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Whidbey Island’s History Part 2

Whidbey Island’s History Part 2

There is evidence that some humans lived on Whidbey Island perhaps 8,000 years ago. Certainly, there were significant villages of Snohomish, Suquamish, Skagit and Swinomish Indians or their ancestors by 1500. From 1500 to 1640, hundreds of European explorers, especially those Portuguese and Spanish navigators influenced by Prince Henry’s school of navigation in Lisbon, circumnavigated the globe and sailed southern and northern waters with confidence.

In 1500 the Portuguese navigator Gaspar Cortereal discovered Labrador and the entrance to Hudson Bay. Spanish and Portuguese mariners made parallel discoveries in the Pacific: Balboa in 1513, followed by Cortez, Cabrillo, and Ferrelo. Martin Frobisher in the 1550’s explored widely the northern coasts of present-day Canada. In 1610, a Dutch navigator sailing for England, Henry Hudson, explored Hudson Bay far to the west seeking the theoretical “Northwest Passage” believed to connect the Atlantic to the Pacific across North America, analogous to what Ferdinand Magellan found in 1520 at the ‘bottom’ of South America where the Atlantic Ocean joined the Pacific.

Sir Francis Drake in 1579 sailed the outer coast of much of the “Oregon Territory” in his quest for fame. To promote trade and find a ‘Northwest Passage’ route across North America (and solidify British interests in these resource-rich lands), the Hudson’s Bay Company was founded in London, in 1668.

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Whidbey Island’s History Part 1

Whidbey Island is the western part of Washington’s Island County. In 1792, Captain Vancouver named the island after Joseph Whidbey, Captain of the HMS Discovery who was probably the first western explorer to set foot on this land at Penn’s Cove (near what we know as Coupeville). Whidbey Island is Puget Sound’s largest island, some 45 miles long and between one and a half and ten miles wide.

One of Whidbey Island’s early settlers in the 1850’s, Samuel Maylor, inscribed in a hand-written family album, “To my sons: Remember’ memories, if once lost, are gone forever.” So it is. Let no history be “gone forever”! Visitors and residents alike tend to think of “original” Coupeville, Langley, and Oak Harbor as “quaint” Victorian villages that evidence the early beginnings of Whidbey’s European history.

Not so, though Whidbey’s earliest white settlers left few indications of their passing on our landscape – unless you know where to look. We tend to think of Coupeville, founded by two dozen New England sea captains, as representing our European beginnings. Coupeville is, in fact, Washington’s second oldest town, after Ft. Walla Walla, the terminus of the Oregon Trail. But, before there was a ‘Washington’ and before Thomas Coupe even arrived at Whidbey Island to lend his name to Coupeville, there was Coveland.

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Life in the Rain Shadow

If you dream of a mild Pacific Northwest with warm winters and cool summers, modest rainfall, spectacular scenery with eagles and whales, this could be the place you’ve been trying to get to! Only 65-minutes from Metropolitan Seattle but light years away via a 15-minute ferry trip, you’ll find this “secret place”; a relaxed countryside of friendly neighbors, fir forests, and pastures, snow-capped mountains, east and west, wind-swept bluffs and driftwood-covered beaches. Add pristine air quality, unpolluted water, low crime, good schools, and no state income tax, but great health care delivery, and you would be on Whidbey Island!

There are places in the world so exceptional they don’t require superlatives. Whidbey Island is such a place. Try “life in the rain shadow”.

The interesting ways many people come to live on Whidbey Island! A few decades ago, a successful antique dealer in Los Angeles, was trapped in 12-24 hour work days. In a conversation with a friend, she reflected on returning to a life in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, because of the sea and the trees.

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Every Seed Is Telling A Story

A small Pacific Northwest farmer is helping save the planet, one seed at a time

THE SEED SAVER

In plant propagation, our past and future are preserved… Two days ago, in an egg carton on my desk, I planted a dozen pointy brown seeds, each slightly bigger than a comma.

Already, one seed has spurted hairy white roots; soon, a pair of tender cotyledons will unfold, followed by tiny emerald leaves splashed with red. As the days stretch and warm, the leaves will swell into a curvaceous siren of a lettuce named ‘Flashy Butter Oak.’

This spring marks Flashy’s debut on the salad circuit. Crisp to the tooth, soft on the tongue, resistant to cold and sclerotinia stem rot, the ruffled lettuce is an exotic starlet — the product of millions of years of natural selection, more than 10,000 years of human selection and 22 years of careful observation and cross-pollination by classical plant breeder Frank Morton, a self-described “obsessive-compulsive seed head.”

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Treasures of the Tide Flats

Treasures of the Tide Flats

On a beach or at a bash, oysters are worthy of celebration

FOR A MOMENT, I had the sense that the world was an oyster — not my oyster, perhaps, but an oyster nonetheless. Standing beside the shell-shaped bowl of Totten Inlet at low tide on a winter evening, I couldn’t help noticing that the clouds whirled above my head in the pattern of an oyster’s markings.

The receding tide lapped at the shore the same way an oyster’s liquor splashes inside its shell, and the very air was filled with the fresh salt-water smell of mollusks.

The particular piece of beach on which I stood is home to a shellfish-growing operation managed by Taylor Shellfish Farms. Company president Bill Taylor and oyster promoter Jon Rowley were our hosts when a baker’s dozen of us oyster aficionados set out for a beachside picnic in January.

