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Showing posts from March, 2011

A Day at the Park:  The Bridge at Deception Pass

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After a very long winter, the sun came out on March 23rd.  This beautiful day was a perfect excuse to visit one of my favorite places, Washington's Deception Pass State Park.  From my home on South Fidalgo Island, it is only a 10 minute drive away.  The park straddles both sides of Deception Pass with sections on Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands.  From the parking lot at Bowman Bay, I hiked the trails to Lighthouse Point and to Rosario Beach.  The visit continued to the top of Rosario Head.  Before heading home, I decided to make a quick stop at the bridge to catch some shots in the sunny weather.  You may have noticed that an image of this local icon appears in the header of this blog.

The Deception Pass Bridge connects Fidalgo to Whidbey Island along State Highway 20.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  There are actually two spans situated at an angle.  Between the spans is Pass Island, basically a big rock near the middle of the pass.  The shorter span over…

A Day at the Park:  Rosario Head Part 2

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We continue exploring Rosario Head at Deception Pass State Park.  In the last post, we arrived at Rosario Beach via the Rosario-Bowman Bay Nature Trail.  Beyond the Samish story pole are two trails that lead to the top of Rosario Head.  There is a sign on the left trail warning of danger.  This is puzzling to me since there is actually less danger here than we have already encountered.  Perhaps there was an accident and the sign was put up in response.  From high above the water there are stunning views of Whidbey Island, the Olympic Mountains and the San Juan Islands.  Best come in early morning to photograph the mountains.  Exposed volcanic rocks dot the waterways all around this viewpoint.  In the photo, these will be nesting sites for seabirds and are off-limits to visitors.  On the horizon are the San Juan Islands.


The trees up here reveal the stresses on this exposed headland.  It is built of solid stone with very little soil on top.  The iconic Douglas Fir on the left has been…

A Day at the Park:  Rosario Head Part 1

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It is still March 23rd which delivered this beautiful, sunny day.  We continue exploring the nature trails around Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park.  This time, the destination is Rosario Head.  We set off heading north from the parking lot and cross the picnic grounds.  The park was built in the 1930's by men of the Civilian Conservation Corps.  The CCC Interpretive Center is housed in a building that formerly served as a bathhouse and comfort station for CCC workers.  Today, the lawns here were sparkling with little white flowers.


The lawn weeds are English Daisy (Bellis perennis) which are not natives.  They were introduced from Europe.  Man, those English really spread their seeds around the planet, didn't they?  According to Pojar, the word daisy is derived from "day's eye" or "eye of the day," because the blossoms open and close in changing daylight.


Continue across the picnic grounds close to the shoreline to pick up the Rosario-Bowman Bay…

A Day at the Park:  Lighthouse Point

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After weeks of cold, damp and gloomy weather, spring arrived and the sun came out on March 23rd.  It was a perfect day to visit Deception Pass State Park.  Three stops were on the agenda.  Lighthouse Point which we'll cover today, Rosario Head and the the Deception Pass bridge.  From the parking lot at Bowman Bay, I set off south on the Lighthouse Point Trail that starts at the fishing dock.  I was seen off by this fellow, a Northwestern Crow (Corvus caurinus).  These are corvids that can also be classed as shorebirds.  They are a bit smaller than the American Crow and are found exclusively at the beach where they make their living.  In fact, spotting a small, slender corvid at the beach is considered an identifying characteristic of the Northwestern Crow.


The trail begins by following the shoreline towards the tree-covered landmass in the background.  It is connected to Fidalgo Island by a tombolo, basically a sand bar slowly built up over time.  The tombolo now separates Bowman…