The San Juans’ winter wonders

WINTER IS QUIET, winter can be lonely, but winter can also be a time of unique beauty on my island.

Here’s a sampling of photos captured during my walks around Center Island in recent weeks, starting with our pre-Christmas snowfall and concluding with recent cool days mixed with sun and showers.

It was starting to look a lot like Christmas at The Nuthatch after heavy snow fell just around the solstice.

Lopez Sound was just as cold as it looked. Taken from the southwest quadrant of Center Island, looking toward Lopez Island.
A neighbor’s chairs make for a cozy place to sit — in July. Looking toward the southern tip of Decatur Island.
Looking up the snow-laden trunk of one of the island’s largest madrona trees.
This week, with the snow only a memory, watery winter sunshine lit the back path up the moss-cushioned rocky knoll where my writing hut is situated, behind the cabin.
A pair of Bufflehead ducks (female, left, and male, right) didn’t see eye to eye during a paddle this week on Reads Bay, a short distance off our Center Island dock. They are likely wintering in the San Juans from a summer breeding ground in Alaska or Western Canada.