Friday, April 19, 2019

Grand Ridge #Hike in Springtime - Jo's Monday Walk, #SaturdaySnapshot, & Our World Tuesday

Snow drifted down as we stepped out of the senior center van on my first hike at Grand Ridge Park in 2017. Last week raindrops replaced the snowflakes. I prefer the rain. (Issaquah, Washington, USA)
(Click on photos to enlarge)

Misty rain added to the quiet forest atmosphere

Creeks and rivulets swelled from recent rains

Some early flowers and bushes greeted springtime: trillium, bleeding heart, salmonberry bushes, curly fern fronds, and more.

Is it a flower? No, it's an oyster mushroom. We saw several
clusters of these beautiful mushrooms on our hike. This one
is about the size of a cantaloupe.

Photos from my previous hike in Grand Ridge Park in January, 2017 are HERE. 





I'm linked with:
Saturday Snapshot - Melinda at A Web of Stories - Link HERE 
Jo's Monday Walk -  Johanna at Restless Jo - Link HERE
Our World Tuesday - Link HERE


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Buffalo Gal - #Friday56 and #Book Beginnings on Fridays


Buffalo Gal
What do a runaway bride and buffalo ranching have in common? And then there are the UFOs! You'll find out in Lisa Wanttaja's delightful romance novel, Buffalo Gal. I enjoyed the way the author made the North Dakota setting a part of the story (torrential rain, tornados), as well as her depiction of the heroine as a strong, independent woman. Lots of humor, too. Good writing.


Book Beginning:
PROLOGUE
Dr. Andrea Moore stared at the clock on her bedroom wall with rising terror. Two more hours and it would all be over. She'd be married.
     She tried to tell herself her nervousness was simply pre-wedding jitters. But she knew it was more than that.


Friday56 from 56% on my Kindle:
"It could be dangerous to stand in the way of our investigation. You don't understand what you're dealing with."

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 246 Pages
Where to Buy: Links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and More

Synopsis:



     On the morning of her wedding, veterinarian Andrea Moore knows she’s making a mistake. When she learns she’s won a buffalo ranch, she runs off to North Dakota but finds herself in the middle of what could be an even bigger mistake. The ranch she’s won is not only home to a herd of bison but also run by a man who can’t hide his hostility.
     Foreman Mike Winterhawk worked long and hard to buy the ranch himself, only to have it handed over to some contest winner. His focus needs to be on why the bison can’t bear calves instead of teaching this city slicker in ugly green cowboy boots how to run a ranch. He can only hope she’ll quickly realize she’s out of her league and hightail it back to Seattle.
     So, why is he so attracted to this intruder, and why does he feel she might be the one who can help him turn White Thunder Ranch around?


              


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)


Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Friday, March 22, 2019

#Alki Beach, #Seattle - Saturday Snapshot and Jo's Monday Walk

Some of the sights on a rainy day at Seattle's Alki Beach. 
Trivia: Alki (ælkaɪ) is a Chinook word meaning "by and by," the unofficial state motto of Washington.
(Click on photos for a closer look.)

Luna Park
In 1907 a saltwater natatorium was built for the Luna Park Seaside pleasure resort. (Known as the "Coney Island of the West.") Housed in a large airy building the swimming pool remained in operation until it was burned down in 1931. In the 1950s its cement walls were filled. Deemed unsafe, in 2004 the seawalls that once enclosed the swimming pool were demolished. 

Here's Luna Park today. Bike-share bicycles are parked all over the Seattle area.




View of the Seattle skyline across Elliot Bay (from Luna Park)


Shoreline
Condos have replaced many (but not all) of the bungalows that once lined the shore.  



Statue of Liberty
According to Wikipedia: The Statue of Liberty or Lady Liberty (at Alki Beach) is a replica of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. A gift from the Boy Scouts of America, it was installed at Seattle's Alki Beach Park in 1952 and has since been recast in bronze to repair damage from vandalism.
(Note: She's not the same lady as the original, but the idea is the same.)



Whales are still sighted in Puget Sound off Alki Beach's shores.


A lighthouse, built in 1913, still guides mariners safely through Puget Sound.


The paved walkway along the water is a great place to walk or bike. With a separate lane for bikers and a wide paved path for pedestrians and runners, it's a popular place to be, especially on weekends.

More pictures from Alki Beach can be found in earlier posts: 
HERE and HERE.
Luna Park's colorful history can be found at HistoryLink.org





PS: Need inspiration to start exercising? This article says it's not too late to start: Older Adults Start Exercising


I'm linked with:
Saturday Snapshot - Melinda at A Web of Stories - Link HERE 
Jo's Monday Walk -  Johanna at Restless Jo - Link HERE
Our World Tuesday - Link HERE

Friday, March 15, 2019

#Amazon #Spheres - SaturdaySnapshot and Jo's Monday Walk

Last Saturday I posted photos taken at Amazon's Spheres (here). Today I'm adding a few more.

Before entering the Spheres, we stopped at The Understory. That's a mini-museum where docents give an overview of the Spheres and answer questions. One wall displayed gorgeous photos like this one. The screen took up the whole wall.
(Click on photos for a closer look.)


