Of all the things to be enjoyed at Coulon Park….
the boats and planes
the docks and piers
the elusive mountain
I think the best may be the turtles.
One sunny day earlier this summer my husband had to be in Bellevue so I hitched a ride and had him drop me off at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. He was longer than we thought he would be, so I got to enjoy a very leisurely 3 hour visit, strolling through the garden at a snail’s pace, starting with the centerpiece, the Perennial Border.
The award-winning Perennial Border has year-round displays of flowers and according to the brochure, “is an example of a distinctively American-style-mixed-border and a living demonstration of what works best in Northwest gardens.” I walked the paths through this living work of art admiring the variety of plants, their unique shapes and sizes, textures and colors.
I wandered through the Waterwise Garden and the Fuschia Garden,
the Native Discovery Garden and the Yao Garden, pausing to enjoy the hydrangeas along the trails that took me from one to another.
From the Lost Meadow Trail, I was delighted to discover this.
A nature trail through pristine woods, complete with a 150 ft suspension bridge over a steep ravine where you enjoy views of native understory and second-growth forest without trampling the forest floor. Oh, there is nothing like the Woods!
As much as I love cultivated gardens, I am partial to the Northwest Woods. I was happy to wander alone on the peaceful paths under a canopy of big leaf maples and western red cedars, where birds and other wildlife make their homes undisturbed. I was thankful these woods had been preserved and added to the Bellevue Botanical Garden. And I couldn’t help but wonder: what if the 22 acres known as the Tiffany Park Woods in Renton, those woods that were recently razed to the ground so ninety plus houses could go up; what if those woods had been preserved for all to enjoy, even as these woods in Bellevue had been? I guess we will never know.
I continued back up the trail and waited for my ride and promised myself I would come back again to this wonderful place.
Too High Up
Another good day.
As if it wasn’t enough to break the all time record for rain earlier this year (144 wet days, and almost 45 inches of rain between last October and April) we are now set to break the record for most days without measurable rain (51 days) tomorrow. To top it off, the uncharacteristically hot weather and the smoke from wildfires up north have made for vivid orange sunsets.
About an hour before the sun went down tonight it hovered low in the west looking like a blood orange. I don’t know how to capture that kind of color; maybe some day I will. In the meantime, I found the glow through the trees quite beautiful.
But I sure do miss the rain.
As Seafair is in full swing in the Emerald City, I thought I would share again this story from the past, from a simpler time, when Seattle was a Boeing town and Seafair was the face of the summer.
*This post is dedicated to my husband Bob *
It was a different time and a different town. There was a big airplane company but no technology. The Smith Tower but no Space Needle. There were wrestling matches and roller derby and stock car racing. But no major league sports. It was the nineteen fifties in Seattle and the biggest show in town was Seafair.
Seafair started in 1950 and quickly became the premier Seattle event. There were neighborhood carnivals where you could ride upside down on the hammer and get dizzy on the scrambler. There were parades with drill teams and marching bands, where Seafair Pirates roamed and floats carried princesses who perfected the wave to the crowds lining the streets. Honorary parade marshalls included celebrities like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. And there was always the high point when the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet arrived at Elliott Bay.
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I must say that was fast. Not only have the trees and shrubs come down in what was formerly known as the Tiffany Park Woods, but the area has been pulverized into submission (and yes, dirt) with not a single green thing left, except for the few promised patches. Surprising? Yes.
I knew the trees would go but I guess I held some notion that shrubs and understory would remain. I mean, why take it all? Wouldn’t new homeowners want that vegetation around their houses? (Obviously I know nothing about construction.) Anyway, it’s all gone and the land is being leveled for the infrastructure and houses to come. On the bright side, I won’t need an alarm for awhile since the heavy equipment rolls in around 7 and the noise and vibration shake me out of bed.
I’m also happy to report that Benji and Tiger are coping surprisingly well with all the commotion. They still want out all hours of the day and seem content with the new confines of their territory. (No more sneaking into the woods for them.)
I’m sorry the woods are gone, but I’m thankful my backyard still has enough trees on both sides of the fence for shade and privacy. And more sunshine in some spots where the tree cover was heavier.
So it’s time to move on and say goodbye to the Tiffany Park Woods. Still, if I had it to do over again, I would fight a little harder, maybe hug a few trees, to try to get the woods preserved and added to the city’s park system; an urban park where woodpeckers and owls could still live, with access and trails for all to enjoy.
Maybe next time.