Northpoint Wonder Trackers

July, 2020 – Fish Park, Poulsbo, Wa – The Thoemkes explored our local estuary park at the end of Liberty Bay.  Fish Park is a 40 acre park right in the heart of Poulsbo.  Dogfish Creek runs through it into Liberty Bay and is an important stream for salmon migration in the fall.  There is 1.5 miles of looped trails and almost .25 miles of boardwalk, five bridges, several viewpoints and many interpretive signs throughout the park. You might find some non-native plants and trees growing where they are cultivated long ago.  Photo Credit: RThoemke

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Fish Park in Poulsbo, WA  Park Brochure

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July 14, 2020 – Ocean Shores Washington – Summer has arrived!  It’s warm and sunny.  The Thoemke family had a great time on the edge of the mighty Pacific Ocean enjoying warm sand and crashing waves. Photo credits – RThoemke

Did you know that Pacific means “peaceful?” The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on earth.  It is larger than the total landmass of all continents put together. God made it home to thousands of wonderful creatures large and small. God’s wonders all around.

Ocean Shores is a small coastal city that lies on the Point Brown peninsula.  It is known for its long beach and network of lakes and waterways. It is also a fabulous area for seeing migratory birds.

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July 13 – Liberty Bay – Poulsbo WA. –  The Evan’s family is taking advantage of these gorgeous summer days by paddling out into Liberty Bay in search of wonders.  Harbor seals often sun themselves on the wooden pilings and baby seagulls are thinking about leaving their nests.

Wonders for today:  How long do baby seals stay with their mamas?  How old is the gull chick in the photograph?  God’s wonders all around.

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July 11, 2020 – Raab Park Wonder Hunt!  We had a great time outside tracking God’s wonders.  Thanks to all who came out on a cloudy afternoon.  See you next time!


July 10, 2020 – Foulweather Bluff – The Evans family found so many wonders on the beach during a great low tide!  Photo credit: JEvans

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DSCF0062Did you know that the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish is one of the largest jellyfish species in the world? The tentacles can grow really long.  The longest ever recorded was 120 feet!  The tentacles can cause a very painful sting to humans. It is common to find them washed up on the beaches in Kitsap county.

July 8, 2020 – The Thoemke family checked out the beautiful Grand Forest on Bainbridge Island… big trees, a long bridge, unusual white plant and places to rest and all close to home. Photo credit: RThoemke

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Did you know the ghost plant is NOT a fungus but a real plant?  It is also called an Indian pipe?  The ghost plant does not have chlorophyll, but gets its nutrients from a host fungus in the soil. The fungus in the soil gets its nutrients from a nearby host tree.  (a process called myco-heterotrophy) If you find one, don’t pick it as it will quickly wither and turn black.  God’s wonders all around.

Grand Forest website and printable maps

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July 1, 2020 – Baby sunflowers are growing at the Thoemke’s house.  Watch for spectacular growth all around as plants also enjoy these long days of light.

Did you know that the first leaves of a seed- bearing plant are not really true leaves, but are actually part of the seed? These special “seed leaves” are called cotyledons. They sprout quickly and feed the plant until the “true” leaves show up and begin to make food using energy from the sun.   God’s wonders all around!

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Photo credit – RThoemke, 2020

June 30, 2020 – Jumping for joy at North Beach, Port Townsend. This area is known for sea glass.

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Photo credit –  RThoemke, 2020

Wonder trackers have fun finding bits of polished glass washed up on the beach.

Did you know that glass is actually made from sand?  Ordinary sand is heated to high temperatures until it melts. The liquid sand is poured into all kinds of shapes and when it cools, presto… it’s beautiful glass.  God’s wonders all around.

Photo credit – RThoemke, 2020

North Beach County Park – History of the area

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June 25, 2020 – We found a bird’s nest in a bush out the front of our house. Eleanor thinks the mama looks like a Song Sparrow or maybe a White throated Sparrow. We were able to quickly get some shots in while Mama was away.  RThoemke

Photo credit –  RThoemke, 2020

Did you know that sparrows raise 2 – 4 families of chicks every year?  After the eggs are laid, they incubate for 10 – 14 days, then hang out in the nest for another 15 days before learning to fly.  God’s wonders all around.

June 22, 2020 – The Evans family visited Buck Lake Park near Hansville and spent time out on the small lake enjoying the birds, cattails and amazing white and pink water lilies.

Did you know the native Spatterdock plant (below) is an important source of food and shelter for local fish and wildlife? It has a very unusual flower.  God’s wonders all around.

Photo credit – JEvans, 2020
This beautiful aquatic plant is called a fragrant waterlily and is native to eastern North America.  Here in the west, they can out compete native aquatic plants. Photo credit – JEvans, 2020

June, 2020 – The Thoemke family visited Kopachuk State Park. They found all kinds of sea wonders on the beach and shallow water.

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Did you know that the unique, calm waters of the Salish Sea are perfect for sand dollar colonies? These animals grow in crowded beds on top of one another.  Their spines are dark and very interesting to look at as they move.  Once the animal dies, the spines fall off and leave the light colored test or skeleton that we like to find and pick up. God’s wonders all around.

Kopachuck State Park

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June 19, 2020 Jenn and Sadie Evans were out on Liberty Bay (paddle board and kayak) They saw this magnificent great blue heron walking along a sea wall.

Did you know great blue herons have specialized feathers that grow continuously and fray into a powder? This powder helps keep the heron clean after eating all those slimy fish! God’s wonders all around!

Photo credit – JEvans, 2020

June 7, 2020 – The Evans family hiked the Tubal Cain Mine Trail and saw some unusual wonders along the way.  Fungus can be seen anytime of the year and there are thousands of different species.

Did you know that mushroom hunters look for special mushrooms, but there are many poisonous look alike mushrooms at there? These fungi that look like brains are false morels and deadly poisonous, but very interesting to see.  God’s wonders all around!

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Tubal Cain Mine                                                 Photo credit – JEvans, 2020
Beautiful red bark of native madrone tree                 Photo credit – JEvans, 2020

Olympic National Forest – Tubal Cain Trailhead

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June, 2020 – The Evans family found tadpoles at a nearby pond and watched one grow into … Froggy!

Did you know the Pacific tree frog can rapidly change color from green to brown and everything in-between.  The color changes are caused by changes in temperature and moisture in the air instead of the background like reptiles. They also secrete a waxy skin coating which helps them survive dry times.  God’s wonders all around!

May 24, 2020 – This handsome slug was found doing his (or her) work at the Evan’s house. It’s a spotted leopard slug and are often found in yards and gardens.

Did you know that many slugs we see in Washington, including this spotted leopard slug, have come from other parts of the world?  The banana slug is one of our only native slugs.  Slug slime may seem gross, but it is of interest to scientists who have studied the properties of slug slime to invent very useful medical glue.  God’s wonders all around!

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Photo credit – JEvans, 2020