The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

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The Fort Worden Rhododendron Garden

Each spring, the rhododendron garden at Fort Worden State Park  becomes a welcomed and much anticipated oasis of color. There are some monstrous rhododendron specimens and some new. I it was developed in 1986. 1200 species of rhodies call it home.  It makes for a lovely lunch break stop on a work day.

There’s a well thought out distribution of bloom times.  Some plants are now dropping their flowers and some have buds that are closed up tightly.  Smaller, newer plantings are in place to replace the older as they die off and also fill in spaces and the edges.

Moving to the Pacific Northwest introduced me to the delicious variety of rhododendrons. The scent grabbed my nose, leading me through.

Enjoy! There are a lot of photos –



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A lovely walk at Anderson Lake State Park

Fall is here. Thank goodness! It’s my favorite season. Gone are the dry, hot days.  I celebrated with a stroll through a local state park that is one of my favorite retreats.

I noticed further out west the other day, towards Port Angeles the maples are changing to yellow. Here, more east, it’s just barely starting. A few yellow leaves lay scattered on the forest floor. This park has grand, noble maples under which I often stand and gawk.

The lake’s been closed to use due to a toxic algae bloom, a shame as it would make for a lovely, quiet paddle. Instead, I enjoy reflections and on this day, cormorant and heron activity from the shore.

This spider built a large web across the trail. I managed a limbo underneath to spare it.

The quiet enclosure of trees was just what I needed.

I’ll bring you golden leaved photos when able—


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Farm Tour day one

It’s farm tour weekend here in Jefferson County, WA.  Sat., day one, was rainy and cool. We visited a couple places within stone’s throw of home.

Wilderbee Farm is a lovely little place that grows and sells lavender, blueberries, u-cut flowers, and pumpkins for the fall and is now building a building for making and selling mead.  They have many hives on the property as well as hens and sheep.  Their gift shop is a great stop for lavender-infused products and wood-craft gifts. Check out their website for sun infused photos.

These are a rare breed of sheep called British Soay. They originated in an archipelago of islands in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. This remote place protected their genetics.  It’s thought they are relatives of man’s first domesticated sheep.  They are sturdy, hardy, agile and great mothers. Interestingly, they molt in the spring and their fleece is hand plucked, not shorn. They also lack a flocking instinct and will scatter if herding dogs attempt their duties.

Rams and Ewes have horns.



We noted an extra squawky hen carrying on.  One of the owners declared her a Bantam and suggested we avoid them if considering backyard hens.  He instead recommended Buff Orpington as they are docile and very quiet.

Chicks might be on the agenda in this household this spring…heads up!


The setting is lovely!


Do  stop in if you are in the area.


Next stop was Rosebud Ranch, literally through the woods from home.  The raise Alpacas.

Tucked into the trees is a pretty little farm. I can’t find a dedicated website but you can reach the owner via this information.


Here you see a few alpacas being guarded by their lone Llama second from the right. She is a diligent supervisor and protects the flock from intruders.



Alpacas are adorable, fuzzy things that make very warm fiber.



An exhibitor spun in a tent of her wares.  On site they had woven blankets and rugs, yarn  and a blacksmith with beautiful items for sale. Having a huge trip coming up, I refrained from spending.

Tomorrow we’ll visit our favorite farmers market vendors, Max and Chris from Onatrue Farm here in town.

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A fall walk – Anderson Lake State Park

Fall arrived and I am a happy girl. My favorite season, hands down,  our maritime climate allows a lingering fall.

In search of fall color I walked at a local state park, Anderson Lake, one I frequent.  It’s quiet. It’s rare to see anyone else while there. Sometimes I really need that.

The autumnal light’s hanging low theses days, casting a calm glow.



It’s a beautiful time of year.


Setting out after 5, I was conscientious of the fading light.  I approached the upper loop I usually favor for its huge maples.  No light filtered through the trees up there, it was d-a-r-k.  I closed my loop on the trail that encompasses the lake for it’s exposure to the sun.

I rather like examining the banks of the lake. Low-hanging trees and water plants provide habitat for many critters. Usually there are herons to watch. I saw none today.  I also looked for the parasitic  ground cones and Indian Pipe plants but cool nights must have sent them back into the ground from which they came.


Fall color can be spotted in the profusion of rosehips.

Like rubies they glow.


Big Leaf Maples are just starting to brown at the edges. Some of the smaller saplings are more decisive in their change to yellow.

The intersection of the Quimper and Cascade Trail marks some of my favorite specimens.  I stand and gawk upwards each time I pass.

With minimal light at this hour, you see just black tracings. Peek at this post for more revealing photos.

Such grand, primeval-looking trees.



The Indian Plum shrubs sport a peppering of yellow leaves.

The Memorial Trail has tunnels of them that glow. Note that due to the waning light I couldn’t capture the true haze of gold I saw.


As more fall gold appears I’ll do my best to share.



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Jefferson County Fair-Flowers, Stuff in Jars and Textiles

Plates and plates of fruits and veggies and vases of flowers filled a building.  Maybe someday  I’ll be an exhibitor? I think it’s a pretty neat concept, the judging of produce and such.

Prize apples:


Just one of several stands of  in jars. Note the lighting used? It made glowing gems of the jars.


And it wouldn’t be a fair be such without the largest zucchini contest? I forget the weights. They were huge!


Punchy dahlias.


The textiles building I saved for last. I was impresed by the variety of quilts. Some were traditional.


Some not. Here, detail of a very contemporary piece by a local gal I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.


Note the combination of hand and machine quilting.


Woven items:




Knit and crocheted items. I enjoyed the variety of items exhibited from simple potholders to fine, lace shawls.


I haven’t entered an item in a county fair since high school. Maybe it’s time I revisit that notion for next year?