Gazing upon the Fence of Doors of Vashon Island

Doors are important in most stories. These are transitive devices, that hold the way to one world as small and familiar as one’s own home, or to another world as vast and ready to explore as our universe itself. Either side, is a new story waiting to be told.

That said, is my highlight of a favorite little spot on Vashon Island to the west of Seattle), celebrating the awesomeness of doors in pop culture, with a fence made of many to the side of a house bordering a small alley. For a visitor to find, is to either stumble upon it or be learn of it. This spectacle is not easily noticeable otherwise.

Each colorful, styled door is in reference to some iconic pop-culture staple. Here is a closer look. Try and figure them out.

From left to right, I believe (might have a couple mixed up) we have Sherlock Holmes, Muppet Show, Harry Potter, Twilight Zone, Friends, Shrek, Hobbit, Doctor Who, Winnie the Pooh, Lord of the Rings, Monsters Inc, Napoleon Dynamite, Mystery Date, Christmas Carol, and Chronicles of Narnia (out of frame).

Upon my visit with a couple friends, we had a chance to chat with the artist, and builder of these doors, John “Oz” Osborne. He is a local resident, also very friendly and welcoming toward admirers of his work. He shared a little history, which began as a plan to keep his yard less visible to the local business activity across the alley. His wife, Jenny developed the idea further, as both worked together to expand each part of the fence, one door at a time. The work is still continual, with more space left for more doors.

John explained the most curious of doors, in the picture of the above on the right (him to the right taking a break from painting his own house). This door is in reference to an old board game intended for young girls, Mystery Date. The idea of the game was to gain a desirable date, but avoid the “dud.”

For those visiting Vashon Island, the Fence of Doors is worth personally checking out. Also, see what’s been added with the passage of time. It’s open for all to see, from a small side street. Location is 100th pl SW and 174th street, behind Luna Bella’s consignment boutique.

For those who may never get a chance to visit the little obscure area of the Pacific Northwest, here’s my little video posted on Instagram…

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The beauty of a Pacific Northwest escape, to Vashon Island

It’s been a while, almost too long.

That, for the writing and telling of the better parts of my life, lately long overshadowed by the constant darker shades of pandemic restrictions, the mental weardown of my social circles, and the frustration off the latest news reports. Much of that darkness has been coiled with the confines of the pandemic and partial shutdowns. I spent much time not by traveling or seeing what’s new in my neighborhood, but through the video chats, gaming, long text sessions with distant friends. My work life is mixed, with short assignments, freelance,and straight hustling.

But eventually, I must take time out. I must breathe out in the open, ruminate, refresh, energize in a setting that fits as an escape. So with some very good friends, I took that time and made the best of that plan, by travel to somewhere distant, but not too far.

I returned to Vashon Island, a solid livable mass of 80.8 square miles (209.3 km) to near West Seattle within the beautiful waterways of Puget Sound. The population is a little over 10,000 locals. Less than an hour from home, and then an hour at most through the Vashon Island Ferry from the Fauntleroy Terminal.

I have much to say about Vashon Island, its current state with locals and adaptation to the global pandemic. I also made some new discoveries, and had a lot of fun with companions. Spoiler…I recommend it for anyone that’s Covid 19 conscience, and wants to visit a place that is also that.

I will share more on that experience very soon. In the meantime, just enjoy these capture moments of just getting there…

The sweetly street sights of Seattle’s Ballard District

The days are packed for me, yet the sidewalks still seem empty during this weird pandemic time.

I recently took to the streets of Ballard, a northern district Seattle with a quiet small town feel, lined with boats and docks to the west. It’s an area often missed by visitors with little tourist draw, yet plenty for those loving the deep Pacific Northwest charm of old shops, restaurants, decades old buildings, hints of history throughout, and some cheerful little oddities.

Recently, I finished some extra work in Ballard, which took about a week of back and forth commutes, filled with sorting and paperwork. After the last hours of that assignment, I looked to the sky with plenty of daylight left, inhaled the cool summer evening breeze. With comfy shoes and a half charge phone with no messages to respond to, I went for a long pointless walk around Ballard.

Much remained closed and limited from the ongoing pandemic. Few persons were seen scattering about, probably with purposes of commuting back home, not the aimless adventuring I love. The weekday evening might as well been a Sunday morning, as most remain in their homes.

