SAD DAY ON THE PRAIRIE – MARCH 10, 3017

The weather gave me a break and I finally got off my derriere and went for a nice four and a half mile walk. I headed out to the Ebey Prairie to check things out. Along the way I spotted a herd of deer.  It’s pretty unusual to see six deer in one spot, but here ya go.

Deer Herd of Six

Then it was on to my final destination and why the sadness on the prairie. One of the most photographed farms on the prairie is the Willowood Farm built in the 1800’s. Here’s one I took a few months back.

Smith Farm Before

Unfortunately it no longer looks like that. Monday night, March 6th, the Smith barn caught fire and burnt to the ground. Here’s a photo from the South Whidbey Record newspaper taken by Whidbey Island Custom Photography.

Smith Barn Fire

Here’s the story in the South Whidbey Record. Not only was the barn a total loss but a lot of their farm equipment was destroyed as well.

The Smith’s have always been a very generous family often letting local groups use their barn for fundraisers. Now they need help! There is a “Go Fund Me” page that has been created for them. If you’d like to help please go to “https://www.gofundme.com/never-finished-farming-smith-barn” and give what you can, thank you.

And here’s the farm today. It’s kind of ironic that the mountains are gone as well as the barn, sort of sobering look. Hopefully with the generosity of many people they’ll have a new barn in the near future although it won’t be the historic one that burnt.

Smith Farm Burnt Barn

Just a comment about this photo, that is not smoke where the barn was, it’s a fog bank across Admiralty Inlet by Port Townsend.

Thanks for walking with me today and with any luck the weather prognosticator will be nicer to us next week. Have a great weekend!

MADRONA DYING – March 2, 2017

Welcome to a new month. So far March has been cooler and mostly cloudy with a few sprinkles so I guess I’d have to say it’s coming in like a tame lion.

I really didn’t find any good photo ops this morning but I did notice a couple of interesting things I documented.

First stop, the Coupeville Wharf. A few posts ago I had a picture of a guy pressure washing the boat dock. They’ve completed that and have moved on to the pier. You can see in this photo just how far he’s gotten. It’s going to look great when it’s all done.

wharf-pier-cleaning

Because the wind was blowing pretty good I tried to walk in the lea of the island. That worked pretty well. I walked out Madrona Way and noticed something really disturbing. The Madrona trees appear to be dying.

Madrona Way is lined with beautiful, red barked, Madrona trees. The road goes west from Coupeville for three miles to highway 20 along scenic Penn Cove, the mussel farm and Kennedy Lagoon. Sadly it looks like about 70% – 80% of the trees are dying. I don’t know if anything is being done to try and save them. Doing a quick search on the internet it sounds like it could be one of several causes; foliage diseases, branch dieback and trunk canker diseases, and root diseases.

madrona-trees-dying

It was good to see you all today as we had a nice four mile walk, whew! I hope to see you again tomorrow.