Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (Baby Birds and Gun Batteries)

I’m slowly working my way through hundreds of photos from our 2015 Staycation and in typical fashion 90% of them are of trees, beaches and the natural vistas that make the Pacific Northwest such a beautiful place to live.  I’ve got so many potential images for this weeks “nature” challenge it’s difficult to choose just one to share today but in the end I selected this photo of a little swallow family in front of an abandoned Gun Battery at Fort Warden, WA.  Their mamma flew by every couple of minutes with a new worm to feed her babies and this tiny group of four waited patiently until their bellies were full and it was time to return to the nest.

iPhone Saturday 10-11 Nature

Posted as part of Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge:  Nature.

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Travel (Chetzemoka)

Cheech-Ma-Ham (Chetzemoka)

Cheech-Ma-Ham was 40 years old and chief of the S’Klallam tribe when the first white settlers arrived in Port Townsend, WA.  These settlers decided his name was too difficult to pronounce so in 1848 they changed it to Chetzemoka and gave him the royal nick name Duke of York.  Continuing the trend his son was called Prince of Wales, his two wives became Queen Victoria and Jenny Lind and eventually these nick names led to the present-day Prince family name.

In 1855 Chief Chetzemoka signed a treaty giving up all S’Klallam land in exchange for the rights to fish, hunt and gather in their traditional areas but treaties like this one were largely misunderstood by the Indians and eventually led to the Indian Wars of 1855-1856. During this time Chetzemoka presided over a secret meeting to decide whether or not the tribe would kill all white settlers in the area.   Nine nights in a row the chief sent a “danger” message to white leaders from Signal Rock until the tenth day when the tribe agreed to spare the settlement. Chief Chetzemoka was celebrated as a hero by the white community and when he died in 1888 he was buried in the white cemetery in Port Townsend, WA.  Today both a city park at Signal Rock and a Washington State Ferry are named after Chief Chetzemoka.


This small Chetzemoka was resting on the beach during our visit to Fort Warden and Port Townsend, WA in August 2015 and my image is posted as part of Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge:  Travel.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

This week, show us something creepy — because hey, we can’t take photos of rainbows and puppies every day. Well, okay, I guess we can. But let’s branch out anyway!

Michelle W. The Daily Post


Our long hot summer has been filled with fun day trips through some beautiful Pacific Northwest locations and I have plenty of new images ready to share but this week Michelle asks us to branch out a little and show a darker point of view.  Even though my recent postings have been all about sunshine, beaches and nature I’ve been busy taking photos of some not-so-pretty corners too and today’s image is from inside a bunker at Fort Warden State Park outside of Port Townsend, WA.

Fort Warden was built in 1897 to serve as one of three Army bases along Admiralty Inlet and the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula creating a “triangle of fire” to protect the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard as well as Seattle, Tacoma and Everett, WA.  The big guns were never fired and finally removed in WWI for use in Europe but the bases remained active for training until the 1950’s.  This stairway is one of many that lead down to a network of underground bunkers below the old gun installations and generations of kids and campers have used them to tell spooky ghost stories and creep around in the dark.

The rest of Fort Warden is now a beautiful Washington State Park open for camping, retreats and outdoor activities and many of the original buildings, homes and barracks are available for rent.  John and I both attended summer camps at the Fort when we were in school and earlier this month we had a great time showing Ryan around the place.  If anyone remembers the 1982 movie An Officer and a Gentleman or the 2002 movie The Ring they were both filmed here.  I’ll share new photos of the grounds, beaches and view points in later posts but today’s Weekly Photo Challenge:  Creepy is where we’ll start our tour.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up August With Hipstamatic (week 1)

Well, it’s Monday morning and our staycation week is over but sorting through my new photos to find one image from each day has been a fun trip back through our latest adventures.  Our goal was to visit at least one mountain, island, river, beach and city while trying new things and as of today we accomplished just that.  Our feet need a rest and the laundry is out of control but we’ve got plenty of happy memories stored away and a long list of places we want to revisit when summer changes to fall.

Our week started bright and early Sunday morning with a hike up to Wallace Falls.  We made it all the way to the upper falls and the view down was spectacular but my favorite part of the day was the climb through old and second-growth forest.  This shot is from our last rest stop along the river on the way back down.  We spent Monday exploring Port Townsend and Fort Warden on the Olympic Peninsula, a pretty ferry ride from Edmonds.  I’ll have plenty of photos to share over the next few weeks but this view is of the caretaker’s house next to the lighthouse at Pt. Wilson.  Tuesday found us a little closer to home enjoying lunch on the deck and a walk through Carkeek Park in Seattle.  Inside the park we found this little orchard and some of the trees had bags tied over the young apples as part of an art project to be revealed in September.  We’ll have to go back to see the final results.

Wednesday was our “in-the-city” day with a trip to the Seattle Aquarium, lunch on the waterfront and a ride on the Great Wheel.  Thursday was our 21st Anniversary and my aunt Maryellen joined us on a beautiful hike up the Ira Spring trail near Snoqualmie Pass.  This peaceful view of Mason Lake was our lunchtime reward for climbing the 3.5 mile trail straight up the mountain.  Our sandwiches, fruit, trail mix and chips were just enough fuel to power our trek back down to the forest service access road and by the time we made it home pizza on the couch was the perfect dinner.

Our final adventure of the week was a trip to Whidbey Island and a hike through Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve.  We enjoyed another ferry ride followed by coffee and cinnamon rolls in Coupeville before heading to Ebey’s Landing for lunch on the beach and a hike along the bluff.  I could write a weeks worth of posts about this day but today you get an image of Ryan winding up for a rock skipping throw before flying his kite while whales jumped and swam past our picnic spot on the beach.  What a day!  I knew it would be hard to live up to Friday but Saturday definitely took a turn for the worse and I’m sorry to say my aunt’s sweet little Prius will never be the same…  She’s alright though so everything can be solved with a little time, a little luck and some creative thinking.

Even though I was away from WordPress last week I posted plenty of new photos on Instagram and Facebook so if you’d like to see more of where we’ve been please stop by and take a look. 🙂

Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens and filter used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.