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Posts Tagged ‘Long Beach Razor Clam Festival’

Saturday 19 April 2014

After the beach clean up and a drive to Long Beach in the pouring rain, we parked in the east parking lots and as we got out of our vehicle, the rain stopped.  A half a block walk took us to the Fifth Street Park frying pan and clam sculpture and there we found the Cosmic Bombshells posing bravely in the chilly air.

Cosmic Bombshells

Cosmic Bombshells

bombshell

The streets were crowded with tourists and locals, many looking damp from the downpour that had just ended.  Most were converging upon the park for the dedication of the World’s Largest Spitting Clam sculpture, now working again after years of not spitting.  For probably the last time, I have to post the poignant letter that my dear friend Montana Mary wrote after a visit to Long Beach in 1997.

Mary's letter in the Chinook Observer

Mary’s letter in the Chinook Observer

and today...the clam will squirt again.

and today…the clam will squirt again.

Our flower bed closest to the clam had retained some bright colours through the storm.

Our flower bed closest to the clam had retained some bright colours through the storm.

windblown tulips

windblown tulips

Cosmic Bombshells warming up.

Cosmic Bombshells warming up.

little dogs in the audience

little dogs in the audience

the crowd awaits

the crowd awaits

The Bombshells hold the ribbon.

The Bombshells hold the ribbon, and crew member Rick Fitzgerald waits to activate the clam.

sign

The Mayor made a speech and then asked young Avery to help cut the ribbon.

Avery about to cut the ribbon

Avery about to cut the ribbon

cutting

And it is done.

And it is done.

itisdone

Some folks had a jolly time putting quarters in the brand new machine and making the clam squirt for photo opportunities.

umbrella

park2

Across the street, people enjoyed the northwest quadrant of the park.

After a little while, we walked a block north toward Veterans Field to see a clam fritter fry-up in one of the town’s giant frying pans.

I found some dead narcissi flowers despite all our efforts to achieve perfection yesterday.  Fortunately, I had clippers in my pocket (which I had already used to deadhead some wind-shattered tulips in Fifth Street Park). Many, but not all, flowers had held up well.

planters

Tulips Princess Irene and China Town

Tulip viridiflora 'China Town' in front of the carousel

Tulip viridiflora ‘China Town’

From Van Engelen’s catalog:  “Highly awarded, China Town opens pale pinkish-white with bold green feathering and striking white-edged, blue-green foliage. As its long-lasting flowers mature, they deepen in color to rich phlox-pink with carmine-rose edges and somewhat less prominent green feathering. It is a bit short for a late blooming Tulip, growing to just 12″ tall, so it is perfect for border clusters where you can take advantage of its amazing flower and foliage show.

In our eyes, China Town has the best marginated foliage of all Tulips with the thickest, most highly contrasted edging. (Did you know that the phenomena of marginated foliage occurs due to a lack of or insufficient pigmentation and chlorophyll in the plant cells on the outer petal edges?)”

the very sturdy and long blooming Princess Irene

the very sturdy and long blooming Princess Irene

From Van Engelen catalog:  “Princess Irene:  An exotic blend of soft orange, flushed warm purple, this 1949 award-winner is absolutely breathtaking and quite fragrant.”

The Long Beach carousel

The Long Beach carousel

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a lily flowering tulip in a street planter

a lily flowering tulip in a street planter

At Veterans Field, the same tireless city crew member worked on getting the propane flames going on the giant frying pan.  The wind made the task difficult.

P1070430_2

It was not an easy task.

It was not an easy task.

The Cosmic Bombshells posed with more attendees.

The Cosmic Bombshells posed with more attendees.

This beautiful dog had just returned from being a therapy dog for people in the Oso landslide.

This beautiful dog had just returned from being a therapy dog for people in the Oso landslide.

stage and food tent

stage and food tent

On the stage, the new North Jetty Brewing Company's beer concession.