Taylor runs more than a half-dozen farms from Willapa Bay to Samish Bay, and the Taylor family has been farming oysters in Washington for more than a century.

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A River Reigns Through It

A River Reigns Through It

FIRST TO THE ANKLES, then the knees, then mid-thigh: The river pushes higher and higher, its power sucking, pulling, tugging at your legs; how it wants to lie you down. Stand mid-channel and watch its water surge toward you, glassy smooth, clear, slatey-green, a river used to getting whatever it wants.

The mighty Queets, one of the biggest, undammed, wild rivers in the Lower 48, reigns supreme in its kingdom of Olympic National Park, where it muscles about 50 miles from the glaciers of Mount Olympus to the Pacific.

Wading across it in summertime when the water is lowest is a rite of passage for anyone who would hike the Queets trail, reached on the other side of the river. Any other time of year? Forget it.

For all its charisma, the Queets is a river that people who don’t fish don’t talk of much. It’s far away — four hours from Seattle, reached down a dead-end, gravel road. But to those who know it, well worth every pothole and busted tire.

The forests along its banks, protected within the park, and the river’s untamed flow make the Queets a window into a lost world, a rare landscape in the Lower 48.

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Sustainable Design – Green Building Myths

Sustainable Design – Green Building Myths

Green Building Myths – Fact and Fiction

– The Big Green Home Myth and The Real Green Revolution – How to Separate Fact from Fiction
We can find more and more marketing hype (Fiction) and quite a lot of good stuff (Facts) out there as a result of the current interest in Green Homes by consumers.

Some years ago, when we brought up how energy-efficient or maintenance-free our homes were, nobody seemed to care and it looked like everybody kind of tuned us out. These days they are paying much more attention when we inform them about all the fantastic things we could do to make their home more energy-efficient and reduce their operating and maintenance costs.

The trouble is that these days everyone seems to have jumped on the Green Building Band Wagon and that it is getting harder to separate Facts from Fiction. Facts: all the good things that will seriously make your home more energy-efficient and save you a lot of money. Fiction: the marketing hype that only wants to get your buck and does not care for your return on investment.

– Do not believe everything you read or see on TV – Windows

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Living Green Tips -“Green Bites”

Living Green Tips -“Green Bites”

Check out these tips that may be very helpful to contribute towards a more sustainable world.

  • When cleaning out your office, keep in mind that Island Recycling accepts Televisions/Monitors/Computer towers (“cpu’s”) and Lap-top computers free of charge as a part of the E-Cycle Washington Program. Do your part for your environment and save money by keeping reusable and recyclable items out of the landfills.
  • Use non-toxic cleaning solutions whenever possible. Non-toxic cleaners are available at almost all of Whidbey’s grocery stores. You can also search online for easy ways to make your own non-toxic cleaners.
  • Reducing fax-related paper waste by using a fax-modem and by using a fax cover sheet only when necessary. Fax-modems allow documents to be sent directly from a computer, without requiring a printed hard copy.

Make sure your faucet has an aerator. Aerators reduce water flow by 25% while producing a water stream that is every bit as good for washing dishes, hand, or fruits and vegetablesScreensavers

  • rs generally do not save energy. In fact, certain graphics-intensive screen savers can cause the computer to burn twice as much energy, and may actually prevent a computer from entering sleep mode.
  • Plants can serve as natural air filters. They improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants such as formaldehyde (which is found in carpeting, upholstery, particle board and electronics). Some plants that work well in an office environment include: Boston Fern, Dracaena, English Ivy, Peace Lilly, Philodendron, Snake Plants and Spider Plants.
  • Turn off your engine when you stop for a minute or two. It is a myth that it’s more fuel efficient to leave your engine running for a few minutes rather than turn it off and restart it.

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Green & Healthy Living Tips

Green & Healthy Living Tips

The concept of green and healthy living has nowadays also entered mainstream thinking. It is impacting our workplaces and our diets, and our homes. In case you’ve been thinking about how you can make the best choices for both the environment and your family, you don’t need to look any further. We’ve done a lot of research and came up with 5 quite simple solutions to make your home more sustainable.

Green Living – Sustainable House

1. Choose Always Sustainable Systems
Generally, this is what comes to people’s minds when they think of green living but bear in mind that sustainability doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to install solar panels and live entirely off the grid. On a small scale, if you select energy-efficient appliances and a slow-flow shower head you will as well be reducing your impact.

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Whidbey Island 2017 Marathon

Whidbey Island 2017 Marathon

The 2017 Whidbey Island Marathon/Half Marathon is held on Sunday, April 23. 

Whidbey Island is a fantastic destination for a weekend getaway. Say goodbye to your city life for a few days, and relax in this stunningly beautiful setting. Whidbey Island is located a little north of Seattle, right in the Puget Sound of Washington State.

The island is a vehicle accessible vacation destination for many visitors and a great and beautiful getaway from the region’s busy mainland.

Whidbey Island provides stunning ocean views and rolling farmlands, and the annual full and half full marathon courses are promising to be very scenic from waterfront coastlines to country back roads, and from rolling hills to snow-capped mountain settings.

Whidbey Island is located just over 90 miles north of the city of Seattle, and you will need around one hour to drive from Everett to Oak Harbor.

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