My trip to the Pacific Northwest (See Hurricane Ridge posts) finished up with a day and a half in Seattle. On Saturday, my wife and I left our B&B on the Olympic Peninsula and headed to the Botanical Gardens in Bellevue. Being the intrepid gardener that she is, she really wanted to see a garden out there. The climate for gardening is quite different from our home environment in Virginia and can support a much wider range of flowers. We had planned on taking a ferry across Puget Sound but the GPS failed us and took back along the land route. Not only was it disappointing that we didn't get the ferry ride, and the possible birds along the way, but we hit heavy traffic in Tacoma. When we arrived at the gardens it was Art in the Gardens day so it was quite crowded. We did manage to get away from the main crowds and enjoy some of the flower displays and the wooded areas. It was a nice place to visit but would have been better if we weren't already a bit stressed and overwhelmed with the crowds. Below are a few shots from the gardens.
Sunday morning my wife headed back home. Leaving the West Coast for the East Coast means an early flight, especially with the need for a connecting flight. So I dropped her off at the airport about 5:30 am. Since I was up, I decided to try to do some birdwatching. According to the local birding trail guidebook, there was a beach in West Seattle that might offer a good chance at seeing migrating shore birds. As I drove out there I noticed that the sunrise was going to be beautiful. There were high clouds to the east but not too dense. Just as the sky was lightening I came across a pull-off. I decide to turn in and see if I can get some sunrise pictures. There were already two photographers there. The pull-off provided a great view across the water to downtown Seattle. The sun was creeping towards the sky just south of the city skyline.
After getting these shots I talked with the other two guys about the beautiful sunrise and my plans for the afternoon. While neither were wildlife photographers, they did mention that there would be a lot of birds down on Alki Beach. So I head through the little neighborhood and down to the beach.