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April 29, 2013 at 5:39 PM
Eagle Landing Park was the highlight of my visit to Burien (see my last post), but the quiet residential town south of West Seattle presents many more sketching opportunities.
While I still had a bit of time, I headed to a location recommended by Jim Branson: an abandoned parcel at 1st Avenue South and SW 160th Street that is home to a majestic sequoia. The tree is next to a restaurant that’s been closed for a while, said Branson, and if the parcel gets redeveloped, it may not last. Branson, a knowledgeable nature enthusiast and volunteer for the Washington State Native Plant Society, said sequoias are rare here, and that makes this one very special.
On my drive back through SW 152nd Street, I took a quick break to draw a Seussical street clock that adds a fun exclamation point to the city’s business district. It’s the work of artist Kim David Hall.
In the future, I’d love to sketch at Seahurst Park, where that dead whale washed ashore recently. Lake Burien, a public lake with no public access, would also be lovely to draw, but I’d need some neighbors to let me into their backyards.
April 26, 2013 at 5:58 PM
Sketched April 17, 2013
For Jim Branson, whose family owned this land for nearly 100 years, those 257 zigzagging steps are a mixed blessing.
Perched on hollow concrete pilings, the staircase prevents damage to the slipping hillside and opens access to a majestic natural habitat. During our walk, Branson spotted northern flickers courting on a maple tree and pointed to a Douglas fir where he’s seen bald eagles land.
But the steps have also become a glorified StairMaster since the park opened in 2005. “For most people, this is just a trail to exercise and go up and down quickly,” sighed Branson. “They are talking on their cellphones and looking straight as if they were walking on a city street.”
Branson’s comments made me think: What are we using our parks for? He wishes more of those speedy runners took the time to stop and observe “all the wonderful things that nature is doing in our own backyard.”
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