Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Sunset at Fort Casey"

During our stay on Whidbey Island we had the opportunity to visit many beautiful places, one of them was Fort Casey.

Once on the Island we drove to our little home we had rented for the week, then we started to explore, as we were driving we came upon a row of houses that all looked alike, I told my wife I thought they looked just like the houses in Fort Yellowstone, at Mammoth Hot Springs, turns out they are the officers houses at Fort Casey, we had no idea there was, or had been a fort in that area, I guess we should have done a little homework, but then again we love the excitement of finding these places on our own.

We drove into the Washington State Park at Fort Casey and had a look around, what a cool place, there is the Admiralty head lighthouse built on a little mound so it's light could be seen by  sailors to safely guide them around the rocky cost line. There are also two "Batteries" the Moore, and the Kingsbury, these Batteries were built 1899 as part of the Puget Sound Harbor defense, they were equipped with 10 "Disappearing" guns. The guns take their name from the ability to be lowered below the top of the structure for reloading so the solders could not be fired upon, what a great idea.

When we got there is was cold, windy, and the middle of the day so we just took a quick drive around, stopped to take a look, from the car at Moore Battery, it's the closest one to the parking area! Since it was the middle of the day, and the sky was gray, and it was way cold we did not get out of the car to look around, but it stuck in my mind, that large 10" gun sitting on it's turret above the Battery.

We went back in the evening of a different day.

The wind was blowing and it was cold as the sun began to set in the western sky, the cold wind coming off of the northern waters of the Pacific Ocean caused tears to well in my eyes as I grabbed the camera, the tripod, and a bag of rocks to hang from the tripod to make it sturdy in the blowing wind. I headed across the grounds of Fort Casey to the Moore Battery. Climbing onto the Fort Bridge in hopes of getting a good view of the gun and the sunset, no chance there, I crossed the little cement bridge onto the main deck of the battery, perfect!

I set the camera up on the tripod, hung the bag of rocks on the bottom of the center column, and stuck my hands in my pockets, it was cold, and I was feeling it. Once I was set up and warmed up...a little, I set the exposure, and started taking my photographs, hurrying as the white hot sun melted into the cold blue waters of the Pacific Ocean I was able to capture this photograph of "Sunset at Fort Casey"!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sunset at Penn Cove

 As we took the ferry from Mukilteo on Washington's mainland to Whidbey Island it was kind of exciting, I had never ridden on a ferry. If you have never ridden on a ferry it is a different experience, they are big...BIG...floating parking lots,

You pay the toll, they tell you where to park in the staging area, then when they are ready for you to board you drive your car onto the ferry, and they tell you where to park. Once on the ferry you can, if you want, get out of the car and move about the different decks. On the main passenger deck on the larger ferries they have a galley, and serve sandwiches, and drinks, they have booths just like in your favorite fast food place, and auditorium type seating if you don't want to sit at a booth. You can even go out on the deck to watch the waves go by, pretty cool!!

Once at Whidbey Island we drove off of the ferry and began to explore what would be our home for the next week, it is a beautiful place. We stayed in a little home in Coupeville, settled by Capt, Thomas Coupe. It is a small town nestled on the shore of Penn Cove, apparently Penn Cove was name after a "friend" of Capt. George Vancouver, but I have no idea who that friend was.

Up in this area of Washington it seams the popular stores are "Red Apple" stores, they reminded me of small country markets, very pleasant, with great fresh produce. That's where I found out about Johnson's Smokehouse's "Lil' Ronis" if you ever get a chance, and if you like hard pepperoni, you NEED to try those, what a treat, but I will warn you they are me!

While we were in Coupeville one of the places we had an opportunity to visit was the "Capt. Thomas Coupe park", which is a small parking lot with a boat dock on the southern shore of Penn Cove. When we got there the wind was blowing, it was cold, and the sun was setting, what more could you ask for. There where even some boats moored in the cove, resting for the night. I set up my camera on the tripod, always use a tripod! Because of the wind I hung a bag from the bottom of the tripod center stock that I had put two large rocks in to give it more ballast, and help stabilize the tripod, and camera.

Below is a photograph I was able to capture while we were there that evening.

As the sun sets behind the last lingering clouds of the day, the sky turns from blue to gold, the sun casts its warm evening rays over the waters. Boats rest in the cove gently rocked by the low waves, and the wind that is blowing. The waves lap at the rocky shore at my feet as I shelter my face from the cold. I take several images, bracketing my shots to make sure I get the correct exposure. I wait until the last rays of the setting sun are gone, just to make sure I see all of the beauty that is unfolding as the evening turns into night.

That evening standing in the cold, and the wind was beautiful, mother nature always shows her best side it seams, even when we think she is being fickle she is beautiful!!

                                  Visit my web site to see this image, and so much more!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mukilteo Lighthouse #2

Recently on our first trip to northern Washington state my wife and I had decided to stay on Whidbey island.

 to get to Whidbey island you have two choices, you take the ferry from Mukilteo, or you drive an extra 30 miles by going up the Burlington, then crossing the bridge, we were staying in Coupeville, and taking the ferry seemed to be the shortest distance, and my wife was looking forward to taking a ferry, neither of us had ever had that experience.
The first night we stayed in Seattle, then drove up to Mukilteo to check out how to get on the ferry, and everything involved with that.

While we were at Mukilteo Kena, my wife, had heard about a place called Ivar's, she had been told to not eat inside but rather to eat out under the awning so we could watch the ferries come and go, turns out there are more than one Ivar's and this one was not the one with the outside seating.

After checking out the ferry, and eating dinner we decided to take a look around, so we headed over to the beach, there is a park there called Mukilteo Lighthouse park, I had never heard of it, and it was a short walk from Ivar's, so we walked across the street and down the short road to the parking lot, from that location we could see the ferries crossing from Whidbey island, and as the name suggests they have a lighthouse, I was intrigued by the shape of the lighthouse, I had never see lighthouses with such short towers on them, kind of a cool design I think, anyway stormy skies had blown in and the sun was setting, as "my" luck would have it my camera was in the car waaaay over by the ferry parking area so we headed over to get it, on the bright side I didn't have to sit there impatiently waiting for the color to show its self in the clouds, but I did have to run to get to the car.

We drove back to the parking lot at the park, got the camera out and set up and this glorious sky began to show, the reds of the setting sun reflected from the stormy clouds that had built over the Possession sound.

The Mukilteo Lighthouse was built in 1905, and became operational in 1906, this lighthouse it built of wood, rather than the traditional brick and concrete, in 2001 the coast guard deeded the lighthouse to the city of Mukilteo.

In hind sight I should have just had the camera with me, and I should have anticipated the sunset, but in my defense Washington was in the midst of a drought, and who would have thought it would rain while we were there.

I will be sharing more of our trip to Washington in the future, here is an HDR image of the Lighthouse at Mukilteo Washington, I love the look of the Lighthouse, and I love the sky I was blessed to see on this trip.

I hope you enjoy it, and make sure you stop by the Lighthouse if you ever find yourself in Mukilteo Washington.