The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 6, 2009

Time to Start Thinking About Thinking About Spring

Filed under: Bellevue, Nature, weather — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 7:16 pm

For those of you out there who thought this Winter seemed a bit colder than usual, it’s not your imagination.  according to this post on the KOMO Weather Blog, March of 2009 was the seventh coldest March on record for the Seattle area (as observed at Sea-Tac Airport, where the official records are kept) and the coldest March on record since 1976.  January and February weren’t much better with far more days below the normal temperature than above it, and December…  Well, forget I even mentioned December, OK? 

Of course, even around here Winter can’t last forever, and although the official start of Spring was a couple of weeks ago, it still seems like it’s been just a bit slow in actually getting here.  Finally, after dealing with months of cold and rainy weather (it was also pointed out on the weather Blog a couple of weeks ago that at that time there hadn’t been a day over 60 degrees since the beginning of October, although unofficially I seem to recall seeing a couple on the thermometer in my car) we managed to get not one, but two days of nice sunny weather, with temperatures reaching into the Seventies.  This, of course, provided a perfectly good excuse to break out the shorts and Tevas which had been packed away for the Winter many months ago (except for a brief reprieve from the drawer during the Disney World trip in December, which I may actually manage to finish writing about at some point) and make a trip into Bellevue to take  a walk around Downtown Park, which is easily one of the nicest parks to be found anywhere on the Eastside.  As you can see from the photo above, plenty of people (and dogs) seemed to have the same idea. 

Of course, given the weather we’ve been having this year (combined with the fact that we were still getting snowed on in mid April of last year) I can’t guarantee that the weather will stay this nice, but we can certainly enjoy it while it’s here (the forecasts I’ve looked at seem to think it’ll be around for another day or so before the rain makes its inevitable return.)  After the jump, a few other photos that I took today at Downtown Park, and elsewhere in Bellevue.

In my opinion, the feature that sets Downtown Park apart from many of the other parks found around here is the fact that almost the whole entire park seems to be one big water feature, which seems to flow down starting at the big fountain at the top near the park’s “main” entrance on NE 4th across from Bellevue Square’s JCPenney store, to the canals that line the sides of the walking trail.

From there, the water seems to reach a shallow pool that leads to this large and dramatic looking waterfall feature, before finally terminating in a large pool at the south end of the park. 

Of course, around here wherever a large quantity of water is found, it is inevitable that somewhere along the line you’re going to find ducks there as well.

Later on in the season, these pairs of ducks will be joined by ducklings, although there weren’t any to be seen here just yet.

The pool at the top of the waterfall makes for a great reflection of Bellevue’s skyline, as seen above.  This particular photo is actually intended to imitate a similar photo of the Bellevue skyline that I took from here several years ago:

I don’t have an exact date on this photo (this was taken when my old camera was fairly new, and I hadn’t bothered to set the date/time stamp properly yet)  but if I recall correctly this would have been taken in late February of 2005.  Although you can’t see it here, the second tower of Lincoln Square was under construction just off to the left of this shot, and you can see at least one building in the top shot that wasn’t there when this earlier photo was taken.  You can also see that the trees in the photo have grown a fair bit since 2005.

Speaking of the trees, with the coldness of the winter, it seems that a lot of them are taking their time in waking up for the year and putting on their annual layer of foliage.  In spite of this, you can see a few trees here and there that have begun to blossom.

A closer look at the blossoms on these trees.

Elsewhere in the park, these willow trees have also blossomed in particularly spectacular fashion. 

Other trees have blossomed as well, but so far the vast majority of trees here and throughout the area have yet to do so.  Within a week or two, there should be a lot more of these to go around, and these particular trees will most likely be moving on to the business of sprouting leaves.

Of course, it isn’t just the local flora that benefit from the return of the long absent sunshine.  Lincoln Square’s prized Chihuly glass becomes especially brilliant when given a good strong dose of sunlight and a backdrop of clear blue sky.  As I said before, I’m going to wait a bit before declaring the Winter well and truly vanquished at this point (who knows what’s going on with the weather these days) but I’ll certainly enjoy the warmth and sunshine while it’s around, and suggest that others feel free to do the same too.  Tell the boss I said you could, if necessary.  He probably won’t accept that as a valid excuse, but it’s worth a shot, right?


  1. Thanks for sharing Brian! Bellevue is a great place to live – and extra appreciated when the weather is good.

    Comment by Joe Kennedy — April 6, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

  2. I agree with Joe. Amazing how cold it’s been around here. Sure was nice today. I was out with the City of Redmond arborist to learn about Hartman “greenbelt” forest. Wanna pull some blackberry bushes sometime?
    :) Bob

    Comment by bob yoder — April 7, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

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