Field Journal: Late Winter at Alki Beach

Despite being a certified pluviophile, this long, gray winter (and autumn for that matter) has been starting to get old. Seattle has been a city in monochrome for months and while I’ve found many noteworthy things this winter, I’m starting to hope for a bit of sun and color. But as a true northwesterner, I never let the weather stop me from heading outside and yesterday I packed my bag and headed for Alki Beach with the low tide. Naturally, as soon as I started out, the rain began. At least it wasn’t a downpour like we’ve seen so often, but a drizzle. 

When I arrived, I quickly noticed a large flock of tiny birds working along the tide line, Sanderlings. As I watched them I noticed two darker and slightly larger birds foraging with the Sanderlings, Dunlin. As I walked north along the rocks a small group of large…

Continue reading →

Field Journal: Shore Life at Lincoln Park

Earlier this week we visited Lincoln Park in West Seattle. The park lies along the western edge of the city overlooking Vashon Island and the Puget Sound. Part of the park is a bluff full of Pacific Madrone trees with paths down to the beach. We opted to head straight down to the beach where my daughter could wander along the rocky shore. I surveyed the water and we spotted Surf Scoters, a couple species of grebes, Harlequin Ducks, loons, Buffleheads, goldeneyes and gulls. We heard a Bald Eagle chattering but didn’t see it.

The high tide line was full of washed up logs, some cut by humans, others broken and worn down by the water. The swirling brown colors on the wood created beautiful patterns and illustrated how many shades of brown there really are. Some logs had seedlings sprouting from the cracks and fissures while others wore orange slime molds….

Continue reading →

Field Journal: Point No Point and Foulweather Bluff

With a sunny but cold forecast for this weekend I wanted to get out before we returned to rain next week. I had been exploring quite a bit of the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula near the end of my 365 Nature Project going to Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Ediz Hook Reserve for the BirdsFort Flagler and Vashon Island and I wanted to keep visiting the area. I had seen Point No Point mentioned a few times in various books and decided to visit there yesterday. Point No Point is on the next small peninsula south from Fort Flagler, located directly west of the southern edge of Whidbey Island. The landscape reminded me very much of Point Robinson on Vashon Island with a lighthouse and a curved, sandy beach lined with driftwood. The main nature draw of Point No Point is that the waters off its…

Continue reading →

365 Nature – Day 152

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


After I showed my daughter photos and videos of the small crabs I found on Alki Beach from Day 149, she’s been talking about wanting to see them nonstop. This morning the sun came up and the forecast called for a warm and sunny day. The tide chart showed low tide around seven in the morning so we headed to Alki Beach right away….

Continue reading →