Manito Park: Perfect spot for blooms, dog photos and poison ivy

husky at manito park in spokane

False alarm.

When I wrote my headline last weekend after a morning at Manito Park, I thought for sure I was going to be spending the next two or three weeks itching and scratching and oozing pus all over the place.

I was sitting at my desk and my left arm broke out into a wicked rash. My mind leapt to poison ivy.

After all, I’m no stranger to vile weed. I’ve had several run-ins with it, a couple of years ago after a walk with Bella on the Centennial Trail in Spokane Valley and even on my first camping expedition with Our American.

Shep pulled me off trail at Farragut State Park, I tripped on a rock and a day later — BLAM — covered in oozing sores. Of course, I also broke my 18-55 kit lens on that fall, prompting my journey into better glass. So, thanks, Shep!

On this occasion, however, Manito Park appears to be innocent. After a good night’s sleep with the help of Benadryl, I woke up to no rash or itching.

Thus, I have to take back all the swearing I did in the park’s direction the night prior.

I’m sorry, Manito Park. I love you!

Manito Park in full bloom

It is the perfect time of year for flowery photo sessions with your dog. It’s like Manito Park is flipping off the coronavirus and saying, “Nope, come see us.”

Of course, it’s vital to maintain your distance and, with Bella, that’s always easy. Her social anxiety often keeps us more than 6 feet away from strangers.

Manito Park is really the crown jewel of parks in Spokane. Like many other parks, it’s well kept but this one is really special.

There are 90 acres worth of immaculate flower beds, greenhouse overflows, perfumes of roses and lilacs, living creatures such as swans, geese and ducks and so much more. The park encompasses 90 acres worth of manicured lawns, flowers, topiary shrubs, greenhouse conservatory and playgrounds.

There’s a peaceful Japanese garden designed by Nagao Sakurai. Dogs aren’t allowed beyond the gate, so I haven’t been inside in years. A lilac garden bursts full of aroma in the spring and Rose Hill — home to more than 150 varieties of old-fashioned roses, hybrid tea roses, frandiflora, floribunda and miniature roses — would be my mother’s paradise (she doesn’t have a passport, though).

bella at duncan garden gazebo in spokane

A morning walk with Bella

We started our day at the main feature of Manito Park: the Renaissance-style Duncan Garden, three acres of manicured turf areas and a variety of colorful flower beds.

maremma sheepdog at duncan garden in spokane

Duncan Garden

We went on to Rose Hill, over to the rocks, which are slightly off the main trail, and down to Mirror Pond. The duck pond has been under reconstruction for about a year, after getting a little murky and needing a dredge.

bella at rose hill at manito park in Spokane

Rose Hill

That’s where we found this lovely new walk that the city is installing. Really, the stonework is beautiful and I can’t wait to see what it’s like when it’s finished.

bella at mirror pond at manito park

Mirror Pond sidewalk

The summer sun was starting to beat down on us (and, of course, it’s been gone for the better part of the last week) and Bella’s tongue was starting to drag. More of Spokane was emerging from its corona cocoon for the day, too, so it was time to head home.

First, a new friend

We made our way back to Eddie, waiting for us at the Manito Park Bench Cafe, a coffee shop that remains closed until the pandemic breaks.

But first, we had to stop and make friends with Hannah, a beautiful red husky, who was more than happy to pose and play for treats.

red husky in deep grass at manito park

Hannah

Of course, my penchant for getting low is where I thought I met my poison ivy troubles. Bella got seriously offended that I was aiming my lens at another dog and went to pout in the tall grass. Hannah followed her and I did, too.

That’s where Hannah got really playful and, in my desire to get the shot, I dropped onto my belly in the grass.

playful husky at manito park

Snake in the grass

Thankfully, it turned out to not be poison ivy, an infliction that can last for two to three weeks.

I caught Bella’s derision out of the corner of my eye, so we bid our new friends goodbye and made our way home.

All around the circle

If you’ve been following along, you know my passion for wildflowers. The worldwide pet photographers blog circle wanted dogs with blooms this week.

I decided to tame it down and I knew Manito Park would be the perfect place.

Now let’s go see more flowers in the blog circle.

Start with Kylee Doyle Photography, serving pet parents in the greater Sacramento area.

Click the link at the bottom of Kylee’s post to get to the next post and so on. When you get back here to blooms at Manito Park, you know you’re home.

Right where you belong.

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