Six years ago, Rich and I purchased an 1.5 acre wooded lot in Anacortes, Washington, which overlooks the Puget Sound and Mount Baker. It’s also located in a gated community — Fidalgo Bay Estates — which is maintained by the homeowners.

Wanting to build goodwill so the residents will happily approve of our house plans when we start building, Rich joined the homeowners’ maintenance committee. Along with reviewing residents’ requests to cut down trees or alter their landscaping, Rich coordinates the community’s twice-yearly clean-up day.

Today was the spring clean-up. Along with pulling weeds, trimming bushes, mowing, and sweeping the community park, gazebo, and picnic area, two trailers-full of branches and blackberry bushes were cut along the road to make it easier to see oncoming traffic. Slug 1

While doing cleanup in the park, I spotted one of the Pacific Northwest’s famous Arionidea or giant slug. They commonly inhabit moist, wooded areas and elicit a squeal when spotted by a child.

This fellow was around three inches long and one inch wide when squished up to protect himself. I initially photographed him after he stuck out his head and antennae.

I returned a few minutes later to see him fully stretched out and crawling at full speed towards a shady spot. Slug 2

The Pacific Northwest is known for slimy creatures because many areas are like a rain forest. 

Rich is reading over my shoulder and wondered if anyone put salt on it… groan.

After the clean-up, I took pictures of some of the wildflowers on an empty lot across from ours. This lot, unlike ours, gets lots of direct sunlight. The flowers were very plentiful, in particular daisies and foxglove.

Pink flowersDaisies   PinkWhiteFuschia