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 FirWestern 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 dry location.  The annual rainfal…

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: