Leaves after a good shower…

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus, French philosopher, author, and journalist

Here are some wet, wonderful leaves from within Licton Springs Park, a small park in North Seattle. This cozy spot I recommend to wanderers, to take in deep, exciting colors after a long autumn rain. The leaves are now scattered everywhere, many still strong on the trees while others cling to the muddy ground. All are plenty across bridges and steams, connected by damp pathways through a lush mini-forest in the middle of an old neighborhood. This is a little, wondrous place worthy of adventuring for a small time.

Here are recent pictures from my phone…

Orion T

Fallen Blossoms in the Early Spring

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The Seattle weather has been very fickle lately. The sunshine remains infrequent and the rain a familiar thing that happens 2-3 days a week. Below, are the cherry trees of early spring, reaching the peak of bloom throughout the Emerald City for this year.

Locally, more blossoms have fallen into scatters. The recent rains dampened many, keeping them moist until the groundskeepers collect. Until then, here are some shots last Sunday morning through a local stroll in Seattle’s Freeway Park…

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 7/7/2017, Music in the Park

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A small concert presentation in the park is a pleasant way to end the afternoon and move gently into the evening.

Such was today, passing through Freeway Park in downtown Seattle. The happening was a welcome surprise put on by the Seattle Chamber Music Society for their Summer Festival. The small event was free, before a gathering of locals relaxed in chairs and lawn spaces.

My ears appreciated and enjoyed the music. I hope to randomly find more when walking in the parks.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 7/2/2017, Breezy Sunday

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Just a lazy Sunday for this time, where nothing matters but the wildflowers in the breeze. The time is around 5:30 pm.

Such is a peaceful moment, after waking up from a long nap on a random chair in Olympic Park, Seattle. The weekend has been kind, with the summer weather I wanted, and time away from the troubles of the world. The cruise ship in the distance is large, with at least six or seven stories above deck. I watch it move slowly across the sparkly waters of Elliot Bay. Such a life I imagine for those many on board; to worry not on things, for the moment.

Orion T

The picture was taken from my outdated smartphone. However, It does well for closeups. See…

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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

A Snowy Morning in Kobe Terrace Park

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Seattle morning just last Monday, I awoke to witness the beautiful snow blanketing the city. I walked towards work, with a detour to one particular small park upon a hill, where the overnight snowfall revealed a new world.

That park is Kobe Terrace (in Seattle’s International District), a small enclosed area with a community garden upon a hill, all overlooking to the southwest distance of Seattle. Anytime is a good time to visit throughout the year. Though some particular times are better than others.

This time was short and quite wonderful, being a winter wonderland surrounded by cherry trees, small garden pots, and Japanese style deco wooden structures. Even with the noisy freeway nearby, one can feel the serenity brought in by the fresh overnight snow (about one inch, I was told). I could easily imagine traveling through the country town of Hokkaido, Japan; for at least the 30 minutes to myself, before arriving at nearby work thereafter.

Snow in this area is rare, as the Seattle central area is low and distant from the mountain regions. Such occurs once or twice a year, if lucky. For this time, the snow continued to fall until the noontime. Shortly after, the rain washed much of away, leaving a different beautiful setting (of which I will share in my next post).

These pictures below and the memory with them, are very worthwhile to share for this wonderful little moment away…

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– 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 3/9/16, Between the Rains..

My favorite little tree has plenty silkish white blossoms under the gray sky today. It was quite wet from the torrenting showers throughout the day.

You’ll find this tree in the Jim Ellis Freeway Park in Downtown Seattle, next to a underpass walkway under a small road bridge that cuts through the small area. I am uncertain of it’s kind. It is wonderful enough to behold enough without further clarification, especially more between the rain.

Also, Spring is coming. I have a feeling it’s going to be a wet one. Keep your umbrellas near..

– Orion T

Picture of Today 3/2/2016, Afternoon Delight

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This American Robin is a simple city bird within the noisy and complex Downtown od Seattle. Yet, it makes the most of the local city park behind the Washington State Convention Center, taking time to enjoy the small pockets of nature between the concrete floors in the shadows of the surrounding towers. For the afternoon, it goes the healthy route and eats small berries, one at a time. Soon it will flutter away, perhaps to its nest to relax and read something.

