Thursday, June 30, 2011

What I Did on my Summer Vacation - Ballard Locks

Today I took Mom to the Queen Mary tea room for lunch. She loves tea and all things related to it, so I knew she would like it. The food was good and the decorations were cool and I'm glad she liked it.
After lunch we headed over to Ballard to see the locks and the fish ladder. I have never been there before and it was pretty cool. This sailboat was coming through the locks as we arrived.
Because the locks are built between Puget Sound and Lake Union, they actually disrupt the salmon runs, so the original lock builders installed a fish ladder to help the salmon get through. There are also salmon slides installed, which is what these are. The slides are designed to help the baby salmon get back to the Sound after they hatch.
The fish ladder, on the other hand, is there to help the spawning salmon get upstream (ladders go up, slides go down). There are 24 (22?) steps on the ladder, and on step 18 there is a viewing window where you can see the fish going through. This is sort of the end of the salmon run season, so there weren't a lot of fish, three large (24" or so) and one fingerling (about 3" long) going through. This isn't a great picture, but it is really hard to get a picture of a wild salmon swimming frantically upstream.
 Outside the fish ladder is a pretty cool sculpture of waves.
 All in all, a pretty cool day. Mom and I just sort of wandered around, went to some little shops in Ballard, and wandered around the gardens next to the Locks. I unfortunately forgot to put my card in my camera, so was only able to take a few pictures.

1 comment:

Pseudo said...

I have always meant to take my daughter to high tea. There are a couple of really cool places over here that do it and maybe this summer will be the charm.