In which we celebrate Jim's birthday, and Monica takes the camera

Jim's birthday weekend often coincides with the local Highland Games celebration, 
and it's always fun to go hang out with dancing women, working dogs, skirt-clad men

...and that's just the spectators!

There is no "backstage" at the Skagit Valley Highland Games.  All the last-minute rehearsing

whether it was jumps and twirls or 

preparation for Throwing Big Things  or 

getting everybody on the same foot, it all happens under the wide open blue sky.

Monica had never experienced a Highland Games day before, so I handed off the camera and waved her away.  All the photos in this post were taken by her.  

(I did a huge photo dump on Facebook, so if you want to see everything, go find the album there.  These are just my favorite shots from the camera memory card.)

impromptu percussion jam

Megan has always been a "ballcap" kinda gal...but we (and years of exposure to harmful UV rays)
have finally convinced her about the wonders of Large Hats

Closeup of a corset that I will never wear

I think it's hardly fair that the guys get awesome outfits and the ladies wear nightgowns

shadow dancing

"Loose sheep!"  No worries:  working dog on duty!

pennywhistle class

group fiber project

it's not just strong men who Throw Big Things

You can just hear them all thinking, "Ooooh, that's gonna HURT."

Ensemble on stage

If you've not been to a Highland Games event, let me recommend:

  • the sheep trials
  • the bagpipe parades
  • the dancing competitions
  • the heavy stuff throwing games
  • the people watching
and maybe most especially

  • the meat pies
(avoid the haggis, just a suggestion)


  1. Best food in Australia and England, the pies/Cornish pasties. I've learned how to make a pretty decent Australian version, using puff pastry dough for the crust. For a party I made a tray of Australian pasties, and Greek pasties (with gyro meat and feta), with little flags, and the Australian ones got eaten up much faster. Since meat pies don't exist in Germany, I was really surprised at how fast my pies disappeared. One guy grabbed three of them, on his second trip to the table.

    In London they weren't easy to find, cuz they're kind of low-class I guess. I asked everyone, "Where can I find a meat pie" before finally finding Greggs, the UK's largest bakery chain. It would be like going to America and saying, "Where can I get a hot dog!?" Why would you be so interested in a hot dog? My last Cornish pasty was so good, I still have the wrapper.

    Downtown Burien has Wonderful!

  2. This looks like so much fun!


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