Natural History

A brisk morning look at Seattle’s green past

On my way to the bus stop a few mornings back, I heard the rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker. Chirps and flutters followed, and as I turned right onto Avalon, a few early cherry blossoms were beginning to emerge. I half-expected to see corseted princesses skipping down the lane, singing with bluebirds on their fingertips—the whole scene made my heart flutter a little. It’s true, even my carefully cultivated cynicism can’t escape the power of springtime. So rather than fight this optimism, why not embrace it with a historic ramble through Carkeek Park? This morning, a naturalist will take walkers through both the vegetation and the history of the ravine at the south entrance, Piper’s Canyon. It turns out Carkeek Park wasn’t always in its present location; before 1926 it was on Lake Washington’s Pontiac Bay. That year the feds decided they needed the space for a naval base at Sand Point. Hence the move to north Seattle. The rest, as they say, is history, but a history worth knowing. So let the experts tell it, and let your inner optimist out to enjoy an invigorating morning of botany and storytelling.

Sat., March 22, 10 a.m., 2008

 
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