Each year for the last five, I have put out a calendar for my family and friends. Here is this year’s calendar which is linked to the Longbranch Chronicles blog. It was a pleasure editing the images that appear in the calendar. It gave me time to reflect on the beauty of my home and the people I call neighbors.
JANUARY — The Morning’s Golden Glow: My morning drive from Longbranch to Tacoma can be rewarding, with the things I see and experience. This picture was taken in the dead of winter (Feb. 6, 2013) with the sun finding a sliver of sky to shine its rays on a misty mountain. Find the blog post here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-eL
FEBRUARY — Ducks in the Snow: Our winters are mild on the banks of the South Sound, more rain and not much snow. So, it makes for a magical moment when the snow falls. Here are two ducks in my neighbor’s pond weathering the wintry snowfall on Dec. 12, 2012.
MARCH — Well Hello Marguerite, or Should I Say Daisy: Spring is near when we start seeing the dewey daises sprout from the damp meadows of Longbranch. I love these flowers. They seem to smile at me, signaling the coming of another new season. This photo was taken March 31, 2013, a few yards up our road. Find the blog post here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-Lu
APRIL — Sheepdogs Go Paw-To-Paw at ‘Ol McDonald’s Farm: Every summer since my lovely bride and I moved to Longbranch we would see along the Key Peninsula Highway signs that read “Sheepdog Trials”. This got me curious about the farm that hosted the herding competition and I vowed to see for myself what all the hubbub was about. This is what I found:
George McDonald has a farm in Longbranch, Wash.
And on his farm — which is 28 acres of grassy meadows with groves of cedar and Douglas fir — he holds sheepdog trials twice a year.
Saturday he had 31 competitors entered in the Top Dog or Advance category.
“It’s a big deal,” said Linda Dejong, of Enumclaw, for handlers who aspire to “make it to the nationals.”
This competition is sanctioned by the U.S. Border Collie Handlers Association, which takes the top 100 dogs from around the country to compete in the national tournament. Handlers accumulate points from different competitions and the trials on McDonald’s farm in Longbranch can send a handler and a dog to Virginia later this year.
Find the rest of the May 25, 2013, blog post here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-1g6
MAY — Patriotic Feeder: It is funny what you notice when you’re just sitting on your arse doing nothing. Our hummingbirds flittered up to the deck to feed and I watch intently only to notice my shoddy housekeeping. Lo and behold, stuck to the bottom of the feeder is a spider web. Today’s honey-do list just got updated. This photo was taken Sept. 7, 2013. Find blog post here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-1Cu
JUNE — Super Moon Wishes, Summer Sunshine Solace: On July 23, 2013, my lovely bride and I watched in awe an enormous moon rising over the rocky outline of Mount Rainier. Watching a full moon rise over Drayton Passage is one of our favorite things. The best times to view the moonrise in Longbranch are in the summer months when our skies are clear and the moon is behind Anderson Island and our mountain. Find the blog post here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-1yh
JULY — ‘Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death!’ … A Little Sunshine Helps: The one thing that has definitely turned out well for me is meeting my lovely bride. She is an all-American gal who grew up in a two-story colonial in Guilford, Connecticut. Her childhood home came with a small pond in the backyard. She is a rebellious hippie broad who, with a few San Miguels in her, might have a saltier mouth than a sailor fresh off the deck of an “estrangjero” anchored on Dumaguete Bay. This photo was taken July 3, 2013, at a Fourth of July barbecue in Buckley, Wash. Find the blog post here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-1v8
AUGUST — A Regal Visitor: A lazy morning turned into a lengthy session of watching a bald eagle getting comfortable on a snag of a madrona tree on our bank. Its calls shrill and melancholy. My lovely bride speculates it is seeking a mate. We both agree the bird is quite a sight. I must confess that it is my lovely bride who spots these majestic raptors for me. I just take the photographs. Here are links to to blog posts on eagles: http://wp.me/p37rAm-1Bl, http://wp.me/p37rAm-sj, http://wp.me/p37rAm-1mo, http://wp.me/p37rAm-SE
SEPTEMBER — Sailing Stalwarts of Filucy Bay: A looming Mount Rainier is a grand backdrop to sailors headed out of the Longbranch Marina. It is a breathtaking sight that surely inspired Edward Yeasell to build a resort on this spot in 1889. Walking the docks of the marina can bring one to imagine the beauty and grandeur that early settlers marveled over. Find the blog post “Longbranch Marina Regatta, Bridge Dedication, Spirited Start of Summer Season” here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-11b
OCTOBER — Happy Birthday Maddee: The goofy golden doodle celebrates her fifth birthday this month. She has been a blessing and a wonderful addition to our family. Our life on the eastern bank of the Key Peninsula would not be as merry without her goofy antics.
NOVEMBER — Key Peninsula optimism, eye candy in a rainbow: We on the Key Peninsula have a lot of things to be thankful for. We live in a beautiful part of the world, our neighbors are respectful and full of grace, and we have a temperate climate that is the envy of others. It is not hyperbole to say we live in paradise, because we do. Find the blog post here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-1K3
DECEMBER — Purdy Bridge An Engineering Gem Under Your Tires: You may not know it, but you are on a historic structure every time you cross the bridge at the Purdy sand spit. Our Peninsula has a colorful and rich history, including the many structures we see each day. Find the blog post here: http://wp.me/p37rAm-oq