Author: Kate Poss | With Photos by David Welton

Kate Poss This Is Whidbey was founded by Kate Poss for readers who are interested in cultivating our island’s quality of life, including its land, sea, and air; its people, plants, and animals; and the bodies, minds, and spirits of its inhabitants. You may know Kate from her work in island libraries through May of 2016. Her background includes a career in newspaper reporting in Los Angeles for various weeklies and dailies, including The Los Angeles Times. She was a frequent contributor to the online Whidbey Life Magazine and still writes for the biannual print magazine. David Welton Stories are highlighted by David Welton’s excellent photography. David is a retired physician who was a staff photographer for Whidbey Life Magazine since its early days. His work has also appeared in museums, art galleries, newspapers, regional and national magazines, books, nonprofit publicity, and on the back of the Whidbey Sea-Tac Shuttle!

The SmileMobile is in Langley through April 14 this week and April 21 to 23 next week. Low income and uninsured people are invited to phone 888-286-9105 to schedule an appointment at the mobil dental clinic, where babies through adults can have a dental exam, receive fluoride varnish, get sealants applied, have simple tooth extractions, get a temporary filling and have x-rays taken. The SmileMobile, partnering with Readiness to Learn, is parked at the South Whidbey Community Center — the former Langley Middle School campus —at 723 Camano Avenue in Langley. “We come to South Whidbey a couple of times…

Read More

‘Hiking Close to Home’ last week we rode the bus with an intrepid wheel chair user and visited a few of Whidbey Island’s barrier-free trails via foot and wheel. Maribeth Crandell, Island Transit Mobility Specialist, organized the outing. Her long-time friend, retired state park ranger Jack Hartt joined us. They publish a weekly blog, Hiking Close to Home, and have written an updated book by the same name detailing nearly 70 hikes on Whidbey, Fidalgo and Guemes islands, and beyond.  Maribeth, a former naturalist and hiking guide, has hosted past ‘Walks with Wheels’ library programs for people with kids in…

Read More

Resilience in the face of the year’s COVID pandemic found South Whidbey High School teammates, coaches, family, and friends cheering top cross country runners competing in a remote state championship March 29. We shared the euphoria on a cold Monday night, shouting encouragement to the Falcons, 14 cross country athletes (seven on the boys’ team and seven on the girls’ team), running 5,000 meters, or 12.5 laps round the Waterman Field track. The girls team: Naomi Atwood, Ruby Bond, Audrey Gmerek, Laila Gmerek, Grace Huffman, Sophia Patrin, Kaia Swegler-Richmond The boys team: Rowan Dickerson, Aidan Donnelly, Drew Larson, Reilly McVay,…

Read More

Note: here is a celebration of life written by Urashan’s children. –Kate Poss Urashan, a musician, teacher, composer, and self-described solitary contemplative, died peacefully at age 93 the evening of the vernal equinox, March 20, 2021, at her home on Whidbey Island, having spent her final years on the same beloved stretch of beach in Maxwelton where her grandfather first established a summer encampment in 1905. Her greatest joys were to see bald eagles fly over the Salish Sea, great blue herons fishing in the tidal flats, and the setting sun traverse the horizon as it moved from solstice to…

Read More

One of the good things to come out of the COVID pandemic was the creation of our swim group, the Rosy Hypothermias. Previously, some of us swam at the Island Athletic Club when we believed open water was too cold.  However, when COVID closed the club in mid-March 2020, Sharon Emerson began swimming at Goss Lake. I met up with her and we invited Gretchen Lawlor to swim with us starting in April 2020. We swam in ‘skins,’ meaning our swimsuits. Barbara Schaetti, April Fitzsimmons and Linda Morris have since joined us. Some of us wear wetsuits to stay warm…

Read More

In the face of a quick hail storm and blustery wind over the weekend, more feathers took to the canopy of trees at the Price Sculpture Forest. Wood artist Pat McVay, Scott Price, founder and creator of the Price Sculpture Forest, and neighbors Bob Davenport and David Young, lent a hand on March 7 to assemble cedar feathers made by Pat. The wood artist’s installation recalls the tale of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and fell into the sea. [simple-author-box]

Read More

These days when visiting the Price Sculpture Forest, founded and created by Scott Price, notice the colorful cedar feathers floating among the trees as if falling from the sky. Wood artist Pat McVay’s ‘Icarus Was Here,’ recalls the Greek myth about a boy who flew too close to the sun and fell to the sea. Icarus ignored his father’s warning, and as a result, the beeswax gluing his feathers together melted. Later, the Goddess Athena promised Daedulus, despondent at losing his son, that this story would endure for eternity. Who would have thought a goddess’s prediction nearly 2,200 years old…

Read More

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust, and its mission since 1984 to protect open space and natural habitat now and into the future, is an important entity in maintaining our island’s unique quality of life. “We’re passionate about protecting this paradise,” proclaims a headline on the site’s webpage. “We have partnered with landowners and island communities to help expand county and state parks, protect natural areas and local family farms, increase trail and beach access, and protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat.” According to the annual report for 2020, the Land Trust has protected 10,003 acres of shorelines, tidelands, trails,…

Read More

When our photographer David Welton phoned Monday to discuss ideas for this week’s story, he mentioned popular blogger Dan Pedersen, who promoted a recent piece featuring David’s photo essay on ferry memories. David suggested we get in touch with the author, blogger, and friend of many.  Now that I’ve spent the past couple of days reading Dan’s blog, talking with him on the phone, learning about his love of the natural world, and looking forward to reading his mystery series, I wish I’d gotten to know Dan sooner. Dan writes short mystery novels, all beginning with the word Final. I…

Read More

We had a number of responses from readers who shared their memories of riding ferries as well as their thoughts on our last story, ‘Ferry Memories.’ We love hearing from you. Here is what you wrote: Kristine Laak Schoolcraft (Kate’s FB page) — The Merrimac ferry crosses the Wisconsin River. I have taken our kids on this annually on our way home from up north vacations. We travel to Baraboo then through Devils Lake State Park and on to the ferry. Now Brad and Melissa’s lake house is just up the road Lodi side from the ferry landing and ice…

Read More