Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Traveling: Whidbey Island, WA (Part II)

Bald Eagle, Late Afternoon : Fort Casey State Park : Coupeville, WA

Since I arrived in the afternoon on Thursday, I limited my explorations on the island to the town of Langley, where I was staying, and Freeland, just north of Langley. The next morning, however, I got up really early and decided to drive the entire length of the island and explore Whidbey as best I could. These are just a handful of the 120 pictures I took that day. To see more than the six or so I'm posting today, check out the slideshow at the end of this entry. The photo above is a bald eagle I captured toward the end of the afternoon when I was out visiting Fort Casey and seeing Admiralty Head Lighthouse.

Adirondack chairs and wreath : Whidbey Island, WA

Some information about Whidbey Island: It is one of nine islands that comprise Island County, Washington. Of the nine, it is the largest and most populous with nearly 60,000 residents. The islands lie in Puget Sound between the Olympic Peninsula and what is known as the I-5 Corridor. At its longest, the island is 62 miles in length and, at its widest, 12 miles wide. Its narrowest width is 2 miles. Whidbey Island is the fifth longest and largest island in the contiguous United States and the largest in Washington State.

Early morning light : Oak Harbor, WA

The northern end of the island is dominated by a U.S. naval air station and most of the residents in Oak Harbor are either active military or civilian defense employees. On the south end of the island, most of the residents are employed in tourism commerce, agriculture, and the arts. Access to the south end of the island is by ferry from Mukilteo.

Deception Pass : Deception Pass State Park

Driving north out of Oak Harbor, you come to Deception Pass State Park. Cross a bridge and you're back on the mainland and on your way to Anacortes, which is where you can catch a ferry to Victoria, B.C.

Admiralty Head Lighthouse : Fort Casey State Park : Coupeville, WA

The island also includes a lighthouse at Fort Casey State Park just outside Coupeville--about halfway between Langley and Oak Harbor. Admiralty Head Lighthouse was constructed in 1860 and was a wooden structure. Later, the U.S. Army took over the area and the original structure was demolished. A new building (the one above) was built in 1903. The lighthouse operated until 1922 and is now a non-profit interpretative center for a group known as Lighthouse Environmental Programs.

Pilings, logs, and driftwood as art : Whidbey Island, WA
(Click images to enlarge.)

There you have it. Just a smattering of information about Whidbey Island. Later that evening, I took the boat over to Mukilteo for dinner at Ivar's fish shack. The sunset was spectacular! You can see pictures of that in the slideshow. (Click on the slideshow graphic and it will open in a new window with larger photos.)

Tomorrow will feature Small Town Christmas: Langley

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 12/08


Adriana Velez said...

Wow, gorgeous pics!

Virginia said...

well take a deep bow. These are fabulous and you were right, the eagle is a spectacular catch. Woooo eeeee1

Jilly said...

How fabulous! that first one is sensational. How privileged to actually see a bald eagle. Great set of photographs.

Just M said...

I love the Log. The texture is amazing!

D.C. Confidential said...

Adriana: Thanks!

VJ: Is that eagle SWEET? That just might end up being my picture of the year!

Jilly: Thanks! Bald eagle are the most majestic birds I've ever seen. If you ever get a chance to see some, do it. It's awe-inspiring.

Just M: Thank you. I like that log, too! It was just lying there, begging to be photographed.

JM said...

Stunning shots! Perfect timing to catch the eagle.

marley said...

These are some stunning photos. The first photo, with the eagle, is prize winning!

Scenic Wheaton said...

WOW! Are you back to pack your bags? Awesome shots.

D.C. Confidential said...

JM: Thanks! I had to work really hard not to spook him!

Marley: Thank you! I'm trying to figure out if there's a photography contest in which I can enter the eagle. He's pretty awesome!

Scenic: Maybe, maybe! Pretty spectacular, huh?

Bob Crowe said...

WOW, fabulous job. I'm glad you got yourself up. Deception Pass is so dramatic, especially when you are standing near the island end of the bridge. You got some good light, a bit of luck in that area. More, please.

Tash said...

Amazing photos & so great about the eagle photo. I love the Oak Harbor shot, too.

D.C. Confidential said...

Bob: There are only so many daylight hours right now, so I figured, the sooner I got up, the better. Deception Pass was STUNNING! I was blown away by its beauty. Come back tomorrow for pictures of Langley, a sunset in Mukilteo, and night shots of Seattle.

Tash: Thanks! I'm very, very pleased with how well the eagle shot turned out.

babooshka said...

Lovely set of images but the eagle is stand out, you really captured the majesty of this hunter.

Eric Salsbery said...

I love the eagle photo. Very nicely done.
In January, I will be heading out to Farmington Bay north of Salt Lake to photograph the Bald Eagles there.
About a dozen Bald Eagles spend the winter in and around the bird refuge over the winter.

Maya said...

A lot of wonderful shots here, but I especially like the bald eagle!

D.C. Confidential said...

Babooshka: That eagle was so awesome! I'm glad I was able to capture it.

Eric: Any chance I could tag alone with you in January? I once spent a day boating on Lake Nacimiento in California and seeing bald eagles. They're so majestic.

Maya: Thanks! I'm pretty proud of that eagle shot.

Jerry Case said...

As a resident of Coupeville on Whidbey Island, I especially enjoyed the pictures. The island is loaded with deer and eagles. A friend of mine has a picture taken from his house on the beach and showing about ten eagles enjoying a fish dinner on the sand.
One minor nit - the Deception Pass bridge (a real 8th wonder of the world) does not go to the mainland - only to Fidalgo Island where Anacortes is located.