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Posts Tagged ‘Baby Island’

Monday, 25 April 2016

Allan’s day

Monday was sunny, windy, and had an incoming tide all afternoon. A good sailing day I opined. Skyler didn’t need anything that couldn’t wait, our friends at Sea Star Gardening were working hard pruning a hedge two doors down. I checked and they didn’t need to borrow a ladder or gas or oil, it’s a lazy 1 PM.  Off I went to:

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only 15 minutes from Ilwaco

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There is a trail and many things to see if you visit their FB page here

Daydreamily I unloaded the boat wrong, breaking off the rudder, but the manufacture anticipated this by including spare break-away pins. All I had to do was look friendly/busy while I repaired it in front of some tourists. We do these things to be the local color sometimes.

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I piled everything in

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Here is the 25 mph curve. There is one other rig with a boat trailer. It looks to be a quiet day on the bay.

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fishermen at work

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leaving their wake to splash through

The plan was to see how far I could go around the south end of Long Island, or maybe hug the coast and head south into the wind.

to baby island

The power or paddle boat route to Baby Island is about two miles.

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The crooked sailboat route adds about a mile.

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The wind was brisk so I stayed along the coast highway. Baby Island kept getting closer so I went for it.

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The water is more calm around the spit on the left.

Here is an 8 second  YouTube video of the sound of the beach

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landing on a deserted island

 

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On the beach were plenty of  little sea beans. We’ve had them sometimes at the Cove and the Depot. They’re salty and lightly crunchy.

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calm water and a rope, just to be sure. It’s only 4:20 and there is time to hike the whole  island.

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a little bit of beach clean up

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I think that is an old bird nest

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silverleaf growing on the beach

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a fungi about a foot across

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the island’s interior is steep and heavily grown over

According to the book: ‘Coast Country: A History of Southwest Washington’, “…Baby Island is formerly the scene of Indian canoe burials…”

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a trillium

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a stormy life has shaped this cedar

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After a casual ten minute walkaround, a reassuring sight to see.

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Baby Island up close, receding

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This trip I noticed an inlet into Long Island. It’s across from the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge,  just north of the concrete ramp on the island.

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looking back from the interior of the island

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There are still pilings from the days when this island was logged. I didn’t spot the campsite (it’s on another inlet), and I still haven’t landed on Long Island. I did spot an elk after wondering what or who was crashing about in the trees.

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Here’s the boat landing. In the words of Chuck Yeager: “If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you can use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.”

Nobody let me use their airplane the next day.

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That night we had fresh sea beans, Skyler’s favourite vegetable, with dinner

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Almost eight miles an hour sometimes…pretty fun!

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Thursday, 17 October, 2013

I was ever so thrilled as we were driving up Sandridge Road in the fog, heading for the hydrangea job and thinking that the fog over the bay would be a great visual drama like yesterday!

11:14 AM: fog along Sandridge Road

11:14 AM: fog along Sandridge Road

But the sun beat us to the bay and the Willapa Hills were already making an appearance as we carried our tools around the house to the field.

11:29 AM

11:29 AM

11:29 AM

11:29 AM

Returning to the van for a forgotten water bottle, I looked for that Eucalyptus on the neighbouring property (the one with the very old farmhouse) and realized I can see it from the parking area near the stone wall. It is huge, towering far overhead.

the eucalyptus next door

the eucalyptus next door

With tools gathered, we headed to the guest house area of the hydrangea field to finish the pruning. I don’t think I had ever seen the lights on in the covered walkway between garage and guesthouse. But, oh, that ivy has got to go…What a heavy weight it adds to the feeling of the walkway.

bad ivy, beautiful lights

bad ivy, beautiful lights

I picture a combination of hellebores and maybe hardy fuchsias (for summer colour) where the sheet of ivy is now between main house and garage:

ivy

ivy bed must go!

Ivy removal is the only design change I would dream of making to the garden as it is now.

11:47 AM: view from the deck

11:47 AM: view from the deck with a mountain of clippings…one of four such piles.

Noon:  Sadly, Allan's iPhone camera did not get this little frog in focus as it appeared to watch the house from atop a pruned hydrangea.

Noon: Sadly, Allan’s iPhone camera did not get this little frog in focus as it appeared to watch the house from atop a pruned hydrangea.

snake

Allan also found a garter snake sunning on the deck right next to his pile of tools!

12:33 PM:  view from below the guest house deck

12:33 PM: view from below the guest house deck

Baby Island appears but without the clear definition of yesterday.

