Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sky blue pink

Hydrangea in a whiskey barrel

I really don't understand why soil content or additives might affect the color of certain species of hydrangea, but apparently it's true. The one over by the pioneer cabin could not be bluer, while this one is the loveliest shade of pink, especially seen against the weathered barrel and the pale gray garage wall.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ancestors -- we've all got 'em

Crosby House, Tumwater

This historic home (1860) is a stone's throw from the pioneer cabin surrounded by hydrangeas that I showed you a couple of days ago. The original occupants of the Crosby House were the family of Nathanial Crosby III, grandfather of Bing Crosby. Apparently, the house contains a grand piano that came by ship around Cape Horn. It's now a museum that is open to the public a few hours a week, but I've never been. I really should remedy that.

Other sources: Olympia Tumwater Foundation, City of Olympia

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Deschutes River*, Tumwater Falls Park

The water is somewhat low just now, but here is a place you can find deep, welcoming shade and the soothing sound of babbling water on the hottest of days.  Fish ladders assist salmon returning to the hatchery ponds near Tumwater Falls.

For more information, visit Friends of the Deschutes Watershed Center.

*Not to be confused with a much more significant waterway, the Deschutes River in Oregon.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

As blue as blue can be

Pioneer Log Cabin, Tumwater

This cabin (1969) features hand-peeled fir logs and a split cedar shake roof, similar to homes built by the first American settlers on Puget Sound in 1845. The hydrangeas that bracket it are spectacular.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Stories to tell

General Administration Building and Chief William Shelton’s story pole, West Capitol Campus

The mid-century style GA Building (1956) is scheduled for demolition in 2010 to make way for a new Heritage Center that will house the Secretary of State, the State Archives, and visitor facilities. The painted story pole was begun by Chief Shelton of the Snohomish Tribe and finished by other tribal carvers after his death. It was dedicated in 1940. This is not, strictly speaking, a totem pole:

A totem pole symbolizes a family’s history through the depiction of certain animals and their cultural legends. A story pole, on the other hand, puts its emphasis on teaching children community responsibility and cultural attitudes through the depictions of these same animal characters. Story poles are most often carved from the interior pillars of ceremonial longhouses. Therefore, this free-standing pole provides a rare look at carvings typically seen only within sacred structures of the Snohomish and other Salish tribes. The story pole features 21 beautifully carved figures, each teaching a certain life lesson.

--General Administration Website

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Movie Star

Lady Washington docked at Percival Landing

The Lady W is the State Ship of the state of Washington, as well as its official "Tall Ship Ambassador." She is a replica of an earlier ship, is rigged as a brig, and has appeared in a number of films, notably as HMS Interceptor in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Corinthian order

Pediment and upper portico of the Legislative Building, West Capitol Campus

The acanthus leave on the columns seemed to relate to the foliage in the foreground.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Italian Villa?

Nope, it's the old Olympia Brewery, glimpsed from Tumwater Falls Park

Monday, July 23, 2007


Capitol Lake and Puget Sound from the West Capitol Campus

This shot is taken from behind the Washington State Supreme Court on the West Campus. The isthmus of Fourth and Fifth Avenue (with the rather unlovely Capitol Center Building in the middle of the picture) separates the Lake from the Sound, which stretches out to the north.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The other Washington

Washington State Legislative Building, seen from the Sunken Garden, West Capitol Campus

Built in 1928 at a cost of $6.7 million, the Legislative Building is comprised of more than 173 million pounds of stone, brick, concrete and steel. It is the fourth tallest masonry dome in the world, rising 287 feet high. At the time, many viewed the building and its furnishings as a "Monument to Extravagance."

Cuspidors costing $47.50 apiece? Outrageous. Or so it seemed in 1928 when silk handkerchiefs sold for a mere 65 cents and women’s girdles could be had for $1.25. Yet Washington had agreed to pay that inflated price for the ornate spittoons to be strategically located around its new state capitol building. No one objected to the spittoons themselves -- every well-equipped office had them at a time when many men, including state legislators, chewed tobacco. It was the price that was shocking.


