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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Fort Worden Walk – A Soft Day

I needed a hike today but didn’t want to drive. Fort Worden is a gem of a state park.   It’s unusually warm out.  I wore no jacket. It’s January. Odd.  Gray and moody out, I remember a former patient calling such days “soft days,” a perfect description.

Strong winds stirred up the air today. This was especially noted from the top of the bluff looking over the Fort’s buildings and Hudson Point. That’s Port Townsend Bay to the point’s  right.

I had the trails to myself. The trees were fine company.  No one walked past me. Sometimes I like that.

Moss accelerates reclamation.

There are Batteries up here which I do not enter. They are dark and damp.

This little spot is a favorite of mine.  Old, abandoned apple trees line the edge of the woods.  I’ve seen deer standing on their hind legs foraging fruit.  Today I watched a hummingbird, I think it was a Rufous male, perching and singing on the tree in the foreground.   Audubon’s web site, BTW, has a great search feature and will play recorded bird calls.  Here’s the one for the Rufous.

Grey skies make a fine foil for red rose hips and stems.

Leaf buds. Can you believe it?  This is what I mean about weird weather. I saw rhody blooms in town the other day and my crocus and daffodil bulbs and well as garlic are sending up shoots/scapes.

Wee little greens carpet the ground.

Lichen fallen to the ground.

Blurry as I zoomed in too much – you can see the wind licking up waves. The weather felt wild today.  Sitting at home while writing this,  the wind still whips outside.  Here’s the Point Wilson lighthouse, Whidby Island across the way.

A wealth of beautiful places to walk lured me here. Later this week I’ll get up high to snowshoe.

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Frosty AM AND A sunny Walk

A hard frost iced up my garden for the first time Saturday morning.
This hardy kale shook it off and said, “Is that all you’ve got?  Bring it on!”



The sun came out and melted all of that away. I met a friend at the farmers market for coffee, some shopping and a walk in local Fort Worden State Park. Check out the aerial photo on the link’s page. Here, one can take in views galore.

A meadow by the lagoon leads to North Beach.

Across the Strait lie the San Juan Islands.

Mt. Bakers looms behind the pretty lighthouse.

Crystal clear, Baker and the Cascades poke up behind Whidbey Island.

Marine trafic headed for Puget Sound and the Keystone ferry:

In this park, one can stroll along bluffs, the beach or under large, bright green foliage.  It was a glorious day!

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Winter Walking – Pre-Snow – In Fort Worden

A friend from way-back visited over Thanksgiving.  The bone-chilling cold and snow thankfully arrived the day of his departure and not earlier.  A walk on the beach and in the trees was on his request list.  A trip to local Fort Worden State Park we took.

Starting on the beach we wound around Point Wilson and its sea-wall, past the lighthouse.



That might be Mount Constitution on Orcas Island in the middle of the photo below, behind the red buoy.  Not sure.  I’m guessing. Thick clouds gave way to a sliver of light on the horizon. It was beautiful.



The tide was too high for my usual full loop down to North Beach, up over the bluff and back.



I’ve noticed gray days make an excellent foil for bright colors such as these rose hips.



It rained buckets that AM, nixing our plans to visit the high mountains.  The clouds held off and allowed us a precip-free walk.




Up top, the old forts’ buildings spread out below.  The point in front is Hudson Point. Around its corner is Port Townsend Bay and the town itself.  Mystery Bay is the the bay straight ahead separating Indian Island and Marrowstone Island.



So many lovely hiking trails so close to home.