I would not go home just yet, as I held free time and a thirst for adventure has no schedule. I dive in with comfy shoes, a half-charged phone.

Here are some street sights taken then, with notes….

Here is a cool vintage car, 50’s I think. I’m not sure on further details, but it’s a nice combination of beautiful metal shapes and shines.

I love some good wheels, as none should ever go to waste. Let them inspire other working wheels along the way!

I see not a pipe, but an elephant bellhop standing before me! This was to the side of the Mox Boarding House, a highly recommended hub for tabletop gamers (next to Card Kingdom).

Not a pandemic sign. I learned this was to promote…something…by some years ago by local writer Isaac Marion. If you call the number, there’s a very cryptic and bizarre message. More on that here.

Twice Sold Tales Books store in Ballard (different than the one in Capitol Hill). It was closed, but I love the sign!!! There’s not enough signs with dinosaurs on them.

The Ballard Consignment Store, with giant dogs guarding the entrance…

I really like the dress pattern in the window of the Monster Art and Clothing Shop.

Yeah, it’s Starbucks. It still counts as local for Seattle as the business was born and remains HQed here. But for this location, I love the practical recycled used of old boxcars.

Ballard Brothers Seafood & Burgers and Taco Mamas restaurant. Great food and service inside, wonderful local art by Henry on the outside.

The other side…

And more. I love Henry’s work. It’s super cheerful and very PNW.

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed these memories of my little walk. And, if I missed anything, I would love to know more for a future trip in the comments below!

The simple life of the Black Oystercatcher

Haematopus bachmani, aka the Black Oystercatcher doesn’t really catch oysters. It’s catches mussels, limpets, barnacles, and various shellfish, all do well for their natural diet.

The Black Oystercatcher loves rocky shorelines, and often seen along the North American Pacific Coast. They don’t like human development or high industrialization where pollution and disturbances to their nesting areas disrupt their delicate existence.¬†

I took the above picture a few months ago from the Seattle Aquarium, which this little bit of info from its seattleaquarium.org site:

Oystercatchers nest and spend winters in the same basic area. They‚Äôre monogamous‚ÄĒthe same two birds will return to the nest they create together, season after season. They make nests near rocky tidal areas where food abounds. By flipping their bills sideways and backwards, the birds toss rock flakes, pebbles and shell fragments to create a nest that resembles a bowl. Each pair will raise a clutch of eggs (one to three eggs) at a time. If anything happens to a clutch, pairs will raise two or more clutches until they have a successful brood.”

Black Oystercatchers are often very noisy, for reasons I could not uncover. Those noises are a little silly and cute, different from other avians. I love them for that…

That’s why I am sharing this joy of nature now. Maybe this will cheer you and others in this long, difficult pandemic time, for at least a moment. Then, feel free to make a little silly noise of your own.

Orion T

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Reflecting over what happens for happiness…

Not much happened over the weekend, and that may be a good thing…

That space gave me time to ponder, walk around, talk to people, participate in a project study, meet new friends, learn a little Python coding, fix my laptop, give a good hard look a change in direction, write some short stories which I will someday publish.

Okay, that’s a lot to reflect on. Yet still, not much really happened over the weekend because that was a lot of great moments that’s don’t imply drama, follow-up, expressing of concern of spreading the emotion of some great joy or sadness felt. I just had time to live in some great moments, that just developed with myself, friends, strangers. This was a all mixture of entertainment, study, creativity, sharing, pondering with some light planning. All happened, but passing through in a relaxing, smiling flow.

Oh, never mind. A lot happened, now that I reflect on my writing here.

Orion T

The picture above, I took last Friday night after some heavy rain, at the University of Washington. Here is the Suzallo Library on campus, an amazing building with a Hogwartsesque main reading room. I passed by that buildng last night in the dark, cold lonely night, with an urge to take pictures of the this beautiful observed moment. I really liked this shot, but wish I had a better camera to capture the fine details.

Up and about Portland in wintertime

Within the wet winters of the Pacific Northwest, can be the best fresh air and beautiful blue skies. Gazing high, I see freshness and the gentle passing of new time, bringing light and hope to a world that can feel pretty dark sometimes.

