Tag Archives: pnw

Elandan Gardens

http://www.elandangardens.com/  Located in Bremerton, Washington.

Have you seen it as you drive by?  I’ve been wanting to stop there for ages (I thought it was a nursery/garden) so finally put the brakes on and turned off from WA-16.  I was glad I did.  There are several components to this little hideaway heaven.  It is right on the water’s edge of the Puget Sound, about six acres and had been a very stair landfill.  In 1993 the Robinson family (Dan, Diane, Shanna and Will) began developing it starting with sandy fill dirt and over 800 tons of boulders, giving shape to the flat.

Elandan the word comes from Elan which is french for spirit and courage, and Dan, who is the true spirit of the Robinson’s bonsai collection.  While there is a museum/shop filled with all sorts of exotic trinkets, many with an eclectic Asian feel.  When I say trinkets I mean home decor, oil art, jewelry, and dazzling array of apparel.  They even have a chihuly piece!

Dan is a bonsai master.  He is described as a Pioneer of western Bonsai  (many of his Bonsai pieces are black pine and cedar) and you can see many of his works both at the garden and in this book:  http://www.amazon.com/Gnarly-Branches-Ancient-Trees-Robinson/dp/0615378501

The gardens are remarkable, a mix of plant and stone.  There are many pieces of twisted wood and jagged tree pieces reaching up to the sky.  Will is a stone artist and there are many basalt and granite pieces in the garden spread in a carved Stonehenge type of feel.

My most favorite part were the quiet ponds and tiny waterfalls.  The ponds floated several different types of lily pads and were flowering.

The experience was peaceful.  My son and I were the only ones there in the gardens so for a full hour we explored each nook and cranny, enjoying the amazing variety of Bonsai and sinking in the sounds of moving water and overhead birds.   I hate to tell people about little treasures like this place because I really liked having it all to myself but I just can’t help myself.

My pictures don’t do justice.  I only had my iphone5 on me so all of these photos were taken with it.  I will return.

Great American Bald Eagle

Fool that I was, upon my eagle’s wings I bore this wren, till I was tired with soaring, and now he mounts above me.    ~John Dryden


So I was minding my own business snapping shots of a heron as the tide was going out. A few baby ducks were swimming about the buoy when all of the sudden down swoops an eagle trying to snatch one of the ducklings. Birds and ducks scatter everywhere and the eagle retreats up into a tree. Right above my head. I say, of course “hey there, Mr. Eagle!” and he cocks his head and stares down at me.

The rain was pouring pretty heavily when I took these photos.  It was worth getting wet.

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A Tale of Three Cemeteries

All smaller, older cemeteries in the Port Orchard, Washington and surrounding area.

  • Bethel Cemetery
  • Sedgwick Cemetery
  • Colby Cemetery

The Bethel Cemetery is located 3 miles south of Port Orchard, Washington. The cemetery is located on the corner of Lider Road SE and Bethel Avenue and is behind the Grace Bible Church.

Driving Directions:  To get to the cemetery one should leave Highway 16 at the Sedgwick/Southworth exit driving east. At the Sedgwick and Bethel intersection, turn Right and travel on Bethel over the crossover of Hwy 16 just past the Bethel Towing Co. Crossing the overpass will have you facing Grace Bible Church.





The Sedgwick Cemetery is located on the outskirts of Port Orchard on Sedgwick Road.

Driving Directions:  From SR 16  take the Sedgwick Exit.  Turn right onto SR-160 (SE Sedgwick Road).  Stay on Sedgwick Rd for approximately 5.5 miles.  Cemetery will be on your right hand side. 
Sedgwick Cemetery was founded by the Ladies of G.A.R. General John Sedgwick Circle of Harper and Colby.  This cemetery was named in honor of General John Sedgwick, a Civil War Officer.   In the year 1905, a group of women, wives, daughters, and nieces of Civil War Veterans, organized the General Sedgwick Circle, No. 28, Ladies of the G.A.R., Women’s Auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic.  The charter members were Miriam Grant, Annie Cox, Mrs. Premo, Rosa Carr, Eva Peterson, Alice Kenney, Mrs. Ford Kenney, Juaquina Higgins, Annie Malone and Mrs. Myron Mix, all residents of Harper and Colby.  The Circle at once adopted a project, namely, a suitable burial place for the future use of veterans and their families.  Two acres of land, level and uncleared were bought from Major Carr of Harper.  In 1910, the little cemetery had been surveyed and platted.  Driveways and alleys were laid out and a formal dedication was made to the public.  Records have been faithfully kept and their pages show the names of many pioneers, women and men, who, by their industry and integrity, have helped to bring Kitsap County to its fine level of today.

