Walking through the woods at Meerkerk Gardens, we came across a tree that had fallen across the trail. Sitting on the log was a squirrel. This squirrel was happily munching on its food. We weren’t going to continue down the trail so were not likely to get in the squirrel’s way but we figured our very arrival would spook it. We were wrong. While it was clearly aware we were there, it did not seem to see any need to interrupt lunch just because of us.
I am regularly fascinated by the way in which a fallen tree will be the source of food for new plants. The decaying wood releases nutrients and provides a great base for the next generation. Of course, as it decays further, the base may gradually disappear from under them. In the interim, though, any number of plants will sprout and develop. I came across one such log in Meerkerk Gardens. It seemed to be home to any number of new plants (and that ignores the insect species that were, no doubt, hard at work on its surface).
The rhododendrons at Meerkerk Gardens weren’t only attracting the people to visit. It was awash with bees. The flowers were heaven for these insects and they were on so many of the plants. The sound of buzzing was a constant accompaniment. It was also interesting to see the different types of bee. Some plants had large, fuzzy bees while others had a thinner and shinier species. Clearly, the bees are very specific about which plant is their favorite.
Spring is a good time for rhododendrons and there are a number of gardens known for their flowering in the Seattle area. We decided to take a trip to Whidbey Island to visit Meerkerk Gardens. I hadn’t heard of it before but Nancy had done some research so we gave it a go. While it was not in full bloom – peak blooming was one to two weeks away – it still was a gorgeous sight.
You can get blasé about the beauty of some places as each next view is as pretty as the preceding one and you have to remind yourself that this is not normal. It is a peak of color and shape that doesn’t last long and has to be appreciated while it is there. I lack the vision to come up with a good way of conveying just how pretty it is but I will have to make do with sharing some of the shots I took while strolling around.