Below, I enjoy the often quiet breaks after the bursts of wet, gloomy, rough weather. That goes double for me when out of my big city, and into a neighboring city. Because then, I find more of what I miss.

Recently, I was Portland (Oregon), enjoying some beautiful hours from the weekend. In the morning after a heavy night of heavy showers, I enjoy its calm feel under the bare trees, vintage architecture, setting upon its often quirky gluten-free option heavy atmosphere.

The streets seemed almost empty last Saturday morning, with fewer humans walking about. I stopped by one of the many food truck blocks, seeing them all mostly closed until after the noontime hits.

And you can walk around easy, aimlessly enjoy the open streets, hum a little song, because “Keep Portland Weird” is a community push. I had my usual destinations before my business to do here. I don’t come often, but I never forget my sense of direction through the the central downtown. I know all the main spots I love, especially the Courthouse Square, Cameron’s Books, Ground Kontrol Arcade, Voodoo Donuts, Multnomah County Central Library, a bunch of favorite quirky stores and restaurants through all over the city, and some great parks to let that fresh outside air sink through to the heart.

And, I can never forget Powell’s Books, a place I end up often spending an excessive amount of time indoors. It’s also here, where I easily forget how pleasant the outside is.

I will have to talk more about Powell’s Books, in a feature to its own someday. But for now, here is a picture that best represents me in the Portland moment.

– 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.

To look inside for the way out…

‚ÄúWhen the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.‚ÄĚ

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 ‚Äď 1930), author of Sherlock Holmes

I passed by a local bike shop, Free Range Cycles, in the Fremont district of north Seattle. It’s a good start for a better escape, but closed at the moment. However, I did peek inside admiring the sunlight merchandise. Here, is beauty observed of the stillness of these human-powered metal steeds. The look of the bicycle is a timeless, natural design, that I think serves as an extension of real body practicality. I admire the many parts both attached and loose, mixed in shiny metal, smooth leather, and mighty rough rubber. I love all here; meant to make local travel simple, enjoyable, yet empowering and healthy.

Hmm.

-Orion T

The dreamy morning float

Here, an amazing view from high up my downtown Seattle metropolis, with a mix of dark and lights cloud tones, as peek sunshine and light rain dance slowly about. Meanwhile, the vastness of Elliot Bay provides a smooth, peaceful surface. The Olympic Mountains are beyond, hidden not quite ready to share the scene. I appreciate the moment in short, observing that trancing beauty echoed into future otherworldly inspiration.

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 …‚ÄĚ

– 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

 

 

Colorful Views at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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A few days ago, me and local friends ventured out north in the Washington state to the rural area of Skagit Valley by Mount Vernon, to check out its annual Tulip Festival. This wonderful time throughout April is when the tulip farms are at their colorful peak, growing miles of freshly blooms tulips and daffodils. Designated areas for up close viewing are open to the public, with a small admission charge

For the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival of 2018, there are multiple areas to visit and check out, as I entered the Roozengaarde Display Garden and Fields. Stunning place it is, even with the gray weather and muddy grounds (rained hard the day before). I admired and learned much of the tulip life and care that goes into them. I also took some pictures, of which the fields are shared below (click on each to fully appreciate):

The festival time goes on until the end of the month. The tourism on the weekend can be a bit heavy, especially if the rain is gone and the sun is shining. So, be ready¬†for a slow drive when close and lines at the entrance and foot court. It’s all well worth it with friends and family.

For more info, check out tulipfestival.org.

I meanwhile, also show many great up-close shots of the tulips in their enclosed garden area, of which I will share in another post. Look forward!

– Orion T

 

 

 

The Second Sunset past Seven

The best thing about this new daylight saving time change, is more time to savor a good sunset. Especially, with the warm weather.

So I did, behind the Pile Place Market in the new deck area. The shot above is from my phone, with its last bit of battery life before shutting down.

– Orion T

The Revolving Winter

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I feel there is a little confusion in recent weather changes.

In the Seattle area, we had a little snow in the recent days. Depending on what part, which can range from one zip code to another, can be very little or a lot of a little. Before the snow, there was a mix of sunshine and light rain, which helped push forward some early blooms. Now the air is chill, with predictions of slight temperature raises in the coming days. The snow in and around my area has become a memory, though may return. The blooms meanwhile, seem hesitant.

