My Visit to the Amazon Spheres

 

I have wanted to see the Amazon Spheres since they opened on January 30, 2018. Amazon’s website says:

The Spheres are a place where employees can think and work differently surrounded by plants.

The Spheres are a result of innovative thinking about the character of a workplace and an extended conversation about what is typically missing from urban offices– a direct link to nature. The Spheres are home to more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries.

Amazon offers two public showings a month, but at the time I checked on them the reserved spaces were full far into the future. I decided to ask a friend who works at Amazon if employees were allowed to bring visitors. He said “Yes”, and offered to show me the Spheres. It took me until November 20th to take him up on his generous offer, but the day finally arrived.

When we entered the Spheres, the first thing I saw was a living wall (aka green wall). I had looked up living walls when I was working on a PNW GreenFriends Newsletter (Issue 87, page 23) a few months ago. I was impressed by the concept and by seeing photos of living walls throughout the world. And now I was standing in front of one.

This living wall was 3 stories high. It was impossible for me to photograph it in its entirety but I did my best.

 

When I left the wall, I looked around me. I felt as if I had entered a wonderland. The area shown in the photo below had small waterfalls.

 

There were so many beautiful plants.

(Click on the galleries to enlarge the photos.)

I was surprised to learn that these were ginger plants.

I thought these carnivorous plants were fascinating. They reminded me of the Venus fly trap plant I had when I was a kid.

As Rashmesh and I walked up the stairs, we had various views of the big living wall.

There was a tree inside the spheres that was three stories high. How in the world had they brought it to Seattle?  And how did they get it into the building, or did they build the spheres around it? I wish I had asked. The first photo shows the top part of the tree; the second shows the middle section; and you can see part of the trunk on the right side of the third photo.

 

 

 

The plant in the first photo below was called fan aloe. I’ve never seen aloe that looks like that! I don’t know the name of the plant in the second and third picture but I thought it was beautiful… and fascinating.

Before I knew it, we had made it through the spheres. I imagine I could visit these structures over and over and each time see plants I hadn’t seen before. Perhaps I will do that.

Thank you Rashmesh… for giving me this experience!

More Mushrooms

When Sarva (Shirley) and I were working in the Greenbelt on Sunday, Sarva saw some BIG mushrooms. It seemed to me that they were in the same place as mushrooms I had photographed on October 29 and had included in my November 4th post. Could they have grown so big so fast?

(Click on the gallery to enlarge the photos.)

I realized there was one photograph I hadn’t shared in that post.  It was of two mushrooms that were near the patch of mushrooms that I had included.

When I looked at the two photos together and compared them to the new photos, I realized I was seeing the same mushrooms. They had indeed grown this big in one week. Now, they were near the end of their life cycle.

Yesterday, I saw another patch of mushrooms that I had shared in my previous post. They had both grown and multiplied.

Still Blooming

I recently published a post about some dahlia buds that had bloomed in mid October. Today I noticed that the flowers are becoming even more beautiful. Pretty amazing for November in Seattle.

FOTD

An Unexpected Visitor

The plant order for our Greenbelt restoration site arrived today. As I was sorting them out, a shiny object caught my eye. When I looked closer, I discovered that it was the shell of a snail.

The snail was moving along the top of a pot. By the time I grabbed my iPhone camera, it looked to me like it was planning to go down the side of the pot.

I was wrong. That was not what the snail had in mind.

I loved watching the snail’s amazing journey. However, I didn’t want it eating the new Greenbelt plants, so I carried it to a place where it could munch on something else.

Cee’s Flower of the Day Photography Challenge: October Flowers

In my front yard there is a dahlia plant that has gigantic blooms. In mid to late summer it looks like this:

When I came back from India this year (towards the end of September), the blooms were dead, or dying. A week or so later, I cut them off. There were still some tiny buds on the plant. I left them alone event though I thought it was too late in the season for them to bloom.

When I walked by the plant on October 16, I was startled by what I saw. The buds were opening!

The flowers didn’t have the brilliant color of the dahlia in the summer, but they were beautiful in their own way. And they certainly show traits of Mother Nature such as the will to live and the tendency to give and give and then give some more..

FOTD

Cee’s FOTD Photography Challenge: October 23, 2018

Again, I’m going to take advantage of Cee’s expanded version of what can be considered for the Flower of the Day Challenge.

This weekend, I was planting Willow cuttings (live stakes) with a friend. A gelatinous substance on one of the branches caught my eye.

FOTD