Category Archives: Puget Sound

Dahlia Garden at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma in October

Dahlia Trial Garden Point Defiance Tacoma WALooking for something to do over Columbus Day weekend?  My husband has noted that we usually have a storm on Columbus Day, but perhaps on the day after the storm, you’ll enjoy visiting the Dahlia Garden at Point Defiance Park, in the North End of Tacoma, WA.

Yes, this year, the Dahlias are still blooming and it’s October!  They are beautiful Autumn flowers!  It’s amazing how varied and elaborate their blossoms are.

Visit after a rain storm, and you’ll have beautiful droplets all over the flowers, adding another dynamic to your photos.

I love photographing flowers.  The very act of composing a photograph makes me pay attention and “be in the moment.”  The later joy of sharing them is just the icing on the cake.

Dahlia Garden was beautiful in Autumn

The Dahlia Trial Garden produces amazing flowers! The garden is maintained by The American Dahlia Society and flowers are voted on by judges. Winning flowers are added to the classification book. According to the Metro Parks Tacoma Garden Clubs website, the best time to view the dahlias is in August… I think there were more earlier in the season and some were cut down, but wow! Still so beautiful.


Beautiful Orange Dahlia seen on the Trial Garden in Tacoma WA


Sign about the Dahlia Garden at Pt Defiance Park, Washington State, USA

While You’re There…

You can walk (or drive) down the hill to the waterfront.  There’s a great walkway and you might even see a Seal!  You’ll almost certainly see the ferry, maybe a barge or some smaller boats, seagulls, and people walking their dogs!

Most recently, I saw this blue heron on top of a utility building along the waterfront.  It was high tide and he was just hanging out!

Blue Heron Seen at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma WA
First time I’ve seen a blue heron at Point Defiance Park!

Washington State Ferry Crossing the Puget Sound

Twin Barns at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge



Here is the trail that leads from the parking lot and goes out to the Twin Barns.  There is a wooden boardwalk (part of the Twin Barns Loop Trail) that parallels this.  The geese here are so friendly!   I got really close to one and got a photo of its feet:

Canada Geese Feet

Canada Geese Feet

I saw a couple of Great Blue Herons.  There was a child who was so excited to tell me that there was one along the path.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

There were also a bunch of American Coots in the waterland next to the path:


American Coots

There were lots of Tree Swallows flying around the barns.   Usually they are hard to photograph because they fly so fast, but they were landing on the barn.  I got this photo:


Tree Swallows


Aren’t they beautiful?  I love their violet and green colors.  I wonder if they are going to make nests on the barn.  I will be going back to see!



Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail

This is amazing!   There is a mile long boardwalk at Nisqually Refuge that goes over the Estuary.  Last week was my first time walking on it. I should have checked this place out years ago.  I went during high tide, so there was water under most of the board walk.  I guess when the tide goes out, it’s all mud flats underneath.  I am curious about the different birds that come by with the changing tide… So expect many more photos in coming months!

Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail

Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail



Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail


Greater White-fronted Goose at Nisqually Refuge


I took these photos at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Thurston County, Washington.   It’s the first time I’ve seen the Greater White Fronted Goose, but I have a feeling that it won’t be the last time!  Depending on the range map, they either stay here all Winter, or are just moving through on their migratory journey far north.  They spend their summers in Alaska, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and the Nunavut.

I actually didn’t realize that they were geese when I saw them.  I just thought they were some large duck.  But my husband knew they were geese right away.  The only geese I am familiar with are the Canada and Cackling Geese.

There were at least 4 of these White Fronted Geese right next to the Nisqually Estuary Trail.  They were doing all sorts of lovely poses for me.  Aren’t they funny looking?  At least I can remember their name by their funny white face.  I love it when names actually describe a bird’s appearance.


A Gaggle of Geese at Chambers Bay Golf Course

As people rush to get the Chambers Bay Golf Course ready for the U.S. Open this June, the Canada Geese have been enjoying it.  I counted a flock of about 240 geese today.  I think they were a mix of Canada and Cackling Geese.  The two species used to be one, but now the small ones are classified as the “Cackling” species.


When the geese land, a flock turns into a gaggle!  These geese did circle the grounds in a circular pattern and then they all landed together!


It appears that the construction of the Chambers Bay Golf course and surrounding structures is not yet complete.  There was a crane there today.  Here is today’s work in progress:

chambers bay construction


No worries though, there are still 107 days before the opening day!