Volunteer Park (Seattle, WA)
About Volunteer Park (Seattle, WA)
Volunteer Park is an incredible Seattle area resource that is home to the Asian Museum, the Conservatory, and surrounding park grounds with an incredible view of the city. Not a place to miss on any visit to the Seattle area----and a great area to live around as well.
Volunteer Park (Seattle, WA) Real Estate News
Mayshadow
Put a lid on it!
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.)

 

"Put a lid on it!"

While this might make a great caption for this insect eating plant, I thought it might be fun to see what the rest of my readers can come up with. This picture of nepenthes alata (Carnivorous Pitcher Plant), taken at the Seattle Conservatory, has a name that does not do justice to the image. 

Nepenthes Alata

 

What is your best caption?

 

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

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Mayshadow
Up close and personal at the Seattle Conservatory
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.)

I have had a long standing love affair with the Seattle Conservatory in Volunteer Park.

The Conservatory

The first time I visited was in 1965 with my Dad and the place got under my skin and stayed there.  Built in 1912, the Conservatory is now 100 years old, and for those 100 years Seattleites have had a place to get away from the cold and grey.

I have done other posts about the place, and this time I thought I would do a close-up pictorial that shows its colors, and textures.  While nothing can convey the humidity and warmth within the building, hopefully these pictures will warm up your day.

Currently there are some concerns as to how much longer the place will remain open, so I hope that if you live in Seattle, or ever visit Seattle, that you will take the time to take it in and to give it your financial support.  While technically “free,” donations are encouraged. 

As you enter the building, breathe deep, and feel the warm moist air enter your lungs.  Wipe off your fogged-up glasses,  give your camera lens a chance to de-fog and then bask in the warmth, color and intoxicating fragrances of plants and soil.  Whether it is in the tropical rain forest or the desert garden---there is always something breathtaking.

Renowned for its orchids I will start with the obligatory orchid picture.  The rest is about form, color and texture---what they "actually are" is of less importance.

Enjoy. 

Orchids



Color and light



Sharp Color



Fuzzy Sharp



Soft and Blue and not Sharp



Oranges



Yellow and Water



More Oranges



Rock cissors paper

The Seattle Conservatory

1400 East Galer Street, Seattle, WA

(206) 684-4743



Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Seattle Home Inspector

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out: AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

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Mayshadow
The fireplace is ROARING!!----so why is my butt so cold?
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.)

Watch for falling bricks     Perhaps one of the single most “expendable” components of a home today is the solid masonry chimney.  In new construction they are almost entirely absent----even on very high-end homes.  They have giChimney on an older house that needs repairsven way, to any number of cheaper versions of chimneys----often without any masonry at all.

     When inspecting older homes, that do have brick chimneys, they are often in need of repairs----like the one pictured at the left in one of the old Seattle neighborhoods near Volunteer Park.  The costs of these repairs often run into the many thousands of dollars. 

     Because bricks are heavy, these chimneys can be a serious safety hazard as well.  No one wants to have a brick bounce off their head when they visit you.

     Sometimes converting these old brick chimneys to direct-vent gas burning fireplaces can be an economical thing to do, instead of taking on these costly repairs.  While gas fireplaces are not cheap-----if you have to rebuild the top six feet of your chimney----that is not cheap either.  It is not possible to construct a wood burning fireplace that will be as efficient as an air-tight, direct-vent, gas fireplace.  These gas fireplaces will provide heat and romance.  When you are lying on your bear skin rug (a sleeping bag will do) in front of the fireplace with your sweetie, neither one of your back-sides will be cold like they used to get with that old fashioned wood burning fireplace.  Old fireplace chimneys sucked tremendous amounts of heat out of the home.  You felt warm as long as you faced the fire----but surfaces away from the fire(like your naked butt), or other rooms, became colder----even drafty.

     Wood burning chimneys required that the top of the chimney be specific distances away from roof surfaces to protect the roof from fire, therefore, these chimneys could end up being VERY tall.  Typically, inspectors will look for the top of the chimney to be 24” higher than any part of the roof  10’ away---horizontally. 

Typical direct-vent cap on the side of a house     Gas burning appliances do not have to follow the same rules.  Therefore the top part of the brick chimney----which is usually in the worst condition and the most poorly maintained----can be removed down to the roof line----or even below the roof line if the chimney runs up through the center of the house.  The old chimney flue is lined with a metal vent pipe and a metal cap is then installed to cover the top.  The new metal vent for the gas fireplace (or other gas appliance) then runs through this cap. 

     Many newer homes avoid the entire masonry structure and vent directly out though the side wall of the house----saving way more money than what it would have cost to build a masonry chimney.  Sometimes it is cheaper to take down the whole chimney than it is to rebuild one that is in poor condition (and doesn't everyone need patio bricks?).

Typical gas vent on a roofAnother typical gas vent on a roof    

     As I stated already, gas vents do not have to stick though the roof very far.  Most roofs (6/12 pitch and lower) only require that the vent stick through the roof 12”----barely enough to become “unsightly.”  This is true whether the vent is for a gas water heater, or a gas furnace or a gas fireplace.

     So go ahead and roll out that bear skin rug----or sleeping bag!

 

Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out: AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

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Mayshadow
The Conservatory, Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.)

     In another one of my shameless promotions of one of my favorite places in SLike the sign sayseattle, I thought I would share some recent pictures. 

