Home on Whidbey is a family blog revolving around Fran, Ed, Brad, Yessi, plus puppy Benton, and our family, travels, friends, neighbors and community. Thanks for reading.


Insatiable Passion!

I don't really plant for color but for texture, shape and year-around interest.  So, given my pronouncement that "green is a color too" it seem like I have lots of non-green color -- STILL -- in my garden.  A quick walk around the garden resulted in several beautiful vignettes.

Japanese Iris 
Water Lily

Water Iris

California Poppy




Blue-Eyed Grass


Sun Rose



Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation.  It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart.  
~Karel ńĆapek, The Gardener's Year, translated by M. and R. Weatherall, 1931

Adventures Unfold

From Big Sur, to home on Whidbey, to Glacier Peak to the San Juan Islands.  First on the week's  "adventure unfolding" trip agenda for Brad and Yessi was climbing a mountain,  second was sailing the seas.

Joe, Jeff, Jacob & Yessi, Glacier Peak, WA
photo by dbBrad 

Jacob & Brad, San Juan Islands, sailing the Klepper
photo by dbBrad

Home for a spell...

Between trips, Brad and Yessi spend time on Whidbey Island. They have a little cottage where they're creating a garden and home plus they play on a huge rope swing with happy delight.  Yessi took her turn at experiencing a riding mower for the first time.   Brad delights in exposing her to new adventures, both on the trail and on the domestic scene, as I'm sure she did when Brad was in China.

A lovely dinner at the cottage

Brad on the rope swing

Yessi on the mower

Brad did some bird block work on our buildings.  The determined birds looking for good nesting spots had actually pecked away the metal mesh covering the ventilation holes to give them access to our buildings.  Each night was full of fluttering and chirping birds, leaving us uneasy about the state of our insulation.  As Brad climbed around on ladders, Yessi crawled around on her knees helping me achieve a weedless garden again.  Almost an entire month of neglect due to my hospital stay and the garden was a mess.  In April I thought I had every weed under control and all pruning up to date.  At the end of May control was not at all part of the picture.  A month of a little rain and a little sun resulted in lots of weeds growing, shrubs growing and trees growing.  I was welcomed home to an enthusiastic jungle.  It was almost impossible for me to enjoy my cup n' pup for the neglect I saw.     Thank you Brad, Yessi, Ed and a few dear friends who helped me get my garden back into presentable shape.

Soon this adventuresome twosome will depart again.  But, for now it is wonderful to have them around helping out with chores.  

Brad working on bird blocks

Yessi watering the vegetable garden

Moving up the coast headed north...

Leaving Big Sur on the trusty BMW, Yessi and Brad are back on the road again.  They stay on the coast from the Big Sur area to Mendocino, where they stop for lunch and some exploration, before cutting over to I-5 for the long, boring haul home.

Brad & Yessi
Yessi & Brad on the Mendocino bluff

Stunning beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean from Mendocino bluff trail.

Many of the old water towers in Mendocino have been converted into shops and residences.

More Beautiful California Coast

Having been born and raised in California I have a tender spot in my heart for my home state.  There are still so many parts of California that are remote and wild and beautiful.  And, who can argue with the weather?  It's nice to see my son, Brad, get to know and love my home state, although we both are deep to the roots Evergreen State enthusiasts.

Hiking Big Sur certainly gave both Yessi and Brad a feel for California's central coastal landscape, both beautiful and brutal.   Brad has always expressed a huge preference for liking to be up high, and the PCT was too perfect.  Following the crest provided drop-dead stunning views  The lower elevation hiking, despite the ocean hanging out there, just couldn't compete.

As Brad tramped the wild coasts of California with Yessi, I did 24 days in Whidbey General Hospital.  I think he and Yessi had more fun!

Brad surveying the trail.  Brush made it brutal.

Yessi stopping for a break.

Brad and Yessi surveying the foliage, or is it looking for the trail?

Tawny grass and rock outcroppings complete the beauty of this scene

Wild and rugged

Yessi, Brad, Yucca, rock outcropping, and the Pacific Ocean all on a clear blue day.
 What's not to love?

Beautiful sky

Yessi and dbBrad -- so cute!

Yessi setting up camp.

Yessi searching for the trail

The Beautiful Tawny Hills of California

Hiking to record data for Green Trails Maps, in May dbBrad and Yessi were in Big Sur, California enjoying three weeks of very overgrown, burly and difficult trails.  Mostly nice weather but because of the difficult terrain very challenging.  Between the Manzanita and Poison Oak taking over the trails combined with no visual connection with the trail on numerous occasions, they earned every cent they were paid.  dbBrad can usually tick off 20 miles a day without too much effort.  At Big Sur, he was lucky to get 15, and often it was much less. 

Big Sur, CA hiking

Yessi & dbBrad looking very small in front of an old redwood snag
Beautiful sky over the Pacific Ocean

Brad loving the beach

The Pacific Ocean

dbBrad & Yessi hiking at Big Sur