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!

Brave women fuel choreographer Beck Diamond’s imagination and her dance collective Meander embodies that spirit. Alice Merton’s song No Roots, performed by the dancers, “is inspired by the adventurous women I have met throughout my life,” Beck wrote in the production notes of “Into the Woods,” performed at South Whidbey State Park last weekend. “The ones who laugh, live big, and make lemons into lemonade. To Genevieve Locksley and Sietske Courteau.” Genevieve Locksley, a former Peace Corps volunteer who taught theater in the Philippines and now lives in D.C. as a theatre-maker, creates performances with themes such as finding one’s…

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Like the folks who move to Whidbey Island to cultivate their passion, Melinda Creed is living the dream. Melinda’s idea of a good life is celebrating her daughter and new grandson, while curating speciality varieties of hostas and lilies at Moonstruck Gardens in Clinton. This is Whidbey’s David Welton visited the garden a couple of weeks ago with his wife Georgia Edwards. Georgia told students in her K9 Nosework®  class about the place, and they bought plants and took home a bit of the magic that grows in this Cultus Bay Road location. Melinda noted that much of her island…

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Plein Air painters added to Coupeville’s creative landscape last week. The Pacific NorthWest Art School hosted a Plein Air Paint Out that drew inspired artists to create, display and perhaps sell their work at week’s end. This is Whidbey’s photographer David Welton captured a day in the life of outdoor painters practicing the art of En Plein Air. “The artists are a lovely bunch and so enjoy being here painting, competing for awards and prize money, and of course, selling their artwork!” Lisa Bernhardt, executive director of the Pacific NorthWest Art School wrote in an email. Visiting the town last…

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As we strolled with Chuck Pettis at his Earth Sanctuary last week, Van Morrison’s song Into the Mystic came to mind. Here in this Freeland oasis, the natural world is celebrated and sculptures honoring the Earth’s energies share space with flora and fauna. I joined our photographer David Welton while he and Chuck Pettis walked around a Tibetan Buddhist stupa, which contains a figure representing guardian goddess Ushnishavijaya. She is one of three deities one mediates with to promote longevity for oneself and all sentient beings. Chuck explained that circumambulating the stupa in a clockwise direction for half an hour…

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Civility First is hosting its fourth annual art and photography contest, promoting the themes: Respect Others, Listen, and Be Kind.  The contest will be adjudicated by the Pacific Northwest Art School. Artists are asked to submit their work digitally. The contest is divided into categories according to age: children,12 and under; youth, 13-18; and adults 18 and older. Deadline for submission is August 15. Top prize winners in each category will win $100; second and third-place winners will be awarded $50. Originally founded in 2017 by Sandy Peterson, a Republican, and Cathy Whitmore, a Democrat, Civility First formed with the…

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Langley’s Poet Laureate Peter Lawlor celebrated his 100th year a wee bit early and is getting ready for a voyage to the Great Beyond. Guests gathered outside July 25th at the salty musician’s home in the Brookhaven community of Langley. A warm summer day with the sound of leaves in the breeze and doves singing framed the bittersweet gathering. A day to say good-bye and celebrate a father, grandfather, neighbor, and friend. Emcee/musician/poet/artist Beverly Graham welcomed family and friends. “Peter is a lover of life,” she said. “Audacious. He marched gleefully through life.” Peter’s daughter, artist Gretchen Lawlor, skilled at…

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Winning top honors for her textiles at the Whidbey Island fair this year, artist Doe Stahr’s room-sized touchable art lifts spirits and taps into the heart of what naturally speaks to our soul. Before meeting Doe last week at her Deer Creek Studio, I stopped by at Clinton’s Madrona Supply Company. Serendipity greeted me there, when I met Susan Dirkes, who was hosting a weekly knitting class at the store. Susan was the Sewing Superintendent at this year’s Whidbey Island Fair, and awarded Doe’s piece top honors, plus a blue ribbon to a mixed-fabric tapestry celebrating Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings,…

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The 97th annual Whidbey Island Fair saw more than 22,000 visitors this year. This is Whidbey’s photographer David Welton served as Superintendent for the fair’s photo entries. He also took a number of excellent fair photos. Fair Manager Carol Coble, taking a moment to check in with This is Whidbey, says the fair was: “Amazing. We had record numbers, for the last 20 years we’ve been counting. Old-timers who were around before then, said its been a real long time since we’ve seen these kind numbers. Old-timers here say there were crowds this big when the Gabeleins (long-time Whidbey…

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Note: Special Thanks to Dale Norris, M-Bar-C Volunteer/Program Coordinator, for her excellent editor’s eye and writerly help that polished this story from its original rough draft. Childhood friends – now older – are day-to-day cornerstones of the M-Bar-C Ranch. Here, mares and their foals graze and frolic. Yearlings run rough and tumble in the nearby pasture.  Donated horses used for the Ranch’s “Day of Western Fun” program retire here to be well-cared for and children with special needs come to visit, ride horses and just get to be regular kids for a day. Kim Mcmaster is the residential Horse Manager…

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Note: Langley resident Peter Morton wrote this story and supplied the photos. Over the last decade, WICA has recruited world-renowned keyboard talent to Whidbey Island under the “PianoFest” brand to provide Whidbey with a variety of classical and jazz piano entertainment. Now, as we emerge from a year’s isolation into WICA’s re-configured Michael Nutt Mainstage bathed in the fresh air of its new high-performance HVAC system, one of our favorite celebrities versed in both classical and jazz music Walt Wagner, rejoins us Saturday evening, July 17.  One of the program sponsors, Langley resident Peter Morton, has a story to…

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