North America trip day 12: salmon-watching in Seattle

The salmon struggle to jump up to reach Lake Washington.

Click on the images to enlarge them

Seattle has been one of the greatest surprises of this trip. So green, cozy and interesting. On the first day there my friend took me to Ballard, a mixed-industrial neighborhood that has become trendy. It used to be a small town before it became a part of Seattle, so it’s planned so as to have everything in place. Now people are drawn there from other neighborhoods too.

We also went to see salmon traveling upstream to their native rivers. A technology that can elevate ships to appropriate water levels has greatly damaged the salmon population and been a concern since the 1910s. There is a special ‘fish ladder’ built to enable salmon to travel. They often gather and practice before each leap. Illustrations allow visitors yo try guessing which of the four types of salmon they are seeing. Salmon can be observed from above and through underwater glass.

Today at the Burke museum I learned that one of the local Native American tribes heavily depended on salmon for their livelihood, and salmon migration was among the main subjects of their negotiation with the colonial government.

By the way, what do you think is in the first photo above? A work of art? Yes, but of nature. It’s a volcanic mineral.

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