I try and do the same.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 11/22/15, As I Age…

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A little motivation from others, during a nice day walk through city park.

Located within the Jim Ellis Freeway Park, very close to the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. That board is erased and begins anew at times I do not know..

Orion T

Picture of Today 11/1/15, The New November

 
Just a beautiful moment in a small city park (Denny Park in Seattle)…

This day is Sunday, and after Halloween. Also, overnight rain happened of which the Pacific lands need. The amounts did not overwhelm, yet were sufficient for the more leaves to fall. The time change also added to this new November, bringing the darkness in a little earlier. Add the notably colder temperatures, and I feelthe difference in this Fall season turning point. 

I look forward.

Carkeek Park Adventures, Part 1

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A weekend adventure outside the concrete jungle life..

This time at Carkeek Park, a small 220 acre woodland to the north of the Ballard district of Seattle. The area has much greatness hidden through its joggable trails; wetlands, orchards, grass picnic areas, and a beach with so much more. But for me it had a lot of peace and quiet, which I needed for much of this weekend.

I also took pictures (below)

I stayed on mostly two trails, The Piper Trail to my destination, and the South Ridge on my return trip. Most of these trails are easy and friendly for the casual hiker or jogger. The signs aren’t always at all the fork splits, so it might be good to have a printed map. This is not so much for getting lost, but to make sure you reach the right destination point, or to leave where you walked in (I took the bus here).

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Soon on the Piper Trail, the Piper Orchard. A series of fruit and nut trees planted over 100 years ago by the Piper Family. There are bags tied around the fruits, with signs kindly asking people not to take.

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Lots of moss here in the late summer. I love seeing moss on trees.

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A creek where salmon are known to travel, in the past at least. The running water keeps me calm.

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My favorite thing about woodland hikes, the odd tree formations and collapses. One could just let their imaginations run wild with this.

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I also love to see some crazy root action when on the upper trails. This was on the South Ridge trail after an upward crawl.

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Half a tree..

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I wanted to capture some pics of birds here. I can hear them all about up high. But here I think, the birds are shy and keep their distance from the constant humans passing through. I can hear many, see nothing. But, I enjoyed what I had anyway..

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A variety of life, and some death.

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Still no birds, and not much in sects either. But I had plenty for the imagination..

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Not a medium park trail unless someone leaves a visible message somewhere..

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The end, or beginning of things. This was my destination and rest area, the beach area of Carkeek Park. I am immediately reminded from the sky of the wildfires throughout the Pacific Northwest, causing this hazy sky. More on that, as I will post pics and notes of that in Part 2, coming soon.

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  – Orion T

Pictures of Today 6/19/15, Little Park Friends

I love birds, as I am considering a new hobby in ornithology.

This moment is my third time seeing the white-capped sparrow on the same tree in Denny Park, in Seattle. You may see them upon the center trees there, singing often, then fluttering away quickly when noticed. This time I sneaked a pic with some evening sunlight, for awesome effect.

Also in the same park, but during the morning on the way to work.. I noticed my ol friend, Sam Squirrel; hidden beneath, probably on some important mission. Good Luck Sam!!

 

Orion T

Sakura Spring Fallings, Part 2

See this amazing world within, hidden from the outside troubles and turmoil. Find this little place, as the reward itself is a peaceful escape for the mind and soul.

This little world, is within the Kobe Terrace Park of Seattle’s International District. All its cherry trees, are aside concrete pathways, zig-zagged upon a hillside. The time is often quiet, if one can exclude the noisy rumble of the nearby freeway and downtown city highlife. Then but infrequent, the light rain accelerates the petals of the cherry blossom trees to fall. When under the dense cover of these trees, one can focus on the gentle sound of the raindrops. And with increased rainfall, more white petals fall in very slow and graceful descent.

The result, is wonderous.