The dome shifted about an inch during the Nisqually earthquake in February 2001, which along with other damage, required the building to be closed for repair for three years. During that time, the state legislature met in temporary structures and other nearby buildings. Lobbyists were sometimes reduced to operating out of tents.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Another bright posie

Old fashioned rose in the Sunken Garden, West Capitol Campus

I was playing with the selective focus capabilities of my new camera. Do you like this effect? What about the colors?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Every day's a celebration

Tivoli Fountain, West Capitol Campus

This replica of a Roman-style fountain located in Tivoli Park, Copenhagen, Denmark was dedicated in 1953. It features an outer ring of 540 jets which create an umbrella of water, and inside of this are two rings of vertical spray jets rising out of large, tulip-shaped copper tubs. In the center of the fountain is its most striking feature, a central spout that shoots water approximately 25 feet into the air. All of the sprays alternately rise and fall together, creating five different artistic water displays while circulating 600 gallons of water a minute.

The fountain operates between April 1 and October 30 each year.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Beaver Burn, 1985

A stalwart cedar stands among the snags and undergrowth of an old forest fire in Olympic National Park. Taken July 4th along the Staircase Rapids trail.

Prop me up!

Elderly tree on the West Capitol Campus

At least a couple of the older trees on the campus have one or more posts supporting their ancient, heavy lower branches. At it's age, this tree has certainly survived many storms and I like to think it has witnessed a never ending parade of events -- leisurely strolls, political rallies and demonstrations, office worker lunches, whispered conversations, posing for photographers.

In the background, you can just make out a winding river of 4,000 metal wheat stalks that are part of the state's World War II Memorial. I'll post at least one more photo of that memorial sometime in the next few days.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Veteran of the "Forgotten War"

Detail of the Korean War Memorial, East Capitol Campus

This is one of several war memorials on the East and West Campuses. The memorial was not placed on the campus and dedicated until 1993. Roughly 122,000 Washington soldiers served in Korea, now often referred to as "the forgotten war"—532 of these troops were killed. The Highway-Licenses Building is in the background.


Rocks in the Skokomish River.

This is another photo from my July 4th hike along Staircase Rapids Trail in the Olympic National Park.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Happy Cosmos

Cosmos in the Sunken Garden, West Capitol Campus

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Western sky

Olympia Yacht Club Marina

Taken the evening of July 2nd, facing west from Percival Landing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Part of the working port

Port of Olympia from Percival Landing

I'm not sure what the vessel behind the tug is, but it's not a yacht. The gantry crane to the right is part of marine terminal operations.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Morning light

Beside the Staircase Ranger Station

Taken the morning of July 4th, heading out for a hike on the Staircase Rapids Trail in Olympic National Park.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nike spreads her wings

Winged Victory monument

This 1938 monument on the West Capitol Campus, which honors those who served in the First World War, dominates the view of the campus from Capitol Way.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The light in the forest

Taken the morning of July 4th in Olympic National Park. Staircase is a very popular hiking destination on the Olympic Peninsula. The trail begins at Staircase Ranger Station, about an hour and a half drive from Olympia.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sunday Morning

Lavender on the East Capitol Campus.

The Highway-Licenses Building and Woman Dancing are in the background.

The view from downtown

Skiffs in Budd Inlet

This photo is another favorite. I love these skiffs. The white one is called Spirit.

By the way, all of the photos posted from July 2 through today were taken the evening of July 2.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

But don't move here

Budd Inlet and the Olympics from Percival Landing

This photo shows a local tugboat and the Olympic Mountains. West Bay Marina stretches out behind the tug, which looks like a conversion job.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Peek-a-boo dome

Capitol Building

I expect that this blog will feature quite a few more pictures of the Capitol dome. It dominates the town and is, after all, pretty doggone photogenic.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Local Color

Chopsticks, Fifth Avenue

This is a favorite among the local Asian restaurants and I love its bright facade.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Above the boardwalk

My first posts here were actually all taken on the same day, July 2, which was glorious. They represent the inaugural output from my new digital SLR, a Sony A-100. This is probably my favorite of that first batch.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Smooching on the waterfront

The Kiss, near the Oyster House Restaurant

I've always enjoyed this sculpture at Percival Landing, not least because she is taller than he.

Monday, July 2, 2007

How to keep cool

Heritage Park Fountain

This might be the most popular place in town on a hot day, certainly among the younger set. Just hope they are all wearing sunscreen!