Camano sunset 9January 1, 2013…..Wow, this past year has had so many blessings and some challenges for many people. I know this next year will be filled with health, happiness, prosperity, compassion, family, friends and all that makes life very special.
Thank you for your support in my business career as The Camano Island Real Estate Expert. Your loyalty is worth so much to me and I am thankful for you to help me in the past, present and future.
Cheers to a New 2013!


Announcing the 2012 Glass Quest Open House Winner!

This year’s Glass Quest was a rousing success!  42 treasure seekers came to the Leguna Vista Terrace open house on February 19th, but only one could emerge as the winner.

So I am pleased to announce Jay Zachary as the lucky winner of snow globe #210!  This Snohomish resident was delighted to be taking home this one-of-a-kind, handcrafted green glass globe.  Just look at how thrilled he is!

He wasn’t the only winner, of course, as these snow globes were hidden all over Camano Island and neighboring Stanwood.  Pictures of several more lucky questors are now up on the Glass Quest website here!

As always, a big shout-out to all the open house visitors who entered the drawing, the local businesses and merchants that participated, the fabulous coordinators of the event, and, of course, to Glass Artist Mark Ellinger and his team at Glass Quest for designing and creating all of these stunning works of art!


Camano Island Tide Pools: Time For a Family Adventure

Camano Island fun here we come!

Camano Island Tide PoolsPart of the bonus of being in a location as amazing as Camano Island is enjoying the ocean life. Not only can we watch the Camano Island tides go in and out, see the whales playing in the bay from our windows, and dine on delicious fresh fish year-round, but we also get to see sea life up close and personal – sometimes really close! Exploring the shoreline and discovering the tiny ecosystems left behind in tide pools is an exciting adventure – and an educational one, as well.

Camano Island Tide Pool AdventuresBefore you pack up the kids and head to the beach, there are a few things you need to check out. First, be sure to check the schedule for Camano Island tides on that day. Nothing is worse than going tide pool hunting, only to discover the tide is in and all the pools are covered! Also, take a peek out the window. While tide pools occur no matter what the weather is, you might not be as comfortable exploring them during a rainstorm.

Let’s Make Sure Everyone Gets to See Camano Island’s Beauty

In addition, remember that the pools left behind by the ins and outs of Camano Island tides are filled with living creatures. These creatures are a vital part of the Puget Sound ecosystem.

There’s an old adage you should remember when exploring the pools:
Take only photographs;
Leave only footprints.

Camano Island Tide FunThis not only lets your whole family enjoy the pools while avoiding discussions over who gets to keep what, but also ensures that they will be there for everyone else who wants to see them.

Ideas to Keep the Camano Island Adventure Lots of Fun

Once you’re exploring the tide pools, there are many different activities you can do with your family before the Camano Island tides come rolling back in. See how many different creatures you can spot in one pool, or count how many of the same type of animal can be found in all the pools you visit. Tide pools can hold shellfish, invertebrates such as starfish and sea anemones, and sometimes a small fish or two!

Once you’ve decided to see the tiny worlds left behind by the Camano Island tides rolling in and out, you’re in for a treat. Remember to respect these marvels of nature, and they’ll be there for many years to come, and will change with each visit.

Every year I provide tide schedules for clients, family and friends. Don’t have yours yet? Give me a call! Jan Mather, Camano Island Tide Expert! 360-507-4133

Camano Island, WHERE IS OUR SUMMER?!?

Camano Island Summer Weather Fleeting at Best

May I have your permission to rant for just a moment?

Here I have been writing just about weekly, talking about all of the great things on Camano Island to do this summer, and there’s just one thing missing:


In case summer weather is just around the corner, here’s a quick re-cap of some of the “fun-in-the-sun posts about Camano Island:

Here’s the good news: We’re Washingtonians! We have webbed fingers and toes! So it’s overcast a bit. Ha! So it’s a little drizzly — big deal! That didn’t dampen the spirits of the musicians at the Darrington Blue Grass Festival, no sir! And it certainly won’t deter us from enjoying the beautiful, peaceful, magnificent life here on Camano Island!

