‘Tis the Season for Hanami

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest and the cherry trees are putting on quite a show! One of the more popular attractions in Seattle for cherry blossom viewing, also known as Hanami, is our cherry trees located at the University of Washington Quad.

Although the origin of the trees is debated, according to The Daily:

“In 1912, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki donated cherry trees to the United States, which marked the growth in friendship between the United States and Japan. The trees were distributed around the country, with 34 of them planted in the Washington Park Arboretum. Because of construction [of State Route 520], the trees had to be relocated, and 31 of them were relocated to the UW, where they are now planted in the Quad.” –The Daily of the University of Washington

Photograph of blossoming cherry trees on the University of Washington Quad.
The Daily – Takae Goto

They just reached peak viewing on March 29th. However, there is still time to celebrate! ParentMap has a list of other locations in Seattle and nearby to enjoy cherry blossom viewing.

Continue reading “‘Tis the Season for Hanami”

The World is Your Oyster

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest the winter season wasn’t something that stopped us from doing what we enjoyed as a family. Sure cuddling by the fireplace and reading books was one way to enjoy it since we are a family of readers, but this is also the season of crabbing, clam digging, grilling oysters, and taking advantage of non-peak camping rates!

Here are a few items in our collection to get you started on your Winter adventures:

Continue reading “The World is Your Oyster”

The Homeless Mathematician

When I was growing up, an unusual houseguest would show up at our door every few years. With steeply-arched eyebrows, a mile-wide grin, gigantic ears that looked like they could flap in the wind, and a wild tousle of white hair, he seemed to my 8-year-old self to resemble nothing less than an oversized hamster or rabbit. In a distinctive, nasal-whiney voice he would utter words in some unintelligible language that nevertheless seemed related to English. He called me and my brother “epsilons” and spoke of a mysterious food called “pea-napple-uppsheed-did-doven-tosh.” After a couple of weeks, he would disappear as suddenly as he had shown up.

Only years later, as an adult, did I learn that this man was one of the most famous mathematicians in the world: Paul Erdős. Continue reading “The Homeless Mathematician”

A trio of reads on Western land

The land and coasts that make up the West are many things to many people: recreation areas, sacred sites, grazing land, just to name a few. In the past five years we’ve seen an escalation, reflected in mainstream news stories, of the conflicts among groups with differing visions for public lands: from the ongoing fight over the designation of Bears Ears National Monument, to escalating action over federal land management that culminated last year in the occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, to a newly urgent discussion about what steps should be taken to save the orca whales of Puget Sound. No matter which side you agree with on these issues, there’s no denying that human actions have had a dramatic and direct impact on land, flora, and fauna. To dig deeper on a few issues, check out these recent books about our Western geography: Continue reading “A trio of reads on Western land”

Taming Bigfoot

This post and corresponding booklist were created by students at Nathan Hale High School as part of a teen service learning project. 

(Photo credit: Soraya Jessa)

Over the past nine months I have had the pleasure of volunteering with the non-profit organization Taming Bigfoot Seattle. Taming Bigfoot Seattle is a 1Sustainable Planet volunteer project, inspired and guided by retired NASA climate scientist Bob Bindschadler, that aims to engage the community in accelerating Seattle’s progress towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading “Taming Bigfoot”