Posts in Category: pacific northwest

Discovery Park

There isn’t much I like better than a sunny day at Discovery Park with my family. We go there often. It’s an easy drive. It’s close to the city but when we’re out on the trail I totally feel like we are miles and miles from civilization. Yet I also have cell service which makes geocaching and instagramming possible. 😉

We’ve lived in Seattle for 2 1/2 years. I’ve spent lots of time in areas where I should have / could have seen seen a bald eagle. Yet I hadn’t. Then do you know what happens? Bald eagles start showing up around my parents’ house in Michigan. Yet here in the PNW – nothing.

As we were headed back to the car there were 5 adults stopped on the trail in front of us looking back towards us and up into the trees. The guy smiled, said “bald eagle”, and pointed up. I nearly squealed in delight as we spotted the majestic bird perched at the top of an evergreen not far from the trail. I had my camera with my 50 mm lens. The following is as good as I got. It also makes me want to invest in a backpack camera bag that will hold my camera and zoom lens. But until then – bald eagles do live here. :)

discovery park 1-3-20


Here are a few more from our adventures, mud puddles and rocks, low tide, and adding a roof to a driftwood fort someone else started. It’s easy to see why this place is a favorite.

discovery park 1-3-1

discovery park 1-3-2

discovery park 1-3-3

discovery park 1-3-4

discovery park 1-3-5

discovery park 1-3-6

discovery park 1-3-7

discovery park 1-3-8

discovery park 1-3-9

discovery park 1-3-10

discovery park 1-3-11

discovery park 1-3-12

discovery park 1-3-15

discovery park 1-3-16

discovery park 1-3-17

discovery park 1-3-19

Adventures with Bears

The Zoo.

Don’t get started on a zoos-are-cruel-those-poor-animals rant with this post. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion regarding the humanity of the Zoo.

Here is what I know.

I’m afraid of bears. In a Fantastic Mr. Fox “I have a phobia of wolves” sort of way. Yet he stops to talk to one when they see one. I can sit and watch the grizzly bears at the zoo for hours. We’ve been to the zoo a few times and the bears are usually off at the back of the enclosure ignoring us, or sleeping quietly nearby.

And then there was this trip… the enclosure has this awesome viewing window. One of the bears swam right in front of the boys. Then he stopped four feet away, stood up, and started pounding on the glass. Pounding. Hit after hit. Smashing his paw against the window. The glass the only thing keeping us separate from 1100 pounds of awesome who seemed pissed off at that moment. The thud and reverb sound. Over and Over again. There were other people behind us but no one in front of us. Just us and this bear. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until after he stopped and swam away. My heart was pounding in my head. I couldn’t catch my breath. For a moment I thought I was going to have a full-blown panic attack. I calmed myself down. Then, 30 seconds later both bears swam back into the pool in front of us. There was the play-fighting. Six feet away from us. Teeth and claws and bears. My heart froze again. Then it was over. They both went their separate way. I exhaled, only slightly aware I hadn’t been breathing again. We left and I smiled, in awe at such an amazing creature, and the joy on the boys faces as they got to see something so intense.

These photos were all taken with my iphone. And posted to instagram.

august_blog-2 august_blog-3 august_blog-4 august_blog-5

What they boys are calling “The New Fernwood”

Back  in Michigan was a little (huge) botanical garden near our house called Fernwood. We had a membership and went all the time. The boys knew the trails by heart, knew where to find frogs and worms and they even knew where the pretty flowers were blooming.

We hadn’t found something similar in Seattle until last month. Many times as we’ve driven south on I-5 we’ve seen this little brown sign for the Rhododendron Species Garden. We didn’t check it out last spring but vowed to get this there spring while the rhodies were still blooming.

It was amazing. Besides the rhododendrons there are dozens of other amazing plant species and sections of the park. Including a pretty amazing bonsai collection.

First up – the most amazing blue poppies ever.

rhododendron garden -1 rhododendron garden -2 rhododendron garden -3 rhododendron garden -4

My boys are used to having their photo taken. They know it happens more often than not and generally they give me a beautiful genuine smile and we get on with the day. I set up the self timer and away we went. I didn’t look at these shots closely until I uploaded them to the computer. Oh Gavin… (side note, Clifford came home with us from school for the weekend, so he had to be in every photo, and Gavin was very excited he was there)

rhododendron garden -5 rhododendron garden -6 rhododendron garden -7

Who doesn’t love the swamp? The way the sun was reflecting off the plant-life floating on the surface of the water – I was just as mesmerized as the boys were.

rhododendron garden -8 rhododendron garden -9 rhododendron garden -10 rhododendron garden -11

This next set of photos contains plants I recognized and some I didn’t. The little white and little blue flowers were about as large as the eraser on the end of a pencil. Also, can we pause for a moment and notice how much Cody has changed? He’s growing up so fast! The last two photos were taken inside the conservatory.

rhododendron garden -12 rhododendron garden -13 rhododendron garden -14 rhododendron garden -15 rhododendron garden -16 rhododendron garden -17 rhododendron garden -18 rhododendron garden -19 rhododendron garden -20 rhododendron garden -21 rhododendron garden -22

Finally the bonsai trees. This area is just next to the Garden entrance, and it’s free to wander here. These are just a few of the many bonsai trees we saw. Easily some of the most amazing things ever.

rhododendron garden -23 rhododendron garden -24 rhododendron garden -25 rhododendron garden -26 rhododendron garden -27

We will be back, throughout the year I’m sure, as I can see amazing things changing with the seasons here.


Roozengaarde Tulip festival 2013

Today our family went up to Mt Vernon and fought the crowds to wander among the tulips.

I’ll write another post soon – but for now – a photo that perfectly sums up the best part of the day.

tulip festival_roozengaarde-2