That being said… Walter Kelley, Camano Island wouldn’t mind some hot weather!

Now let’s go have some fun, eh?

— Jan Mather, your Camano Island Expert! 360-507-4133

Camano Island Restaurants and Other Eats — Explore and Enjoy!

One of the best parts of exploring somewhere new is finding the good places to eat. Read-on to discover my personal fave!!!

Camano Island Restaurants: fuel and social fun

Food isn’t just for nourishment – well, it is, but there’s so much more to it than simply calories, vitamins, and body fuel.  The act of eating can be turned into a social event (as it almost ALWAYS is with yours truly).  Why do you think there’s always food at parties?  On Camano Island and in Stanwood we have some of the standards you see just about everywhere,  but we also have some real treats for you to discover so let’s explore some Camano Island restaurants!

One of the more popular locations on Camano Island is (appropriately) Islander’s Restaurant and Bar.  With a broad menu featuring personal pizzas, a variety of grinders, and a healthy pasta selection, almost everyone can find something that they may enjoy.  With party packages available and a full bar on site, Islander’s is somewhere a group of any size can gather.

Camano Island Bistro

Camano Island Bistro, at Camano Island Inn

If you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale, the Camano Island Bistro takes reservations as well as walk-ins. Open for lunch and dinner six days a week, the bistro is located in Camano Island Inn and is surrounded by windows that allow you to take in the beautiful views of our island home. This is a superb example of one of the charming Camano Island restaurants just waiting for you to explore!

Sometimes, you only want a quick bite and a hot cup of coffee.  Both locals and visitors to Camano Island enjoy Islander Espresso and Café, home of Camano Island Coffee Roasters. Washington is famous for coffee, and Islander Espresso takes it to a socially responsible level, serving fair trade coffee and roasting on site. Go green!

If you want more than just a quick drink, the café has a full menu to enjoy.

Camano Island Restaurants, Coffee, and More~

These are just a few of the restaurant choices you can find on beautiful Camano Island.  The Camano Island Chamber of Commerce is one great resource that can be used to find your next bite or cup of joe.

If all-else fails, Google it!

You can also find local pizzerias run by veterans of the restaurant business, small delis and shops across the island, and bed and breakfast options everywhere.  Don’t be afraid to sink your teeth into our culture, or our cuisine! You’ll be happy with both.

Diamond Knot Camano LodgeAnd now, as promised: My personal favorite hot dinner spot on Camano Island: The Diamond Knot Camano Lodge! Rustic, warm and welcoming, Diamond Knot is the perfect place for great food or just a glass of wine (and of course GREAT beer!). If you haven’t been yet, you are have got to check them out. And here’s their facebook page!

Camano Island restaurants is just one of the topics I’ve highlighted about our beatiful island. Be sure to check out my other posts as well including showcased homes for sale and more!

-Jan Mather, your Camano Island Expert. 360-507-4133

Camano Island Are You Crabby? It’s Crabbin’ Time!

Camano Island crabbies here we come!

It’s that time of year again – get the buckets and head to the beach, because crabbing season is almost here, opens July 1st!

Puget Sound is the home of some of the most delicious crab in the world, and here on Camano Island we can drop crab pots all season and pull out some of the largest, most delectable specimens you can dream of.

Camano Island Crabbing -- Love it! 

While there are several different types of crab in Puget Sound, the types that are allowed to be caught by the State are Rock crab and Dungeness crab.  Most people will catch the Dungeness, for a few reasons.  A full grown adult can get up to 10” in diameter.  They are also easier to catch, as they live in depths of water from inter-tidal to up to 500 feet!

Before hitting the beach and dropping your pots, let’s make sure we don’t run up against the strong arm of the law! Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Gear — there are a few regulations to be aware of and comply with. For the full list, check out this Camano Island crabbing rules list. It’ll open in a new window so make sure you come back to this one to read more. Here’s a quick run-down: 1. your buoys have to be half red and half white, 2. your pots can’t be bigger than 13 cubic feet, and they have to be attached by a biodegradable cord – no plastic!  This ensures your pot won’t keep attracting and killing crabs if it’s lost to the elements.

