It is not to the Northwest that people flock, for scenes of brilliant Autumn color. Hardwoods colonized the continent starting in the East, and were still scarce in Puget Sound by the time the Old Settlers arrived. At its start, Seattle was unrelievedly green, year-round.
Deciduous trees were imported, mostly for landscaping. Absolved of the requirement to provide fuel or timber, they were free to be decorative. They have a lot more flair for shade than our native Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar.
Our big windstorm this October happened before most trees were ready to give up their leaves, so we have had a few additional fine days to enjoy their colors. Here’s a picture of Alex pedaling along Dallas Avenue, our shortcut through the South Park neighborhood. This route skips some of the landmarks on the recommended bike trail, but it provides a chance to stop at Duwamish Waterway Park.
Big projects sometimes call for big trees. Thirty-fifth Avenue, in Lake City, for example, is lined for half a mile with Raywood Ash trees, like the one that we planted at our old house on Queen Anne Hill. At the other end of the scale are Japanese Maples, possibly no larger than shrubs, in every shape and color of leaf. On the authority of our Landscape committee I believe that the variety seen here, in our current rooftop garden, is called “Shishigashira.”
Finally, as if to contradict what we said earlier, there are some conifers bred in such hostile climes that they, too, have learned to shed their leaves for winter. These conical yellow trees are larches, caught in downtown’s wonderful Freeway Park.