Union Bay Natural Area, Seattle

I took a short ramble through the Union Bay Natural Area on Lake Washington south of University Village.  There is a puddly loop trail through a wetland area.  It was pretty quiet on this winter afternoon.

These dried seed heads were the most predominant plant in the area.

Dried stalk


Stalk silhouettes

Back lit stalks

Backside view

“Shall I not rejoice also at the abundance of the weeds whose seeds are the granary of the birds?”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Weeds, reeds, and seeds

“We are wont to forget that the sun looks on our cultivated fields and on the prairies and forests without distinction . . . In his view the earth is all equally cultivated like a garden.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I love that Thoreau appreciated weeds.  He took the time to get to know their hidden virtues — food for foraging birds and animals, shelter for wildlife, and their natural beauty.  There is a lesson here about what we might commonly consider pests.  It is not so black and white.  Life is full of complexity and shades of gray.

“What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Seed head in snow

Slender reeds with calligraphic lines