Life in Friday Harbor


Since I have been here in Friday Harbor, I have stood — twice — within 5 feet of deer who are less startled by me then I am by them. I saw a young buck sporting budding horns in velvet, and a little doe who was quite happily munching grass on the side of the trail. She politely stepped aside to allow me to pass, but she did not run.

The other night after I barbecued ribs, a fox showed up for dinner. We did not feed the poor scruffy-looking fellow, but I did try to snap his pic — it came out hopelessly blurry because of my excitement.

Every evening OC goes to a point near the edge of the harbor and practices his trumpet. Both a harbor seal and a porpoise have come to visit. Nature gets up-close and personal here.

The Friday Harbor Laboratory properties are a nature preserve. The animals seem to know that they are protected and they behave accordingly. Harming the wildlife here is expressly forbidden. We aren’t even allowed to pick the flowers. Even so, I have violated — and keep violating — the “no feeding the wildlife” rule. I suppose someone will discover it soon and ask me to leave. You see, I have been feeding the mosquitoes — in fact, considering the dots all over my body, I may even be over-feeding them.

OC says he uses the muffler [the technical term is “Harmon mute”, even though mine was made by Giardinelli, not Harmon … but don’t tell Quilly I’m being this pedantic. OC] on his trumpet in deference to the fish — or perhaps the fishermen …. He doesn’t want to be held responsible for emptying the bay of marine life. (OC is the only one who thinks he’s a bad player. The seal and I like him.)


  1. I did not know they had mosquitos in other parts of the country because I thought they all lived here!

    Like the new site and I have bookmarked it.

  2. I’ve never listened to someone playing the trumpet for that long before, It was pretty good. Looks and sounds like a lovely place you’ve found for yourselves. Be happy.

  3. Ummm. It actually looks like it might be very nice there. Peaceful. I wonder what the fish thought. Hey, Charlie, there’s a dude up there blowing on a trumpet! Quick move to the other end of the lake!

  4. You two have done yourselves proud with this new site. It’s really fine.

    The music is very good. I wonder why OC is modest about it? Is he such an over-achiever in life that only professional perfection will suffice? That can happen to very bright and successful people.

    The area seems like heaven.

  5. I like the new site, will put a link up for you on my blog. You sound so happy here, just remember in your new found paradise to stop by the blog every once in awhile

    Blessings to you both

  6. lovely new site, and, from what i can tell, lovely new surroundings for the two of you! woohoo!

    i’m so happy to hear things are going well, and hope this path you and OC are on is filled with blessings, lots of love, and of course, much happiness.

    OC blows! um… wait, that didn’t come out right. i mean, he plays well… reallyreally well. (but you knew that, right?) stay well/be happy! 🙂

  7. Lori — you are more then welcome to the mosquitoes here. Come and get them!

    Bazza — Friday Harbor is gorgeous. OC assures me I will like Hawaii just as much, but I am skeptical.

    Jill — OC drew an audience last night. Fish, the seal, several seagulls, me and two young women all paused to listen. Even the tide came in to listen.

    TLP — bingo. OC says he realizes there is no such thing as perfection — then he adds that the fact perfection doesn’t exist is no excuse for not striving for it anyway.

    Bill — as my life permits.

    Neva — OC laughed out loud at your comment. (And yes, I know he plays well. He is less then convinced.)

    Jenna — he really is impressive.

    Polona — only if the seagulls and I are seals, too!

    Jackie — that’s an idea. Glad you like the blog.

  8. Though I “officially” lived on San Juan Island for only two years, I’ve been coming to the island all my life. My father was born and raised there, my grandparents lived there (and are buried there), aunts, uncles, cousins, have all lived there off and on (my favorite uncle spent years working in the produce section in King’s Market).

    Growing up as a military brat (Coast Guard), we’d inevitably always return (summer vacations and weekend trips) to visit the island. Seems like every stretch of ground has its own set of memories. The older I get, the more I realize that Friday Harbor is the closest thing I have to a Home Town. My wife and I were married out in the chapel at Roche Harbor. And how many times have I carved my initials on that madrona tree at the top of Mt. Young? Someday, I hope to move back, and raise my girls there. Maybe they can grow up knowing the joys of island life, as I did.

    Great site, guys. Keep up the good work!

    Nice site, guys.

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