12:33 PM Baby Island appears but without the clear definition of yesterday.

Just after 12:30, I felt I could not take the hot blazing sun anymore on the work area near the guest house.

64 degrees Farenheit!!

64 degrees Fahrenheit!!

I found four hydrangeas to prune in the shade, and then abandoned Allan an hour later, hoping that he could finish what looked like about five more from my vantage point (and rake up the debris), and I fled to the cool azalea patch on the west side of the house.

1:24 PM: azalea entry garden

1:24 PM: azalea entry garden

I had every intention of getting the azalea patch pruned immediately. However, one glance lured me in to the enclosed courtyard where, on the first day, Lisa had reminded me of a water feature that had become hidden.

1:31 PM and 2:44 PM

1:31 PM and 2:44 PM

I lightened up a leatherleaf viburnum behind the gate

I lightened up a leatherleaf viburnum behind the gate

before and after

There was a bad maple sprout coming from the trunk of the Japanese maple.

And salal was creeping under the fence and muddying the definition of the garden.

The little Japanese style cover protects the workings of the bamboo fountain and there is a tank underground to store the water that drips into the bowl. I look forward to seeing it in action.

water bowl and fountain

water bowl and fountain

Bill Clearman, who had originally designed this area, arrived when I was about to start pruning the golden weeping maple and I asked him how far back it was intended to go. I don’t think I would have had the gumption to take it as far back as I did without his input. Now the water bowl shows off better. Lisa herself arrived just as I was pouring water in the bowl; it had not shown at all before. She asked me out of curiosity how long the pruning had taken; I said half an hour. Time had moved quickly because iPhoto tells me it was a little over an hour instead!

I entered the kitchen to refill my water bottles and take some proffered chocolate treats. Bill came in his full regalia to show Lisa a design plan for the mailbox. Nothing could suit the builder of this Japanese house more…

Bill and Lisa

Bill and Lisa

I could see trouble from the kitchen window: Allan still had far too many hydrangeas to prune, and since some of them were now in shade, I returned to help him.

3:11 PM:  Oh NO, still to do!!

3:11 PM: Oh NO, still to do!!

I pruned them in a frenzy, finishing at 4:12, and had my sandwich as a reward. Earlier, Maddy had found Allan’s sandwich and consumed a third of it before I had heard Lisa shouting “No! No no no no NO!” (Lisa made Allan a very nice ham and cheese sandwich after that.) Maddy clearly was hoping for more from MY lunch…and I gave her a couple of small animal cookies because I do like her so very much.

4:15: Maddy, hoping

4:15: Maddy, hoping

view from below the guest house, 4:17 PM

view from below the guest house, 4:17 PM

And the hydrangeas are done! Allan did the last of the raking up and I returned to the azaleas. First, I had to walk around to enjoy the view of the south end of the field of 275 pruned hydrangeas.

done!

done!

Earlier this week, I got a message from Sydney Stevens, local historian, author and daily blogger at Oysterville Daybook:

“I was so glad to read that you are working on the hydrangea garden. Betty Schmidt was a good friend of my mother’s and we visited her many times during the construction *yay Bill Clearman!) of the house and later when all was said and done. She spent hours and hours among her beloved hydrangeas. Somehere I have one off her Christmas cards with the hydrangeas at their height. It warms my cockles to know that they are getting some TLC from you!”

At 4:30, I got started at last on the azalea patch and was joined shortly before 5:00 by Allan. I’ll regale you with some befores and afters:

4:30 and 6:14 PM

4:30 and 6:14 PM

before and after

before and after

before and after

The idea is to cloud prune it so that it flows in the mounded naturalistic fashion with no poky bits coming up.

5:58 PM:  While we worked, Maddy was Zen Dog in the Zen Garden.

5:58 PM: While we worked, Maddy was Zen Dog in the Zen Garden.

The azalea pruning is a persnickety job that could go on and on for hours, grabbing uppy bits and pruning them down to tight green foliage so no stub shows, but not too low because it is dark and dead looking underneath, and one has to bend at an odd angle to do it. I could just fuss over them for far longer, but what we did will do till after they bloom with a haze of bright red flowers next spring.

azalea foliage

azalea foliage

I had also done some pruning on the path running east to the hydrangea field, next to the little fenced courtyard, lightening up some rhodo and redwood and cherry tree branches that were poking into the path.

