A Halt to the Work at the Tiffany Park Woods

Too little too late.  The beautiful Tiffany Park Woods are nearly gone, the birds and wildlife already evicted, the native flora disappeared. Still, I was heartened to know someone is paying attention to the promises made by the developer when they obtained the permit to raze these woods and replace them with 97 houses.   According to a story in today’s Renton Reporter, “a stop work order was issued after inspectors found two protected trees were removed from the site.”  I wondered why all had gone quiet.

“In order to lift the stop order, the developers will have to meet conditions set upon by the city, including paying a fine and replacing the two removed trees with 12 other trees. The city will decide on the types and locations of the trees at a later date. In addition, if the developers remove other protected trees once the stop work order is lifted, the city will revoke their permit and cease all construction.”  ~  Renton Reporter 6/28/17

There is some justice after all.

I visited the Woods earlier this spring before the work began to document their beauty.

For the last few weeks I have also documented their destruction, which has been far more difficult to observe than I had imagined.

I watched a panicked red-headed woodpecker fly to a large Douglas Fir in my yard (to take up residence I hope) after the large trees around him came down.  And I have never seen a sadder looking deer than this one recently taking refuge in a tiny patch of remaining woods as trees were felled nearby.  I hope he made it safely to a new home.

For several years, friends of the Tiffany Park Woods fought against this project and lost.  What they won were concessions from the builder including a tree retention plan as conditions for the permit. The work stoppage may only be temporary, but if it results in the saving of a few more trees, then it is worth it.  I’m glad the developer is being held accountable for the terms that were agreed upon.

~ Susanne

The Woodpecker

Today they arrived behind our house and I stood watching as the claw gripped the tree where it was thick and full of life and the saw ate through its girth and the claw hoisted it upward into the air and downward where it smashed to the ground where others lay and while I was watching I saw the bird land on the tree nearby and maybe I only imagined the panic of the small and fragile red-headed woodpecker as he climbed upward hoping this one would not come down, but I don’t think so.

~ Susanne

Urban Logging

After years of wrangling and delays, the logging of the Tiffany Park Woods is underway. It was only last week that I took this picture after being awakened by the chain saws.

This is the same location today.

The woods are no match for the heavy equipment assembled against them. I am over it. There’s still a long way to go, but I’m pleased to see many trees around the perimeter still standing. I wonder if the select few marvel that they were chosen while those on the ash heap wonder what they did wrong.

I assume all the displaced animals have been welcomed to new homes. Refugees of sorts. It will be interesting to watch as houses go up.

Progress I guess.

~ Susanne

Rhapsody in the Clouds

Clouds.  If you live in the Pacific Northwest it is likely that you have seen them, perhaps more often than you wish. But have you really seen them? Tonight I looked up and found them awesome and full of splendor.

So the next time you go outside, look up.  And marvel.

~  Susanne

Awakened by Chain Saws

It’s the beginning of the end for the Tiffany Park Woods. The logging has begun.

Honestly I didn’t venture into the woods often though others did: neighbors, dog walkers, and boys playing army.  I suspect most of these grew up in the neighborhood and knew the woods like an old friend.  Still, I loved knowing they were there and enjoyed the peaceful backdrop they provided to my home and others. And I appreciated the visiting birds and deer who lived there.

For the past few years many tried to have the woods preserved but to no avail.  The twenty-two acres were sold and a large housing development would take their place.  So we have been waiting.

Finally this morning we woke to the hum of the chain saws telling us the work had begun.  The distant whine of the saws will grow louder each day until most of the woods are gone.

We’ve been promised that the trees in back of us will be retained as part of a wide buffer against the houses that will be built.  We’re thankful for whatever trees remain.

But we will miss the full loveliness of the woods we once enjoyed.

~ Susanne

Sunset on a Sunny Day

After months of rain here in the Great Northwest we were promised two seventy degree days in a row.  The first arrived this afternoon and we reached the promised temperature.  I knew we would likely have a fabulous sunset and so I headed to Gene Coulon Park with my camera. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea and the parking lots were full.  Somewhat discouraged I drove around as the sun was setting until I found a nearby hilltop and enjoyed the view.

I think it was worth the effort.

~  Susanne