Those fabulous, crazy, gargantuan Volunteer Park trees

Photo of a huge tree in Seattle's Volunteer ParkBy the time Rachel and I arrived at Volunteer Park, which was her first surprise stop for me yesterday, the conservatory was just closing. And so we didn't get to see the vast array of flowering plants the destination is known for. It turned out not to matter in the end, since this park is so enormous and has so many sights to offer that I - and my camera - was enthralled for our entire visit.

Photo of a huge tree in Seattle's Volunteer ParkAmong the highlights that caught my eye, were these enormous trees unlike any I've ever seen before. I moved among the trunks and roots, fascinated as I shot from a variety of angles, fixated on bringing as many details away with me. I shot and shot until I remembered my friend had an entirely different destination on our agenda for later, and we moved on. Patient, patient girl.

Photo of a huge tree in Seattle's Volunteer ParkIn addition to the conservatory, Volunteer Park offers a water tower with an observation deck from which I was able to take many shots of the city, in spite of the heavily barred and caged windows, (once we'd surmounted the tall, tall, winding staircase - more workout for these legs still getting used to all the walking in the communities I've been visiting.) There's also a reservoir overlooking a magnificent view of the Seattle skyline with its prominent Space Needle, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and this funky, cool sculpture, Black Sun, by Isamu Noguchi which I'm told locals often call "The Doughnut" for good reason. Like all good tourists, I let my friend take my picture with The Doughnut. Which maybe I'll share later on.

Still, before we move on to any other sights within the park, I had to make sure you got to see the trees. I hope I get to go back and visit them again before this trip is through. There's something distinctive and very fine about the way it feels to stand there in the magical twisting structures, under the canopies of green. The perfect way to begin my stay in this city.

Click the pictures above for a slightly larger view.

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