Friday, November 22, 2013

Lake 22 Trail

Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry) Lake 22 Trail June 2012

Aruncus dioicus (Goat's Beard) Lake 22 Trail June 2012

Lake 22 June 2012

Veratrum viride (Corn Lily) Lake 22 Trail June 2012

 Lake 22 June 2012

Click here for more photos of the Lake 22 Trail.

The Lake 22 Trail is a fairly easy & spectacular hike in the Cascade Mountains in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Snohomish County, Washington.  It is also a popular hike, with many people on the trail on summer weekends.  The trail head is on the Mountain Loop Highway, 13 miles east of Granite Falls.  The hike is mostly through lush, old growth forest, although some time is spent crossing a large, open talus slope with lovely views of nearby mountains.  The volume & diversity of the flora is truly amazing.  The trail starts at elevation 1,050 feet & ends at elevation 2,400 feet (731 meters) in the beautiful basin that contains Lake 22.  If you have any breath left at the top of the trail, your 1st view of the lake will take it away.  The hike is 5.4 miles round trip.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Belvedere Park

 View from Belvedere Park October 2011

View from Belvedere Park October 2011

View from Belvedere Park October 2011

Belvedere Park October 2011

There isn't much to Belvedere Park except the view.  But what an excellent view it is!  There is a sweeping vista of Downtown Seattle across Elliott Bay from this park on the east edge of the Admiral District of West Seattle.  You can also see Queen Anne Hill, 1st Hill, Beacon Hill & Harbor Island.  The park covers 1.7 acres on both sides of SW Admiral Way.  The totem pole was carved from a cedar log cut from nearby Schmitz Preserve Park, another wonderful Seattle park you must visit on your tour of West Seattle.  Below Schmitz Preserve Park is Alki Beach, Seattle's most popular waterfront promenade.  You can easily walk between Schmitz Park & Alki Beach.  The business districts of the Admiral District & Alki are filled with shops & restaurants.

Friday, November 8, 2013

October in Seattle

 Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum) in Madison Valley in October 2013

Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea) in Madison Valley in October 2013

 Seattle Japanese Garden in October 2013

Hamamelis mollis (Chinese Witch Hazel) at the Washington Park Arboretum in October 2013

 Sorbus commixta (Japanese Rowan) at the Washington Park Arboretum in October 2013

October 2013 in Seattle was cooler & much drier than normal.  The mean temperature was 51.7F/10.94C.  The normal mean temperature is 52.8F/11.56C.  Total precipitation was 1.54 inches/39.12mm.  Normal precipitation is 3.48 inches/88.39mm.  The highest temperature was 73F/22.78C on 10/6.  The lowest was 38F/3.33C on 10/29.  There were 2 days with heavy rain, 4 days with rain, 11 days with light rain & 24 days with fog (12 of them with visibility at less than 1/4 mile) 15 cloudy days, 12 partly cloudy days & 4 fair days.      

There was an unusual amount of fog during an extended period of high pressure, drought & dense low clouds.  Warm-weather systems coming from both east & west trapped cool, foggy air over the city for two weeks from 10/10 to 10/24.  Some people were unhappy with this, but it could easily have rained instead.  I love fog & have pleasant memories of my walk to school in that mysterious atmosphere.  When the month of October started, most deciduous shrubs & trees were still green.  By the end of the month, most, but certainly not all, had turned to red, orange, brown, yellow & gold.  Only a few had lost all or most of their leaves.  There was very little wind to strip away the foliage.  I moved from an apartment at Othello Station to a house with space for a garden in Rainier Vista on October 31.  I was very excited about that.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Acclimatized: Heaven & Earth 5 at Carkeek Park

Spiritual Play Tower by Alan Fulle in September 2013

Tree Pods by Elizabeth Gahan in September 2013.  These are made from campaign signs.

As I walked with a friend through Carkeek Park on the beautiful 1st day of September 2013, I was surprised to find art strewn about.  I'd seen temporary art installations in parks before.  And in fact, this was the 5th year art had been presented in the park.  But it is always arresting to see art where usually there is none.  This outdoor art exhibition was orchestrated by the Center on Contemporary Art, better known as CoCA.  There were 14 artworks.  I found these 2 to be most attractive.  I want a gazebo like this in my garden.

Here is what CoCa has to say about this exhibition: In addition to the obvious reference to climate-change adaptation, Acclimatized: Heaven and Earth 5 hinges on the skill of 14 intrepid artists in placing various eco-artworks in the park that are designed to withstand the intensity of scrutiny by an estimated 100,000 summer visitors to the park. Acclimatized is one of the region's only venues for site-specific artwork in an urban forest setting where part of the exhibit includes a walking tour of an hour or more.