On the stage, the new North Jetty Brewing Company’s beer concession.

The tulips by the stage showed the effects of the weather.

tulips

I found our friend Bill of The Boreas Inn at the Lost Roo Restaurant food booth.

bill

bill2

Allan bought us some tasty pulled pork sandwiches and the beer was very tasty as well.  I ordered a “half”, which seemed to mystify the vendor, although it would be common in the UK.  More than half a glass and I would have run out of energy to take photos.

yummy with coleslaw

yummy with coleslaw

From the stage, you can see how very small our Veterans Field garden actually is.

From the stage, you can see how very small our Veterans Field garden actually is, around the flag pole area.

The crowd grew thicker around the frying pan tent.  Of course, the garden is very significant to us.

flowers

'Flaming Parrot tulip'

‘Flaming Parrot tulip’

The Resolectrics took to the stage next to the beer concession.

The Resolectrics took to the stage next to the beer concession.

Resolectrics

Resolectrics, Allan’s photo

The crowds closed in thickly around the frying pan tent where culinary students from Ilwaco High School competed in a clam fritter contest.

dogs

 

tent1

I'd wait till someone moved, then weasel in to get a photo.

I’d wait till someone moved, then weasel in to get a photo.

audience members

audience members

Del (Delvis) Murry, city councilman, interviews one of the students.

Del (Delvis) Murry, city councilman, interviews one of the students.

culinary students

culinary students

City crewman poised to deal with any propane problems.

City crewman Rick Fitzgerald poised to deal with any propane problems.

And the adjusting of the flame continued because of the gusty wind.

And the adjusting of the flame continued because of the gusty wind.

Three celebrity chefs from Tom Douglas restaurants came from Seattle to judge the clam fritter competition:  Brock Johnson of The Dahlia Lounge, Liam Spence from Lola, and Desi Bonow of the Palace Kitchen.

 

judges

judges

At last the pan was hot enough.

At last the pan was hot enough.

pan

students

 

watching

 

 

preparing a plate

preparing a plate of samples for the audience

tasty little bites

tasty little bites

clambites

fritter bits

Sadly, I was preoccupied taking photos and forget to taste a sample.  They were well received.

a rave review

a rave review (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

One of the judges observes closely.

One of the judges observes closely (Allan’s photo)

 

From outside the ropes, I couldn't get a photo of the clams cooking like this fellow could...

From outside the ropes, I couldn’t get a photo of the clams cooking like this fellow could…

So I handed my camera to city councilman Delvis who got me this photo.

So I handed my camera to city councilman Delvis who got me this photo.

The fritters look small in the big pan.  I’m wondering if there will ever be a fry-up of the world’s LARGEST clam fritter.

It was done in 1940!

It was done in 1940!

A member of the city crew had constructed the world’s smallest clam gun.

clamgun

The judges considering the entries...

The celebrity chef judges considering the entries…

very seriously

very seriously

(Allan's photo)

(Allan’s photo)

We did not stay to the end of the fritter competition; by leaving at 3:30 we were able to get to Ilwaco’s Olde Towne Café for dessert before they closed at 4:00.

A cream cheese cappucino bar is exactly what I had.

A cream cheese cappucino bar is exactly what I had.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 18 April 2014

at home:

dogwood out the rather foggy kitchen window (one of the few shrubs that was here when we moved in)

dogwood out the rather foggy kitchen window (one of the few shrubs that was here when we moved in)

groundcover dogwood (Cornus canadensis) from my friend Mary Fluaitt

groundcover dogwood (Cornus canadensis) from my friend Mary Fluaitt

Ilwaco

We started our day by deadheading the Ilwaco planters for what I plan to be the second to last time (see yesterday for why we have chosen to not make a proposal to the city to keep the job) and then did a tiny bit of planting and weeding at the boatyard.

