Bloedel Reserve finale

Prentice Bloedel’s focus on textures and shapes is evident in many of the views around the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. It is a visual feast at many turns. Volunteers encouraged us to return during other seasons; rhodendrons are spectacular in spring; fall colors are brilliant.

I took the last of my day’s photos at the classic Japanese Garden. The day was warm (85F/29.4C) and it was time for lunch and a cool drink. I do hope to go back again…and again.

Further explorations at Bloedel Reserve

A walkway zig zags through a marshy bog at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. I didn’t consult my guide while I was there but later discovered that a healthy cluster of nearby plants was, as I thought, carnivorous. They are in the middle crook of the walkway and you might make out their oval heads.

While not exactly a rain forest, parts of the Bloedel Reserve resemble rain forests in Western Washington and are rich in lichen, mosses, and ferns.

The forest walk opens onto the first of several ponds created by Prentice Bloedel as he developed the reserve. Although his fortune came from the timber industry, Bloedel initiated conservation practices in the industry and carefully created water features at the Reserve only where the natural high water table permitted. He was an interesting man. Read more about him here.

The nearby Bloedel Residence is used for exhibits, cultural events, and administrative offices. It is on a bluff that overlooks Port Madison Bay and Puget Sound. A lawn in the back opens onto a gorgeous water view.

Bloedel Reserve

Last week I spent several enjoyable hours exploring the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island about an hour from Sequim. The Reserve is the vision of lumber magnate Prentice Bloedel who resided there with his wife Virginia in his retirement from 1951 to 1986. Open grasslands, forested areas, ponds and wetlands, and even a formal Japanese garden can be viewed in a walk through the property.

The Reserve is 150 acres of woodlands and gardens which reflect Bloedel’s vision and developed in collaboration with several landscape architects. Interestingly, Bloedel was colorblind; the Reserve reflects his deeper interest in varied textures and shapes rather than floral displays.

Ponds draw wildlife and reflect the surroundings.

I’ll show you more of the gardens over the next several days.

Street trees in Port Townsend

I read several months ago that underground utility work in Port Townsend had required removal of street trees along Water Street, Port Townsend’s downtown main street. I’ve known the street as a leafy concourse which, for me, has been a blessing and a curse. The trees are beautiful and shady. And they’ve partially or completely hidden the fascias of Port Townsend’s beautiful Victorian buildings, as shown here.

Looking along Water Street here you can see the mature trees on the right, and the newly planted street trees further left. Work is still ongoing.

The new trees are big enough to make a statement but have a ways to go before they shade the sidewalks as before. In the meantime, Port Townsend’s Victorian buildings are looking good.

Waterfront scenes

In Port Townsend this week we glanced down to the water to see Lady Washington sailing into town, obviously under power. The original Lady Washington had a long history of maritime firsts in the 18th century, including the first flagged U.S. vessel to round Cape Horn, circumnavigate Vancouver Island, and reach Japan.

The replica shown here was built in 1989 and is the Washington State ship and the state’s “Tall Ship Ambassador.” Click here to see her under sail and to learn more about her interesting history.

Not far from Lady Washington the scene was filled with maritime activity. The Port Townsend-Coupeville ferry was arriving, as was a float plane. In the lower right is a small power boat. And in the distance beyond the ferry was a sailboat. All in all it was an assortment of just about anything that floats your boat.