About the Book
Northern Whidbey Island wraps around an arm of protected and playful waters that spawns shellfish and shops, sailboats and sea otters.
Penn Cove was born as retreating ice age glaciers revealed a blank and natural canvas which nature painted with mussels, madronas, and herons. Reminders of the ice sheets sit on the horizon draped atop Mt. Baker and the North Cascades. Life is relatively new but has tried to fill every niche.
Humans quickly followed with longhouses, canoes and kayaks, sustainably surviving from nature's produce. Recently the Europeans arrived and Coupeville was born, home to quiet lives, farms, and tourists. Our structures, built for purpose but strained by time, punctuate the shore, with rust and relics reminding us of our frailties.
Nature's processes continue despite it all. Tides softly rise and fall, sustaining sea life and massaging the geology into a more subtle topography. Shellfish are full-time residents, visited by marine tourists of whales and migrating flocks of long-traveling birds.
My few visits spread across twelve months are one small slice of a very long story, yet more than a single Saturday visit and therefore tell more of a tale.
Twelve Months at Penn Cove is the fourth installment of a five year photo essay of Whidbey Island's nature.
In addition to being a nature photographer, Tom Trimbath is the author of the series of nature essays Twelve Months at Barclay Lake, Twelve Months at Lake Valhalla, and Twelve Months at Merritt Lake, and the cultural essay Just Keep Pedaling (stories learned from bicycling across America). He is also the author of Dream. Invest. Live., a description of his frugal approach to personal finance.