Breakfast at Blue Moose Café (Port Townsend, WA)

"If a messy kitchen is a happy one, this one is delirious." How can you not like a café that has the chutzpah to post that above their kitchen? How about, "The reason we're not all here is because we're not all there"? There is even a banner on a wall emblazoned with a single word: BACON! Add to... Continue Reading →

Hot Dog Heaven: Dogs-A-Foot (Port Townsend, WA)

I discovered Dogs-A-Foot several years ago when my wife and I were strolling down Water Street and came upon it. Occupying a small corner lot on Water and Madison Streets at the northeastern edge of the Waterfront District, it has been serving hot dogs to legions of fans for over 25 years. Today, I discovered that... Continue Reading →

Dinner at Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar (Port Townsend, WA)

Restaurants not along Water Street in Port Townsend tend not to get noticed as much, even if Washington Street is only a block north. But, you'll likely see Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar because of two landmarks in the city: the classic Rose Theatre and the Haller Fountain and the stairs behind it that climb to Jefferson... Continue Reading →

Sammamish River Trail Garden

There is a small water conservation demonstration garden along the Sammamish River Trail, right below the NE 85th overpass in downtown Redmond, that showcases plants that draw insects attractive to salmon and birds. The garden design simulates a riparian environment by its system of mounded beds, large rocks and gravel pathways. It also provides photographic opportunities throughout much of the year.

Fluffy Ground Cover

At this time of year in the Seattle area, cottonwood trees release their seeds deposited in downy, cottony puffs that become airborne on the slightest breeze. They swirl around like snowflakes, a little puzzling when you see them for the first time well past winter's end. In some places, they can accumulate in such quantity that they appear... Continue Reading →

Porky Pleasure: Pernil Divino at La Isla (Redmond, WA)

Puerto Ricans, like other Caribbean islanders, know how to roast pork. Their lechon asado is legendary. Puertorriqueños need no introduction to this slow-roasted (or barbecued) pork that are famously made at lechoneras on the island. I had every intention of seeking one out when my wife and I were in Puerto Rico in 2006, but an... Continue Reading →

Signs of Spring at the Farmers’ Market

It won't be soon enough for summer produce, which will begin to appear in earnest next month. Still, the Issaquah Farmers' Market is drawing customers with spring flowers and vegetables.

Banana Slug: Our S(ub)lime Northwest Mascot

The Pacific Northwest has, it seems, zillions of slugs. Their mighty jaws chew through flower gardens like Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo. They are dark brown or black—and they were introduced from the outside, interlopers (like the gray squirrels that have overtaken the Douglas squirrels' domain here), the European red and black slugs. Our native species is the banana slug,... Continue Reading →

Washed Up in Akaroa (New Zealand)

Along the rocky beach of Akaroa's French Bay, the low tide exposes all sorts of interesting things. Among them are seashells, including turrets that curiously seem to accumulate in one small area. The tide pools reveal not only various forms of sea life, including small crabs, mollusks and sea cucumbers, but marine algae, including this most unusual-looking brown... Continue Reading →

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