Remember — don’t just take my word for it, check that link with the rules! Nobody wants to get pinched! ;D

Once you’ve got your gear in line, let’s make sure your catch report card is registered with the state.  You need to report every day you go out, even if you don’t bring home any crab.  This is to ensure the Dungeness and Rock crab populations aren’t overharvested, keeping the supply sustainable for many more enjoyable years to come.  If you don’t report your time crabbing, you’ll be subject to a $10 fine from the state of Washington.  In addition to the catch report card, all people out crabbing over the age of 15 have to have a valid Washington fishing license.

Once you have your catch report card for the season, you won’t have to get a new one.  That means if you get your card in June before the season officially kicks off, you don’t have to worry about replacing it until Labor Day, when the season rolls over to Fall/Winter crabbing.

Camano Island Crabbing Look at These Beauties! 

For more info, check this link: Camano Island Crabbing. That takes you to the Department of Fish & Wildlife link for our area of Puget Sound. To file your catch report online (you should get a paper copy when you get your license), you can use this link: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/crc.html.

Ok! Now that we’ve got our license, our gear, and our catch report all figured out, we’re ready to hit the water!

Happy crabbing everyone, see you on the Island! — Jan Mather, your Camano Island Crabbing-and-Real-Estate Expert! 360-507-4133

Honoring the Utsalady Ladies of Camano Island!

What’s An Utsalady Lady, you ask?

An Utsalady lady may sound like something along-side “Dr. Seuss Cooked the Goose” (or would that be gander…) but here on Camano Island, there’s a deeper, heart-felt meaning.

In the area of the island known as Utsalady, stands a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999 (check out our historical society’s site for more local historical places.  This is the Utsalady Ladies Aid building, and it has housed the Utsalady Ladies Relief Club since 1923.

The Utsalady Ladies Relief Club was founded in 1908.  It originally met in the home of one of its members, Mrs. H. P. Olsen.  The seven founding members were part of the island’s Scandinavian community, and were primarily concerned with the religious education of the youth of Camano Island.  The ladies set about raising money for a parochial summer school to provide a non-denominational Christian education for the local youth.

In addition to the summer school, the Utsalady ladies had fundraisers for the Washington Children’s Home, and later, a building designated specifically for their use.  The money was primarily raised through lutefisk dinners and ice cream socials.  The Utsalady Ladies Aid building was completed in 1923 and the group moved its activities there.  It was called a building rather than a hall on the order of the Relief Club, as there was to be no drinking, no dancing, and no gambling on the premises.

The Utsalady ladies have been a staple of Camano Island life since their inception.  The building has hosted events as varied as funerals and 4-H meetings.  The ladies themselves have remained active members of the Utsalady community, providing assistance to the community through scholarships to local girls and donations to the food bank.  In World War II, the Relief Club acted as aircraft spotters and turned their building into a Red Cross first aid station and sewing center.

Another website honoring the Utsalady ladies is the Washington Women’s History Consortium.

Today, the Utsalady ladies – including some descendents of those first seven members – enjoy the place in the community founded by over 100 years of active service.  Every summer, a picnic is held on the Utsalady Ladies Building grounds, and their contributions to Camano Island life can never be repaid.

Thank you ladies, Camano Island is a better place because of you!


Camano Island – Let the Bird Watching Fun Begin!

In May I wrote about many ways you could have family friendly fun on Camano Island with some of the many scheduled festivals and events that take place around here. But if you’re simply looking for a quick afternoon activity (or maybe a new part-time hobby), boy have I got one for you!

With the arrival of warmer months, countless adventures on trails and pathways are waiting for you on Camano Island.  Nature hikes are a great way to learn about the outdoors, plants, and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest and one of the most popular activities for locals and visitors alike is — wait for it — bird watching!

