This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens. A little known park in Seattle, Pritchard Wetlands is a treasure trove of Pacific Northwest native plants and wildlife. It may sound familiar, I included it in my recent post 5 Great Parks:: Seattle Edition. Situated along Lake Washington, the wetlands area of the park was historically part of the lake and underwater until the construction of the Ballard Locks in 1917. After the construction, the water level fell about nine feet and the area which is now wetlands was then above the water level. However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that...
Earlier this year we took a trip to London. It was the second time we've visited the city only this time we had a toddler with us which made it a whole different experience. We visited a lot of parks and urban nature which I have unfortunately yet to write about. Here is a highlight of some of the things we saw in London with more thorough posts to come early next year. The London Wetland Centre Last time we visited London we didn't have time to visit the Wetland Centre, so this time it was on the top of my...
Every night from fall to spring, upwards of 10,000 crows fly from downtown Seattle and other surrounding areas to the University of Washington's Bothell campus, located on the far north end of Lake Washington. They are here for their nightly roost, where all 10,000 of them, cawing and making a ruckus impossible to miss, gather together before descending into the wetland trees. There are several other crow roosts around the Puget Sound area, but none as large or magnificent as the Bothell roost. Along with the University of Washington, Cascade Community College shares this campus and hosted a crow evening...
I'm excited to bring you a preview of a book from an author intimately acquainted with urban wildlife habitat in Seattle. You may remember the Montlake Fill from the post Marsh Madness (Brackishology):: Marsh & Foster Islands and 'the Fill'. The Montlake Fill is a world-famous birding site in the middle of northeast Seattle, on the UW campus near the Center for Urban Horticulture. Birders have seen more than 240 species there over the years, including rarities such as Golden Eagle, Brown Thrasher, and Tufted Duck (a mullet-decorated duck from Siberia). You can see something fun there every single day, as...
Magnuson Park is located in Seattle along Lake Washington, north of the University of Washington. The park has a long history of dramatic land use change and part of it has now come back full circle. In the days of early settlers the area was a wetlands, alder grove, and Douglas fir forest with trees up to six feet in diameter. In the following years the site saw a homestead, brickyard, shipyard and post office. This landscape was altered in 1917 with the building of the canals and Ballard Locks when the level of Lake Washington was lowered by nine...
Last February I visited the Woodland Park Zoo to view the green roof on the Zoomazium building. At that point, in 2010, the roof was about four years old already so I didn't expect dramatic changes when I revisited recently. However, the roof looked completely different. What was simply low-growing grasses and small shrubs had transformed into a tall, colorful meadow. Standing on top of the roof, it feels like standing in a meadow because the grasses had grown so high, some nearly as tall as me, that if feels really enclosed, not at all like standing on a roof....