Friday, December 24, 2010
Holiday: Garden d'Lights 2010
What has become the premier scene at the Garden d'Lights in Bellevue, Washington, the pond scene, was captured on 22-December-2010
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON - It seems that all really good free things come to an end, and such is the case with the holiday season Garden d'Lights in Bellevue, Washington. Since 1994, the ever-growing light display had been free, but this year, outside of a few early-season dates, it cost $5 for adults and reservations were needed as total admissions were limited to keep the Botanical Gardens from becoming overcrowded, as had happened on several nights in the 2009 season.
An octopus was targeting a starfish for lunch in the aquarium scene at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens in Bellevue, Washington on 22-December-2010
The display now features more than 500,000 individual lights in dozens of scenes that stretch throughout nearly the entire Botanical Gardens complex. The display is always different each year, so while one can expect listeria at the covered walkways and a pond scene on the upper lawn, some of the better animals like the monkey and the slug could be found in different locations, and there were plenty of new scenes throughout the park.
A gardener watered potted plants near gourds at the Garden d'Lights in Bellevue, Washington on 22-December-2010
While the original idea behind the Garden d'Lights had been to highlight plant life as a winter nighttime extension of the Bellevue Botanical Garden's daytime and mostly fair-season mission, the most popular parts of the Garden d'Lights have mostly become the animals. Some years, kids were given a list of animals to find hidden around the displays, and certainly the rabbit with its carrot and the spider with a fly caught in its web have become perennial favorite scenes, with new ones added each year.
A turtle was one of the prominent animals scattered about the Garden D'Lights in Bellevue, Washington on 22-December-2010
Still, the bulk of the lights in the Garden d'Lights are devoted to plant representations, with quite a variety, from desert succulents to both the blue and pink versions of hydrangeas, with just about any flower imaginable seen somewhere in the gardens. I wish some of them could be labeled just like the various real plant species in the garden have signs with their names that can be seen in daylight.
A typical scene with a variety of plants was seen along the hillside of the Garden d'Lights in Bellevue, Washington on 22-December-2010
The size of the garden was expanded significantly this year to include new portrayals of salmon jumping in a rapidly-moving stream. This display was especially appropriate considering the Botanical Gardens' proximity to Kelsey Creek, a stream that is alive with migrating salmon at certain times of year.
Salmon jumped up a creek in a new display for 2010 at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens' Garden d'Lights on 22-December-2010
With all the new displays, even with the $5 charge, the Garden d'Lights still compares favorably with other similar displays. It remains open through 1-January-2011--remember to make reservations if you wish to go!