The Work Continues

This morning I woke up to the usual noises of destruction (I mean construction) behind my house in what was once called the Tiffany Park Woods and went to take a look.

This is what I saw.

Which is all fine and good but I certainly hope the brakes are in good working order.

~ Susanne

Solar Eclipse – Will You Watch it?

Yes, I knew it was coming; they’ve been talking about it for months. That once in a lifetime event on Monday August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse coming to a neighborhood near you!  Once in a lifetime, counting from when the last total solar eclipse crossed the contiguous USA in 1918.  But those from the Northwest may recall the eclipse in 1979, something of a non-event in the Seattle area because of cloudy skies. Clear skies are in the forecast for Monday, so this will be something to see.  Or not, read on.

No, Seattle is not in the path of totality;  for that we’d have to travel to Oregon, along with the other billions so headed, resulting in unprecedented traffic, which for this area is saying a lot. Honestly, I’m not that desperate.

Still, according to those in the know, we will experience 93% totality here, that time when the moon will almost completely block out the sun, starting at 9:08 am and bringing darkness at 10:20 a.m.  Silly girl, don’t you want to see that??  Of course I do!  Oh why then did I wait so long to get those eclipse glasses?  The event of a lifetime overhead but I can’t look up!

There are still a few places this weekend where they will be handing out the coveted glasses until supplies run out. I will head to one of them and hope for the best.  We shall see (no pun intended.)  If I’m not one of the lucky ones, I guess I could build my own viewing device no matter how hokey it may appear; instructions abound on the internet. But is watching a shadow on a piece of cardboard really the same? I think not.

For a planner like me, I sure blew this one.  How about the rest of you?  Do you have plans to watch the solar eclipse?

~ Susanne

A Visit to Bellevue Botanical Garden

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.

~ Susanne

Rainless in Seattle and the Orange Sun

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.

~ Susanne