Bainbridge Island is the location of Eagle Harbor. This is the maintenance base for the Washington State Ferries. Look at it on Google Maps and you will see a ferry moored up in maintenance or long term storage. However, since the onset of the pandemic, the ferries have been operating at a reduced schedule. This has continued even though traffic levels during summer have increased markedly. This reduced schedule means not all ferries are in service and a bunch are stored at Eagle Harbor. Shooting in to the sun is not ideal but it was the only available shot. Here are some of the ferries either in storage or awaiting a return to the full schedule.
Anyone out there a specialist in spiders? I know plenty of people who absolutely hate spiders. They are not going to be much use to me here. Besides, a lot of them are from the UK and I never saw anything like this when I lived there. As we were walking around the grounds at Bloedel Reserve, we saw a lot of spiders’ webs that were a domed structure. They didn’t look like webs that I had seen before. They seem to have a lot of web material above them and then a dome structure to the main web itself. I think the spider sits underneath the dome awaiting its prey. Anyone know anything more about this and how it works?
While walking around on the grounds of Bloedel Reserve, we came across these ferns. The shape of most ferns is pretty familiar. These were unlike anything I had seen before. The ends of the ferns split out into multiple mini fronds. They looked like some sort of lace work that people would have created. Maybe this is nothing new to some of you but I was quite taken but the ornamental nature of these fronds compared to what I have seen previously.
Wandering through the grounds at Bloedel Reserve, we came across a bench for visitors. This bench did not look too inviting and I suspect it hadn’t been used for a while. Maybe this was due to the shutdown period when no one was visiting so no one was sitting on the bench. Alternatively, maybe no one ever sits on the bench. Whatever the reason, this bench has accumulated a decent layer of moss.
The bench is located in a shady spot near water so clearly it is a moist environment. A good place for moss to grow. The bench has plenty of surfaces on which things can get established. It isn’t in the least bit remote, though, so hardly out of the way of regular traffic. Still, with that much moss now on it, I think it is probably not an appealing place for people to sit. Consequently, the moss is going to remain undisturbed. I wonder whether they will clean it off or, if we come back in a year, the bench will be encased in a cushion of moss!
Not long after we first moved to the Pacific Northwest we made a trip to Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. No surprise to know that there is a previous blog post from that visit and you can see that here. As things have gradually reopened, the Reserve was open for visitors again under certain restrictions. There were timed slots only for you to reserve and the main trail had been made one way to minimize the encounters with other visitors. You didn’t need to wear a mask except when you where near to other guests. (If you have an issue with masks, please feel free to not tell me about it.)
The visit this time was really nice. Sure, it might be that we haven’t done very much in the last few months so the chance to get out and walk in pretty surroundings on a sunny day is welcome. Bloedel is still just a nice place to visit. The variety of grounds from mossy woodland to meadows to manicured lawns to Japanese gardens makes for a good visit. An advantage of the one way system is that it ensures you visit all elements of the garden and don’t miss out on parts of it. Some areas are closed off to visitors but, on the whole, you get a great experience.
The length of the walk around the main trail is not long. It is just over two miles. We were passed by a few groups of people. I’m not sure why they were in such a hurry. We wanted to enjoy the grounds at a leisurely pace to make the most of the effort to get there (the ferries are on a reduced schedule which doesn’t reflect the volume of vehicles making the trip) so took our time and savored the beauty of the location.
Bloedel Reserve is definitely a lovely location. The fact that they found a way to open up – even if only in a limited way – is a good thing. We were glad to be able to support them when things are clearly not easy for them and we obviously got the benefit of being out there on a lovely summer day in the Pacific Northwest. Now just remember it is always raining up here so you don’t need to move here.
As we drove across Bainbridge Island, we took a road that passed by a very attractive inlet. This was Eagle Harbor. At the time, I only appreciated it at the last moment and we were already passed. However, we did come back along the same road so, this time I slowed down and found a place to pull in and look around. It was a tranquil spot to hang out for a few minutes. However, we were heading to other places so I didn’t stay to appreciate it for long.
Spring is the season for new life. The geese had obviously been taking the task to heart because, as we walked around Bloedel Reserve, there was a large gathering of goslings. It appeared to be that several families were mingling together. I guess strength comes in numbers. The adults were all grazing around the periphery of the group while the multitude of goslings were munching away in the middle.
When we were in Seattle a week later, we came across more goslings. A smaller group this time but the same thing with the adults keeping an eye on them. A couple were getting a bit more adventurous and heading off on their own but they were soon brought back into line. I wonder how many predators geese have. I guess hawks will be happy to take them out but the numbers might explain why there are so many geese wherever you go these days.
The grounds of Bloedel Reserve included a lot of different types of growth. Meadows and woodland, organized gardens and natural growth. There is obviously a lot of moisture in some areas because the amount of fungal growth was substantial. Some of the fungi were small growths while others seemed to be substantial organisms. The majority were growing on tree trunks, whether still alive or lying dead on the ground. While I find fungus interesting, there is a lurking thought in my mind from watching too many sci-fi movies that, as I get close, spores will burst forth and I shall be infected with some terrible disease. Fortunately , this time I got away with it. Clearly, there is no harm to watching to much TV as a kid.
The house at Bloedel Reserve sits up on the hill with the grounds landscaped to provide an unobstructed view down to the sound below. You can imagine the tranquility of sitting on the terrace in the evening, sipping a cocktail and looking out at the water. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, a large barge was moored a short distance out in the water. I’m sure the view is beautiful but, with a barge plonked in the middle of things, somehow the delightful nature of the scene is a little compromised!
I mentioned our trip to Fort Ward in this blog post. The fort was designed to protect the harbor at Bremerton. Therefore, it would not be silly to assume that there had been some form of armaments here. Just like our explorations of the Marin headlands here and Baker Beach here, it turns out that there was a gunnery battery covering the entrance to the harbor. The guns are long gone but the concrete emplacements are still in place. The ground has clearly done its best to try and reacquire control of things. Doorways to lower levels are now partially filled in with earth with just the tops of the doors still showing above ground level.