Ballard Farmers Market

Washington cherries in Seattle

Washington cherries in Seattle

It was the height of the cherry season in Washington State.  60% of the sweet cherry production in this country comes from the Pacific Northwest, so this was THE place to be for cherries.  And Rainier cherries, named for the majestic and nearby Mount Rainier, are a cherry cultivar originally developed at Washington State University.

 

I was visiting a friend in Seattle for a long weekend last month, and our goal was to make cherry preserves.  In California we regularly see Bing and Rainier cherries, but here I saw several other kinds of cherries as well.

 

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

On Sunday morning we ventured to the Ballard Farmers Market.  Several blocks of streets were closed to through traffic and filled with stands of fresh produce and flowers, bakery items, and dozens and dozens of vendors presenting their finest goods.  They close the streets from 10am to 3pm, in the vicinity of Ballard Avenue and 22nd Avenue.

 

This was an extraordinary farmers market.  We got there when they opened to beat the crowds, and it was a good thing because by 11 am the streets were overflowing with vendors, customers, street performers, and community festivity.

 

Ballard Farmers Market, Seattle

Ballard Farmers Market, Seattle

We reached our goal, pitted five pounds of cherries and made excellent preserves.  This winter we will have a taste of summer.  What better way to celebrate the zest of summer than by enjoying the magnificent fruits of our vital earth.

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

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A Quiet Day at the Pond

Crane and Deer. Photo: Athena Alexander

Impala and Grey crowned Crane, Zambia. Photo: Athena Alexander

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Life is Always Changing

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar, Calif. Photo: Athena Alexander

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar, Calif. Photo: Athena Alexander

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Safari Dining

Our esteemed chefs

Our esteemed chefs

My favorite kind of wildlife safari is camping, because we’re out in the savannah with nothing but wild creatures.  Feeding a group of 12 clients, and the guides and guards, required an organized production and two excellent chefs.

 

Pantry Tent

Pantry Tent

These are photos of our safari camping in Meru National Park in Kenya. The food was incredible.  Coming “home” to camp after a full day of watching lions, cheetahs, and elephants, and sitting down to a meal of delicious fire-roasted food…ahhh, that is living.

 

The Dishwasher

The Dishwasher

Add to that the night sounds of the moaning hyenas, sloshing hippos, and restless lions, and life could not be better.  It’s not for everyone, but to me, it is paradise.

 

What about danger you ask?  We had Maasai warriors on night shift–it doesn’t get safer than that!

Giraffe and Zebra, Africa

Giraffe and Zebra, Africa

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

 

 

 

 

 

The Bar

The Bar

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Sydney’s Harbor

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

One of the most beautiful harbor cities I have ever been to, Sydney, Australia sparkles with pride.  Here are the two most iconic features of the harbor:  the Opera House and Harbor Bridge.

 

Both of these photos were taken from a boat.  Public boats and ferries are easy and reliable, and go to many places all over the harbor.  Thousands of commuters and tourists use this popular and efficient transport system daily.

 

My favorite Sydney boat trip is to the Taronga Zoo.  In many big international cities where our plane lands, if there’s a little extra time we often visit the zoo before heading to the boonies for birds and mammals.  It helps a lot in familiarizing and identifying foreign species.  The Taronga Zoo has stunning views, excellent conditions, and many unusual and loveable Australian creatures.  G’Day Mate.

 

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbor Bridge

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

 

 

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Yet Another Glory of Summer

Summer Tanager.  Photo credit: Athena Alexander

Summer Tanager. Photo credit: Athena Alexander

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Seattle’s Urban Elephant

Car-Wash-Neon-1A classic Seattle landmark, erected before the Space Needle.  It rotates and flashes and fills up the urban space with whimsy.  And if that isn’t enough, you can get your car washed here too!

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

 

Car-Wash-Neon-2

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