Bloedel Reserve’s Natural Wild Flowers

One of the main reasons I like Bloedel Reserve is that there are several areas where you find native plants in their natural setting. Though not as spectacular as most imported species, they have their own charm.

Bluebells (I think) line the meadows.

Hundreds of buttercups hang out in the shade on the edge of the forest,

while bleeding hearts are found throughout the native forest.

Not sure what this plant is, but it manages to grow deeper in the woods than any other “flower.”

Unexpected is Good, Right?

Getting a great shot of a bird that you often see is fulfilling, but getting a not-so-great shot of a Double-Crested Cormorant in breeding colors

is almost as exciting. I see these kinds of cormorants quite often, but I don’t think I have ever seen them in breeding plumage before. If I have seen them in breeding plumage before, it’s never been close enough to see the crests or the odd coloring on the beak.

One reason I return to Westport often is that I am apt to see birds there that I’ve never seen elsewhere. I think I have seen a Pacific Loon

once or twice before, but it’s always a treat, even if it is too far away to get a good shot and the sun is behind it instead of behind me.

At first this was “dismissed” as a very distant Common Loon, but the round head convinced me that it was something else. After waiting around for nearly a half hour it came close enough to get a shot of the distinctive stripes on the neck.

The neck should definitely be gray, not black, either the result of shadows or changes from winter plumage to breeding plumage.

Back to the Grind

So, what do you do after a week-long trip to Hawaii if you get tired of sitting at your computer processing shots you’ve taken? If you’ve managed to bring the sunshine back with you, like we apparently did, then you head out Sunday to Theler Wetlands to see what has changed since you were last there.

We discovered that a few Barn Swallows

have joined the Tree Swallows

on the boardwalk railing.

There’s at least one Great Blue Heron that hasn’t started nesting yet.

When we checked the Port Orchard marina we discovered a single Horned Grebe in breeding colors

despite my fear they would all be gone before we got back again.


When I think of of Maui I remember ocean, and ocean is about as hard to capture through photographs as Space is. If the island of Maui is Yang, the ocean is its Yin; the two are inseparable.

Nakalele Blowhole is one of the most photogenic points where the two meet.

I’ve spent much of my life trying to capture the beauty where shore, ocean, and light converge. Knowing I can never really do it just makes me keep trying, and Hawaii was certainly a great place to try again

and again.