Swirling Green Water

At lunch my dad and my brother-in-law listened to me explain to my nephews and niece how the Ballard Locks work. “. . . and the water level inside the lock rises until it’s at the level of lake..” Somehow I failed to inspire. “You’ll see what I mean when we get there.”

We headed up to Ballard through slow traffic. A man walked up Market Street with a huge restless parrot hopping around on his arm. The Bird Man of Ballard.

The kids found the Locks something less than magical, and I tried to redeem the trip by locating the viewing area for the fish ladders. There was only a wall of swirling green water behind the windows in the viewing area. The fish aren’t spawning yet, so the dank concrete room ended up being a low point in the field trip. We loitered around the displays. A recording about the fish ladders repeated itself on an endless loop. The kids hovered around the only interactive display – a magnifying glass that you push across a set of test tubes filled with fish embryos preserved at various stages of growth.

My dad remembers it differently: “The kids really enjoyed it. A batch of boats went through the locks. On the way out we walked through the botanical gardens.”

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