Friday, May 6, 2011
Bellefield Nature Trail
The Bellefield Nature Trail is a great place to go to take pictures, pick blueberries, walk, splash in streams, and get muddy (especially if you are of the canine variety). When I visited last month, the leaves were just starting to emerge on the trees and vines, and the skunk cabbage was in full bloom. In the summer the paths are dappled and shaded, a good place to go to hide your tender white Pacific Northwesterner skin from the harsh sun (yes, Northwesterners are a little like moles when the sun comes out).
The area that is now park used to be filled with farms (warning, the background on that page is atrocious), during the first half of the 20th century. At some point, the city started buying up the parcels of land, and now it is a large park, just south of downtown Bellevue. To camera right in the above picture is still a working blueberry farm, owned by the city. You can go and pay to pick your own blueberries there. This is not where I pick blueberries, but I am not about to tell you about that patch - it would be like an angler giving up his favorite fishing hole. Anyway, that water you see is part of the slough. Before the level of Lake Washington went down (after the Ship Canal was cut) it was all under water. Now, it is a slough, a swampy, marshy area with some running water and lots of mud. (Didn't know you would be getting a history and geology lesson, did you?!)
This part of the park also links up to a larger trail system that goes into Seattle and around other parts of the Eastside. We usually just do the shorter loop, but that's OK, especially when you get to take pictures of such great shadows, and of course, skunk cabbage.
Stay tuned - next week I will finally get to this mysterious plant.