I had two reasons for visiting Olympia. First and foremost, it is home to my very favorite farmers market ever. Those not familiar with farmers markets may be wondering just how much lettuce a person can want to buy. Let me tell you that farmers markets are far more than that. Perhaps the only Washington farmers market that is open year-round, it has over 400,000 visitors in the 135 days it is open for business. And they are not just buying lettuce. In addition to world-class produce, one can find nursery stock, applewood smoked bacon, hand-crafted sausages, soaps, herbs, artwork, jams and jellies, baked goods, and fresh meat and seafood. The Olympia Farmers Market also has a stage and offers free, live music during lunchtime. Did I mention there is terrific food and locally roasted coffee available, too?
The second reason I had for visiting Olympia was to shoot some photos. Since taking up photography a few years ago, I discovered that I go more places and see more things with a camera in hand than I ever did before. Not only that, but I really LOOK at my surroundings. While looking for a photo op, I see beautiful landscapes, lovely wildflowers, and interesting birds. Before I took up photography, I would take a quick look, not really seeing half of what was there, and think “Okay, where to now?”. With photography, as with much else in life, one thing leads to another.
I started posting photos on Flickr. I found and joined a Flickr Group called Birds of Washington. I posted a photo of a little brown bird I had been unable to identify and a helpful member, Jon D. Anderson, identified it. I then discovered that he takes some good photos, is an avid and knowledgeable birder, and includes in his captions information about where the bird was seen. Now, armed with information about where to see some birds in the Olympia area, I grabbed a canvas shopping bag and my camera and headed out to enjoy a fun day trip.