Discovery Park with Funny Diva and an Accommodating Dragonfly

Come join us for my first hike post-B! I took lots of pictures for you.

I haven’t got out much recently, not simply because I indulged in some moping after breaking up with B, but because the weather has been kind of ick. Inordinately large portions of the West have been on fire, and while we’re not burning much immediately in and around Seattle, we kept getting smoke. Damn it, I moved from Flagstaff so I wouldn’t have to smell forests burning every summer, but here we are again. We had a downpour a few days ago that cleared the air nicely, though, so Funny Diva and I went for a Discovery Park adventure.

A seascape! Puget Sound is deep blue in the background, and you can just see an island on the horizon. In the foreground is North Beach, a sandy stretch, with a cheerful spring-green umbrella and a couple of lounge chairs. A little girl sits behind them, playing in the sand.
Beach Scene

The visitor’s center was full up, so we went on down to the north parking lot and traipsed from there. The rain left the trails pleasantly damp and the plants very green and happy. We had lots of sunshine, but also plenty of shade and cool breezes on the way down. When we hit North Beach, it looked like a true beach scene, complete with umbrella.

We had a very patient butterfly, too, who will appear in a future Cryptopod post. I actually had two little orange ones land on me briefly, which was magic. I love those moments.

Image is looking over the Sound toward the south. In the foreground is the top of a driftwood teepee. There is a lot of deep blue water, and then one of the distant bluffs and bits of Seattle. In the background, Mount Rainier looms above a low blanket of white clouds.
Mount Rainier is a majestic backdrop.

Mount Rainier was out in force. Beauty!

By the time we’d reached South Beach, we’d had about enough of sunshine, but we trooped onward. A visit to Discovery Park is not complete without visiting South Bluff.

Image shows South Bluff from South Beach, a tall bluff that is eroding away. It curves from the left toward the right. Mount Rainier is visible beyond the more distant bluff at the right.
A very Mullineaux photo.

I got a very Donal Mullineaux photo out of this trip. He’s one of the USGS geologists who worked on Mount St. Helens during the May 1980 eruption, so I have a particular fondness for him. Longtime readers will recall how I screamed with delight when I learned he’d done a lot of work at South Bluff, using it as the type section for both the Esperance Sand and the Lawton Clay. And, of course, he and Dwight Crandall did quite a bit of work at Mount Rainier as well, so this photo with both the bluff and the mountain in it is dedicated to him. Thanks for the geology, Dr. Mullineaux!

Image is the distant bluff with Mount Rainier almost hidden behind it.
Shy Mount Rainier

As you walk closer to South Bluff, Mount Rainier begins to vanish behind the next bluff down. I love this photo where it almost looks like it’s hiding.

Image shows several silvery-gray drift logs on the berm, with many green bushes behind them. One log is shaped like a bell curve and has a wee hole in the middle of the curve.
Delightful Driftwood

This bit of driftwood pleased Dana. I love how it’s shaped like one of those old-fashioned mantle clocks, and how it’s got the round hole in its curve.

After patting the Olympia non-glacial stage floodplain sediments, and pointing out a wee slide of the Lawton Clay to Funny Diva, we about-faced and headed back.


Image is looking up South Beach toward the Lighthouse. There's a sailboat with a red sail beached on the point. The Olympic Mountains are hazy but visible in the distance.
Red sailboat, white lighthouse.

That red sailboat is such a brilliant little gem on the beach, innit? And I’ve always loved that lighthouse.

For them as likes boats, I got a photo with three kinds for ye:

Image shows a cruise ship with a sailboat and a speedboat in front of it. The Olympic Mountains are a shadowy presence in the background.
Tres boats.

We took the Hidden Valley trail back up: it’s shady and not so steep. Then we went asploring in places I’d never been. We saw a sign for reflecting pools and a serpent mound by the Daybreak Cultural Center and couldn’t resist. On the way, I saw this poor tree that has been providing food for caterpillars or some such arthropods, and couldn’t resist a photo of its leaves against the sky.

Image shows a couple of thin branches with oval leaves against blue sky. The leaves are pierced with hundreds of holes, making them look lacey.
It’s like the bugs are making lace.

I’ve not actually been down by the mound and pools in all my visits to the park. People, it is worth it. You can see a duck trying to be a stork in a reflecting pool (which isn’t reflecting due to all the duckweed):

Image shows a female mallard standing on a piece of wood in the pond. She's on one foot. There is a lot of duckweed turning the water green, and a long-leafed plant at the left.
Unipod. She actually has two feet, she’s just hiding one.

And while you’re watching a duck, a huge dragonfly may hover in many places right in front of you, as if it’s going, “Can you see me now? What about now?”

Image shows the dragonfly hovering over the duckweed-coated water and a board. It's one of the black and blue ones with a little bit of green behind its eyes.
Those eyes, though.

You don’t want to know how many photos I shot trying to get that one great one. Fortunately, Funny Diva is infinitely patient with me, and found herself a shady spot to enjoy whilst I snapped away. I highly recommend hikes with her, people. She is, indeed, funny, and one of the sweetest people I know. She’s also a social justice warrior par excellence. And she knows all the good places to go in Seattle, as you will see.

We finally found a pool that reflects, where it was either too shady for duckweed or the stuff had been washed out by the rain:

Image shows a shaded pool surrounded by trees. The trees are reflected within the dark water.

Hiking accomplished, we went in search of food. Funny Diva recommended Scooter’s, and so we had burger deliciousness, complete with some of the best fries ever. Then we tried to go to Golden Gardens, but everybody else in the Seattle Metro area was already there, and we couldn’t find a parking space, so we went up to Wallingford and had gelato at the Fainting Goat Gelato instead.

