There are many beautiful trail-through-woods experiences available during travel. Bainbridge Island’s Bloedel Reserve has one of the better ones. It’s not as crowded in the winter, and the staff told me that many prefer this season to visit because Northwest winter’s aren’t usually severe with plenty of rainfall. The photos here were taken on November 26 when I met less than half a dozen people on a two-mile hike to the Bloedel residence. I experienced a perfect, somewhat groomed Northwest outdoor experience with lots of color everywhere.
All seasons at Bloedel bring cyclamens, depending on the species. This mostly native European flowering plant with delicate, upswept petals is Bloedel’s most unusual cultivation. There are 15,000 of them here, one of the world’s greatest concentrations. There are also rhododendrons, a Japanese garden, characteristic Northwest trees and moss, Puget Sound views, the real possibility of animal sightings, etc.
The first people I met on the walk were staring at a deer. They invited me to join them in amazement, but I told them that I see deer every day where I live. “We don’t have many on Bainbridge,” one lady explained as I kept walking. I eventually saw lots of birds and beauty but no raccoons, river otters, chipmunks, etc.
Virginia and Prentice Bloedel didn’t buy this property called Collinswood until 1951. Prentice’s father Julius made a fortune in the timber industry, and Prentice eventually joined him in his business ventures. After linking up with Canadian interests, they oversaw one of the world’s largest logging operations in the world. Angela Collins, wife of Seattle’s 6th mayor, once owned and named Collinswood. After the Bloedel’s bought it, they renamed it Agate Point Farms, made some changes, and lived in it for 32 years. Color-blind Prentice was a naturalist, and, probably, a genius. He spoke not a word until he was 4 and then began talking in complete sentences. He constantly worked on his property, gave his wife a pond as a Christmas present, and cut the ribbon that turned it into a nature reserve in 1988. The Bloedel’s 1st floor is opened to the public. It was here that I learned that Bainbridge Island’s Port Blakely Lumber Mill was once the world’s largest.