Edmonds White Christmas Tour 2017

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
According to one news article, the Seattle area has only a 7% chance of having a white Christmas. We beat the odds this year as it snowed Christmas Eve and remained cold enough Christmas day for the snow to stay on the ground. I got out early to record this memorable event.

First stop was the marsh. I figured the snow would melt the soonest there as the marsh is at sea level and near Puget Sound.

The #2 viewing platform is the one at the parking lot.

Looking west down the boardwalk to the #1 viewing platform.

Looking out onto the marsh from the boardwalk. The #3 platform can be seen if you know where to look.


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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Continuing the walk west to the #1 viewing platform.

View from the #1 platform. I thought the old fence post in ice and snow was photogenic.

So I took a closeup shot.

With the tide gate closed for the winter, only fresh water from rainfall and two creeks (Willow and Schellenbarger) enters the marsh. If the temperature is cold enough, the standing water will freeze. I once saw water still flowing in Willow Creek one cold, early December morning when the temperature was down to 13*F.

Walking east along the north side of the marsh from the #2 viewing platform to the #3 viewing platform.

Viewing platform #3.

The outdoor tennis courts are directly behind us. This is the best platform for photography on sunny winter days as you are facing west and not looking south directly into the low winter sun as you are on platforms #1 & 2.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Another shot from platform #3 looking toward the railroad tracks, marina, and across Puget Sound to the Olympic Mts. when they are not hidden behind clouds.

Walking east from viewing platform #3 to #4. Trees block views of the marsh for the most part, although there are two spots where you can see the easternmost mudflat, especially in the winter after the leaves have fallen.

The #4 platform is located across the paved walkway from the indoor tennis courts. I call the large, white inflated dome that covers the courts Thunder Dome after a Mad Max movie. The view across the marsh is not particularly scenic from the #4 platform, but you can take artsy/surreal/ethereal photos during certain times of the year when the light, cattails, and background foliage are just right.

Our tour of the marsh concludes just east of the #4 platform with another look across the marsh.

The two tall, poofy topped evergreens on the right side of the photo are on the fish hatchery grounds. During the winter after the leaves have fallen, a red-tailed hawk usually perches on a branch of one of the trees in the center that stand between Sunset Ave./Highway 104 and the east end of the marsh. The tall evergreens on the left are in City Park on the other side of Sunset Ave./Hwy. 104.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
We will pause between nature walks to stop at the town Christmas tree.

This may commemorate our sister city in Japan.

I'll have to get out one of my Chinese dictionaries to translate the Chinese characters on the left vertical line. The right vertical line is Japanese characters.

Sunset Ave.
I don't often get to photograph snow along Puget Sound.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yost Park
We'll wind up the White Christmas Tour 2017 at Yost Park, known for its resident barred owls and pileated woodpeckers. My son Daren and I started out by walking s-l-o-w-l-y down the steep trail that leads to Shell Creek at the bottom of the ravine.

Looking down the trail.

Looking back up.

Daren on the bridge over Shell Creek at the bottom of the trail.

Yost Park is named for an early Edmonds family that bottled water from Shell Creek to sell to people in town. I believe pipes from this dam were used to fill the bottles. There is a similar structure a little farther downstream.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The dam from upstream.

The trail leads east up the ravine along the creek, passing spots where water comes out of the ground to form the creek. Portions of the trail are elevated above these marshy areas by a boardwalk.

The cavity near the top of the spar in the distance on the right side of the boardwalk is where the resident pair of barred owls had two babies the summer of 2016.

Approaching a bridge over Shell Creek.

Looking downstream below the bridge.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Looking upstream from the bridge. Once leaves have returned to the trees, it becomes the territory of the resident pair of barred owls.

Looking back at the bridge we just walked over.

Walking on service road, which runs west from the bottom of the ravine at the east end of the park up to the parking lot via a gentle grade. The ravine falls off to the right. To the left is a steep hillside with trails that lead to some of the highest parts of the park.

Passing the city swimming pool, which we get to use three months of the year. Can you detect my sarcasm?

That concludes our White Christmas Tour 2017. As Bing Crosby sang, "May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white."
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Photo notes:
Canon cameras + lenses
Marsh: 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto zoom and 5DIII + 24-105L zoom
Downtown & Sunset Ave.: 5DIII + 24-105L zoom
Yost Park: 5DIII + 17-35L zoom

Special Techniques
To approximate what I saw, I took most of the photos using from +1/3 to +1 exposure compensation. I suspect the snow caused the camera to underexpose the shots when I shot "straight on."
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Terry O

Active Member
Thanks for these, Bill. It will probably be 2026 before we get the next White Christmas :). Lets see, I'll only be 89 then.....


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