Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pass Island and Goose Rock

Tuesday, February 26th was a dry day and we decided to go and see if the Grass Widows were blooming at Pass Island.  They were and we spent the afternoon there and at Goose Rock nearby.  We walked the Deception Pass bridge to Pass Island and when we were finished returned to the south end of the bridge and hiked the half mile trail to the top of Goose Rock.

Pass Island lies in the middle of the waterway between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands and separates Canoe Pass to the north from Deception Pass to the south.  The bridge between the two islands is in two spans which connect in the middle of the waterway on Pass Island.  One can walk the bridge and access Pass Island from the bridge.

These are older pictures of Pass Island and the Deception Pass Bridge, the first taken from Whidbey Island and showing the larger of the two spans with Pass Island the area in the background, the second showing both spans with Pass Island on the right and taken from Cornet Bay area of Deception Pass State Park and looking west our into the San Juan Straits.

It was there we saw one the earliest of our native wildflowers, the Grass Widow, once known as Sisyrinchium douglasii and now reclassified and placed in a genus of its own as Olsynium douglasii.  It is in the Lily family and is native to the Pacific Northwest from British Columbia to California.  Where it gets its name "Grass Widow" I do not know.

There was nothing else in bloom, though the Mahonias (Sea Grape) were budding and should be open soon, but we did get pictures of some of the other plants that grow there (most of these pictures are my wife's, as are some of the others in this post).

Finished exploring Pass Island we headed back south by way of the bridge and climbed Goose Rock, a massive outcrop that lies at the south side of Deception Pass.  There was nothing blooming along the way but we enjoyed the hike and took some pictures of the views at the top (the first with the Olympic Mountains in the background), also of the granite balds and Madrona trees that grow there.


  1. I cannot belive the Grass Widows are up.

    Ilove this littleplace . but so often on the weekend, closer to spring and summer, it is to take your life to make the turn in to the limited parking.

    I got my route guide for my summer vacation ( coast to coast, england) and one of the days legs mentions theabundant prchids along a certain path.

    so excited.

    but shoot and darn you make me want toplay hooky from work tomorrow. weather in the upper 50s so they say.

    I was thinking of Washington Park this weekend.

    1. They are up and in full bloom, though a bit early I'd say. Not many people around either. We played hooky Tuesday and then went out for a nice dinner after, but now you talk about Washington Park and you've gotten me all excited about that place.

      By the way the Lomatiums were just starting to bloom and the Sea Grapes also. Early spring this year. There were buds on some of the Madronas also.

  2. Wonderfully picturesque location... Beautiful wildflowers =)


    1. Thanks, Fizzie, for taking the time to look and comment. This is really a beautiful place, but a popular tourist location as well.


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