Bloedel Reserve Hike

IMGP4962  My friend Carrie and her son and Ben and I all went on a guided walk at the Bloedel Reserve. We expected a large group of 7 but everyone else bailed at the last second and it was just the two of us with the kids. We really enjoyed ourselves and it was actually a blessing because we could enjoy the serenity of the place that much more. Reminds me of walks through several botanical gardens in Hawaii. IMGP4963  Ok to run? IMGP4968  These leaves smell like cotton candy when they fall to the ground. IMGP4970  More running!
IMGP4971  And these are actually edible - they are a bit sour. You can put them in a salad. IMGP4972  A nurse stump. Cedars don't nurse new cedars, interestingly, only Hemlock and I think mulberry (off to the side on the right). IMGP4973  Asking our guide if something is ok to eat. Good guy! IMGP4974  The sky is grey, but that sort of light allows the muted colors of WA come to life. I have a theory that the sky doesn't want to compete with the earth, but it will if it has to. In Hawaii, the colors are so super-saturated naturally that the sky has to always be blue with puffy white clouds. In WA, the colors are a bit more muted with little punctuation marks in the flowers and trees. So the sky rests, relaxes, doesn't try to outdo the earth. They are in harmony.
IMGP4976  Ben really enjoyed himself. IMGP4977  There were three geese out eating, then they took a swim in the pond. IMGP4978  The leaves on this plant are very scratchy! Like sand paper! IMGP4979  Inside the Bloedel mansion - 8000 sf of "summer cottage" turned full time residence. It is beautiful. What a setting, though.
IMGP4980  Ben really enjoyed looking out through the windows toward Puget Sound. IMGP4981  I loved the arrangements with all the evergreens and other plants in them. I really want to do these! Reminds me of my bouquet when Dave and I got married. I requested all items that you'd find in the forest at the Saratoga Springs State Park (where we often ran or snowshoed). I got the most amazing arrangement with berries, pine cones, spruce boughs. I loved it. IMGP4982  Isn't this totally cool? I need to find that green mold stuff that you stick plants into. IMGP4983
IMGP4985  Outside on the veranda enjoying the view. IMGP4986  Pointing out a bald Eagle up high in a tree! They have a nesting pair there. So neat. Bald Eagles don't turn white on the head until at least age 4. IMGP4988  There it is! Can you see it? IMGP4989  That dome-shaped thing is a Scottish-something-or-other. I want to find it and plant it. This place has weather like Scotland.
IMGP4990  A pond with algae completely covering it. IMGP4991  This is a nice ground cover. IMGP4992  Looks like a good way to cover up a berm! IMGP4994  The zen garden! The gardener rakes it every morning because the deer enjoy tromping through it at night! (Just like Ben did!) They actually have 9 full time gardeners I think.
IMGP4995  This is the guest house. IMGP4996  With a view of the Japanese garden. What a great morning! I joined so we can come back any time.