A Dedication to Our Neighbors in Nature

When you turn your sails toward Bainbridge Island and the surrounding Puget Sound, some of the first animals you might encounter are breathtaking orcas and whales, arching their powerful backs just long enough for you to revel in such majesty. The sprawling shores are home to seals who find joy in climbing along the rocks, overturning countless shells, and playing in the shallow coves.

When wandering along the island’s many trails, your ear might catch the pattering of a pack of coyotes in the distance. Your backyard garden needs you to stay alert once its planted, as deer will gather in hopes of proving themselves as your greatest admirers. In your periphery, foxes may slink around the perimeters of any property, only allowing a glimpse of their tails as they whip back into the woods.

Open doors in warmer weather beckon mischievous opossums and raccoons, so be sure to slide the screen door shut when craving the cooler breeze. In the quiet of the night, bats might gleefully swoop to and fro, gesturing for the moon to join them in their explorations of the dark.

Abundantly flowing creeks and rivers offer sweet refuge for beavers in need of protection. At any park or nature reserve, you might be an audience member, tracking chipmunks and squirrels racing up and spiraling around the Evergreens.

Children might huddle carefully to observe lizards darting across pathways, snakes in the fresh grasses, salamanders basking in pools of water, and turtles along ponds’ edges. Though not always seen, generous symphonies of frogs and toads can be heard croaking away to their hearts’ content.

Always remember to turn your gaze to the vast sky in search of bald eagles, as they appear more frequently than you might expect. As the sun sets, great herons flap their strong wings and glide expertly above the water’s glowing surface. Clusters of luminous butterflies and dragonflies will inspire a slower pace, so you can wholeheartedly rejoice in all the beauty found on this enthralling island.

Quiz the kids to see if they can guess all 20 island animals Molly mentioned.

1. Orca & Whales

2. Seal

3. Coyote

4. Deer

5. Fox

6. Opossum

7. Raccoon

8. Bat

9. Beaver

10. Chipmunk

11. Squirrel

12. Lizard

13. Snake

14. Salamander

15. Turtle

16. Frog

17. Eagle

18. Heron

19. Butterfly

20. Dragonfly