1:25 and 6:15

1:25 and 6:15

We loaded the trailer with all the azalea debris. Maddy trotted around trying to understand what was up! The four huge piles of hydrangea debris on the other side of the house will be removed by someone with a truck that can get down there.

loading

6:10 PM loading

I gathered a few tools and took a gander at the moonrise.

6:10 PM

6:10 PM

low tide

low tide

face

And then….the pruning job was done. And we went to sit with Lisa on the deck for some beer and chips.

I have worked at a number of jobs along the bay over the last twenty years, starting with a garden at the end of the Harborview Motel street just north of Nahcotta, with a view of the Port of Nahcotta to the south…and just down from that, the Schisler garden, and a few blocks north of that, a garden on a high bank over the bay. I’ve worked at two bay view gardens almost as far north as Oysterville, and one in Oysterville itself. And I spent many an hour at Laurie’s garden not terribly far north of the hydrangea field. But none of them had a view that I like as well as the view from Lisa and Buzz’s new home. What makes it for me is the frame of big trees, Long Island to the north, the hydrangeas (of course!) in the foreground, the long plank walk out to a little dock, the many and varied birds on the tideflats, and most especially that darling Baby Island right across the bay.

6:33 PM from a deck chair...

6:33 PM from a deck chair…

6:40 PM

6:40 PM

7:03 PM:  moon path on the water

7:03 PM: moon path on the water

Tomorrow: Work life gets back to normal and we will try to do a check on all of the resort gardens…and if we don’t make it to all, we will finish on Saturday.

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Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013

11:15 AM

11:15 AM:  The bay is missing in the view due to fog

11:15 AM:  the bay is missing from view due to fog

I asked Allan if he could chop down the Scotch broom by the first debris pile.

We had arrived at the hydrangea estate a little earlier than usual so I took the time to nose around the next door property by a derelict old farmhouse reached by a narrow path through vinca (such an invasive, once planted by someone and now gone mad on the woodsy floor).  The foggy air made for a good photo opportunity.

Vinca path to the old house

Vinca path to the old house

derelict

old farmhouse

old farmhouse

once upon a time....a rhodo next to a farmhouse

once upon a time….a rhodo next to a farmhouse

The huge lot on which this abandoned house sits was once planted with all sorts of interesting trees.

There is also (not shown) a huge eucalyptus.

There is also (not shown) a huge eucalyptus.

wisteria clambering to the top of trees

wisteria clambering to the top of trees

I had hoped the cool, delicious fog would last all day, but as I headed back toward the hydrangea field, the sun emerged.

tree with huge fallen limb

11:29 AM:  tree with huge fallen limb

vinca taking over

vinca taking over

I am awfully glad that vinca is not on Lisa and Buzz’s property!  (as far as I know now.)

11:31:  Allan had dealt with the Scotch broom while I frittered away 15 minutes.

11:31: Allan had dealt with the Scotch broom while I frittered away 15 minutes.

the field....

the field….

I still say I would have cut them lower but then if they did not bloom next year, I would feel bad indeed!

11:32 AM:  The bay in fog.

11:32 AM: The bay in fog.

The foggy mood was so enticing that I frittered away a bit more time taking photos.

high tide in the marsh grass

high tide in the marsh grass

There is an illusion that floating birds are higher in the air than me.

There is an illusion that two floating birds are higher in the air than me.

old dock in the fog

old dock in the fog

mesmerized by lapping, marshy water

mesmerized by lapping, marshy water

11:35 AM: fog starts to lift and the Willapa Hills peek out.

11:35 AM: fog starts to lift and the Willapa Hills peek out.

beside the green road

beside the green road

looking back at the house; Allan is working industriously

looking back at the house; Allan is working industriously

I would love to walk the plank walk all the way to the end...but should work...

I would love to walk the plank walk all the way to the end…but should work…

The plank walk might have a hole in it, for all I know, or a loose board, so I had better not risk it.

to the side....

to the side….

11:39: lifting fog

11:39 AM: lifting fog

11:40 AM, in the hydrangea field at last

11:40 AM, in the hydrangea field at last

The foggy views were more distracting than the usual ebb and flow of the tide, but as I had my camera in my pocket it did not take much time to record the changes.

11:46 AM

11:46 AM

11:58 AM

11:58 AM

11:58 AM

11:58 AM, the fog was higher further to the north

11:58 AM: looking straight across the bay

11:58 AM: looking straight across the bay

12:18 AM:  Baby Island emerges right across the bay

12:18 AM: Baby Island emerges right across the bay

pretty little Baby Island

pretty little Baby Island

12:20 AM: Long Island

12:20 AM: Long Island

12:32 AM, about to tackle some hydrangeas much taller than me...

