Merry Christmas Daze!

Cheers to all on this Christmas Day!!

The lights above are from a large tree in Central Vancouver (Canada), in a recent visit. I love my blurry shots in a time that feels very unclear yet still colorful. Now, I’m in Southern California with limited online access, feeling more festive inside than outside with family and friends.

Joy to all, and those around you too.

Orion T

Holiday Season Cheers from Candytown

Here’s a big gingerbread person, dancing around at the Candytown Holiday Festival in Yaletown, Vancouver, Canada. Gotta love that!

This fresh cheer has me excited for the goofy carefree spirit of the holiday season (as long as you don’t play into the madness of the shopping season pressures including Stupid Black Friday). More egg nog, please!

I’m here for a few days, seeing old friends and away from stress. I’m also doing my holiday shopping through some cool local businesses, and having a silly blast. Lots of maple flavored things!

Meanwhile, here’s more cheer from Candytown..

Orion T

Happy November

Happy New November to all!

And with that, a change where the Fall season sets in as the many loosened leaves lose color while fresh chill weather ushers in, and the days become a little darker

Also, National Novel Writing Month, Banana Pudding Lovers Month, No-Shave November, National Adoption Month, Aviation History Month, and probably more special stuff. There’s the rising holiday deco in stores, peeks at Black Friday, and other overly commercialized temptations throughout. Then later, there’s Thanksgiving Day, a four day weekend for many, and probably the point of this year where many are feeling done, ready to look back at it all.

But for me, it’s just the here and now. Enjoying each day when possible, enjoying what this time of the year gives.

  • Orion T

The picture above in Seward Park, after a long walk in this nice part of Seattle’s Columbia City area. I was testing some new settings on my camera, with this wild plant soaking in some late day sunlight.

Happyish Halloween

Cheers and Happy Halloween to all this lovely night (from here in Seattle, at least)

Though it’s almost over now, and probably gone by the time many of you read this. Sadly, I didn’t take much part in the spooky season this year, for reasons leading to my lack of a social life. But, I visit a local Goodwill thrift store, because I like doing that in the small times I do have. And cheers here, were for the left over Halloween costumes, props, and decorations. All of which, I found are visually wonderful for any part of the year; because such delights are lasting and silly far beyond this time of year.

-Orion T

Rainer cherries, adding sweetness to the this summer

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Rainer cherries are back in season!

I love these little tasty tarty things..often ignoring the slightly higher cost at the supermarkets for a good bundle. Rainer cherries are perfect for snacks, best when shared with good friends, and makes the summertime in the PNW a little more special. I also highly recommend them for any Fourth of July get-togethers.

Rainer cherries weren’t always a PNW thing, or anything at all until development in 1952 at the Washington State University by Dr. Harold Fogle, a research scientist of horticulture studies. He crossed two red cherries, the Bing and Van, to create this slightly larger variety with a fiery color blend.

They have a special sweetness and tougher skin, but very sensitive to temperature, wind, and rain. Birds also love the Rainer cherries, almost a bit too much as they pick at large portions of local orchards. Through what’s left, picking good ones can be tedious and require extra care for their soft interior texture in transport. Good results lead to high costs from that extra effort. Yet, locals do appreciate and many are sold.

If you can, go get some!

– Orion T

The Spirit of Christmas Present…

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And another Christmas Day has come and gone (almost midnight right now). We tried to be merry as many of us struggle with inconvenient news, emotional angst, and hardships. Yet, the best we can do throughout the day is share some warmth and light to others who may need it through support, prayer, gifts to others in need. In that collectivity, I hope this day was joyous in whatever way such can be delivered, or given to everyone taking part in this annual tradition.

– Orion T

Blurry Holidaze Light

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Christmas season lights at night are favorite visuals of the holiday season.

The arrangement of colors on a tree, across buildings, upon poles and mundane objects, making for a special time to enjoy the timeless tradition of dazzling modern decoration. Such a display is also fun to snap pictures of and experiment in the process.

I did so at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, getting the above shot, and this more abstract result…

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Very cheery!

Orion T 

 

A Frosty Sunday Morning

Here’s a little holiday season spirit from Frosty the Snowman.

Around him, the air is cold and wet. Yet,  here was Frosty with a smile, top hat, and a carrot nose; which helped to warm the heart of those around. There was also Santa Claus, and Mrs. Claus (first name unknown)…

Elves and reindeer, I think….

Then, some other strange creatures…

That was a little of my Sunday morning walk, and only time I spent outside for the weekend. I have missed much of the holiday festivities around here because of personal stuff. I just missed the annual Jungle Bell marathon, as most of its runners long passed the finish line before my arrival. There were many jolly people around, even though the morning rain poured. The finish line had a little fake snow blowing, welcoming those crossing over.

I think I got a lot more to say on all this, but for another day maybe…

Orion T

 

Festive cheers in Seattle at the Macy’s Holiday Parade

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Last Friday morning after Thanksgiving, many spectators took part in the yearly holiday tradition of a good old fashioned street parade. This one, being the 28th Annual Macy’s Holiday Parade, in Seattle.

This parade was cozy, small for over an hour through the narrow downtown streets. The weather remained chill, with a little bit of rain halfway through. Some arrived early, camped for the best views, while latecomers clamored for whatever spots were left.

The floats and performers were of many wholesome, non-corporate themes; mostly relating to timeless fun and the childish innocence of old toys and cuddly animals. Marching bands, dancers, unicyclists, candy throwers, city representatives added to this heady mix of holiday seasonal fun. Eventually, Santa Claus arrived on the end float, indirectly reminding many to get to their consumerist-powered gift-shopping done before Christmas Day.

Here are some pics of the parade. Enjoy, and have a happy and safe Holiday season.

Hey November!

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I almost titled today “Hey Newvember,”  because this month is feeling that fresh, and today feels special enough to usher that in. But, I love November for what it always is, and here we are again.

Why? Perhaps because change is in the air. We got the new holidays season coming around, a very notable Election Day coming up (to all US citizens, you better VOTE!), NaNoWriMo, Fall TV season schedules, a lot of football, other stuff I will remember later.

Yep, the Fall season is really kicking in, especially around here in the Pacific Northwest with the winds, rain, chills seeping in as they remind us to bundle up, close the windows, take some vitamins.

Bring it on!

– Orion T

 

Colorful Gardens at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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I recently visited the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Northern Washington State on a gray day this April. Some of that was detailed in my previous post, Colorful Views…). As amazing as the tulip fields were, I was also impressed by the Roozengaarde display garden area. Here, there are “90+ varieties of tulips and over 150 flower bulb varieties in total. Included are tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, muscari and other specialty flowers.”

The colors this time of year stand out, and a worthwhile attraction for tourists and locals in the Pacific Northwest. According to its website at tulips.com, the display garden is open all year round. Seeing these with the fields during the festival, is just an added bonus.

I now share some pics of the wonderful display garden below (click on each for the bigger picture):

The admiration and picture-taking was a joy, but personally seeing this for yourself is the best experience, especially with friends or family. For more info, click here and check out the Roozengaarde official site at Tulips.com for more info about tulips and purchase options

– Orion T

 

 

My 33 cents of V-Day Love

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Seriously, 33 cents worth of today candy all right here. Ugh, what a terrible effort.

Valentine’s Day is nearly over. I hope many of you made it special. I sadly, did not. But to make up for that, I leave a quote that should last longer than this one day..by Abraham Lincoln, inspired by Bill S. Esquire, and Ted “Theodore” Logan; bringing forward the connection we should share…

“Be excellent to each other.”

– Orion T

An early sign of Spring

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I can see a small hint of the coming season.

The cold winter can only last so long, and there is still more than a month of that to go. In wait, I will enjoy the naked trees, the grey moody skies, the wetter streets after a quiet rain. I love the new days as the dawn steadily rises a little earlier, and the set is bit more patient.

Meanwhile, I notice to the side as I walk. Some of the buds are peeking out, getting ready. No rush for the year to move forward, but I shall welcome this next Spring.

– Orion T

Snowy Wires Above.

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The electric transportation wires cross-crossed on Broadway and Pine in Seattle’s Capitol Hill are a mildly interesting sight to behold. Seeing them layered with snow bring a further specialness to the quiet night last Sunday, on Christmas Eve.

– Orion T

Merry Christmas Day!!

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Today, the streets remain quiet this Christmas Day, but the cheer remains.

Enjoy the spirit.

-Orion T

I took the picture recently from the famed Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle, in the quiet after hours of this Holiday Season.

A Rockin Christmas Eve…

We got some snow here in Seattle, this Christmas Eve.

The day is also very cold and the moment late for many just finished up on work. For me in the last night, I spent nearly half an hour almost asleep on the Light Link rail, finally arriving in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. And behold, the night is silent with a few walking about and most shops cold. Above, the spirit of Jimi Hendrix is half covered in snow, a perfect metaphor of the liveliness carried on though this silent night…

Meanwhile, sleep well. And for the next day…Merry Christmas!

– Orion T

A Celebration of Seattle, a Holiday Season Gingerbread Village Tribute

This year’s (25th) Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Seattle, is a celebration of the city itself and a must-see for local holiday deco enthusiasts.

This year marks the silver anniversary of the famed annual presentation, with “25 Years of Cheer: A Celebration of Seattle,” a creative, sugary take on visions of Seattle’s future, and past. There are multiple large displays, with structures, landscapes, things made mostly out of reinforced gingerbread, frosting, candy bits, gummies, jelly beans, frost, and other sugary silliness combined with LED lights and some animatronics. Each display developed from the work of an architecture firm and lead “chef.” Last year’s Gingerbread Village theme focused on Harry Potter, and Star Wars the year before.

Below are some pics of each display. Enjoy!

For those who wish to visit and view, The Gingerbread Village is now free to the public until January 1, 2018. It’s all located by the Sheraton (still hosting) across the street from at the City Centre building. You are also encouraged to also give a monetary amount to the JDRF Northwest Chapter. For more site and event information including bios on the designers and builders (and to donate directly), visit www.gingerbreadvillage.org.

Orion T

Pictures of Today 11/26/2017, Lights-Go-Round

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Today, after the sun fell, I passed by a special carousel in Seattle’s downtown Westlake Center, which only comes out for the holiday season around here. I had my good camera with me and took the above picture.

I enjoy the beauty of unfocused lights, as this setting gave much to the eye in variety and sizes. I love every megapixel of this moment. So much loved, I didn’t bother with cropping and or editing the result.

I then shot another picture, this time further our and focused, seconds before someone jumped on the horse…

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There is a special brilliance of a great carousel when fully illuminated at night. You see one, take a moment to stop and appreciate. Then maybe, go for a ride.

– Orion T

 

Picture of Today 11/20/2017, The Cold Scene

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I little earlier today in the afternoon, I recall the temperature at 45 degrees (F). The rain was heavy from the morning, and then came a break after with mild winds. Coming out to lunch, I felt the remainder of chill air.

The effect felt refreshing. Not sure why. I think perhaps, there’s something natural about this, mixed with the view of the trees over the fence upon Myrtle Edwards Park, with Elliot Bay in the distance. There, I noticed the leaves nearly gone from the trees, so much more than those of the inner Seattle City. being near the water, I am guessing the winds have done more work here, allowing more cold air to pass through from the sky above.

– Orion T

Hey Man, it’s Rainin’

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Hey man, take a look out the window ‘n’ see what’s happenin’
Hey man, it’s rainin’
It’s rainin’ outside man
Aw, don’t worry ’bout that
Everything’s gonna be everything
We’ll get into somethin’ real nice you know
Sit back and groove on a rainy day

– Jimi Hendrix, “Rainy Day, Dream Away”

The above picture was taken by me during a recent day in the rain, in Downtown Seattle. It was a good day.

– Orion T

 

Picture of Today 10/31/2017, Halloween Spirit

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Happy Halloween from here in Seattle…

Sadly, I did not dress up for this year’s spooky season. Sadly, I was not feeling heavy in the spirit. But, I saw many out there who were definitely in the Halloween spirit. Here in Seattle, this time was good for going outside in costume. Especially, being that we had no rain on this day, the first in 11 years since the Emerald City streets were wet for Trick or Treaters.

I took a few pictures of some dressed for the day…

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An undead cop, with excellent makeup done by Brian Flynn (@aglasscannon on Instagram).

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Morpheus, at the Goodwill store in Cap Hill.  Ask him, and he will offer a choice of the red or blue pill. Choose wisely.

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A group of jellyfish passing me by.

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That’s all for now. I enjoyed the spirit of Halloween silliness passing by, and that is enough. Cheers and Happy Halloween!

– Orion T

 

 

Fall Colors in the Kubota Garden

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For those dwelling around in the Pacific Northwest, there is a medium-sized park, open to the public in Seattle, to view the best seasonal colors in nature. You should go there now, while the scenery is very Fall-tastic.

This place is the Kubota Garden, a 20-acre Japanese garden in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. The park is named after Fujitaro Kubota, a Japanese emigrant and horticultural pioneer who blended his Japanese design techniques with North American materials here, starting off in 1927. Fujitaro died in 1973 at age 94, hoping the land would eventually become public. In 1981, the land became a historic landmark.  In 1987, the land became public, and since became an attraction for visitors. In late 2017, it was my turn.