Just wait and see.

– Orion T

The Long Winter in the Pacific Northwest…

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According to a recent article in the Seattle Times, there were only three full sunny days in Seattle, with mild temperature since October start.

The last of them was a month ago on February 13th, a month ago. The other days have been a mix of gloom and rain. And compared to the prior years, the trees have shown barely any sign of bloom and leafing. I personally miss the cherry blossoms, which would normally bloom in the pics above. But not all is melancholy, for the days here are what you make of them.

There is a feeling of just another natural cycle taking place. Perhaps, the spirit of nature or whatever you believe is in control, making up for the prior warmer years. I feel the need to enjoy whatever is offered. And there is plenty of natural beauty. You just have to look up and around.

But, I really hope the cherry blossoms come around soon.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 4/27/16, Loose Morels

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Just one of the many things one with a filled wallet can buy from the world-famous Pike Place Market in Seattle. And here is an¬†entry from good ol Wikipedia¬†about this unusual and expensive fungi…

“Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible mushrooms closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi. These distinctive fungi appear honeycomb-like, with their cap composed of a network of ridges with pits. Morels are sought by thousands of enthusiasts every spring for their supreme taste and the joy of the hunt, and are highly prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine.

Morels have been called by many local names; some of the more colorful include dryland fish, because when sliced lengthwise then breaded and fried, their outline resembles the shape of a fish; hickory chickens, as they are known in many parts of Kentucky; and merkels or miracles, based on a story of how a mountain family was saved from starvation by eating morels. In parts of West Virginia, they are known as molly moochers or muggins. Due to the partial structural and textural similarity to some species of Poriferans (sponges), a common name for any true morel is sponge mushroom.

The scientific name of the genus Morchella is derived from morchel, an old German word for mushroom (this may be another source for the name “merkel”), while morel itself is derived from the Latin maurus meaning brown.”

There is some ominous warnings about the dangers of eating morels at the bottom of the wiki entry..

Morels contain small amounts of hydrazine toxins that are removed by thorough cooking; morel mushrooms should never be eaten raw. It has been reported that even cooked morels can sometimes cause mild symptoms of upset stomach when consumed with alcohol.[49]

When eating this mushroom for the first time it is wise to consume a small amount to minimize any allergic reaction. As with all fungi, morels for consumption must be clean and free of decay. Morels growing in old apple orchards that had been treated with the insecticide lead arsenate may accumulate levels of toxic lead and arsenic that are unsuitable for human consumption”

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

– Orion T,

 

 

Picture of Today 2/7/16, the Winter Wonder of Mt. Rainer..

 

Along the 90 freeway to Bellevue over Lake Washington, earlier today…

In the distance, I see Mount Rainier with more snow upon than last year. It’s a beautiful sight, as its surroundings from the passenge seat I sit to the peaks yonder, astound and delight. I love especially how the top seems hidden, leaving little mystery to those who dare imagine the nesting dragons above.

Orion T

Weekend Adventuring in Olympia, Washington

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Check out the Olympia town in Washington State, when exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Olympia¬†a wonderful stop,¬†halfway between the Portland and Seattle cities, close to the 5 and one 101¬†freeway intersection. This area is also the best stop for food and a stretch when traveling the between the major cities in no particular hurry. You’ll find much¬†to love for any length of time you spend here.

A few things special about Olympia. You will find much art around many corners, more notably upon the walls of allies and businesses. This brings much color and uniqueness to the area. There are also some fantastic sources for literature, with some bookstores I checked out (Browsers Book Store and Danger Room Comics Store). The variety of food is excellent, with the best of it from local businesses. Also, lots of vintage antiques are also visible and up for buying. In between and throughout, you may also notice multiple signs of social activism and awareness with Black Lives Matters signs, climate change awareness, and other messages of modern progressivism. Olympia shows character aplenty in its overall presentation.

For me, it was all about stepping out from the weekday work stress. With a friend as company, I went to explore, and seek interesting visuals, eats, and a little shopping. Olympia did not disappoint, as this was my second visit to the city. Last visit, I barely walked around. This time,we had no particular direction here, other than its main downtown center.

