My friend Sami and her two daughters with their two friends (and Sami’s friend) came out to meet and feed the buffalo. It was fascinating to watch the buffalo respond to the girls. They followed them up and down along the fence line. Maybe it was their energy level.
This next photo set are of the girls collection of wild daisies, discovering an abundance of ladybugs, and offers to “ladysit” each other’s bugs. It was quite the picturesque activity!
http://www.elandangardens.com/ Located in Bremerton, Washington.
Have you seen it as you drive by? I’ve been wanting to stop there for ages (I thought it was a nursery/garden) so finally put the brakes on and turned off from WA-16. I was glad I did. There are several components to this little hideaway heaven. It is right on the water’s edge of the Puget Sound, about six acres and had been a very stair landfill. In 1993 the Robinson family (Dan, Diane, Shanna and Will) began developing it starting with sandy fill dirt and over 800 tons of boulders, giving shape to the flat.
Elandan the word comes from Elan which is french for spirit and courage, and Dan, who is the true spirit of the Robinson’s bonsai collection. While there is a museum/shop filled with all sorts of exotic trinkets, many with an eclectic Asian feel. When I say trinkets I mean home decor, oil art, jewelry, and dazzling array of apparel. They even have a chihuly piece!
Dan is a bonsai master. He is described as a Pioneer of western Bonsai (many of his Bonsai pieces are black pine and cedar) and you can see many of his works both at the garden and in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Gnarly-Branches-Ancient-Trees-Robinson/dp/0615378501
The gardens are remarkable, a mix of plant and stone. There are many pieces of twisted wood and jagged tree pieces reaching up to the sky. Will is a stone artist and there are many basalt and granite pieces in the garden spread in a carved Stonehenge type of feel.
My most favorite part were the quiet ponds and tiny waterfalls. The ponds floated several different types of lily pads and were flowering.
The experience was peaceful. My son and I were the only ones there in the gardens so for a full hour we explored each nook and cranny, enjoying the amazing variety of Bonsai and sinking in the sounds of moving water and overhead birds. I hate to tell people about little treasures like this place because I really liked having it all to myself but I just can’t help myself.
My pictures don’t do justice. I only had my iphone5 on me so all of these photos were taken with it. I will return.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a pair of twin suspension bridges that span the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound in Pierce County, Washington. The bridges connect the city of Tacoma with the Kitsap Peninsula and carry State Route 16 (known as Primary State Highway 14 until 1964) over the strait. Historically, the name “Tacoma Narrows Bridge” has applied to the original bridge nicknamed “Galloping Gertie”, which opened in July 1940 but collapsed because of aeroelastic flutter four months later, as well as the replacement of the original bridge which opened in 1950 and still stands today as the westbound lanes of the present-day twin bridge complex.
The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened on July 1, 1940. It received its nickname “Galloping Gertie” because of the vertical movement of the deck observed by construction workers during windy conditions. The bridge became known for its pitching deck, and collapsed into Puget Sound the morning of November 7, 1940, under high wind conditions. Engineering issues as well as the United States’ involvement in World War II postponed plans to replace the bridge for several years; the replacement bridge was opened on October 14, 1950.
By 1990, population growth and development on the Kitsap Peninsula caused traffic on the bridge to exceed its design capacity; as a result, in 1998 Washington voters approved a measure to support building a parallel bridge. After a series of protests and court battles, construction began in 2002 and the new bridge opened to carry eastbound traffic on July 15, 2007, while the 1950 bridge was reconfigured to carry westbound traffic.
At the time of their construction, both the 1940 and 1950 bridges were the third-longest suspension bridges in the world in terms of main span length, behind the Golden Gate Bridge and George Washington Bridge. The 1950 and 2007 bridges are now the fifth-longest suspension bridge spans in the United States, and the 38th-longest in the world.
It’s an impressive bridge.
Location: Tacoma, Gig Harbor
Bodies of water: Puget Sound, Tacoma Narrow
Total length 5,400 ft (1,645.92 m)
Longest span 2,800 ft (853.44 m)
Clearance below 187.5 ft (57.15 m)
Opened October 14, 1950 (westbound)
July 15, 2007 (eastbound)
I’d never been to the Narrows Park. Today was a very foggy day and the water for the most part was still, the only movement from the ducks and gulls breaking the surface. I walked about a mile on the beach, passing only two fishermen. The solitary time was wonderful and I was happy to spend my time soaking in the environment around me with nary an interruption.