Seattle Special – Dale Chihuly Glass and Gardens

Thanks to some friends in Seattle (big up Jack and Jessica), I was able to visit Seattle again (that is how behind I am on posts, I have a whole trip around the Olympic peninsula to show you and then this one to the Cascades, but that is for another time). This special place was right under the space needle, and quite the worthwhile tourist trap.


These sonic flowers were pretty cool, they collect energy during the day and have music activated by your motion between them

Fun times

Sculptures all over the place around here

Inside, you are treated to a neon sight where these glowing glass blobs fell from the ceiling onto glass

These are reminiscent of the native american baskets of the southwest

Don’t you think?

This is an excellent example of what he is best known for, these spectacular chandeliers made from hundreds of blown glass pieces

This one was mostly sea themed

And the ceilings made from glass objects and fans

The overlapping colors create a kaleidoscope effect

Gotta love that accidental red, gold and green (rally!)

This collection was vast, I liked these best

Better up close

See the porpoises?

These collections of bowls were so vibrant with the contrasting rims

My favorite shade of blue in the upper left side of this one, where is yours?

Looked like a firework went off


Almost look like living things, but not really

More chandeliers!

A whole rainbow

These fans were pretty spectacular

This pic is a little clearer

Also looks like fireworks

The gardens were wonderful and carefully maintained, look at this pansy

Trumpets anyone?

Sweet fall rose

Almost like the plant is mirroring the glass

Another rainbow, this time all in one

Hydrangea fading into fall

Great companion to these uniquely-barked trees

My favorite by far

A bit scary

But beautiful upon closer inspection

This is everyone else’s favorite shot

So have another

Something shiny is blooming out from the ground


South African?

Teal with lovely hydrangeas

And an ocean blue

Is that an octopus?

I also really liked the black glass

Spheres of beauty

Back to where it all started, or did we ever leave…

See you next time.

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Hidden Los Padres National Forest Pt. 3

Shout out to Jack and Jessica for hosting me up in Seattle, I’ll have a special post up soon from that trip.

To finish off the trip to the north-eastern section of Los Padres National Forest, here are more wildflowers and remains of native settlements

Those larkspur were magical floating above the dry grasses, very sorry for the terrible focus here

These white ones were small but spectacular

Which turned out to be a pattern, lots of flowers were small here

This red western thistle was actually a native. Their non-native purple cousins are quite invasive and unwanted in these natural lands

Super tall but super small

I was surprised I was able to get a focused shot of this dainty one



Red lichen

A very, very old tree, I think it was an oak

This was a truly ancient oak, likely more than 300 years old

Looking out from the rock outcropping, it really looked as though someone had planted these massive oak trees in a plantation

A twisted manzanita reclaiming its branch

In fact, it was the native peoples who had helped created the habitats in this area through their stewardship of its resources to support their community. They had the abundance of acorns that they ground into paste that was used as a food base

Many centuries of grinding led to these deep holes

They were all over the rock formations, around the wagon wheel caves

Looking out from one of the caves it was overgrown, but I’ll show you the view in a moment

Inside the cave was evidence of many fires, but no artifacts or carvings were around

The cave here looks like a very good place for a fire

Looking out over the area, you can see other beautiful rock formations creeping out of the forest

A look up at the cave area

And some other fun stone formations

Lots of nooks and crannies to explore

With giant boulders randomly placed

These natural formations were really a trip, there were all these giant spheres about two feet in diameter and the holes they have come out of

And this rock looked like a sitting vulture



Hope you enjoyed this trip out to a very remote corner of our state and that it inspires you to head there as well. Please stop over in King City for supplies, they are good people.

Next up, a sneak preview of Seattle’s pretty.

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Hidden Los Padres Pt. 2

This next post focuses on wildflowers and the Encinales ranch.

I think this is Chinese Houses again


Yellow lupine

And purple, apologies for the lack of focus

A cool red one that didn’t show up very well

There was a pond with nice clear water from the springs

The creek was quite refreshing since it was a hot spring day and everything else was pretty dry

So lush! A few cows were chilling out in the area

You could really see the drought’s effects on the trees

But the rocks were unaffected

These were really cool sandy hills that were reminiscent of the wind-shaped stone from the previous post

It really felt like an amphitheater, each of the ledges were sitting-distance apart and the bowl-shape had nice acoustics

A little closer

There was a spring near here as well, where the old Encinales ranch was built

Their landscaping is largely gone, these plantings are from later residents

But the old adobe house is still here, although it has much modern construction and repair

The old pools are drained and fenced-off

But can you imagine the views and relaxing summer nights out here

This is an ancient oak shading the old house

There was a plum tree and a few other stone fruit struggling to still survive, along with the redwoods and other landscaping. I’m not sure if anyone comes out to maintain any of it, but it looked very well preserved for being in the middle of nowhere

You can see inside it has lots of materials that are at least from the 1960’s, so this property was probably added to the forest service late last century

One side exposes the adobe

But hard to tell what is original here

This old room was very bare, look at the rocks on top of the door frame

Likely under restoration, the ceiling was not happy, but I think the tin roof is keeping things OK for now

An old well

This side barn is definitely newer, and I think used to keep things up around here, like mowing the grass

Lots of historical artifacts on display. Please respect these items and leave them for others. If they start disappearing, they will be taken in so no one can view them anymore

Generations of hikers have found bits and pieces of the past

I really liked that pottery, wish I knew what the spike was for

The ranch includes an old, very sparsely populated cemetery

You can just make out the gate and cross at the top of the hill. The former owners and a few others are up there, but not much of a destination with few monuments

Next up, a spectacular cave with ancient art

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Hidden los Padres National Forest – Pt. 1

In the few weeks of spring time, when the creeks recede but the heat of summer has yet to kiss and kill the grasses, you can visit a magical place in central California. The memorial park area (also called The Indians, but I think we can find a more appropriate name) of the Los Padres National Forest outside of King City.

There is a nice campground where you can have some facilities, as well as large areas to group camp. There are also campsites along the road

The area has spectacular geography

As well as lots of wildflowers, these are blue dicks

In some areas, they covered the ground

Many ancient oaks stood sentry, their gnarled wood of no use to prior ranchers

I don’t have names for them all, feel free to add in the comments

These stone formations were I think sandstone

Because the winds have carved out nooks, crannies and caves

You can almost see the winds swirling around in here

Some lupine

Owl’s Clover


A really showy monkeyflower

These formations were what I saw from the satellite and decided to visit this area for

I couldn’t tell what these were formed from, either mortars used by native americans or from lightning

On top of some of these rocks were nice views

The area is a valley surrounded by the ventana wilderness

Hey little guy!

A potato/tomato relative



Maybe Chinese Houses?

More from the next day in the next post

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