Indianola Days 2012 happening July 21 & 22 plus Stunt Night!

Imagine this beach filled with LOTs of people, dogs and sandcastles.

I have a feeling there are people out on the Internets wondering when Indianola Days is this year. Now you know, it’s July 21 & 22 (with Stunt Night on Fri. July 20). Saturday is the sand castle contest (no professionals please) and the famous salmon bake dinner. Sunday brings the oh-so-cute pet parade, and a shiny car show (I think — I’m not the official source of details). This is a local affair, a semi-secret festival of fun for Indianola residents and their friends and family. But they don’t check your identity papers, so if you’re an out-of-towner you may be able to sneak in. If you’re lucky you’ll be there, and the sun will be shining on us all.

Not to be missed is Stunt Night on July 20, it’s most charming talent show you’ll ever see. Many were disappointed that Stunt Night didn’t happen last year, so surely there is pent up Indianola talent waiting to show itself. Details about participating in Stunt Night, volunteering for Indianola Days and getting tickets for the Salmon dinner are in the Breeze (mailed to IBIC members) and posted on the three Indianola bulletin boards (that’s actual bulletin boards, not the new fashioned electronic bulletin boards). If you are an Indianola resident and inspired to show your talent at Stunt Night email By the way Indianola Days is organized/sponsored by the IBIC (Indianola Beach Improvement Club). Hooray for the IBIC and all it’s dedicated volunteers!

Beach at super low tide

May 5th brought us a Super Moon. That’s when the moon is full and comes in close proximity to Earth. It looks bigger and brighter than usual. That evening I went with a friend to the beach to watch it rise. It was a beautiful clear evening and the Moon was spectacular. Along with the big full moon came very low tides that day and the next several. The minus tides were conveniently timed around noon and the weather was warm and sunny, perfect for folks to go explore the tidal zone. Crabs, moon snails, sea stars, tube worms, anemones were exposed and wishing it wasn’t so warm and sunny. But for the humans it was perfect beach combing conditions. The Indianola dock was completely exposed.

Where is Spring?

Windy willow on the beach at Indianola

It’s the almost the end of March and it’s 43 degrees. We’ve had rain 22 days this month. (According to our very nearby Indianola weather station). Oh we’ve had a few “sun breaks”, but I’m ready for the real thing. The bees are anxious to get to work, and all this wind and rain is cramping their style. Mine too.

Bounty of Snowberries

Snowberries - Symphoricarpos albus

I love these pure white berries hanging from spindly bare branches. This photo was taken Dec. 4. but even now the bushes are still filled with the puffy berries. The birds will get around to eating them soon I’m sure. These are tough shrubs, Symphoricarpos albus, are native to the Pacific Northwest. My row of snowberry bushes started out as bare root sticks from the Kitsap Conservation District Tree Sale about three years ago. They have thrived in the mostly shade. Our honeybee hives are close by and surely contribute to the abundance of berries. Cut branches with berries are striking in flower arrangements. We probably won’t have snow on Christmas, but we can enjoy the beauty of the snowberries.

Honeybees bringing home the groceries


75 degrees and Sunshine! Sunshine has been rare this summer, but finally we’ve had a good stretch of warmth. Pitifully, this year we consider 72 degrees warm. The bees are not slacking off. We’re hoping for a bountiful honeyola harvest this year.

Oh Boy! Indianola Days is this weekend, July 30-31


It’s high season in Indianola, you wouldn’t know it by the weather. But hey we can’t sit around waiting for good weather, it’s summertime now, gray, rain or shine. Indianola Days is this weekend. There’s lots happening Saturday and Sunday. Sadly no Stunt Night was scheduled, maybe next year. It’s hard to find info online about our charming Summer celebration, so I thought I’d post the schedule of events here.


Sand Castle Contest — low-tide is minus 2.1 ft at around 11 am, judging is at Noon. This isn’t one of those fancy sculpture contests with trucked in fancy sand and pros doing the designing. This is locals having a blast on the beach, coming up with crazy ideas and getting down and dirty building their creations. So join in the fun or come on down and take a tour. It lasts until high tide washes it away.
Steve Kikuchi Fun Run & Walk — 9:15 sign-up, 9:30 kids begin 1/4 mile run, 9:45 adults begin 2 mile run.
Street Fair — 10 am-5 pm, local arts & crafts
Kid’s Beach Games — 11 am
Horseshoe Contest — 11:30 am (right side of dock on tideflats)
Kid’s Corn Husking Contest — 1:30
Indianola Days Salmon Bake — 4:30-7:30, at the Bud Merrill pavilion, the highlight, always well attended, last year over 800 meals served. Cost is $12 for a great salmon dinner, $6 for hot dogs. Bring your own plate, cup and utensils, or add $2 for compostable items. This event leaves a small environmental footprint, I believe all the trash gets composted at Persephone Farm. (Volunteers are needed to help prep/serve/clean up and provide bread and pies — info in the Breeze or check the big Indianola bulletin board or Post Office bulletin board. Or email Fernwoodsy if you want a phone number to call.)
21+ Dance— 8-Midnight at the Clubhouse (not sure of the cost)