The Colby (South Colby) Cemetery is located at the crossroad of SE Mile Hill Drive and Alaska Street SE in Colby (outskirts of Port Orchard), Kitsap Co., Wash.This small cemetery is in a wooded area and is on a slight hill, with a narrow dirt road leading up to it. The cemetery appears overgrown and unkept.


Spring Cherry Blossoms and Moss

The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him. ~Auguste Rodin


Spring in Lakebay Washington



Laurel Grove Cemetery Port Townsend, WA

During our tour  of Manresa Castle the tour guide indicated a 13 year old “spirit” named Lotta frequented the place.  She liked room 214.  No one really knew her affiliation with the castle.

She told us that the original owner and builder of the castle, Charles Eisenbeis, was buried several blocks away from the castle at the Laurel Grove Cemetery.  For some reason they had to dig up his grave and discovered a casket of a child above Charles’ casket.  Some speculate this may have been an illegitimate child of his and that it was Lotta.  All speculation, but a cool story nevertheless.

So we decided to visit the cemetery.  It was beautiful.  Cemeteries calm me. There were some very ornate family plots like the Eisenbeis one.  It was a drizzly day when we were there.  I was in awe of some of the headstones and the way the moss, lichen and fungi were growing in the grooves of the deceased name.

Charles Eisenbeis (owner of Manresa Castle) family plot.
This appears to be a recurring theme in these older cemeteries I’ve been visiting. A baby headstone is leaning against a larger stone.


Soooo beautiful! A tree stump decorated with age, lichen, and moss.




Moss growing in the headstone inscriptions
I have never seen black mold on a headstone before.










Fallen angel on Dick? I couldn’t help it, I had to snicker
Not my stack. Nods to whomever placed it here. We cairns builders have to stick together
Another tilted smaller stone. Some very ornate headstones in this cemetery.
I love the moss and lichen growing on the names








Fort Worden, Port Townsend, WA


So for all of our hairy scary times at Manresa Castle in Port Townsend, our truly scary times were here at Fort Worden. It is an abandoned fort. Deer run the place and the steel and concrete barracks were windy, some leading into complete absolute darkness. We turned one corner and looked as the hallway descended fifty feet into nothingness. Even our phone flashlights couldn’t shine a light into it. It was spooky. And creaky sounds and a sense of cold and forlorn. At one point one of us screamed and we all ran out as fast as our chubby little bodies would take us. We’re very sorry if we scared anyone with our echo-e screams.

Good times, good memories, with good friends. Next time I’m taking them to Fort Casey.







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The creepiest door I have ever seen. Handprint on Steel.










Manresa Castle Redux





A few months  ago my husband and I visited Manresa Castle.  It was such a fun experience and the staff was good about giving me a quick tour.    I received a bounce-back discount (as do all customers who stay at the castle)  that allowed me 50% off so my girlfriends and I decided to take the “haunted” castle for a special spin.

We stayed in the upper turret room on the right. Just below where the Jesuit priest hung himself.
Night Shot. I was astonished to be able to catch the visibility of the stars with my iphone.
The back courtyard
Barbed Brick perimeter fence








 The Rooftop Access


The first visit I was here I noticed the Roof Access Door.  Locked.  It had a window above it with a mechanism to open.  Didn’t work.  I know.  I tried three times.  I asked Lindsey about this as we passed the door again, telling her I had previously attempted.  She informed me the door had been locked for years.

So I turned the knob and it opened.  She looked a bit taken aback, her surprise didn’t seem feigned.  Excited I opened the door to find a light socket on the right and a set of very dusty stairs that went up and then turned left.  I headed halfway up the stairs before Lindsey stopped me and told me she needed to  go first as it may be hazardous.  I asked her to take my camera and photograph the scene after she turned the stairs.  The bottom picture is hers.  After you turn left, the stairs go up to a completely open hole to the exterior.  She wouldn’t let me go because of the stairs had holes.  She didn’t walk to the open window either.  It looked like there used to be a window there.

When I asked the gal at the front desk she reported a windstorm had blown off that window some time before.


Light switch inside the Roof stairwell.
The first set of steps on the stairwell, it turns left at the top.
The second stairwell leads to an open space where a window apparently used to be.


 The Basement

I did not see the basement in my previous visit so I was pretty excited when Lindsey told me she’d take us down there.  The laundry room is down there.  Lindsey also showed me the original brickwork and then allowed me access to the crawl space under the castle.  It was pretty big crawl space, I was able to stand in it.

Door to basement
Crawl space
Original brickwork
Original mudded brick
Storage space
Weird foggy window in basement
Entrance of basement from outside


 The Attic


The Jesuit nuns used this sink in the attic to wash laundry. It is still intact and in same position. It hasn’t been used for a very long time.

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