It will feel a bit odd at first to not take care of the planters just north of the boatyard, but I will adjust.

top of photo shows three out of four planters on that intersection

photo shows three out of four of the planters on that intersection

photo shows three out of four of the planters on that intersection

The horsetail is already popping back up in the boatyard garden.

The horsetail is already popping back up in the boatyard garden.

dolphon

Next, we planted two Wilma Goldcrest cypress at Time Enough Books to replace two horrid, monstrously huge phormiums that were recently removed by backhoe.

Time Enough Books

Time Enough Books

planted far enough back to never block the sign.

planted far enough back to never block the sign.

In the Time Enough boat, Strong Gold tulips

In the Time Enough boat, Strong Gold tulips

We wanted to get the curbside gardens looking great because tomorrow, the port is having a limited edition early opening of the Ilwaco Saturday Market in conjunction with Long Beach’s Razor Clam Festival.  After weeding Time Enough’s curbside garden and the one next to the old Harbor Lights Motel (still empty) to the west, we made a quick stop at Olde Towne Café to switch compost buckets and then headed north toward Long Beach.

at Olde Towne, a photo of Luanne's very old and beloved dog.

at Olde Towne, a photo of Luanne’s very old and beloved dog.

Seaview

Allan remembered to stop at the Depot in order to deadhead tulips and narcissi, and I just now remembered to remark upon the amazing fact that the weather today was perfect: clear, sunny, little wind, not too hot.

depot

tulips and narcissi in the Depot garden

tulips and narcissi in the Depot garden

a faded viridflora tulip

a faded viridiflora tulip

Long Beach

I remembered that we needed to deadhead the welcome sign, where a few tulips are hanging on.  I fear there is going to be a gap of three weeks between the end of the tulips and time to plant annuals.

welcome sign:  cool on the back, hot on the front

welcome sign: cool on the back, hot on the front

And finally, downtown Long Beach.  Allan planted some more violas and a Black Lace elderberry and did some touch up in the Fifth Street Parks while I walked four blocks worth of street trees and planters, weeding and deadheading.

The signs have been unveiled for tomorrow's dedication of the spitting clam.

The signs have been unveiled for tomorrow’s dedication of the spitting clam.

Fifth Street Park

Fifth Street Park

Darmera peltata loves the damp soil by the pond.

Darmera peltata loves the damp soil by the pond.

Now walk with me while I care for the trees and planters…

parrot Tulip 'Rococo'

parrot Tulip ‘Rococo’

The only finger blight that I saw downtown other than some random tulip picking was at the planter in front of the smoke shop; someone had pulled up five tulip ‘Rococo’, bulb and all, in full bloom, and then left them lying there.  Perhaps it was an interrupted theft.

Tulip 'Fringed Elegance'

Tulip ‘Fringed Elegance’

tulips2

curly parsley used as an ornamental

curly parsley used as an ornamental

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris

I do love Dutch Iris even though ends of its foliage brown off before the flower even blooms, and the flowering is brief.

Tulip 'China Town'

Tulip ‘China Town’

Tulip 'Strong Gold'

Tulip ‘Strong Gold’

Tulip 'Virichic'

Tulip ‘Virichic’

narcissi and Dutch iris

narcissi and Dutch iris

and back to Fifth Street Park

and back to Fifth Street Park

I’m pleased that there will still be colour from tulips right next to the clam dedication tomorrow.

We then checked the big planter in Lewis and Clark Square and did one last check on the Veterans Field garden.

One tulip 'Flaming Parrot' opened up for tomorrow's giant clam fritter fry-up...

One tulip ‘Flaming Parrot’ opened up for tomorrow’s giant clam fritter fry-up…

and here's the giant frying pan that will be used.

and here’s the giant frying pan that will be used.

