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Wild Orcas Island

Wildlife on Orcas Island-viewing begins while waiting for the ferry. There are sea gulls,Doe Alone cormorants, Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, grebes and harbor seals in the bay and American Bald Eagles riding the wind currents as your journey to Orcas Islands begins. bheron242016
Sweet bird songs abound in the vegetation that runs parallel to the parking lot. When on the ferry check out the pilings as the ferry pulls away from the Anacortes  ferry dock for the “cormorant condos.”  The cormorants have discovered that the dock is a perfect nesting area for them. Pelagic seabirds can be seen bobbing in the

bald eagle otters pond orcas island

Bald Eagle over Otters Pond

water as well as seals, dolphins and on occasion, orca whales. The ferry route through Rosario Strait is a major migration path for seabirds.  Always have your binoculars and camera ready; besides the wildlife you might see beautiful snow covered Mt. Baker in the distance, an assortment of sail and recreational boats, the US Coast Guard and other ferries on their island routes.

Orcas Island has an abundance of Black-tailed deer so be mindful while IMG_4340_edited-1driving to your destination; they can cross the road right in front of you. Riding the wind currents and soaring overhead you can see occasional American Bald Eagles and Turkey Vultures. To identify them high in the sky remember that the wings and body of the Turkey Vultures appear V-shaped, the wings of American Bald Eagle look straight across from one wing tip to the other.christopher2

Crescent Beach, just past Eastsound Village on the way to Moran State Park, is a good spot for bird watching.  You can see Bufflehead Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Scoters, Great Blue Herons, Artic Terns, Belted Kingfishers just to name a few depending on the season. Pacific Blackbirds, and a variety of sea gulls can be on the beach

beach life

beach life

as well as a pair of Black Oystercatchers with long yellow legs and a long red bill.  Be sure to keep your distance, the Oyster Catcher nests on the beach in the rocks and disturbance of their territory can be disastrous for their eggs or young.

Wildlife does abound on Orcas Island.  You could see Trumpeter Swans in the winter, and year around a chance glimpse of river otters in the lakes and ponds or just crossing the road as they search for fish. Ducks, birds and waterfowl can always be seen…….. mink, beaver, and raccoons too.  A wildlife cruise offers an opportunity to see Stellar Sea Lions, Orca, Humpback or Minke whales, porpoise, seals, American Bald Eagles and their nests depending on luck that day. Wildlife is unpredictable so there are no guarantees; you can be assured that the scenery will be spectacular.

Early music coming to Orcas Island

The Salish Sea Early Music Festival pays tribute to Hanover, Germany’s vibrant early music scene in Hanover Baroque, an evening of baroque trio sonatas, solos and duos with harpsichordist Bernward Lohr, baroque violinist Anne Röhrig and baroque flutist Jeffrey Cohan on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at Orcas Adventist Fellowship Church at 107 Enchanted Forest Road in Eastsound.

Lohr and Röhrig are both professors at music conservatories in both Hanover and Nuremburg, Germany. Their more than 30 recordings have garnered awards including the Diapason Dòr, the Cannes Classical Award, the German Recording Critics’ Prize, and several times the Echo Klassik. Both were awarded the 2002 Music Award of Lower Saxony.

The Salish Sea Early Music Festival, now in its sixth year, presents six performances in 2016, this year with three musicians from Germany and others from four states and the Pacific Northwest. The festival has presented countless first performances in modern times of period instrument renditions of early works.

The suggested donation will be $15, $20 or $25 (a free will offering). Those 18 and under are free. Please please see www.salishseafestival.org/orcas or call the Orcas Adventist Fellowship Church at (360) 376-6683 for more information.

Gifts Worth Giving

It was said by a very uncommon fellow that, to paraphrase: from what we get, we can make a living, but what we give makes life worth living.

Otters Pond B&B

trumpeter on pond-orcas island

So this year we decided to put a little spin on Gifts that have a simple WOW factor as we lead you toward the pleasures of the gift of a new travel experience. A gift certificate is a perfect gift for loved ones who don’t really need anything material. A gift to a new or beautiful destination is a gift that will be memorable. Orcas Island is the perfect getaway for those seeking peace and quiet, a place to escape the hectic daily pressures of work, traffic, and noise. It is the opportunity to be in nature and experience the sounds of birds, waterfalls, and the sound of your own footsteps as you walk in the forests of Moran State Park, Obstruction Pass State Park or Turtleback Mountain Preserve.

Today a guest wrote in one of our guest books that that Otters Pond B&B is “A Bit of Heaven on Earth.” He loved the pond, the birds, our location near Moran State Park, our “great breakfasts and hospitality”. He enjoyed Orcas Island and his stay at Otters Pond B&B so much that he is returning in the spring to search for a property to purchase. Praise like this makes us proud and happy as we strive to help our guests experience Orcas Island by sharing our favorite things to see and do here. Some just can’t help falling in love with our island. He said Orcas Island was so beautiful he felt that he was in a “huge park with a village and a few residences”.

Otters Pond is a gift we gave ourselves nearly twenty years ago continuing to share it with our guests.

