My husband and I have been on the island for nearly a month, but we haven’t had much opportunity to actually see some of the sights. We’ve been to Greenbank Farm, Deception Pass, and Ebey’s Landing on previous visits, but somehow we felt it would be different to experience some of these places as residents. So, we decided it was time to go exploring our new neighborhood, as the new kids in town.
Our destination for this excursion was Ebey’s Landing. We parked our car up at Ebey’s Overlook and walked down past several homes overlooking this beautiful pristine prairie land of Whidbey Island. I was amazed how all my senses were graced with pleasantries. I could hear red-wing blackbirds, see Mount Baker, and smell sweet honeysuckle along the path.
Seeing all the bees around the wildflowers reminded me of something I just recently thought of in regard to conservation and health. Last year, I tried to grow a container garden but none of my plants produced any fruit. There are a half a dozen reasons why this could have been, but I truly believe the main reason is because our apartment complex worked so hard to remove all bees from the premises, and my zucchini didn’t get pollinated. I also am partly to blame for my plants not giving me any fruit because I didn’t have any flowers that would attract pollinators to my balcony. The sweet smell of flowers and the buzzing of the bees gave me a sweet taste as to what a functioning garden should look and sound like. Unfortunately, our bees are in trouble. So, I’m thinking about in addition to flowers that will attract pollinators, I might also get a mason bee house and provide not just sustenance but a home to some of our best garden helpers our world can offer.
We walked along a ridge trail wearing outfits we were beginning to think were not appropriate for the day we were experiencing at all. But as we drew nearer and nearer to the ocean, the breeze picked up, and suddenly, like we passed through some invisible wall or barrier, the air chilled about 10 degrees and our pants and long sleeve shirt were quite comfortable. The path took us along a long bluff trail, which we decided we would definitely try on a future visit, as it was 3.5 miles long. We walked down to the beach where Chris eagerly got started on a sketch/drawing session of some of the driftwood along the shore. I went further to explore the beach.
My walk was exactly what I hoped for. There was the dry fluffy sand, which is just about my least favorite thing to walk upon. Sand to me is one of my least favorite substances and the feeling of sand between my toes is like nails on a chalkboard to me. What I prefer is either wet sand, rocky shore, or the washed up stones atop the sand. They were just as difficult to walk on as the fluffy sand, but I didn’t seem to mind the challenge as much. I noticed some birds I’ve spent the past year learning to identify. And I was intrigued with the sound the pebbles made as water washed over them and then retreated back into the depths. It was so soothing.
When I returned to where Chris was finishing up his art session, he made a very poignant statement that has been staying with me since our visit. “I feel like we’re part of some exclusive club, that we are insiders. This beach is only 25 minutes from our home! We can literally come here any time we want! How amazing is that?!?!”
How amazing IS that?!?! And that is just one small part of the beauty that completely surrounds us. We have beaches and tidepools, farms and trails, woods and ocean. All at our fingertips. Exploring our new neighborhood is something I can definitely get used to doing a lot more!