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 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

 

 

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

Recent Adventures on Whidbey Island, Coupeville Wharf

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Coupeville is a nice small town, to the north on Whidbey Island (Washington State). It’s got a small wharf, where local people smile a lot and appreciate their pleasant surroundings.

I was here for about half an hour, on a break in a long quest to find a blue heron rookery for a friend (long story). I wandered for a short bit, taking in the serene surroundings.

Here are some pics of that time…

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I hope to come back someday, and stay longer.

– Orion T  

Pictures of Today 1/30/15, Nightly Comes the Fog..

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The fog is impatient today, rushing in. Seattle’s Blue Friday night before the coming Super Bowl, will be hidden.

I saw it coming a little earlier..

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And then, nothing could stop it..

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The moon shines high above the fog, for now..

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And there was the Needle..

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10 minutes later..

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10 minutes later..

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Now is the time for new secrets..

Pictures of Today 1/13/15, Winter Fruits of Pike Place Market.

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The Pike Place Market is the most famed and cherished farmers market of Seattle. Also, the second most popular tourist destination.

The reason for such, is of many. The fantastic fish, the local businesses kept strong, the variety of entertainment, a place of unique and interesting gifts, the wall of gum, and the interesting history attached. But for today and of many random visits my favorite reason for Pike Market, is the assembly of special fruits and vegetables; much of which you could never find at those brand name grocers. Of some, I gladly pay the little extra money to get a lot more flavor and discover new boldness.

Here are some below from various vendors of the Pike, from my latest visit. There more to explain in every picture, but I must withhold for now (also, quite exhausted from errands and other work lately). I will save the info for a very special project I am working on, of which this is first hint of mention. For now, admire the colors and info within; and let your imaginary senses to those tastebuds run free!

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Feathered Friends..

Birds, by Orion Tippens

A picture for today, from the south Puget Sound in Washington State. It’s not quite the morning, more of the noon as the low marine layer fog remains present for much of the day.

The birds, I have no idea on specifics. Their domain is a small platform surrounded by the water, marked many times by the feathered flyers around.

This shot, from the local ferry boat transit from the Fauntleroy, West Seattle Terminal to the Southworth Terminal, with Vashon Island as a stop in-between. I on some extra work for the ferry involving the collection of travel surveys, going back and forth for much of the day. I can’t recall which terminal was near, or what land is underneath that fog. I was very busy with the work, and enjoying the foggy exterior for that it was, not as much where.

And, I love photographing birds.

More Northwest Adventuring

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Continued from our recent adventure in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, state of Washington in the Northwest US

The Boulder Cave, about five miles down the nearby road our campground at Little Naches (25 miles from Mt. Rainier).

Our camp group headed there by car, with a small uphill hike (2 miles round trip). Incredible place, with the deep ravine between forest covered rocky hills more amazing than the cave itself.

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Also, the occasional special tree to stare at.

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Further in, the more I loved of this deeper forest withing itself.

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More further down, a small cave to the side of one cliff..not the Boulder Cave promised at the end of the trail, but worth checking out a bit later.

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Love the colors here.

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Under that smaller cave, but not so small now.

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Moving on, and further down the ravine.

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And finally, the Boulder Cave. Open on both ends, and a small, steady water stream from Devil’s Creek from the other side. At times, bats are said to hang inside.

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“The frame of the cave leads to the frame of man.”

– Stephen Gardiner, Lord Chancellor to Queen Elizabeth I

For more on Boulder Cave and its surroundings, click here.