The last month or so I've felt a bit like a caged beast. The weather has been lousy, cold and rainy, and it will be a long time before the mountains are clear of snow (the North Cascades Highway has 60 feet of snow covering it in places and will probably not be opened until some time in May). There has been almost no opportunity to hike and little incentive to do so with the weather.
I was a bit lonely also. My wife is in Michigan - went to see her mother before she died and stayed for the funeral and to help one of our daughters who had a baby last week. Edward, our youngest son, is very busy with school and work, and gone from 8:00 am to nearly 8:00 pm, so it was a good day to get out and do some exploring.
The weather report today (Thursday, April 7) was for sunshine, so I headed south for the Mount Vernon and Anacortes area. I drove around the tulip and daffodil fields near Mount Vernon, but even the daffodils are not yet at their peak and the sky was cloudy and threatening. So, after stopping for a few pictures, I drove on to the city of Anacortes on Fidalgo Island and to Washington Park just west of the city.
After driving through the park and stopping for some pictures, I parked the car and headed for the trails, just wandering around and letting my fancy take me where it would. I could almost feel the frustration and tension melting away and by the time I was finished for the day, I had to make sure I stayed awake while driving home, dawdling along the scenic route through the Chuckanuts and the town of Bellingham.
Fairy Slipper (Calypso bulbosa)
While wandering on the trails, there seemed to be very little in bloom and little to photograph, but I was enjoying the walk and did not mind. When I finally found my way to the west side of the park I began to find some things of interest, a patch of Fairy Slipper orchids just coming into bloom, a large slug, and then on the sunny west slopes, some of the first wildflowers.
Spent quite a bit of time photographing the flowers and enjoying the sunshine and then wandered back along the trails to the parking lot and my vehicle. That part of the island was especially beautiful with the native Madrone trees scattered on the rocky coast, the other San Juan Islands in the distance and the shipping out in Puget Sound around the islands.
Before heading home, however, I stopped in one of the picnic areas in Washington Park to eat a late lunch that I had purchased earlier in the day, a turkey, ham and cranberry sandwich with tomato and lettuce, a bottle of Pitch Black (brand name) IPA, and a few squares of organic dark chocolate, all purchased at one of our favorite stops in the Skagit Valley, the Rexville Grocery and sandwich shop.