12:32 AM, about to tackle some hydrangeas much taller than me…

and admiring the architecture of the house

and admiring the architecture of the house

12:41 AM...too hot!!!

12:41 AM…too hot!!! over 60 degrees!!  When will the sun go behind those trees??

12:45 PM:  found some blessed shade over by the guest house and started pruning the shady  hydrangeas.

12:45 PM: found some blessed shade over by the guest house and started pruning the shady
hydrangeas instead.

deck view, still with many unpruned and very tall hydrangeas

deck view, still with many unpruned and very tall hydrangeas

pretty: little ferns among the rocks by the stairs from the deck...

pretty: little deer ferns among the rocks by the stairs from the deck…

baby ferns

 

1:04 PM:  as I prune my way to the south, I see light at the end of the tunnel!

1:04 PM: as I prune my way to the south, I see light at the end of the tunnel!

1:51 PM:  Allan alerts me to the presence of a cute little Pacific Tree Frog

1:51 PM: Allan alerts me to the presence of a cute little Pacific Tree Frog

and a much smaller garter snake that had been chasing the frog!

and a much smaller garter snake that had been chasing the frog!

I wish the snakes would stick to eating slugs and leave the frogs alone.

2:06 PM: a glorious moment:  At last I break on through to the other side!

2:06 PM: a glorious moment: At last I break on through to the other side!

2:22 PM: a clear way through

2:22 PM: a clear way through

looking back where hydrangeas towered overhead this morning.

looking back where hydrangeas towered overhead this morning.

2:24 PM:  still do to between us and the green road

2:24 PM: still to do between us and the green road

2:43 PM:  I discover a mossy birdnest

2:43 PM: I discover a mossy bird nest

Oddly, this is only the second bird nest we found.  Maybe the hydrangeas had gotten too overgrown for the birds’ liking?

4:11 PM: the lower field is clear!

4:11 PM: the lower field is clear!

4:15 PM:  Maddy wanders through the field looking sad.

4:15 PM: Maddy wanders through the field looking sad.

I wonder if she was remembering tree-like hydrangeas that made a secret world of green shady tunnels just yesterday…

4:22 PM:  looking south from the north end of the field

4:22 PM: looking south from the north end of the field

Allan started at the south end raking the debris and cutting any whippy low side growth that had been missed.  As the debris piles up, it is hard to see what is going on sometimes.

4:22 PM:  hydrangeas still to do by the guesthouse

4:22 PM: hydrangeas still to do by the guesthouse

looking east from below the guest house deck

looking east from below the guest house deck

5:12 PM: a heron (crane?) flies by squawking

5:12 PM: a heron (crane?) flies by squawking

5:42: the tide is out

5:42: the tide is out

Would I ever stop noticing the tides if I lived on the bay?

5:51 PM:  Allan pulls out a maple taller than him by the guesthouse.

5:51 PM: Allan pulls out a maple taller than him by the guesthouse.

It had reseeded….as many and many are trying to do…from the big maple way at the other side of the house.

6:15 PM:  looking south!

6:15 PM: looking south!  That big maple is catching the light, past the field

Above, you can see Allan raking where this morning the shrubs towered as tall as the deck.  The north end still needs lots of debris removal.

still do do by the guest house...20-25 more

still do do by the guest house…20-25 more

We will bring this job in at the time I estimated and in fact, I might even have time tomorrow to get started on the azaleas on the west side of the house!

I am filled with joy.  Five days ago it seemed insurmountable.

October 12th, October 16th

October 12th, October 16th

6:20 PM

6:20 PM

disheartening view of approximately 200 hydrangeas to go!

October 13th

6:20 PM today

6:20 PM today

Allan's photos today:  11:25 and 4:18

Allan’s photos today: 11:25 and 4:18, looking southeast

11:25 and 4:18 looking northeast

11:25 and 4:18 looking northeast

6:25 PM:  Maddy on the deck

6:25 PM: Maddy on the deck

coming to the railing to get some love

coming to the railing to get some love

 

 

 

6:29 PM:  view looking northeast

6:29 PM today: view looking northeast

6:30 PM: we depart

6:30 PM: we depart

7 PM at home:  There's a moon in the sky (called the moon).

7 PM at home: There’s a moon in the sky (called the moon).

Tomorrow:  20 or so more hydrangeas to prune, the rest of the field to rake and clean up, and just maybe, the cloud pruning of an azalea patch that is much much smaller than the hydrangea field!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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