Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens: Miscellaneous Photography

No rose photos here. This is my second post on Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens. (See Landscape Index, above, for rose photos.) This post will focus on other images ranging from the Japanese garden to forest primeval to live water with lively goldfish.

Let’s start with the Japanese garden. There are stacked-stone (and concrete) arrangements that made me think of men with big hats and hollow heads. Knowing as little as I do about Japanese culture, that’s probably off by a mile, so if you know what these creations represent, clue me in.

Japanese garden, Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens. Perhaps one of our readers will explain the meaning of this stacked-stone (and concrete) figure?

Pond, Japanese garden at Highline SeaTac Botanical gardens.

Japanese garden at Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens.

The Gardens cover more than ten acres, much of it a thick woods with interlacing trails. When I first arrived at around 10:30 a.m., almost no one else (except the maintenance crew) was there. As a result, the woods felt private and, to me at least, comforting. Some of the trees were quite sizable. Not giant redwoods, but far from saplings. Others were covered with ivy from ground to crown. Still others sported woody vine braids some five inches thick; those looked stout enough to support Tarzan, Jane, and Tantor the elephant.

One of the larger trees in the woods at Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens, with my cowboy hat siting in the crotch to provide a sense of scale.

Tree trunk literally encased in ivy at Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens.

Woody vines climbing a tree at SeaTac Botanical Gardens. Some of those braids are a good five inches thick.

The only irritant? Jet planes fly overhead constantly. The Gardens are situated directly beneath a major departure lane from SeaTac airport, with a jet heading out every couple of minutes. They’re still low enough when they pass overhead to rumble your ears quite effectively, with the whine of the accelerating jet engines more than noticeable.

One little,

two little,

three little jet planes departing from SeaTac airport, bound (obviously) for Alaska and other points around the globe.

I’ve always enjoyed watching what we called “skater bugs” darting around the surface water of still ponds and quiet eddies. I’d also known that mayflies can be great fish-catchers for the fly fisherman. What I did not realize is that skater bugs and mayflies are one and the same. Moving around on a watery surface instead of through the air makes the mayfly less susceptible to being scooped up by low flying predators, birds and bats and such. Of course, that also makes them vulnerable to fish rising from the depths.

Seen through the magic of zoom lens photography, the skater bug is all too obviously a fly. Fooey. Takes all the magic out of it, right there. A little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, but too much knowledge can be disillusionment incarnate. Still, the following photo was deemed worthy of inclusion in this post. Clouds overhead are reflected in the water, along with the underside of the mayfly itself, making it look like two bugs are flying through those clouds, not attached to the water.

The illusion is complete, looking like the mayfly is flying high, not standing on the water. In fact, it doesn’t seem to be water at all.

There are benches at several locations in the Gardens, including beneath a skeleton structure of wooden posts and poles that is artistic if nothing else.

Artistic, rustic sit=and=rest area at Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens.

A first-time visitor will come across unexpected color in the midst of massive greenery. One tree, which leaned forward at a pretty sharp angle, grew approximately one foot thick at the base and sported flashy red bark.

Tree with red bark at Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens.

For some minutes, I sat mostly motionless on an uncomfortable iron bench, noticing that the longer I sat, the more camera-worthy subjects made themselves known. Running water, goldfish, lily pads complete with brilliant fuchsia lilies; the list goes on.

Pool in small creek, complete with sizeable goldfish.

This page is getting unwieldy, slow to load with so many multi-megabyte photos on it. Even so, let’s see if four more snapshots will work. If not, feel free to mention it in the comments.

Forest primeval at SeaTac Botanical Gardens.

Forest primeval at SeaTac Botanical Gardens.

Forest primeval at SeaTac Botanical Gardens. Who knew Mother Nature made fuzzy looking vines?

Forest primeval at SeaTac Botanical Gardens, looking up through a screen of foliage.

Okay, we’re stopping there. Few Google Images of Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens show these “down deep in the woods” areas. Let’s hope this post adds a bit of understanding for Internet travelers. To anyone who enjoys plant life galore in all its glory, this well maintained acreage is well worth visiting.

4 thoughts on “Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens: Miscellaneous Photography

  1. Beautiful gardens, I believe the figures in the Japanese garden are to make you sit down and contemplate them, settling your soul. I enjoyed your tour.
    As for the planes, no one wants to build there, so it is where they dump something that no one wants to live on. Difficult operating a business in those conditions too. Warehouses even seem to have problems with the noise from planes taking off.

  2. Thanks for the hint on the figures, Becky. There are residential neighborhoods in that area, but I’m sure the planes overhead keep the property values under control. 😀

  3. With the exception of planes flying overhead, the gardens seem very peaceful. Your photo of the bug is amazing. I would never know it’s sitting on water had you not told us.

    I don’t know much about Japanese gardens, but I wonder if the stacked structure works something like a dream catcher. The holes in the round piece may be a portal for positive energy to flow.

    By the way, I had no problem with photos not loading. They were all in place when I clicked on the title, bringing me to this page.

    I hope you share more of your visit with us. I love nature. Your photography skills capture the essence of nature beautifully, Ghost!

  4. Thanks, Sha. There aren’t enough “worthy” photos left for another post, at least not one that would have enough variety to justify its existence. Different angles on the red-barked tree, several takes on the braided vines, ditto for the goldfish, ivy covered trees, etc., but the cream of the crop has already been posted.

    The image of the bug on water is quite remarkable. It’s also a trick of zoom photography; I took that shot from about 20 feet away, with the naked eye perceiving it as a tiny skater bug on water, no sky effect at all. But go close up, and the in-the-air effect becomes obvious.

    I never thought about the dream catcher possibility. It’ll be cool to see what a knowledgeable Japanese reader has to say, should that ever happen.

    Glad to know the photos loaded fine. From this end, one of them sometimes took several loading tries to appear fully, so I figured it was time to stop adding more.

    I’d love to add more nature photos eventually, but not of the Botanical Gardens (unless I make another visit and spend more time focusing on primeval forest specialties). Holy Waters Ranch should offer quite a few exceptional photo ops, and I’m looking forward to the day I can live there full time with camera close at hand. At my current rate of payment, though, it will take another 9 1/2 years to pay off the land. Then figure another year or two in order to accumulate a down payment and financing for the rest, prior to building. Add in the build time from drilling the well to turning the key, and I should be resident at HWR before I’m ninety. But it could be another dozen years before the really excellent pictures from the place are taken, many of them from inside the house, right through the half of the single hung windows that does not have screen behind it. You know, so as not to spook the wandering critters.

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