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Archive for May 7th, 2010

I am breaking new ground here while I take you on a small tour of an area nearby where I live.  In my hometown, Renton, Washington, is the Ben Coulon Memorial Park.  It is one of the many parks that reside along Lake Washington.  Lake Washington formed after the ice age and is named for our first president, as is the state.  The Native American Duwamish tribe who are native to this area called it instead Xacuabs, which meant literally “great amount of water”.  It is the second largest natural lake in Washington and the largest natural lake in King County.

What makes this particular park special to me is that there is a paved walk way flanked by several different types of trees, many of which have name tags.  I always love it when someone takes the time to label what it is I am admiring.  Another thing that is unique about this park, it is home to two species of deciduous conifers.  To my knowledge there are only three types in this whole world — the Dawn Redwood, European Larch and Bald Cypress.  Coulon Park houses both the Bald Cypress and European Larch.  This means those evergreen needles drop off every late fall and every spring they are replaced with new evergreen growth.  Very unusual!

You may click on any image for a close up view.  So grab a cup of tea or coffee, whatever is your pleasure and sit back and enjoy the photo collage journey with me through Coulon Park.

Japanese roses
with noses

lady bug, lady bug
God’s pure delight

Part of a Quaking Aspen grove, what a find here!  These usually grow in areas with cold winters and cool summers and much, much higher elevations.  All we qualify for is relatively cool summers.  In Colorado, in the fall there are traffic jams up in the mountains just to catch the sight of this one tree turn two colors.  They are found in groves as they all have a common root system.

Ah, here we begin with the European Larch.

European Larch Lane

new European Larch baby green cones and notice the new needle growth in tufts

European Larch with mature cones, notice their small size and how they hang uniformly off the limb

And right across from the European Larch is the Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress just coming into her spring finery

Closer view of Bald Cypress new green growth.  In the fall the foilage will turn a dark rust color and then drop off completely and the tree will appear to be “bald”.

*many thanks to my friend Marie, whose willingness to share her knowledge of trees has truly enhanced my enjoyment and love affair with trees.

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