Edmonds Kind of Play: Dragonflies workshop, mermaid meet-and-greet, low-tide beach walk

This past week while waiting in line at my most-frequented grocery store, I heard the checker tell the group ahead of me, with angst or dread maybe, that “summer was over,” in part due to the weather we were having that day, and also because Seafair was over. When it was my turn in line —  likely buying generic “super” pretzels that are actually great in a camp/school lunch as they defrost and are ready by mid-morning — the checker told me the same thing and it became clear that August isn’t his best time. It’s not my favorite time either, but not because of the weather. When school is part of your routine, August can be such an in-between, “hurry up and wait” kind of time. It always throws me off and I’m reminded every year that it’s not just me — a friend just used the word “August-y” to describe both the general feeling in the office and the level of exhaustion.

Another friend combats the August-related emotions by cramming in as much summer as possible. Again, another thing I am reminded of each year when we try to plan summer events and their crew has campsites/trips/excursions booked ages ago. I still think that there is plenty of preferable weather on the horizon, even with some rain mixed in, but if you are looking to get the most out of the rest of summer in Edmonds, we’ve got mermaids, dragonflies, and a Moonlight Beach Adventure!

On Saturday, Aug. 17 there will be another workshop at the Edmonds Wildlife Habitat Native Plant Demonstration Garden. From 3 to 5 p.m., Dr. David Richman will present, “Flying Gems: Dragonflies and Damselflies in the Environment.” The purpose of this workshop is to teach you about the lives and behavior of this common species found in our area — which I see all over the place right now. These closely-related and “very ancient” species are fossils from the Jurassic era and practically indistinguishable from modern species and so they were contemporaries of dinosaurs. Everyone is welcome to attend this free workshop held at the Demo Garden, Willow Creek Hatchery, 95 Pine St., Edmonds. For more information you can visit www.PilchuckAudubon.org (programs) or call 425-771-8165.

Mermaid Orla playing her harp at Brackett’s Landing. (Photo courtesy Salish Sea Sirens website)

Sunday, Aug. 18 is “Meet a Mermaid Day” at Brackett’s Landing. This free, family-friendly event, held from noon to 3, is unlike anything I’ve added to this column before. The Salish Sea Sirens, Synfonia, Linyenea and Orla, will swim up to shore at noon for a “live music serenade” featuring “mermaid music” followed by a meet and greet with the trio where (you and) the kids can pose for photos. For those who are interested in more than just meeting the mermaids on Sunday, the group offers “merfolk themed music” for your event or photography packages including a “Merfold Experience Package” which includes a photo shoot and a rental of the accessories. For more information you can visit the SalishSeaSirens.com or visit the Meet a Mermaid Facebook Event page.

The Moonlight Beach Adventure will be Saturday, Aug. 24 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.. This event is something my kids look forward to every year. This interpretive program offers a chance to “see and touch live creatures brought to shore by volunteer scuba divers operating a live underwater video feed.”

Be prepared for an evening of fun during the Moonlight Beach Adventure

While that explanation does describe what is happening, it doesn’t really touch just how great it is. When we arrived last year, there were lots of creatures found just beyond the shore that had been added to touch tanks (kiddie pools) for you to touch/see up close and there is always a Ranger-Naturalist nearby to answer your questions. After the sun goes down, a diver heads out into the water equipped with a camera and microphone and answers your questions live while his images are projected on a tent which doubles as a screen. The city suggests that you dress warmly and bring a flashlight and I second both of these things. It is always colder than expected and it is very dark, making it tricky to navigate the driftwood, etc..

There is also one more chance to join a Ranger-Naturalist for a low-tide beach walk this summer. On Aug. 29 from 10 to 11 a.m., you can explore the intertidal life within the Edmonds Marine Sanctuary to discover how the plants and animals found there are uniquely adapted to thrive in this dynamic environment. Groups meet at the Olympic Beach Visitors Center, at the base of the Edmonds Fishing Pier, and head out together to see what the low tide has revealed.

We headed to the beach on the last low tide and my oldest joined the walk for a bit and we both got a chance to catch up with Ranger Karen, who gave us some information about the local seastar population. These walks are free and open to the public of all ages with no need to pre-register. They recommend sturdy footwear or rubber boots. For more information on this event and the Moonlight Beach Adventure, you can call Edmonds Parks & Recreation at 425-771-0230.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.

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