While you may know the return of wet weather in the Pacific Northwest to signify the start of fall and colder days, the Cedar River Watershed Education Center has turned the rain into a melody for their visitors. Located by Rattlesnake Lake just outside of North Bend, the Center is a gateway to the Cedar River Municipal Watershed, which provides water for 70% of people living in the greater Seattle area.
"As you wind down our path you will start to see a little creek and then you'll start to hear the drums. You hear the rain drums before you see them," Julie Stonefelt, Senior Public Education Specialist at Cedar River, said. "They are an art installation that was done by Seattle's One Percent for Art and was created by Dan Corson. He picked different types of drums from all over the world."
Stonefelt also explained the science behind the melodies created by the rain drums.
"A computer program produces Native American, Afro-Cuban and Balinese rhythms and that is connected to a series of pipes and valves that open and close a single pipe above each drum, so it's really the pattern of that system organizing to create the different sounds and the rhythms," she said.
The rain drums are especially popular with education center's guests.
"From an art standpoint it's really amazing," said Cara Byrne, a visitor.
"I've seen people sit and listen to them for hours," Ole Carlson, another guest, said. "My first thought is when I see it, I become very peaceful."
Stonefelt encourages anyone who is interested to visit Cedar River. "We just invite you to come enjoy this place."
Cedar River Watershed Education Center 17905 Cedar Falls Road S.E.North Bend, WA