Here's what we saw at the Spheres.

Tree Aloe - Mozambique
Huge trees stretched from floor to ceiling. Most of them
had orchids and bromeliads in their branches.
I'd love to visit when those plants are in bloom.
Pathways led through lush plantings and allowed close-up views.
Many of the plants were labeled.


Unfortunately, this plant wasn't labeled.
What is it?

Streams meander through the foliage.


Anthurium
Outside, the facility included a dog park.

Bikes to rent, too.





Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at A Web of Stories.
To join in or view photos from around the world:
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken, then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the website
(Link HERE
Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. Please don't post random photos you find online. 

Jo's Monday Walk is hosted by Johanna at Restless Jo. So, how does it work?  Every week Jo will publish a walk on a Monday. When the walk is published, anyone is welcome to leave a link in the Comments, to any walk that they have taken.  It doesn’t have to be on a Monday.  It can be at any time and of any duration.  The amount of detail/photos, etc. is up to you. Link up HERE.

Friday, March 8, 2019

#Spheres - #SaturdaySnapshot and #MondayWalk

When I signed up for an excursion to "The Spheres," I figured Amazon's orbs would be filled with computerized displays, laser light shows, and other high-tech goodies. Boy, was I wrong! Here are some photos from our exploration of this amazing indoor forest.
(Click on photos for a closer look.)



The Spheres are open to visitors on the first and third Saturdays of the month and advance reservations (and photo IDs) are required. Although visitors have access to much of the facility, certain areas are set aside exclusively for Amazon employees.


Trying to capture this facility from top to bottom -- all four floors -- was a challenge! Every area is accessible by elevator as well as stairs.


It was impossible to photograph the entire 60-foot-tall "Living Wall" in one photo, too.


Ferns, bromeliads, anthurium, and more cover the living wall. 


Intermittent bursts of mist keep the plants hydrated and fans embedded in the walls circulate the air. Groups of people took pictures in front of this wall of plants with the Amazon logo.


One of the most fascinating structures was the "Bird Nest." 



Next Saturday I'll feature more plants, water features, and views in this lushly planted space, plus a glimpse into the neighborhood dominated by Amazon's headquarters.

For more info about The Spheres, visitor information, plants, etc., click on the official website HERE.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at A Web of Stories.
To join in or view photos from around the world:
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken, then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the website
(Link HERE
Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. Please don't post random photos you find online. 

Jo's Monday Walk is hosted by Johanna at Restless Jo. Link up HERE.

2111 7th Avenue, Seattle

Friday, March 1, 2019

#Northwest Flower & Garden Festival (Post #2) - #SaturdaySnapshot and #MondayWalk

Last week I posted photos of the gorgeous displays at this year's Northwest Flower & Garden Festival HERE. Today I'm showcasing other random pictures from that event.
(Click on photos for a closer look.)


A skybridge over Pike Street links the north and south halls of the
convention center where the event was held. 

This sunlit area housed garden "rooms."


One of the outdoor rooms displayed on the skybridge. 
I'd love to have this on my deck.


I could definitely take a nap in this outdoor room.

View from a skybridge display, down Pike Street to Elliot Bay, Puget Sound.

The natural shape of this branch was enhanced by carving. Amazing!
Tiny goldfish added a surprise element to this bonsai garden.
The exhibit was named "Taoist Myth: The Isles of the Blest"
Fairies among the flowers!

This bench would look perfect under a Douglas fir tree
in my backyard.

This tableau made me want to dig in and start planting. I'm ready for spring!
More info about the garden festival HERE.





Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at A Web of Stories.
To join in or view photos from around the world:
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken, then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the website
(Link HERE
Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. Please don't post random photos you find online. 

Jo's Monday Walk is hosted by Johanna at Restless Jo. Link up HERE.

Friday, February 22, 2019

#Northwest Flower & Garden Festival - Saturday Snapshot

It's been several years since I've attended the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, so I jumped at the chance to go this past week. The indoor festival is held at the Washington State Convention Center. This year's theme was "Gardens of the World," and the displays were amazing. I always wonder how the landscapers are able to create these beautiful scenes indoors with everything blooming to perfection. Waterfalls, too! Here are a few of the dozens of photos I took.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)

This display was named "Notting Hill Modern English Garden."
The plants were all green and white, and the waterfall adds soothing sound.
The orbs lining the walkway are stainless steel.
 

"Alpenhaus - Switzerland and Germany"
"Escape to the Mountains" - influenced by the landscaper's work
on both sides of the Cascades Mountains, Washington State, US.
"Shalimar"
I'm not 100% certain, but I think this display is
"Fakeation - Create Your Destination."
That's a solar-powered stove on the left of the walkway.

"Mystic Garden" drew me in through its moon gate entrance.
This was my favorite display.

More info about the garden festival HERE.





Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at A Web of Stories.
To join in or view photos from around the world:
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken, then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the website
(Link HERE
Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. Please don't post random photos you find online. 

Jo's Monday Walk is hosted by Johanna at Restless Jo. Link up HERE.