September is probably the best time of year to visit the Pacific Northwest. After Labor Day, kids return to school and the summer tourist crowds thin out, but the summer weather lingers on... Apples begin to ripen, there are still wildflowers in the Cascades...the sun can almost make you forget that for the most of the year, this is one of the greyest, wettest parts of North America...
Last week, my wife and I flew up for a quick visit--it was her parents' 50th anniversary, so this was mainly a friends-and-family trip (and a much needed one!)...
but we did have just enough time for an afternoon hike on Mt. Rainier:
The most-visited part of the National Park is about halfway up the southern slope;
the official name of the area is "Paradise;" appropriately named...
The marmots are omnipresent and completely acclimated to humans;
photographically irresistible when they pose like meerkats:
...or when they lounge on sun-warmed rocks...
(check out those teeth)
Glacial and snow-melt everywhere, cascading through the green landscape...
...and more waterfalls up on the Nisqually glacier:
...and one more marmot-shot:
...glimpses of the glaciated volcanic summit, like a dream in the sky...
...and looking south toward the Tatoosh range:
Down in the lowlands,
apples are ripening.
This stand in Seattle's Pike Place Market caught my eye:
Very. Scary. Fruit.
A few more photos from recent travels, below, thinking about tomorrow's "green" theme for the weekly #travelpics chat on twitter, which takes place every Monday from 3-4 pm ET; the theme changes each week, and questions are posted ahead of time. My AZ lunch-hour at work doesn't quite line up with the chat's timing, so here are a few green scenes ahead of time...
Back in June, we spent a few days on Ulleung-do, a jagged island about a hundred miles off the east coast of Korea, volcanic, isolated and so so green:
Where we stayed, on the north shore of the island:
Later in the month we spent a few days in the traditional city of Jeonju, in the country's SW; here's a riverside scene:
Looking up at the ceiling of a pavilion
on Yudalsan mountain in the city of Mokpo,
on the southwestern tip of the Korean peninsula:
during a few days in Barcelona,
we gladly partook of
...and in Paris, a walkable map near the Musée d'Orsay; the world comes to the Left Bank:
Along the Augusta Canal in Georgia,
green overtakes red:
...and along the Savannah River, Spanish moss draping the subtropical scene:
Back home in Tucson,
when the water flows,
the Sonoran Desert can be surprisingly lush...
...and in this same desert, the summer monsoon has provided plenty of feed for these hummingbird-moth-caterpillars: