Last week we got our first snow of the season on Orcas Island. It only snows here every few years, and when it does, our magic “Emerald Isle” becomes even more magical.
Our last “big” snowfall was in 2014. The amount of snow ranged widely on this 57-square mile island — from a few inches that disappeared in days to nearly two feet that lingered for weeks. Why? Orcas’s horseshoe shape and varied topography create many micro-climates. The mountains, inlets and fjords that make this rock so dramatically beautiful also help drive its patchwork weather patterns.
Here are a few shots from my trip up Buck Mountain yesterday, plus scenes from winter’s past. Click on any photo to enlarge and see a slideshow. Enjoy!
Buck Mountain HOA ensures roads are kept clear.
The lot I visited was bathed in sunshine.
Western vista from Buck Mountain.
Moss thrives in snow!
Beauty in the details
Our native Mahonia is an evergreen that sporatically dons fall color.
Picturesque barn in Crow Valley
Crescent Beach dressed in white
The rugged coastline
Rosario Mansion & Resort
Trek up Turtleback Mountain with my ole buddy Murphy (miss this boy!)
Snow cave in Moran Park
If you’re thinking of visiting or relocating to Orcas Island, winter is a great time to experience a quiet wonderland – snow or not. Contact me if you’re looking for rentals or homes to purchase!
…the Farmer’s Market moves into the Oddfellow’s Hall, where the artisans and gardeners continue to offer local bounty and color. The Holiday Fair will soon fill these walls with bells and song.
…you admire showstopping sunrises and sunsets– what more can I say? They take your breath away!
Sunset over Waldron Island and beyond. Lance Evans photo, thanks for sharing!
Sunrise over Mt. Constitution
Sailboat in the sunset. I never get tired of sailing or sunsets!
…Fowler’s Pond turns into a golden reflection of wetland plants, surrounded by fall foliage on fire.
…Seahawk football fans come alive with blue and green. All throughout Eastsound, locals don their favorite 12th man T-shirts (and tutu!) and gather around the large screen at the Lower Tavern, where everyone knows your name.
Our very own Beth Holmes and her tutu — go Hawks!!
…Viking team spirit comes alive on the side of the barn each year as incoming seniors display their artwork. Give us a call at 376-8374 if you want to attend a sports event. The Booster Club did an amazing job of fundraising and gave out annual passes to all the donors.
The old, swaybacked barn.
The new hay barn painted by incoming seniors.
Fall is all about celebrating the end of a season and the beginning of a new one. And there is no better place than Orcas Island to spend time with friends and family and cozy up to the season. Happy Fall!
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Sometimes I stray too far from the barn, but a day at Coffelt Farm Stand brings me right back to what really is important, family, farming and friendships.
Local berries make a sweet colorful gift and reminds me of kitchen time with grandma.
My grandparents had a dairy farm complete with chickens, horses and bottle fed calves. Grandma’s garden filled canning jars and the cellar was filled with pears, apples and plums from the orchard. These are fond memories deep in my soul. I spent many summers picking berries with grandma, never wanting to eat any so my bucket would be as full as hers. Jams and pies were yummy results. I still remember when grandma left the pie making to me for a family gathering. Her shared crust secrets and faith in me still show in my pies today.
Grandma T’s garden shares ready to eat sweet peas and the promise of greens for a meal.
Wanting to get out of the city, I moved to Orcas Island 27 years ago with 3 sons and a desire to find my roots again. The boys are grown and raising their own families now. It is my garden and orchard they will remember in their hearts and souls, as well as the many trips to local Orcas Island farms.
In my garden, each year I look forward to planting new things, talking to other farmers about their favorite seeds and sharing tricks to invite worms to feed the soil. I have starts from Sid Coffelt, plum trees from my great grandma’s orchard, tomatoes from John Cadden, garlic from Mary Ann Sircely, raspberry bushes from my mom, Arlene Carlson and blueberry shrubs from Faith Deeds garden. There is much heart and soul in my garden and I dance with joy thinking about the harvest with my grand kids!!!
Brand new lambs and a proud mom.
The Coffelt Farm, located in Crow Valley, Orcas Island, gives tours to school children in the spring time when new born run the barn yard. This spring the farm welcomed several new piglets, lambs and a couple of calves.
Orcas Island School children enjoy a day on the farm learning about all the animals and what it means to be a farmer.
This farm girl says get busy, visit a farm, offer some volunteer time in a garden, share an afternoon canning the harvest, spend time with your grandma, bring a friend and create a memory to nourish the soul.