Hike Seattle

Happy Earth Day! All over Seattle, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds – spring is finally here! What better time to get out on the trails and explore the beautiful landscapes of the Pacific Northwest? Whether you are a seasoned hiker or novice, there are plenty of resources to help you find the perfect destination for an hour, a day, or a weekend.

One of my favorite guides is 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Seattle by Andrew Weber and Bryce Stevens.  Featuring not only well-known hikes, such as Mt. Si and Wallace Falls State Park, but also lesser-known destinations such as O. O. Denny County Park Loop and the Heybrook Lookout Trail, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles includes maps, driving directions, and trail descriptions highlighting points of interest.

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Cherry blossoms bloom herald the spring

kanji for cherry blossom 'hanami'The appearance of cherry blossoms marks the arrival of spring in Japan, sending revelers of all ages outdoors to enjoy wine and picnic lunches under flowery pink canopies in the nation’s parks and orchards. One cannot delay cherry blossom viewing, or “hanami,” because the cherry blossom is like life: beautiful and tragically fleeting.

image-of-girl-looking-at-cherry-blossoms-courtesy-of-piero-sierraIn Seattle, consumption of alcohol on public land may not fly as it does in Japan, but the beauty and fragrance of the cherry blossom is just as sweet! The year the Seattle Center will be holding its annual Cherry Blossom and Japanese Culture Festival on April 18 – 20, providing folks in our area with a chance to welcome the spring in this centuries-old tradition.

If the beauty and barbarism, poetry and mysticism of medieval Japan have captured your imagination this season, you may be interested in these books and movies available at The Seattle Public Library.

 

Literature

A fantasy set in a world that closely resembles medieval Japan, this first book in the series Tales of the Otori provides an engrossing blend of history and magic that will leave readers anxious for the sequel. Our hero, Takeo, begins this story as a young man whose village was destroyed by an evil warlord. Tests of loyalty, romantic intrigue, secret cults, assassins, Continue reading “Cherry blossoms bloom herald the spring”

Science On Tap – Brains and Brew in Seattle

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 Brains and Brew – a perfect combination in this city of microbrewers and techies.  I am a huge fan of science writing in the vein of Stephen J. Gould, Carl Sagan and E. O. Wilson.  The only drawback I’ve ever found to science books is the lack of immediacy.  It takes years for a scientist to do the work, write up the results, get those results peer reviewed and then, hopefully, write about their research in an exciting and approachable popular format.  And in this impatient world I want to know about the interesting research NOW!

Along comes Science on Tap. Sit down in a local pub with a beer or a cup of coffee and listen to working scientists from all over the scientific map discuss their current work.  It doesn’t get much more immediate or more interesting.  And it’s totally nonthreatening.  Just a bunch of  brainy folks chatting about an interesting topic over a few drinks at their local.

Of course, if you would rather read about the interesting discoveries or grand unified theories of everything I’ve got some suggestions.

The Wine Is Fine

Wine is happening in Washington in a big way! And this coming weekend is a primo opportunity to check out brand new wineries and varietals or old favorites. The Washington Wine Commission is sponsoring Taste Washington, including a Grand Wine Tasting at Qwest Field Event Center on Sunday, April 6 from 4-8 p.m.image of taste washington logo

Who knew there were nearly 500 wineries and nine distinct recognized wine growing regions in Washington? Over 200 wineries will be there at the tasting, along with 50 of the region’s top restaurants, to tempt your palate. You’re going to need to come up with a strategy and pace yourself to avoid overload.

There are guides available at the library and on the Web to help you plan your own wine tour to any of the wineries you discover at the tasting.

The Washington Wine Commission has produced a handy free booklet (complete with maps) called Touring Washington’s Wine Regions, that you can pick up either from the Commission itself or Continue reading “The Wine Is Fine”

Frances Moore Lappé and Local Food Policy

My local eating adventures have led me to think about issues such as who has access to local food, how housing developments are eclipsing nearby farmland and if another flood like the one in Lewis County is apt to destroy more farms and dairy herds anytime soon.  I’m certainly not the only one.

lappe.bmpFor decades Francis Moore Lappé has been an advocate for the hungry and has questioned food production politics with scarcity, inequity and sustainability in mind.  Building upon her first best-selling book Diet For a Small Planet (1971) she has written many more including Hope’s Edge: the next diet for a small planet with daughter Anna Lappé and most recently Getting a grip: clarity, creativity, and courage in a world gone mad.  

Francis Moore Lappé will be in Seattle on Friday, April 11 to talk about the importance of local food policy in conjunction with a City of Seattle Local Food Action Initiative that is represented by Resolution 31019.  She will speak at Seattle City Hall at noon and 5:00pm.  She will also be speaking, along with other local and national sustainability advocates, at the Seattle Green Festival on April 13th.