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

Blossoms in the wind

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“And so the spring buds burst, and so I gaze,
And so the blossoms fall, and so my days …”

– Uejima Onitsura, Japanese haiku poet of the Edo period, 1660-1738)

The above picture was during a recent rush to work in downtown Seattle. This flurry of loosened cherry blossoms, as I admired the surreality. They would almost fall to the ground, then scatter down the street in random directions, never to be seen again.

– Orion T

 

Snowy conditions in the PNW

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Pacific Northwest weather report summary:

The area is still snowy with icy conditions on the roads. Some rain is mixed in with some breaks revealing the usual clouds.  More snow is likely the way in many areas. Remain extra cautious if driving, and don’t do anything stupid.

– Orion T

 

The Late Awakened City

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This morning, my eyes winced at the unusually bright light; blazing through the windows of my Seattle workplace. There was an odd distraction about it, while I slowly consumed my lukewarm morning coffee.

Such was unexpected on this day of cloud dominance with a wide range of greys hues and deep shadows. Below was dark, kept in shadows for a surreal time. What a dream to live I thought, and when will the day really wake up?

The picture was taken from my crappy smartphone. Sometimes that’s enough to capture a good moment.

Orion T

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

 

Under the Poison Sky

Seattle has the worst city sky in the world now, according to my news feed lately.

That’s probably right, according to my lungs. There is much smoke in the air now, mainly from wildfires to the north of here in the Cascades region and Canada. The Air Quality Index had the height of the latest round as a unhealthy hazard at 220, which I read is like smoking 7 packs of cigarettes. This might explain why I feel so very relaxed lately.

Right now, the smoke is applying a filter to the partially visible Moon, giving it an eerie red glow. I tried to leave my window open, to let in some nightly air, but ugh…still not good. My small apartment will remain musty for now, as I now go for an extra helping of Chocolate Cherry Bordeaux ice cream. This is not how I imagined my future, but it’s how I must live now.

Tomorrow, I hear the smoke will partly thin out. That’s good, and hopefully an end to this third sequenced year of the mass smoky blanket of hell, rudely interrupting my summer. And then, I think I will appreciate the return of a good clear day, much more.

– 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