A gift certificate to Otters Pond B&B will make a loved one happy and so grateful for the opportunity to visit a wonderful island destination.  Gift Certificate

HAMLET @ ORCAS CENTER

(Thursday, October 22, 7:30 pm)

Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game, Star Trek) takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, directed by Lyndsey Turner and produced by Sonia Friedman. Forced to avenge his father’s death, Hamlet rages against his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.

INFORMATION: 360-376-2281 x1

ORCAS ISLAND GARDEN CLUB PRESENTS “TAMING THE OVERGROWN GARDEN”

(Wednesday, October 21, 10:00 am in the Madrona Room of Orcas Center)

Orcas Island Garden Club presents “Taming the Overgrown Garden,” with Cass Turnbull.  Cass Turnbull’s name is synonymous with good pruning.  As the founder and president of Plant Amnesty, her mission has been to “end the shameless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs.”  Cass will present on basic pruning of ornamental trees and shrubs, as well as creative solutions to the overgrown or over-planted garden.  Born in Seattle, a professional gardener for over 20 years, Cass is the author of two books, numerous articles, and lectures nationally on the art of pruning. She comes to Orcas Island just in time for the fall clean up of our gardens.  Come, join, visit at the social hour after the meeting.

INFORMATION: Visit orcasislandgardenclub.org.

DALLAS BRASS @ ORCAS CENTER

(Saturday, October 17, 7:30 pm)

Dallas Brass returns with guest performances by the Orcas Island High School Band and Turtleback Brass. Founded in 1983 by Michael Levine, Dallas Brass has become one of America’s foremost musical ensembles.  The group’s unique blend of traditional brass instruments with drums and percussion creates a performing entity of extraordinary range with a repertoire of classical masterpieces, Dixieland, swing, Broadway and patriotic music.

INFORMATION: 360-376-2281 x1

Cheese Making Workshop

(Thursday, October 15, 4:00 pm @ Pebble Cove Farm)
Join Claudia Lucero, Portland, Oregon’s author of One Hour Cheese and founder of Urban Cheesecraft for a demonstration class. Claudia has developed cheese kits that use nuts and seeds. You won’t believe your taste buds, and it only takes 25 minutes!
Come see how it’s done and taste the fresh-made, dairy-free mozzarella for yourself.

There is no fee, but feel free to bring a thank-you treat for Claudia. She especially likes wine, chocolate, coffee, pickles, and anything homemade! RSVP, please.

INFORMATION: For more info about Claudia’s business, check out: www.urbancheesecraft.com.

BOOK READING & SIGNING AT DARVILL’S BOOKS

(Sunday, October 11, 12:30 – 1:30 pm @ Darvill’s Books)

For the first time at Darvill’s, Nikki McClure — noted Northwestern artist, illustrator, and author — will be reading and signing books and calendars on Sunday, October 11, from 12:30- to 1:30 pm.  A native of Olympia, Washington, Nikki is known for her painstakingly intricate and beautiful paper cuts. Armed with an X-acto knife, she cuts out her images from a single sheet of paper and creates a bold language that translates the complex poetry of motherhood, nature, and activism into a simple and endearing picture. Her work depicts the virtues of hard labor and patience, but there is also a large element of celebration. She magnifies the importance of simple things, like the change of seasons, slowing down the world for a moment so we can actually taste it.
Darvill’s has carried Nikki’s calendars, cards and children’s books for years. Some of her titles include IN, May the Stars Drip Down, Collect Raindrops and How to Be a Cat.  We are thrilled and honored to host Nikki at Darvill’s while she visits on Orcas as one of the four leaders of Write Doe Bay, a three-day writing workshop at the Doe Bay Resort from October 8th through the 11th.

Hot coffee and fresh Cafe Olga baked goods from the Darvill’s Coffee Bar are a wonderful way to take the chill off an October day. Come on in and let one of our talented baristas whip something up for you!

INFORMATION: Call 360-376-2135 or email darvills@rockisland.com.

AUTUMN 2015 WINE DINNER @ INN AT SHIP BAY

(Thursday, November 5, 6:00 pm)

An Autumn 2015 Wine Dinner at Inn at Ship Bay will be featuring Benjamin Smith and Gaye McNutt, winemaker & co-founders of Cadence Winery. Cadence produces very highly-acclaimed artisanal wines from the Columbia Valley and Red Mountain here in Washington State. Ben & Gaye will have stories and observations of this season’s grapes, the just-finished harvest, & maybe a surprise! Seating is limited.

INFORMATION: For reservations, please, call 360-376-5886 or e-mail shipbay@rockisland.com.

TRASHION FASHION SHOW

(Saturday, October 24, 7:00 pm @ the Grange)
Keep Orcas Beautiful and support the Orcas Island Grange Building Maintenance Fund with your creative fashions made from recyclable materials. For inspiration, click on Pictures on the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal site http://www.lopezsolidwaste.org/.
Carl Burger, the ever-funny musician and entertainer will host this First Annual Trashion Fashion Show sponsored by supporters of the Grange. Watch for more announcements in the coming weeks!

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