My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Oh That Chihuly Garden!

May 5, 2017

My friend Teri, offered me a lot of things to do but I also researched the top attractions in Seattle.  I found that Dale Chihuly, whose work I've admired in several botanical gardens, was from Seattle and had a whole museum of his work. Teri warned me that the price was steep, but I still wanted to go.  I suggested I just go by myself since I believed that she had had to drag along with multiple guests. But she told me she had NEVER been and wanted to go also.

The Space Center

The museum is right by the space center and you can buy a comprehensive ticket to visit both, but I found you usually have to wait around 1.5 hours to get to the viewing platform, which is still pretty low on the space center, so we  decided to just visit the Chihuly Museum.

Just across from the entrance to the museum are these huge metal flowers.  Teri made me visit them. When you walk near one, a chord plays. Then you have to run to another flower  to get another note. If you run fast enough, or have a helper, or two, you can play a little tune.  It was fun trying to play them, and made for good aerobic exercise.

The flowers are taller than the surrounding buildings

The museum had several free talks scheduled.  We rushed to get to the talk on the garden and had to race through most of the museum, which consists of several rooms,  to get there.  And it was breathtaking. Dale Chihuly worked with a landscape architect to blend his work in with plants.  He used blooms and leaf color to enhance his work. He personally picked the black liriope grass that grows over the mound that makes up the focal point of the garden - behind our lecturer.  You may want to click on a picture and then see all the pictures full screen.

The focal point of the garden and our lecturer - who was very interesting

Our lecturer told us about how the garden came to be and also told us that Dale was really excited to find a robin nesting in that yellow and orange sculpture behind her. While she was talking the robin flew in and posed for me.

The robin whose home is in this sculpture bringing food to its babies

After the short talk, we explored the rest of the garden. 

A view of the central bed

A closer look at one of the balls

The solid looking ornaments are blown glass that then gets a coating on the inside of them, like glass Christmas ornaments

This was Teri's favorite piece

Detail of the red sculpture

These almost looked like the trunks of trees

This was my favorite garden

This sculpture was so tall, you could see if from the sidewalk behind the hedge

This garden was only black and white

A closer look at two of the pieces

These sculptures  seemed to have the movement of grass in the garden

A view across the garden from the museum

These "lilies" were tucked in a tiny bed by the door and it took three passes to notice them

The garden was a photographer's dream
Dale Chihuly loves glass houses and has one adjacent to the garden.  It was being set up for some dinner before we left. There is one glass installation suspended from the ceiling.

The glass house and view to Seattle's skyline

Transformed into a dining room

Then we watched a glass blowing demonstration, visited the rest of the museum, and were blow away by the Collection Cafeteria - but those are stories for other days.

And Teri later told me she told a lady she had been here and the lady told her that she had visited when an inch of snow was on all this and it was magnificant. The docent told us the garden is replanted to have blooms all year round, so if you live close enough, be sure to visit it in each season. Teri plans to do that.

Postscript.  I just found a map and list of the garden plants, if you are interested.

What's happening with me.....

Since I'm the first volunteer in, to Red Rock Lakes NWR,  I get to get to prepare the lodgings for the rest of the volunteers. (Which reminds me - shouldn't I also get to count volunteer hours for the first cleaning of my trailer?) This week, I've done the first bluebird survey - we gather data on the nests of mountain bluebirds and tree swallows - and done inventory and cleaning of trailers. I still have more cleaning and then vehicle washing and detailing to get done.  My bee traps should arrive early this week and I'll start running surveys at three or four sites. That is always one of my favorite jobs, since most refuges don't know the kinds and numbers of native bees they have.  I'll soon have to give up the bluebird survey but I'll be helping other volunteers with fencing and spraying invasive plants.