Camano Island MerganserThere are many different types of birds to search for in the Camano Island area.  There are many excellent areas that are perfect for bird watching, spanning every type of habitat from old growth forest to wetlands to shore.  These different types of nesting habitats will allow for a variety of bird watching experiences for you and your family.

One of the cool things about living on an island is the abundance of waterfowl nesting sites to view and explore.  Whether you like to see sea ducks, dabbling ducks, or wading birds such as loons and egrets, there will be nesting and feeding sites available to see all throughout the summer months.

Camano Island EagleIf you prefer your birds a bit bigger, you’re in luck.  Our nation’s most enduring symbol – the bald eagle – is native to Puget Sound, and there are nesting sites in the greater Camano Island area.  If you visit in summer during the hay harvest, you may be lucky enough to spot the birds circling over freshly shorn fields in search of their next meal and they are often seen perching high in the Island’s evergreens.

If you’re an avid bird watcher, you will definitely want to contact the local Audubon Society.  There are planned day trips throughout the summer to visit specific sites and watch for specific species of birds.  A day hike with your family to watch birds won’t just be fun for you but can also be a fantastic bonding experience for everyone.

Camano Island DucksWhen you come to bird watch on Camano Island, you’ll be thrilled to see the various types of birds soar, swim, and sing in their natural habitat.

But Camano Island isn’t just for the birds! Ready to make our beautiful island your home (or home away from home)?  Call me today — Jan Mather, your Camano Island Family-Outing-and-Real-Estate Expert! 360-507-4133

Camano Island and Stanwood: Clean, Green, and Help our Kids!


Windermere Real Estate is sponsoring a spring cleaning event for our annual Community Service Day on Friday June 10, 2011 from Noon – 5:00 p.m. in the Haggen parking lot.

Bring your unwanted computers/electronics to be donated to the PCRecycle truck, outdated sensitive documents to be destroyed by Shredit and your dirty car for Windermere Brokers to clean and shine. Enjoy complimentary hot dogs served by Island Dogs.

You can also support Davis Place Teen Center in Stanwood, part of the Stanwood-Camano Community Resource Center with a generous donation towards the new building fund.  Help the kids and de-clutter your home!


Davis Place Teen Center

A division of the Stanwood – Camano Community Resource Center or their facebook page.



Windermere Real Estate

Camano Island & Stanwood



More on this next week!

— Jan Mather, your Camano Island Expert! 360-507-4133


Camano Island Definitely Grows On You!

For you “Out-Of-Towners,” no trip to the Pacific Northwest is complete without a sightseeing tour. No matter what time of year you visit Camano Island, you’ll be greeted with seascapes that will take your breath away. And Crayola, take some notes here — Camano has landscapes made of every shade of green you could possibly imagine!

rhododendrons on camano islandIf you visit our lovely little piece of land in the warmer months, one of the most astounding outdoor sights you can see is the beautiful blooms of rhododendrons all over the area. Whether you choose to visit Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens on neighboring Whidbey Island or stay close to home on Camano, the bright blooms will dazzle your senses. If rhodies aren’t your flower of choice, don’t despair. The mild temperatures and moist air of the Puget Sound create an ideal climate to foster greenery. Thyme and lavender grow in abundance across the island, and wildflowers fill fields everywhere you go.

If you prefer your sightseeing to be more focused on animals, Camano Island will amaze and delight you. Because of our location in Puget Sound, we are blessed with amazing sights year round. Some of camano island gray whalethe most beautiful, memorable things you can see in our waters are the whales. There is a visiting pod of Gray whales that calls the waters around Camano Island home from March to early June each year, feeding on ghost shrimp that live in the sandy bottoms. From mid-May to the beginning of October, Orca whales travel the waters near Camano and Whidbey Islands on their seasonal migration paths.

Even if you aren’t lucky enough to see the whales, the tide pools and SCUBA opportunities along our coastline provide you with a first-person window into a beautiful underwater world.

Whether you come for wildflowers or whales, Camano Island has a way for the whole family to get out and enjoy nature together. Spend some time with us and you’ll agree.

Any questions?  call me today — Jan Mather, your Camano Island Expert! 360-507-4133