Swallowing Green

We go to

a green place.

rain just stopped –

Denny Creek softly chuckles.


up, up,

a wren launches his quavering melody –



Sword ferns are sprouting


down, and sideways, like they do

every year.

And the Red Elderberry’s flowersย  –

creamy cones of tiny stars,


in the green tangle.

Our path winds around grand old Douglas firs,

dignified Western redcedars,

And down in the ravine, Big Leaf Maples bloom.


And licorice ferns adorn mossy

tree trunks.

At their feet,

Bleeding Hearts nod





We are dizzy with the


of this green machine,

churning the air with

curves and tips and spirals of spring –

it enters even into our synapses,

inside-outside: verdant life.

Then a grand old cedar anchors us to the ground of being-in-spring.

The Douglas fir steadies our gaze,

with furrowed skin and

noble roots,

it clings tightly

to the steep slope.


It’s hard to leave this green-drunk paradise.

No worries though – it’s

in us now,

tiny dabs of inchoate green

lodged in our

neural pathways,

echoes of the afternoon.


Photographs taken at O.O. Denny Park, Kirkland, WA, 4/15/14, with a Lumix G5 and 14-42 mm lens.


  1. Wow. The only word available in my brain just now, wow. Speechless, and my eyes fill with tears, in a positive way. Mother Nature is so grand and generous. And so genius. And so is the way you walk us through her. Wow. Thank you!


    • Not quite – there are temperate rainforests about 2 hours from here, but the annual rainfall in this town is 38.6 inches (980 mm). It doesn’t freeze very much, and it rains a lot, with a lot of overcast days, too. But in the summer it gets very dry – so plants have to be able to survive a few months with no rain at all. An interesting climate! Everything grows fast – that’s why there are many huge trees, and plants growing on top of plants (the moss, lichens and ferns all over the trees, for example). Oh, and the Bleeding Heart is a native wildflower that has been bred into a very popular perennial for gardens, available in white as well as pink.


        • I bet the Bleeding Hearts like some cool weather, maybe that’s why they don’t grow well in your part of the world – that’s why we have these blogs, right? To experience the variety this huge, amazing world contains. I just found this on an Ethnobotany site –
          “Sword fern fronds were used by First Peoples as a protective layer in traditional pit ovens, between food in storage boxes and baskets and on berry-drying racks. The fronds were also used as flooring and bedding. The large rhizomes were dug in the spring (with some tribes the rhizomes were only eaten as a starvation food). The rhizomes were roasted over a fire or steamed in a traditional pit oven, then peeled and eaten. Some tribes ate the cooked rhizomes to cure diarrhea.”
          That refers to the ferns in the 2nd and 3rd photo – and the one with its spores visible has a root that tastes like licorice, which indigenous people used to eat, I think.


        • Yes, The bleeding heart needs cool climate and shady place. The people eat cooked fern young leaves in our country or mix with other vegetable too. However, I have never tasted it. It is nice to share knowledge about the content of our part of the world, isn’t it? Thank you very much.


  2. A gloriousness of green, Lynn. Your thoughts are as green as your images – I love the idea that “it’s in us now” – yes. As for the impossibly beautiful photos, I particularly love the third one of the ferns opening up their heads, or perhaps stretching their legs like dancers warming up at the barre,


    • I’m glad you let me know your thoughts – and I’m sure you feel the same way as you wander your garden. I wish I could have captured the musical creek and and pacific wren’s song – the sounds were as fresh and uplifting as the visuals. And those ferns – aren’t they crazy? I don’t know why they grow like that, but they do – great idea, that they’re at the barre! ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. After your recent desert trip BB you’ve come home and the entwining and unfurling season of Spring through your walk in the woods has stirred you … The imagery conjured up by your last few lines green drunk paradise … inchoate green … neural pathways … is fabulous …
    I enjoyed a closer look at your flowers and ferns !


    • You don’t know how glad I am to hear you say that – I was pleased with the last lines and I hoped someone would appreciate them. Yes, it’s quite a switch from the desert, eh?


  4. Oh, my heavens. THIS is also paradise. Beaches are pretty but they cannot compare to the deep wood and all that green. I’m enthralled. Where is this paradise? Your images make my mouth water……………Gorgeous………


    • This is a small park – though it doesn’t feel at all like a park, more like an old woods – in the Pacific northwest, not too far from Seattle. There is a great deal of respect for the environment in this part of the world, and there are many places like this that have been set aside for us to wander through. (O.O. Denny Park in Kirkland, WA) I’m glad you enjoyed it!
      Another post about the park, from last spring, is here -https://bluebrightly.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/not-just-a-walk-in-the-park/


  5. This is a great epic novel of a post…completely realized, exquisitely composed…I actually set aside time to view bluebrightly.wordpress because I don’t want to be disturbed when I go where you take me.


  6. The third photo, I saw the ferns like garden seahorses. Your posts are always so much fun and the greens, the various, wonderful shades of green. When I worked on the colors for our new family room I used lots of different greens and at first thought, should I really be using shades of chartreuse, kelly and teal green in the same space and I paused and laughed and was like of course I should because think about how dynamite all of natures greens look together. I never looked back! Thanks for a great trip through the woods!


  7. A superb collection Lynn – varied, but every one beautifully seen and presented. We’ve just returned from a few days in the New Forest (South UK) so I can imagine the feelings that accompanied the taking of these photos.


  8. Pingback: Winter Green « bluebrightly

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