Posts Tagged ‘water’


“That’s not a water tower,” you say. You’re right. On the north side of Highlands Park in Kirkland, Washington are five curious monuments on top of a hill. They are the footings of an old metal water tower that had been removed by the mid-1980s.

X marks the spot where the legs used to stand. There are four such blocks, each of which has weathered differently. You can see where large metal bolts were sheared off on either side of the X.


Block two…


Block three…


Block four.


The center block lacks the distinctive markings but has a different shape.


This is what the tower used to look like, courtesy of the Seattle Times, who was recently asked to find this photo by a local resident. Thank you to Kari Page at the City of Kirkland for sharing it.

Highlands Water Tower Seattle Times.jpg

Further north, on the lush green hillside of Holmes Point, resides an old wooden tank on the south side of the northern leg of Holmes Point Drive. Confused? That’s okay. I’ve hesitated to mention this for years because of the damage people could do to it. Nature has already taken a heavy toll.


Last I knew, King County owns this property because someone stopped paying taxes on it and it didn’t sell at auction because… you can’t build on it. It was the headquarters of the Inglewood Park Water District.

The Inglewood Park Water District served 40 homes in the Holmes Point area for a while and was operational in 1972 according to a local resident I spoke with who bought her home nearby. She was the secretary-treasurer for the association and still has many of its records.


This wonderful lady said the water came down the hill from the St. Edward Seminary to that lot—the seminary is the centerpiece of the St. Edward State Park. The shed is a pump house and the taller structure was the water tank.

The Inglewood Park Water District paid a neighbor’s two teenage sons to put chlorine in the tank every month and called it “blessed water” because it came from the seminary.

In time people started hooking up to “city” water (presumably the Northshore Utility District’s, which provides water in that area today), so their water district disbanded. Evidently there was $6000 in Inglewood Park’s account at that time and it went to someone’s mother’s estate.


Now time is eating away at these delightful old structures as they are gradually absorbed into the surrounding environment. The most excitement they see nowadays is the daredevil skateboarders who cruise down Holmes Point Drive at breakneck speeds.

One went by as I was taking these photos and did some sort of disco/flag semaphore signal move as if to say, “look at me!” I expected him to veer off the road and take out a tree, but his curiously contrasting skinny body and oversized helmet whizzed off around the corner like a space alien rushing to get to their battlestation.



For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it. -Marcus Samuelsson


©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

Lost Lake

The weather in Seattle was perfect this weekend and it was an ideal time to reflect upon sunbeams, dreams, and dragonflies at this Snohomish County lake… You can sense all three in this photo, with the latter perched nimbly upon a reed in the center.

Copy of IMG_4237


Today I saw the dragon-fly

Come from the wells where he did lie.

An inner impulse rent the veil

Of his old husk: from head to tail

Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.

He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;

Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew

A living flash of light he flew.

The Dragon-fly, Alfred Lord Tennyson


©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

Leaves in Street

If I own a house with a yard, I am responsible for what’s inside my property line. If I want my leaves raked, I need to rake them or get someone else to do it or they will remain on my lawn. In like fashion, my responsibility ends where my boundaries end. If my neighbor’s yard has leaves, I can’t be so presumptuous as to climb over the fence that separates our yards and start raking his leaves without permission. If I want to help, I can ask and he can choose to open the gate and let me cross his boundary line. But, it is his choice.

Henry Cloud

This is a quote I often use when discussing boundaries in relationships and in the workplace. Here I’m tying it in to another subject– people who push/rake/shovel/blow their leaves and yard debris into the public right-of-way and streets.

It’s a frequent sight this time of year, landscapers and homeowners with a machine strapped to their backs, swinging the attached hose back and forth as they chase leaves toward the street. Many of these people know that they need to clean up their own messes. Others do not.

Did you know that moving leaves and debris into the right-of-way or street is illegal in many cities? This is because:

1. Leaves and debris, along with everything else that gets onto the roadway, go down storm drains and clog them, which can cause flooding.

2. Technically nothing’s supposed to go down storm drains except surface water. Storm drains usually flow right to creeks, streams, and lakes, and in some places, even to the ocean.

3. Leaves and debris slow and can clog street sweepers.

Obviously doing this can create driving hazards, such as drivers having to avoid or running into piles of leaves, and the leaves and debris making the roadways slick.

Some argue that leaves and such from publicly owned trees that fall onto their property belong back in the ROW or street for the local government agency to pick up. Others argue that material on public sidewalks belongs in the street. Regardless of the rationale, in many places the adjacent property owner is responsible for maintaining the ROW and sidewalk. Common sense says you don’t cause the problems above by dumping it all into the street.

Here in the Seattle area, I find it odd that we claim to be so environmentally sensitive, yet so many people think it’s quite alright to put the mess on or around their property into the road. Again, it’s bad for storm drains and associated waterways and it means the sweepers go slower or have to avoid an area that would normally get swept altogether.

Some complain that they don’t have enough room in their yard waste bins or have to set out extra bags– then mulch. Compost. I’ve always ran them over with the lawnmower and let the yard soak up their nutrients. Some cities give away free bags and offer composting bins and/or classes. Some have programs, often called Adopt a Drain programs, that encourage citizens to keep the storm drains in their area free of leaves and debris. Some have cards to hand out to “leafers” in English and Spanish explaining why leaves don’t belong in the street. There are other ways.

Most people don’t empty their kitchen and bathroom garbage cans where cars drive and expect other taxpayers to come pick up their refuse. But pushing/blowing your yard waste into the street is the same thing and legally might still be considered littering under your area’s ordinance. Know what’s allowed in your area and please don’t make other taxpayers pick up the tab because you didn’t want to clean up your own mess. Imagine how high your taxes might end up if concierge-level leaf/debris disposal service were extended to every resident.

Thank you for helping keep our storm system clear, for being cognizant of how your actions might increase the risk of flooding at your neighbors’ homes, and for letting the street sweepers do their jobs. Moving stuff from your property and the parts of public assets you’re responsible for maintaining crosses boundaries, sometimes legal ones, and it’s best to take care of our own leaves in our own yards.


Update, 11/23/14: The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has the best post on what to do with your leaves that I’ve ever read. Mention of it originally appeared in a City of Kirkland publication. Their Crossing Paths newsletter is worth subscribing to.


©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: