Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Saturday morning on Whidbey

We had a great morning yesterday, beginning with seared oatmeal at Braeburn restaurant in Langley, and then a walk around the town, camera at the ready.

At the Star Store, we ended up talking about photography, art, composition, design, etc. with two of the store employees — Kelsey and Margaret. The conversation was fun, inspiring, interesting, with a wonderful sharing of ideas, nobody hogging the time, an even give and take.

Respect, humor, intelligence, curiosity. No politics. What a refreshing change.

I bought a sweatshirt.

Next, we drove down to the marina, walked out onto the docks. The mountains in the distance were lovely, but the overall light was drab and dreary. A dozen cormorants on the next dock over were hanging out together, as cormorants do. My 70-200mm lens too short to do anything exciting with them.

Then we hear the chortling of an eagle. Maybe two eagles. Maybe three! Two adults and what I presumed was a juvenile approaching from the north. They were fast. I wasn’t ready. I shot as they approached, one going right overhead.

Not frame-filling at all, so I combined two versions of the same eagle here, one with him farther away, and the other as he passed overhead. (Neither is enlarged, but individually they didn't fill the frame.) The shots are two seconds apart, but I thought comparing the wing angles was interesting.

The marina manager came out with his binoculars and a “Birds of the Puget Sound” book. He was thinking the juvenile bald eagle might actually be a golden eagle. Which of course wasn’t in his book, because golden eagles don’t hang around up here, apparently. A photographer down the dock, with a 200-500mm lens, said nope, juvenile bald eagle, not a golden.

Again, a very enjoyable conversation talking about what we were seeing, sharing the information, curious about the birds (who nest nearby). And the marina guy had great eyelashes...

I wanted a copy of that bird book, so we headed back up the hill to talk to Josh at Moonraker Books (no website). Nope, they didn’t have the book. “Does it have a red cover?” “I don’t know. There’s a bird on the front, though.” She gives me a look that implies “smartass,” leans over and whispers something very snarky in my ear. We laugh. She goes downstairs to order it for me.

I bought “House at Pooh Corner” by A.A. Milne.

We walked over to a terrific store called Artisan Crafted Home. There’s a new window display featuring the most interesting floor and table lamps. We chit-chat with the owner. The lamps are handmade by two sisters. One on the east coast, one here on the west. One makes the glass and metal stands and the other makes the exotic silken shades. They’re lovely. (The lamps, that is. But the sisters probably are, too.)

Time to head home. We drop off some things at the Senior Services thrift store en route.

That was our morning. We were outdoors and in. Talked with a variety of people. Saw cormorants and eagles, heard a kingfisher. Looked at lovely artworks and learned about the artists. And I got one photograph that isn’t very good, but I’m sure that sometime soon it will appear in a photomontage and will be just perfect.

Wishing you all days like this.

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.


  1. I always enjoy reading what you write and admiring what create. But I especially enjoyed this description of your wonderful carefree morning. You are fortunate to live in an area surrounded by small towns. Small towns are the best and being near the water makes them even better.

  2. Thank you, Sam. You're absolutely right about small towns and being near the water. I'm also thinking that aging helps to appreciate where we are and the people around us. When I was 18, I was mortified when my mom would stop and talk to store clerks. I thought the little conversations so inane. But now that I'm much older than my mom ever got to be, I find such pleasure and value in simply exchanging a few words. In a world where we often feel lost and alone, these little sparks of recognition, of acknowledging another's existence, are priceless. And I know you feel the same way.

  3. You're absolutely right on the mark. I love talking to strangers. Some times they respond and sometimes they don't, but when they do I come away feeling really good. And what about those who don't respond? I like to think that maybe I broke the ice and that next time they will respond. A boy can only hope.


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