Showing posts from April, 2012

Gardens of Kukutali

For Earth Day, let's look at a very tiny piece of the earth.  I recently paid a return visit to the Kukutali Preserve , now a part of Deception Pass State Park .  Recall that it is a protected area in Skagit Bay that is owned jointly by the State of Washington and the Swinomish Tribal Community.  The Preserve includes Kiket and Flagstaff Islands , a rare pocket estuary, salt marsh and a connected property on Fidalgo Island. From Fidalgo, visitors access Kiket Island by foot on a roadway over the tombolo . The road crosses the island through a mature forest of Douglas Fir , Grand Fir ,  Western Redcedar , Western Hemlock , Bigleaf Maple , Pacific Madrona and Red Alder .  The observant visitor might also spot a rare Pacific Yew ( Taxus brevifolia ), the original source of the cancer drug Taxol. In a small meadow on a stone outcrop just off the road, we spotted the sporophytes of Awned Haircap Moss ( Polytrichum piliferum ).  Unlike many mosses, this one prefers a

Skywatch Friday: Finally Spring

After months of La Niña gloom, wet and cold, this is the South Fidalgo Island view I remember.  On the last day of March, the same scene looked like this: