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

A Fallen Bloom

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Above is a time last week, between the sunshine and gloom. The morning brought some Spring rain, gentle and calming for an otherwise busy week.

I passed a tree with fresh pink blooms, a casual wonder to behold. Upon the ground, were freshly fallen blooms still wet from their recent shower….

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The location is within Freeway Park in downtown Seattle, by the Cultural Landscape Fountain. You may find me there on the weekdays, walking through on the morning or evening. Sometimes there, I sit down on a nearby bench and ruminate.

Orion T

See the Black Squirrel..

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Here above is a squirrel in black, for which I have not seen in this pigment until my recent visit to Vancouver. I watched them, and perhaps they watched me.

Thier behavior differed a bit from the normal gray city squirrels of the Pacific Northwest US, of which I have seen mostly around the University of Washington campus. The black squirrels seem more shy to the cameras, and seemingly a bit faster and slightly smaller.

I learned through local folk and the googling, much about these squirrel mutagenic variants. Such are uncommon to see unless in some collective habitat (Midwestern and some Mideastern US, Eastern Canada), parts of the UK). However, I came across a gathering of many scuttling about through the center of Stanley Park, in Vancouver, Canada. Such are offshoots of the common gray and fox squirrels, leading to the darker gray to the very black. They can endure the cold weather better, and blend in with the dark. I heard these are not originally native to the Vancouver area but brought over some decades ago (possibly in 1914 according to one Wikipedia source), but I have yet to find the exact info.

Here is another one, living the simple life…

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and a short bonus video of more, recently put upon my Instagram (travelingorion, follow me there!).

#squirrels #squirrelsofinstagram #citynature @reside.outside

A post shared by Orion T (@travelingorion) on

 

I love squirrels 🙂

– Orion T

Pictures and notes by Traveling Orion, (Orion Tippens). For external use for public use, please contact and obtain permission first.

Pictures of the Fall 2016, Leaves Away and Soon Gone..

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My favorite part of the Fall is the scatter of leaves. They bring a sense of serenity in the midst of changing weather, with new winds and storms ushering the cold ahead. There can be a bit of melancholy about them when you apply character. They had their run and now must rest until there is wither and end. But first, take in the beauty of the loveliness shown with the sort of lush greenery and return to nature brought, especially in the cityscapes of which I often pass through.

They add to the quiet, and for some also the loneliness of mundane life. You can become part of it, and be still. Let it all sink in, and watch as more leaves gather. Especially on a Sunday, the simplicity of it all brings serenity before the usual workweek schedule takes over.

Like many wonderful things, there will be an eventual end. Fall to me can be warmer than spring to the emotional spirit feeling loneliness within. The leaves make good friends when my feet are among them until taken away by landscapers with their leaf blowers machines and crude metal rakes, or withered by time; hard to decide which is the crueler. The trees above will be stripped to face the coming cold, naked and silent until the rescue of spring next year. I shall empathize with them until then. But for now, I shall take more walks and love the Fall moments while they last…

– Orion T

Pictures above and below, taken at the Jim Ellis Freeway Park in Downtown Seattle, by me in the early November at different days and times…

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Picture of Today 6/29/16, Hello Summer


I’m a little late waking up, and so is the summer. Yet, here we are now with blue skies and shady trees.

I hear the weather down in much of the southwest US has hit triple digit Fahrenheit. Coming from there the Southern California regions, I do not miss that sticky heat. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the summer works better on me. I now feel upper 70s, early 80s F weather, with occasional surprise showers. Such would be prefect, if I didn’t spend so much of it cooped indoors, doing grown-up things like working and figuring out finances. Still, the summer is early, and I think more of these good warm days will be waiting. I shall strive to not miss them..

– Orion T

Picture of Today 6/9/16, Today is still Spring..

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“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'”  – Robin Williams

Though I look forward to Summer as the extension of Spring, so it’s an extra long party. Fall will be the hangover.

– Orion T