Here are some findings in pictures, with some more notes on the area..

One of Olympia’s prominent buildings, the Old Capitol Building. It’s now the office home of the¬†Superintendent of Public Instruction since 1906. Before in Sylvester Park, stands John Rankin Rogers..twice governor of Washington State, who believed in giving¬†a fair education to “every poor son of the commonwealth.”

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Some up close sculpting on that building. Love the detail here..

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The charming outside of Darby’s Cafe and neighboring local businesses on a 5th avenue block. I love the random little deco touches¬†upon this old¬†building…

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The Capitol Theater across the street from Darby’s. I love the look of this old movie theater, and will look into seeing its inside in a future visit.

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The inside of Darby’s Cafe, to a wall of wild art…

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Above and around inside Darby’s Cafe, a tribute to the Wizard of Oz. The food was quite good too. I had a Brocco Burger (Broccoli, white cheddar, other good stuff) with fries (a bit too much they give) and a root beer float (root beer can be replaced with an alcoholic alternative). All quite good, and filling¬†enough until¬†my trip back to the Emerald City.

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Some art on the side of The Great Cuisine of India restaurant.  Many of the following pics are select examples of the overall mural art scene of the Olympia area.

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The Olympia Rafah Solidarity Mural. from About this from olympiarafahmural.org. “Four thousand sq. ft., interdisciplinary mural with over 200 participants from all over the world. Project celebrates and mourns Rachel Corrie through action. Rachel was born in Olympia and killed in Gaza when run over by an Israeli driven bulldozer in 2003. ORSMP mourns and celebrates the lives of all who struggle for justice.”

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Up close on a select section of the Rafah Mural..

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A mural inside the alley of next to the building of the Old School Pizzeria. A wonderful and very colorful tribute to the imagination..

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The best thing for us comic nerds out there, this old school tribute to the classic Marvel Comics. Located to the side of the Old School Pizzeria. I love this.

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The inside of the Old School Pizzeria is pretty awesome too. Lots of vintage nostalgia all around, and the pizza was pretty awesome too.

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Capitol Lake, with what I think is the Washington State House of Representatives capitol building.

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The lake itself is very serene, and calming for anyone who enjoys a nice walk in the park.

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That’s all for now on this amazing area of the Pacific Northwest. I will be back, with a look at other interesting signs and aspects of this interesting area.

Orion T

Picture of Today 9/17/15, Tearing Down Yesterday..

Broken down, leaving memories behind.

These ruins are what’s left of the old Greyhound Central Bus Terminal¬†in Downtown Seattle.¬†The terminal¬†first opened in 1928, and underwent many renovations¬†and changes since. Here are some pictures.¬†Click here, for some¬†history and pictures of¬†the former station.

In its place will be a new fancy hotel, towering as Seattle’s highest for those rich folk seeking a temporary stay in the Downtown. Meanwhile, the Greyhound bus service has a new location¬†for Seattle, in the south SoDo region close to the Century location. New memories will build¬†from both, bringing more layers to¬†the ever-changing history of this great city.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 9/7/15, Halo above the Emerald City..

  

Coming home after a long pointless walk, I noticed a large circular phenomenon in the sky..

I think it’s an ice halo. I hear these occasionally happen around here in the Pacific Northwest, then dissipate quickly. I wasted no time, and took this shot with my tablet thing. I tried to get to the waterfront for a better, more open shot. But soon, it was gone (about 15 min later).

Here’s a bit more from Wikipedia on ice halos, because Im not going to pretend I really know this stuff..

Among the most well known halos is the 22¬į halo, often just called “halo”, which appears as a large ring around the Sun or Moon with a radius of about 22¬į (roughly the width of an outstretched hand at arm’s length). The ice crystals that cause the 22¬į halo are oriented semi-randomly in the atmosphere, in contrast to the horizontal orientation required for some other halos such as sun dogs and light pillars. As a result of the optical properties of the ice crystals involved, no light is reflected towards the inside of the ring, leaving the sky noticeably darker than the sky around it, and giving it the impression of a “hole in the sky”.[2] The 22¬į halo is not to be confused with the corona, which is a different optical phenomenon caused by water droplets rather than ice crystals, and which has the appearance of a multicolored disk rather than a ring.”