Image is the sign for the Fainting Goat, which is like an old tavern sign. It is a bar with a goat cut-out hanging from it upside-down, and the words Fainting Goat inscribed.
How cute is this sign?

I ended up with stracciatella because I bloody love the stuff, but they also had a hazelnut and chocolate thing with the word rock in the name, and I had a sample, and that is what I will have next time we go, because IT IS ALL DELICIOUS. I’ll bet you a lot of fundies miss out on it because they think an upside-down goat is satanic, but everything in the shop is divine and everyone should go there.

Then we came home, where Boo showed off her mad fence climbing skillz.

Image shows Boo, a white cat with black patches, sitting on the cedar fence and looking towards the right.
Boo’s on the fence about everything.

I won’t lie: this first real outing, with my own friend and in familiar places, without B, wasn’t complete easy. A lot of things aren’t easy yet. Some people might say that since I miss B ferociously, I should try to make it work with him again. After all, I was the one who broke it off: he didn’t want to. But while I love him and miss him and hope that someday we can hang out and be friends again, I know I made the right choice. We weren’t working. I hate that, but it’s true.

So it’s onward, ho, making new memories in the old places, spending time with high-quality people like Funny Diva, and doing my bit to make this a better world. The fact it has sunshine and gelato  and social justice warriors in it gives me hope.

Discovery Park with Funny Diva and an Accommodating Dragonfly

15 thoughts on “Discovery Park with Funny Diva and an Accommodating Dragonfly

  1. 2

    Glad you and Funny Diva had a good time Dana. I really, really look forward to the day when I get to meet you both (along with so many of the other people I’ve interacted with at FtB) in meatspace.

  2. 3

    Lovely pix, especially the dragonfly. I must admit that when I saw the second one my mind immediately went “trebuchet!” And the shape of the driftwood is very reminiscent of Rainier.

    Regarding the smoke, we were in Eastern WA yesterday and hoped to go look for Summer Falls. It was too dang smokey so we headed back west instead. It’s a really bad situation around Chelan, and we were 50 miles from there.

    Last but no least, I’m glad to hear the healing process is starting. Hang in there, Dana. You’re the only reason I still visit FTB.

  3. 4

    Oh, noes! Dana, I believe you’ve gone completely over to the dark side, shooting dragons in flight, and all. You poor thing! There’s no coming back, you know. Your accommodating dragon appears to be a male Paddle-tailed Darner, BTW, and you did real good to make such a superb image of him.

    Lovely views of Mt Rainier too. The last time we flew out of SeaTac Mt Rainier’s foot was submerged in clouds, just like in your first image of it. But it was sunset and the mountain was wrapped in alpenglow, and the clouds were pink. Most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

  4. 5

    Awww, you’re too kind.
    Any SJW skillz I gots? I learned ’em from peeps like Tony! and Giliell and Caine and Crypdyke and Carlie and oh so many others who’ve delivered so much education around FTB, and in delivering it with the smackdown of hurt privilege-feels (and other not-ok bs) consistently prioritize making a safe space for folk in vulnerable and marginalized groups.

    Your camera is Da Bomb! Amazeballs quality. I needed a breather in the shade anyways, and the final snaps are soooo worth waiting for. That one of the upside-down goat is so sharp I can’t believe it!

    Thanks for showing me how 3pm is not too late to start an awesome adventure and still get home before the gloamin’ gets going! It was a beautiful day on so many levels.

  5. 6

    He just thought Dana was the most interesting thing he’d seen all day long! He spent ages within about a 3′ radius.
    How yellowjackets sometimes do, but without being potentially ouchie!

  6. 7

    You ever get out this way and fail to let me know, well…
    I shall be VERY. PUT. OUT. that’s all!

    I love being able to show folks my favorite spots around where I live–and to discover new ones!

  7. 8

    She was actually the THIRD cruise ship we saw headed out yesterday. She was just kind enough to pose with both sailboat and powerboat for a quintessentially Puget Sound photo-op.

  8. 9

    Sounds like a (mostly) good day out. Dealing with loss is hard.
    The pictures are great. I especially like the driftwood, because I love trees and weathered wood, and the lacy leaves – a lovely composition. You have a good eye.
    The duck with its eponymous weeds is a nice blend of color & texture. Others have mentioned the dragonfly – not an easy shot to get.
    Kengi @ 1 – The master would be rightly offended, but here on the Great Lakes, the vessels are referred to as boats, no matter how large.

  9. rq

    I’m especially amazed by how Rainier manages to float above the horizon like that. Truly eerie and impressive.
    Glad you both had so much fun!!! More!

  10. rq

    Yellowjackets just like seeing people flail, I’m pretty sure they’re secretly sharing evil laughs about our reaction to their presence.
    This dragonfly was obviously a glutton for media-type attention. Probably knows it’s all famous now and everything, gloating to its friends.

  11. 13

    it was blanketed, as it often is, by low clouds/haze…
    Kind of like Bali Hai in “South Pacific”…which I actually sang some at the time…
    Someday you’ll see me floatin’ in the sunshine
    my head stickin’ up from a low flyin’ cloud…

    But you’re right, it really does seem to just levitate.

  12. 15

    Most of the smoke had cleared out that particular day–which is why it was visible at all.
    It’s been back so far this week…no “Mountain’s out!” mornings so far…*sadface*
    Wind’s supposed to turn today, so maybe that will change again…

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