People often think that because it is winter there isn’t much to see in the park right now. But this is a great time of year to walk through the arboretum with family and friends. With the leaves gone from most of the trees, other features stand out that may not normally catch the eye. Beautiful colors and patterns in bark are exposed, as are bird’s nests. Interesting seed pods, berries, fruits and delicate catkins stand out.
The tree pictured is a deciduous conifer, the Metasequoia glyptostroboides or Dawn Redwood, in the pinetum. With its needles gone, you really notice the beautiful striated cinnamon bark and ornament-like dangling pollen cones remnants.
So if you are looking for a quiet, free holiday activity, I suggest the following walk. You can start out at the Graham Visitors Center and the friendly staff at the information desk can assist with directions and maps. Start by heading West over the Wilcox Bridge and into the pinetum. Continue South along the trail through the pinetum and into the holly collection – very Christmassy. From the hollies you can cross back East over Lake Washington Boulevard to Azalea Way – there are new crosswalks installed along the Boulevard for pedestrian safety. Then stroll back North along Azalea Way to the Visitors Center. This walk is only a couple of miles and would take about an hour. Happy Holidays!