Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Searching for Fall Color

Early Autumn in the Japanese Garden

It's officially Fall. My calendar announced the autumnal equinox almost three weeks ago. So where are the vivid, neon-bright leaves that make this season visually unique? Well, it appears the local trees didn't get the memo. Was it the long summer of hot weather? Can we blame the lack of rain in September? Our recent leaf-peeping walk took us through mostly green foliage, unlike previous outings at nearly the same date. No problem, we're not easily discouraged and will continue to enjoy our walks with or without Fall color. Maybe this week we'll be lucky, or over the weekend, or next week... Drastic action would be to drive to a higher elevation and search for swaths of red-orange vine maples or golden larches.

Our walk took us inside Seattle's Japanese Garden, a fenced 3.5 acre hidden gem tucked inside the much larger 230 acre Washington Park Arboretum and Botanic Garden. A visit here never disappoints, no matter what the season. 
"Following a winding path around a central pond, stroll gardens invite visitors to journey through the varied landscapes of Japan - mountains, forests, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, islands and the sea. Along the journey, varied landscapes are hidden and then revealed."
Special viewing treats on this visit were...

...sunbathing turtles, perched on pond rocks to soak up warmth from the noontime sun,

...one lone heron, who occasionally speared a small fish in between long minutes of patient immobility,

...masses of colorful koi who swarmed to the bridge whenever a visitor paused, ever hopeful that fishfood would sprinkle the water, 

...and the abundant canopy of green leaves which hold out promise of Fall color yet to develop.

The annual Maple Viewing Festival runs October 5 through October 15 in 2017. But don't wait for a special event to plan your visit, enjoy this treasure throughout the year. We intend to.