February, you were brutal: high winds, wintery mix, snow, rain, below freezing temperatures...
you've whip-lashed my garden, my bees, and my spirit.
I indulged in several winter blues-busting field trips, including the Seattle Aquarium and Volunteer Park Conservatory. It works!
This lovely watershed map was hanging at Seward Park;
here are some Seattle Public Utilities links to our watersheds and watershed projects.
This winter Seattle broke its rainfall record with 44.7 inches of rain (that is almost 4 feet!) between October and April, making it our wettest winter since 1895. We also had our coldest winter since 1985, which means that even if you are a winter person at heart, you too are ready to sit on your patio with an umbrella drink (and complain about the heat :^)
Sunday stroll around Seward Park
Birding in the Rio de Plata: Great Kiskadee, Dusky-legged Guan, and the (not-so) Giant Wood Rail.
(images of Kiskadee and Guan from "All About Birds" and "Animalia Life"
Evening hike to the river and birding from the sunny B&B on stilts
Find out more at Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Birds
Carl S. English, Botanist and Horticulturist One of the rare trees in the private nursery
In May, while visiting the Ballard Locks, our paths crossed those of Stephan Munro, groundskeeper for the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden.
We were in search of the silverleaf oaks at the Ballard Locks, and not only did we find these magnificent trees, but as luck would have it, we found Stephan putting finishing touches on his newly-mapped tree and garden tour. He graciously offered to take us on a tour-de-oaks, (including silverleaf oaks Quercus hypoleucoides, California Live Oak Quercus agrifolia, tanoak Notholithocarpus densiflorus, and Garry oak/Oregon white oak Quercus garryana), as well as giving us a behind the scenes peek at his plant and tree nursery.
The new map is the work of Stephan and his talented intern; it takes you through the gardens on a tour of 70 trees, and it is much more detailed than the previous map. Like Carl S. English Jr., Stephan is a horticulturist working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and it is obvious that he is enthusiastically carrying on the traditions that Carl set in place.
Learn more about “The Man Behind the Ballard Locks Gardens”, and be sure to put the new Carl S. English Gardens Tree Tour on your ToDo list this summer!
Behind the scenes with Stephan Munro, horticulturist and storyteller
We experienced the super(blood)moon lunar eclipse along with friends and family from West Seattle, Minnesota, and South America on Sunday evening! The convergence of lunar eclipse and full harvest perigree moon is a rare event, and somewhat (un)predictable due to LOTS of different things in motion in the universe. I was able to capture this image of the final stage of the eclipse from my backyard (handheld with my 70-300 zoom lens).
Mark your calendars for October 2033, the next time everything lines up:
All images © Tracey Byrne 2015