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

Soos Creek Botanical Garden

After the rain showers this week,  I visited the lovely Soos Creek Botanical Garden today.  It was a rather spontaneous decision, made while drinking my latte at the Starbucks next to the gym where I was supposedly headed next.  But the rain had stopped.  Fresh air and a walk would be better than the treadmill, wouldn’t it?  Of course it would!   And I’d only been to the Soos Creek Garden once before, even though it’s only a thirty minute drive down the road. Time for another visit.

A few volunteers were the only ones I saw as I walked through the Carlmas Long Borders promenade, the centerpiece of the garden.  The grass was still wet and the flowers fresh with raindrops from the day before.  Beautiful color exploded on each side.

Afterwards I wandered on paths through native woods, including a cedar grove and alder grove, and made my way down to the creek.

I headed back up to where I started, to the top of the expansive lawn where the Schaefer Pond Garden was peaceful and serene.

Soos Creek Botanical Garden is 22 acres of garden and woodlands, exactly the size of the Tiffany Park Woods that are currently being destroyed in my neighborhood. I guess it’s some consolation to know I can visit the lovely Botanical Garden for a safe and scenic walk in the woods.

Before leaving, I bought some plants, dropping my money in the donation box, and went home to find a place for them in my yard.

Much better than the gym I have to admit.

~  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

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

A Summer Day in May

Summertime and the livin’ is easy here in the Pacific Northwest.  After the longest rainy season on record, summer arrived with gusto this week with temperatures in the seventies and eighties.  We poor, cold, and waterlogged natives embraced the sunshine and are soaking up the long overdue rays while they are here.

That includes me as I head to Coulon Park in the heat of the day where I find the irises in bloom and bright as the sun,

and these walkers blending in with the green.

The view of Rainier to the south was striking as always..

but the Olympics floated in the haze somewhat ghostly to the west,

reminding me that I will welcome the cleansing of the next refreshing rain.  I am after all, a  true native.

~ Susanne

Cedar River Trail and the Big Birds Beside

Today was overcast but just right for a morning walk along the Cedar River Trail.

The river was flowing gently while reflecting the flowers and trees alongside its banks,

and the ducks were enjoying the flow.

Boeing!

It wasn’t long before the Big Birds came into view. The Trail meanders along the river and through Boeing’s Renton Plant, home to the best selling commercial airliner of all time, the 737.  (Did you know a Boeing 737 takes off or lands somewhere every two seconds?)

The Boeing Renton Factory opened during the 1940’s and produced the B29 Bombers used during World War II.

When I was growing up Seattle was known as the Jet City and everyone knew someone who worked at Boeing. Boeing is still the largest private employer in the state of Washington.

The 737, which went into production in 1967, is still manufactured at the Renton plant and can be seen lining both sides of the river.

We talk with a guard who points out the 737 MAX currently under construction, distinguishable by the unique ‘pincher’ on the end of its wings.

We follow the trail to the south end of Lake Washington and stop to enjoy the views.

On our return I see this tree in spring dress and am reminded it is just getting warmed up..

and will light up the trail in the fall.

We’ll be back for the show.

~ Susanne