1 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.
2 Ok to run?
3 These leaves smell like cotton candy when they fall to the ground.
4 More running!
5 And these are actually edible - they are a bit sour. You can put them in a salad.
6 A nurse stump. Cedars don't nurse new cedars, interestingly, only Hemlock and I think mulberry (off to the side on the right).
7 Asking our guide if something is ok to eat. Good guy!
8 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.
9 Ben really enjoyed himself.
10 There were three geese out eating, then they took a swim in the pond.
11 The leaves on this plant are very scratchy! Like sand paper!
12 Inside the Bloedel mansion - 8000 sf of "summer cottage" turned full time residence. It is beautiful. What a setting, though.
13 Ben really enjoyed looking out through the windows toward Puget Sound.
14 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.
15 Isn't this totally cool? I need to find that green mold stuff that you stick plants into.
17 Outside on the veranda enjoying the view.
18 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.
19 There it is! Can you see it?
20 That dome-shaped thing is a Scottish-something-or-other. I want to find it and plant it. This place has weather like Scotland.
21 A pond with algae completely covering it.
22 This is a nice ground cover.
23 Looks like a good way to cover up a berm!
24 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.
25 This is the guest house.
26 With a view of the Japanese garden. What a great morning! I joined so we can come back any time.