Sunday, September 30, 2012


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.

  As I reach the beach I see that the main road is closed for a 5k run and there is no public parking available.  At a loss, I turn and head towards one end hoping to find some place to park.  But there are few intercepting roads and a lot of nice apartment and condo buildings but with restricted parking.  I finally make it to the far east end of the beach where there is a boat launch and an open parking lot.  I walked about 3/4 of a mile down the beach and back.  There are a fair number of birds but almost all of them are Glaucous-winged Gulls.  The most interesting thing I saw was an adult and juvenile gull pulling apart clam or some other shellfish.
Sunday afternoon I headed downtown to see the sights.  Without really trying, except for heading downhill, I ended up at the Pike Place Market.  After grabbing lunch and taking some street photos, I headed back to the hotel to meet a friend for dinner.  I followed the waterfront to my cross-street and found this nice Ferris Wheel that looked really nice against the darkening, cloudy sky. Luckily there wasn't any rain and we had a nice dinner on the water.  The rest of the week was spent in meetings so this was basically the end of my fun.


  1. You certainly made the best of your situations! Too many people could spoil the fun, but you managed to get some good shots anyway!

  2. What a collection of fabulous shots (and memories I am sure!) They are all quite remarkable and weave a lovely story