     What is a Seattle Home Inspector to do when they finish their inspection and there is no report to write?  In this case, because the inspection was only a few blocks from The Conservatory, I decided to see what was blooming.  This is a place where it is really hard to be disappointed.  There are always orchids present, but on this day there was an exceptional number of orchids in bloom.  When you enter the Conservatory you immediately enter the Orchid area.  If you go east you head toward the Desert House.  If you Head west you are headed for the Tropics.

White Orchid

Yellow and Red Orchid

     On the way to the desert house, I had to check out the Mirror Ball.

The Mirror Ball House

     I was going to use this picture of myself as my new profile picture but decided to not scare little children needlessly.

Now THAT is friggn' scary

     The desert house has always been one of my favorite areas.  I have always been fascinated with the spiral patterns of the cacti.

Rust Cactus

Snow Cactus

     And the juxtaposition of hard and soft----or at least the “illusion” of soft.

Feather soft?

     Of course the Tropical Houses are never ones to be out done.

Let's be fronds

Too pretty to title

     When you visit Seattle make sure this place is on your list----and maybe you will even see me there.

Charles Buell

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out: AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

My WORDLESS WEDNESDAY pictures and some selected POEMS & STORIES.

Just quack on me to subscribe

 

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Mayshadow
Japanese Garden, Seattle, WA
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.)

Japanese Garden     Along with the Conservatory (and not too far from each other), there is another very cool place in Seattle to visit---whether you are playing tourist or live here all the time---called the Japanese Garden, at the Washington Park Arboretum. 

     Here is a little photo tour to give you just a taste of the trails and visual feasts at this little patch of serenity.  Every time I visit the Garden I wonder why I don’t go back more often.  Isn’t that the way it is though?  We will scrimp and save to visit some far off exotic place and neglect the things that are right in our own back yard.  The very places that someone in a far off place is scrimping and saving to come and see.

South Entrance to the Japanese Gardens

One of the bridges

Reflect on this

 Nutsy’s house

I may be slow but I am ahead of you.

Serenity

Reflect on this.

And this

Another bridge.

Don’t give me any Carp!

Home sweet home!

Inspector’s dream.

Water fall. 

Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspectors, ASHI Home Inspector, Licensed Home Inspector, Structural Pest Inspector, Charles Buell Inspections Inc, Seattle, WA

 

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Raven DeCroeDeCroe, is my "ethereal" home inspector assistant and occasionally flies into my blog and other people's blogs to offer assistance. To find out more about her beginnings just click on Raven.

The Human Rights Campaign

 

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out: AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

My WORDLESS WEDNESDAY pictures and some selected POEMS & STORIES.

Just quack on me to subscribe

 

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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Mayshadow
Eaten alive at The Conservatory, Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA!
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.)

     One of my favorite places in all of Seattle is the Conservatory at Volunteer Park. 

     My earliest memories of the Conservatory were when I visited it with my dad in 1965----when he was giving a lecture to the American Gloxinia & Gesneriad Society (Now The Gesneriad Society).  One of his many claims to fame was hybridizing gloxinias----developing many new colors and variations on the theme. 

 The Conservatory on a cloudy day         

     I used to love to take the kids there when they were little.  It is a great place to go to relax and unwind and be transported wherever one needed to be----especially on a cold and rainy day.  Back, then there was a large pond with several large Koi Fish in it----now it is just a wishing well with a bunch of Koin in it. 

     One of the things that stand out the most about the Conservatory is the smell.  All I have to do is "think" about going to the Conservatory and wherever I "actually" am seems to be flooded with the smell.  It is not the smell of any one plant, but the combination of plants, flowers and humid conditions that create a smell that is recognizable every time I go there.

     Another thing is the

COLOR!
There is nothing I can say about color that "color" doesn't say better itself.

     While most of the greenhouses are tropical or subtropical in theme, there is one that has always been a desert greenhouse, with all manner of cactus.  Some of the plants are a hundred years old I am told.

     One of the things that stand out in the desert greenhouse is the patterns.  While all life forms have distinguishable patterns, they become very apparent in the cactus----and painfully apparent if you get too close.

     Here are some of the pictures inside the Conservatory (as always with my posts, the pictures will tell you more if you hold your cursor over them).

View shot

The Cactus greenhouse

Another view inside the Cactus Greenhouse 

Another view of one of the Greenhouses

 

     Now here are some artsy-fartsy pictures of color, shapes and patterns.

 One of the many orchids

Another orchid 

Color

And more color

Delicate blossoms on a VERY thorny cactus

Cactus forms

Cactus

Patterns

More patterns

More patterns, more thorns

 

     There are several species of "Pitcher Plants" at the Conservatory.  While one might associate these plants with the tropics----or subtropics, there is one species that can actually be found in Connecticut.  My dad owned a peat bog in Thompson, Connecticut and we used to find them there.

Carnivorous Pitcher Plants 

     In this next picture one can see the tiny downward pointing hairs that would make it difficult for an insect to work their way up the slope.  Gradually the insect would end up at the edge where they would slide into the primordial ooze and be turned into nutrients the plant can absorb.

 It is a slippery slope once you start

    While admission is free, one is encouraged to leave a donation of $3.00 and sign the guest book.

 

Charles Buell

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

sign me up

Raven DeCroeDeCroe, is my "etherial" home inspector assistant and occasionally flies into my blog and other people's blogs to offer assistance. To find out more about her beginnings just click on Raven.

picture logo

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Seattle Home Inspector

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out: AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

My WORDLESS WEDNESDAY pictures and some selected POEMS & STORIES.

Just quack on me to subscribe

 

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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

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