Unique Car Show — 10 am-2 pm
Pet Parade! — 9:30 sign up near clubhouse, parade starts at 10
East vs. West Baseball Game — 11 am

Where is Indianola? OMG you don’t know?
Here’s a link to Indianola, WA on Google Maps.

Beach and pet parade photos above are from 2010 Indianola Days (it was warm and sunny!). All info is from the July 2011 issue of the Indianola Breeze.

Hungry Honeybees discover red-flowering currant

Honeybee on flower

The honeybee hives are close by and when it’s warm enough for them to leave the hive I can usually find a few feeding on the pretty pink blossoms of red-flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum. I dug out our old Nikon Coolpix 4500 and captured this macro shot. I love that camera, it’s slow, but is great for capturing bugs on flowers. Naturally the hummingbirds love this plant as well. About two years ago I planted three bare root sticks of red flowering currant I got from the Kitsap Conservation district annual native plant sale. Actually I planted ten sticks around the property. At the time they did not look very impressive. But the three nearest my studio have thrived, become monsters actually, this year the were covered in blossoms and are pushing 6 ft tall.

Red flowering currant

Red-flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum

The Bloedel Reserve a Northwest Treasure

The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island is a Northwest treasure — 150 acres of paths through varied landscapes, from wild & native to formal & exotic. Their free open house and plant sale was last weekend. It was another cool one in what is our coldest Spring on record (according to weather guru Cliff Mass). Although the weather was chilly, many turned out to tour the gardens and check out the plant sale. I must say I did my part to support the sale and I was inspired to become a member of the Reserve, now I can come with guests for free. Normally the admission is $13. So I plan to get some good walks in, and enjoy the beautiful reserve in all seasons. Here are a few photos, highlighting native plants, the Japanese garden and some exquisite specimens. Take the virtual tour of Bloedel Reserve to get a real sense of this amazing place. Or better yet, visit in-person, reservations are no longer required.

Washington Coast Winter Sunshine

Beach at La Push, Washington

Beach at La Push, Washington

We spent three awesome days on the Washington coast. Winter sunshine is a rare commodity on the coast, but we lucked out. Temperatures were below freezing. Each morning the beach rocks and driftwood had a frosty coating. We just bundled up and headed out, exploring Oil City and the Hoh Rainforest in the Olympic National Park. We stayed in La Push at the very comfy Quileute Oceanside Resort. It was good to see how the small, remote communities of Forks and La Push have thrived with the attention from Twilight fans. Winter is definitely not peak season, but many folks were around because of the holidays.

It’s always humbling to be around big nature: the ocean, huge trees, waves, rocks and rivers. I highly recommend a wintertime visit, just don’t forget your woolies.

View through a huge spruce drift log root ball.

View through a huge spruce drift log root ball.

Hoh River, Oil City trail to beach, Olympic National Park

Hoh River, Oil City trail to beach, Olympic National Park

Witches Butter, a colorful fungus growing on driftwood

Witches Butter, a colorful fungus growing on driftwood

Oil City an amazing driftwood beach

Oil City an amazing driftwood beach

Hoh River, Olympic National Park

Hoh River, Olympic National Park

Hoh Rain Forest moss in the sun!

Hoh Rain Forest moss in the sun!

Winter woods staring lush licorice fern (and moss)

Licorice fern

I love licorice ferns. They wither in our dry Summers, but a bit of rain comes and they emerge fresh and stay lush all winter. The snow and a serious cold spell we had in November, made no difference to them.

Licorice fern, Polypodium glycyrrhiza, grow in shady forests on the trunks of bigleaf maples, and on dead logs. If licorice ferns are the stars of the moist PNW Winter woods, moss plays a colorful supporting role. Glowing acid greens seem illuminated from within, a vivid contrast against brown-gray bark and dead wood colors of winter.

Winter forest