Return of the Salmon

It’s that time of year when Chinook Salmon return to their spawning grounds on the Deschutes River at Tumwater Falls Park in Washington State. The park has been recently renamed to Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls. It is owned by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation. A fish hatchery is located on site. Here are a few photos taken yesterday along the hiking paths in the park along the river and of the salmon gathering together near the base of one of the waterfalls along the fish ladders. This is truly a Pacific Northwest experience not to be missed!

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

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September Blooms

By far, one of the most prolific and colorful blooms in September gardens are Dahlias. In our local gardens, I’ve watched these hardy plants come into full bloom in August, and many will thrive into October. Here are a few samples of the many colors and varieties of dahlias.

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

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Bee or Fly?

Almost everyone assumes that most flying, pollinating insects they encounter on a floral bloom are a species of bee. Let’s set the record straight! Not all insects that look like bees are bees. One of the most common type of these is the Hover Fly, also known as a Flower Fly or Syrphid Fly. They can have bright, alternating, black and yellow stripes on their abdomen, making them, many times, mistaken for wasps. Some are very small, long and slender, while others are large. But make no mistake! These friendly fellas are important pollinators. They have no stingers and do not bite. So fear them not! One important difference between hover flies and bees is that they have big, bulging eyes that sit on top of their head. Hover Flies feed on nectar and pollen, making them an important pollinator in the insect world.

Hover Fly

©Peggy A Thompson

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August Blooms

Here we are in the dead of summer, and gardens are spilling over with colorful blooms. Probably the biggest show-stoppers in August are the Dahlias. They are so photogenic with their many colors and varieties! But let’s not stop there! I recently visited more gardens over the weekend and was overwhelmed with the myriad of varieties, fragrances, and colors of mother nature. I hope you enjoy this mix of floral images!

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

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Point Defiance Park Flowers and Beach

Point Defiance Park, located in Tacoma, Washington, is my go-to park to explore beautiful gardens and to be with nature. Besides its well manicured gardens, it has acres of natural forest setting along with a public beach, a zoo and 2 aquariums. Owen Beach just reopened to the public, after being closed the past year to undergo renovations. A new road was put in to access the beach area, along with plenty of vehicle parking. Just beware of the many speed bumps that were put into place to slow down drivers.

The public gardens are just beautiful this time of year! The garden maintenance crew does a fantastic job every year to make these gardens as beautiful as possible. As well, the local Dahlia society does their part in maintaining a separate garden of their own. Below are a few images of flowers I spotted throughout the park yesterday, as well as a visit to Owen Beach. I was even lucky enough to spot a few Bald Eagles flying overheard. Enjoy!

Bee on Dahlia flower
Dahlia
Globe Artichokes
Pink Japanese Anemone
Pink Lilies
Pink Lily
Kayaker in Puget Sound with Mount Rainier in background
Kayakers and Washington State Ferry
Killer Whale wooden play structure
Colorful beach umbrella
Bald Eagle

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

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