Kubota Garden is beautiful with every step inside. The walkways are crooked and intertwined, leading to little sights worth a long gaze. Such are small ponds, little structures of wood and rock, bridges, waterfalls, with a variety of uncommon trees and shrubbery. All quiet and peaceful, leaving the noise of the world to the distance.

I came here on the advice of a friend, who suggested this as a place to relax, and avoid the troubles of the world for at least an hour. By public transport, this was an easy destination (about an hour if taking the rail from downtown, then a short bus transfer). I arrived, not considering the grandness of the place, or a map.

This brought me much joy in the heart, to explore, and not finding any particular pattern or sense to the pathways of the place. I felt lost and didn’t want to be found for a while. I found many little partially mossed benches, shadowy coverings by spidery trees, and open grassy spots perfect for a picnic. I would stop here and there, sitting down and watching birds and dogs being walked by. And perfect for this day, was the amazing colors of the Fall season, with an awesome variety in every view.

The only regret here is my arrival so very late in the day. The evening was close, and I had to leave for a meeting. I did take some pictures, showing the amazing Fall-ness of it all. Click on each for a full look:

I shall come back here again, for a longer visit and for every season.

-Orion T

Picture of Today 9/25/2017, Early Risings..

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Dropped by the friendly neighborhood thrift shops in search of some cords and things today. I see the Halloween decorations and costumes are early up, and ready for the shopping. I enjoy the sights of things most at thrift stores, especially those in Capitol Hill, Seattle.

Above are some masks fitting better for those in spirit for the Mexican holiday, Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead. Its history is traced back further than the popular All Saint’s Eve or Halloween, with its roots reaching back 3,000 years ago in Aztec culture. It’s modern take is the result of many twists and turns through intersecting cultures and religions. Reading up on this, I felt a bit fascinated and curious towards anything locally going on for this coming Day of the Dead, which coincides with Halloween.

Until then, it’s nice to see local shops are prepping early for these interesting spooky days ahead.

Picture of Today 9/21/2017, Goodbye Summer

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Today is the last day of Summer 2017 for the Northern Hemisphere. I hope you took some great looks at the grown green, especially if you’re in the Pacific Northwest, for it’s all coming down soon. Along with it, the warm weather and brighter days.

Yet, I think there will be as much to appreciate in the coming Fall. Wait and see…

Picture of Today 6/8/2017, the End of Day

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Here comes the night, a little earlier than usual.

– Orion T

The picture was taken from my phone, in the International District of Seattle. The weather is a little cold for June day, and breezy; a fitting end for a day mixed with rain and sunshine.

Picture of Today 5/1/2017 – May Day

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Today was a calm May Day, for nothing too troubling happened here in the Emerald City of Seattle (or so I heard). There were many small marches throughout the day, and no riots.

But, I did happen to observe heavily some evening happenings in the Westlake Center Park of Downtown Seattle. Some pro-Trump supporters arrived and verbally clashed with anti-Trump supporters. Also among them, the usual anti-capitalists, religious promoters, climate-change activists, self-made superheroes,  anti-war groups (some were war vets, I was told), anarchists, and curious tourists. From a close distance and ready, were many armored police officers standing around with batons in hand.

But, most of the local attention circulated around the various tense confrontations between the pro- and anti- Trump groups. Though I heard much childish banter and expletives being thrown about, there was some intelligent talking and debate that occurred. Such civility was strangely refreshing. If we all can’t along, then lets at least talk.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 12/29/16, Holiday Leftovers..


A little leftover from the holidays, of which I have missed much.

The reasons, never mind. I was occupied with much else. Such is only that one begans to feel such things over the latent appreciation of them. Perhaps, to be preoccupied with other non-seasonal matters, the surroundings of things can distract. Yet, there are beautiful lights and things demanding of attention. That’s a lot of the holiday deco of which I was quite used to in this otherwise usual holiday season. 

Yet, here I was on the way home in the Westlake Center of Downtown Seattle. The rain was heavy, and my shopping bag of groceries soaked. I stopped and looked about, considering the best direction to buy a new umberella. The, I noticed much of the decorated lights along the streets and buildings, gone. The giant Christmas tree with adorned bulbs and sparkly lights, gone. The decorated cart selling hot cocoa and chewy holiday bits, gone. Yet, there was that Seasonal carousel, still there…slowly spinning in the dense rain and darkness. 

It will be gone, likely after the New Year’s time has ended. And that will be, no more holidays. In 11 months, perhaps again. But until then, just the memory we take for granted. At least I have the moment for now.

 – Orion T