About the Book
- South Whidbey's Playground
South Whidbey is treated to a pocket of a park that stretches out of sight and retreats to nature.
Double Bluff's cliffs form the western wall that borders Useless Bay, a place that may be useless to mariners, but that is very useful for natural, native, and current residents.
The bluffs are hundreds of feet high, but slough sand as they retreat and shrink, creating a dynamic landscape. Waves redistribute everything that reaches the water maintaining the long beach and the broad tide flat.
Trees fringe the cliff. Driftwood fringes the beach. Low tides expose acres of flat, hardpacked sand, for habitat and explorations. Between the two are sand-locked tide pools, havens for anemones, crabs, and starfish. The pools are also the source of squeals of childlike delight, and the eager barking of dogs.
Dune grasses and wild roses enjoy the protection of the driftwood scaffolding that webs its way across the plain behind the high tide line.
Massive container ships and cruise liners churn by barely upsetting the surf. Looking to the south horizon, Mt. Rainer stands behind and over Seattle's skyline providing perspective on the scale of nature and our civilization.
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 Double Bluff is the final 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.