Allan and I went together to deadhead and weed the two northernmost blocks of planters.  In front of NIVA green is one of a very few quite expensive narcissi ‘Sinopel’.  In the catalog, it looks like this:

in the catalog at vanengelen.com

in the catalog at vanengelen.com, bulbs about $2 each

The catalog description explains why it’s not that colour in real life:  “Fragrant, it has a perfect 3″ ivory-white perianth and a bowl-shaped, greenish white cup edged in yellow. Circa 1974 and a bit like a mood ring, its dainty cup is more yellow in cool temperatures and more green when basking in warm temperatures (cherish its greenness indoors in a bud vase).”

in real life...more yellow than green....dang it.

in real life…more yellow than green….dang it.

I think next year I might try to grow some on my sun porch, or in the greenhouse.

The sun was low in the sky as we attended to the planters on both of the beach approach roads.  I was appalled to find some finger blight that completely shattered my resolve to be calm and philosophical.  When I saw this big hole (left of lamp post) where someone stole a big clump of lilies out of the Lisa Bonney memorial planter, my language was saltier than the sea air.

lisa

The lilies were planted not by me but by a friend or relative of Lisa’s.  As most locals know, Lisa was killed by an estranged boyfriend just a few feet away from this planter.  The thief, who was skilled in plant removal, bulbs and all,  and who removed a large clump of soil with the lilies, could surely read this sign:

lisabonney

It took a quarter bag of potting soil to fill the empty hole.

It took a quarter bag of potting soil to fill the empty hole.

So is someone’s mother or other loved one getting a nice pot of lilies for Easter?

Sedums had been lifted out of the corner of the planter, as well.

Sedums had been lifted out of the corner of the planter, as well.

Further down the approach, I saw two adult women having three small children stand right on the plants in another planter to have their photo taken.  Each planter has a nice bench to sit or stand on.  “Really?” said I fairly quietly to the women.  “I’m the one who takes care of these, and really?!! I find this very upsetting!”  They mumbled and walked on.  One of these days I fear I will read online that a tourist just hated Long Beach because of being chastised by a mean and heartless gardener.

A bit later, while deadheading narcissi at City Hall, I was cheered by the pretty sight of fallen rhododendron flowers.

rhodo flowers and blue ajuga flowers

rhodo flower carpet

By the time we got to the end of the Sid Snyder Drive beach approach road, the pleasant warm evening had me back in a good mood.

just past the westernmost planter, tourists head to the beach

just past the westernmost planter, tourists head to the beach

Port of Ilwaco

With the sun still poised above the hills of Cape Disappointment, we returned to the Port of Ilwaco to check on the Port Office garden.  A very few tents had been erected for Saturday’s small market day.  The Clam Festival has a scavenger hunt that included a stop at the Saturday Market, and my theory is that the organizers did not realize the market would not be there in April…so the port came through by setting up a small market with some of the local vendors.  That’s my story.

Tents for a few vendors were set up...

Tents for a few vendors were set up…

Port Office garden

Port Office garden

There is something odd about that tulip!

There is something odd about that tulip!

Just the way I found it.  I could get rich if I could propagate this tulip that makes easter eggs.

Just the way I found it. I could get rich if I could propagate this tulip that makes easter eggs.

just south, across Waterfront Walkway, from the port office

just south, across Waterfront Walkway, from the port office

evening light on the marina

evening light on the marina

Saturday we will have off and yet it will be a very busy day as it starts with the second Grass Roots Garbage Gang beach clean up of the year.

Fortunately, beach clean up is midmorning!

Fortunately, beach clean up is midmorning!

I am thrilled it starts at ten thirty rather than the usual nine thirty.  As a night owl, having to be anywhere by 9:30 AM just about kills me.  (“Oh, there are two nine o’ clocks in the day?” said Tallulah Bankhead.) Yesterday the weather forecast called for 44 degrees, rain, and thirty mile an hour winds.  I had decided if that were the case, we would skip it and go out to beach clean some other day.  We have simply reached the breaking point on working (or picking up trash) in horrid weather.  Now the forecast has improved and I have hope that the Razor Clam Festival and Saturday Market might get some passable weather.

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