudocamellia fruit

Stewartia pseudocamillia

Another fallen Japanese maple leaf on hydrangea plant

Fallen Japanese maple leaves on Atlas cedar trunk

Watercolor sketch of oak and maple leaves

 

Red, Red Rose Hips

September 24, 2011

Watercolor sketch of rose hips

Red in Autumn
by Elizabeth Gould from Festivals, Family and Food

Tipperty-toes, the smallest elf,
Sat on a mushroom by himself,
Playing a little tinkling tune
Under the big round harvest moon;
And this is the song that Tipperty made
To sing to the little tune he played.

“Red are the hips, red are the haws,
Red and gold are the leaves that fall,
Red are the poppies in the corn,
Red berries on the rowan tall;
Red is the big round harvest moon,
And red are my new little dancing shoon.”


The Color of March

March 11, 2011

“The color of March in my valley is brown.”
     — Gladys Tabor, Stillmeadow Calendar: A Countryman’s Journal

Looking for browns in the March landscape

Brown is a composite color, a mixture of orange, red, yellow, black and gray.  When I set out to photograph brown things, I was at first disheartened by the soggy, sodden, deadened browns in the landscape.  But when I looked more attentively, I started to see a rich play of colors in every brown object. 

I fell in love with brown all over again.  I’ve always loved brown eyes best. 

Browns in the gutter

Raindrops on grape trellis

Tree bark

Budding branch

Last season's hydrangea

Just look at all of the amazing colors in this rose hip.