– Orion T

Carkeek Park Adventures, Part 2

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Now turning the wayback machine to the last weekend, and continuation from my Part 1 adventures posted days ago..

So here I was at the beach of Carkeek Park, after an hourly hike (prolonged because I kept stopping to look for birds to photograph). I was hoping for a beach less crowded than the Golden Gardens of nearby Ballard, where I can catch up on some reading in a peaceful non-interrupted setting. This beach had less people, but also less land.

Then, those hazy skies intensified from the distant brush fires. But, the air had a weird, good feel to it. I would imagine for a moment, this was like some alien planet from Star Trek or something. Not sure what the feeling was, but I enjoyed the somewhat surreal atmosphere.

Also, my camera had plenty of battery life left. So, I snapped some pics at times. Here are the best of them..

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Before the beach, i came across this artsy piano crosswalk. There seemed to be no specific purpose to this, being that playful hopping on this would put one in danger from the sharp turn around the corner from coming vehicles.. But, I like it..

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Also before the beach, a massive railroad. A freight train would come through every now and then. Just wait..

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The bridge over the railroad. I was hoping to capture a shot of this with less people on it.

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The southern part of the beach, with many rocks during the low tide. The birds gather, left alone by the humans…

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A passing boat under the hazy sky. The sun coming through gave the water an eerie effect at times..

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I hit up a thrift store on my way here, and brought an early last century music dictionary there. Interesting read, as I love to learn obscure stuff..

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I also got this book of science fiction short stories from an author I never heard of. I love the cover. Some of the stories inside were quite good..

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Someone doing a bit of fishing out there, I think.

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And hey there, here comes the train!

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That’s all for now. I enjoyed this small little adventure in two parts. I hope you did too.

– Orion T

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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  РOrion T

Weekend Pic Fun at the NW Folklife Festival 2015

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Good times!!

The 2015 Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival brought much joy to the many festive folk attending in Seattle, this Memorial Day weekend. Much of this was in thanks to the monetary support from the visitors, business donors and merchants. Further support was also in part to volunteers, who also made this wonderful event possible. For me, it was just relaxing and sampling of new and exotic musical and dance talents (while tipping many in appreciation). There was something for everyone here, I felt. And for that, I had to see what everyone had.

I took some pictures with notes, featured below..

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Near the International Fountain, there was a drum (mostly) circle. Beats combined created a nice fusion, mostly of a constant tribal pattern calling many to the center to shake and dance wildly.

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Many got their motions on, some with fantastic visual attire and style.

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There were some big stages, where some larger acts took place. I was drawn to the jazzy stuff. This is M9, a Romani-style brass band, from the local area. I enjoyed their music.

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One of my favorite things about the Folklife Festival are the surprise sidewalk performances. You just have to be at the right place, at the right time to discover and enjoy something new and exciting. For this year, it was a mix of some Celtic (not sure) and country ho-down fun. I meant to ask more info on this group. I hope to see them again someday.

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I noticed many sidewalk performers had their dogs with them, which I think added a lot of charm to the overall atmosphere.

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Another favorite sidewalk performance. I was hoping to get a name, but couldn’t hold out until the full act was over to ask. The steel drum (I think) produced a cool Caribbean beat when tapped, combined with the stepping of the speaker he sat on it. The effect was a hypnotic awesome rhythm.

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Some fantastic locking and popping happened here. Loved this, as these sick moves brought me back to my early years on the streets of San Francisco.

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Not sure what dancing this is. There was some fiddle music from the stage at this time, and the line moved all around.

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Not all was music. Some fun came from people finding their own ways to share the delight.

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Anthony Briscoe and his band Down North brought some serious fire to the Saturday Night, fuming with a combo of rock, R&B, and soul.

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I didn’t catch the name of the guest guitarist who Anthony brought on stage for one jam, but daaamn, he was good.

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More drums!

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More dancin!

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Festivals are not complete without some crazy food choices.

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Not that it ever really gets hot here in Seattle, but the trees make for great shade and atmosphere.

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Overall, a lot of cheer from many. I was happy to be a part of all this. Thanks again to the PNW Folklife Festival and all involved, for making this happen.

– Orion T