The Hidden Forest

It’s right in the midst of a city and thousands go past it every day without even seeing it.  It’s Schmitz Park in West Seattle and it’s one of the first places I walk when I visit my daughter.  One of the entrances to this park is on the hillside above her house.  The wide path passes under major streets as they descend to the waterfront.  At other points it is high above the city looking out over the sound.  But most of it is in the midst of an old growth forest full of clear springs, lush vegetation and towering trees.  A lot of the paths are well traveled and I meet a lot of others walking their dogs or on bikes.  Gradually the paths narrow and get steeper, and less maintained.  Trees fall across the path and are left there, either because they are too difficult to remove or because they are intended to be a natural barrier.  When Charlie the dog is with me, I have to lift him over some of the log jams, and the climb makes us both breathless.  If we are persistent we come out on top of the ridge overlooking Alki Beach, almost in someone’s back yard.  Then we take the easy way down, on the streets where the view is not obscured and we also have beautiful yards and gardens to look at.  Take a virtual walk through this beautiful place with me…

Enter the park with a bit of history.
Enter the park with a bit of history.
Trees soon cover the path with shade and silhouettes
Trees soon cover the path with shade and silhouettes

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Beautiful greenness everywhereee
Beautiful greenness everywhereee
The ground is usually damp with seepage from the many springs and books.
The ground is usually damp with seepage from the many springs and books.
Old growth of several different kinds of trees can be seen...
Old growth of several different kinds of trees can be seen…
Towering is a word that comes to mind often
Towering is a word that comes to mind often
And then there are the fallen.
And then there are the fallen.
and even they spur the imagination.
and even they spur the imagination.
A hobitt tree
A hobitt tree
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The path gets almost obscured and very vertical…
And emerges here... outside the forest in a residential neighborhood clinging to the side of a ridge.
And emerges here… outside the forest in a residential neighborhood clinging to the side of a ridge.
A whole different knd of beauty is on display all the way to sea level.
A whole different knd of beauty is on display all the way to sea level.

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Over the top, literally...
Over the top, literally…

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Esther took my picture
Esther took my picture
and I took hers.
and I took hers.

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