Here are a few things that have gone on in the past month:

My birthday was on the 20th, so Mike helped me bake a cake.

Recipe found here

Did some hiking at Wallace Falls in Washington…

as well as Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver, BC.

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Within the past couple of weeks, I have moved to Seattle with my cat. There are definitely some differences between how people interact with each other here compared to Portland. Overall, I’m happy to be in Seattle and hope that it doesn’t take me too long to memorize the bus routes around here.

I feel bad not really having anything to offer in this post, so here is a photo I took with my phone from the Woodland Park Zoo.

Getting to the zoo by bike was pretty nice. I am still getting used to how hilly Seattle is. The zoo itself was great; most exhibits used moats as a barrier, rather than cages. However, the African Wild Dogs and Jaguar were pacing, which was a bit difficult to watch. I guess it’s hard to keep every animal content with the boundaries they’re given in a zoo. On a lighter note, one orangutan was interacting with the humans through the glass, which I thought was really great. I would love to work with primates. Also, it’s always such a surprise how large some of the creatures are when you see them up close, like giraffes and grizzly bears.

For Thanksgiving, I made sweet potato pie and pumpkin cookies. Sadly, neither of the goods were photogenic enough to share.

But, I did make latkes earlier tonight for the first night of Chanukah.
Grating the potatoes wore out my right arm. I used Yukon potatoes, yellow onion, garlic, eggs, flour, salt, pepper, and green onion (though, next time I’ll leave the green onion out and save it to be put on when served).
I like them topped with tzaziki or apple sauce.
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I’ve been falling behind on the updates.

Seattle has so many beautiful parks. I have made my way to a good handful of them, but there are still a few I really want to check out.

Most of the leaves have fallen off. The snow began to fall over the weekend, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

There’s a place near Seattle called Kubota Gardens. It’s a Chinese-style garden that’s free to the public. It’s a huge garden, and absolutely gorgeous!
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more photos behind the cut.
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It took four different methods.
Who knew it would take that much effort to dye a blonde wig another color?

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First of all, the variety of leaf colors absolutely amazes me. I can never get over it. Then again, this is only my fifth year living in a place that has a real autumn.
There’s a Japanese Maple variety outside this house that has the most brilliant coloring.
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I need to press some leaves before they begin to fall!

I have been baking a few things lately, though I haven’t been keeping this blog updated enough or putting enough effort into my baked goods to use alternative sweeteners instead of cane sugar! It’s also a lot more difficult (20 minute drive, at least) to find bulk agave nectar in the area I’ve been living in.

Triple Ginger Cookies
these were delicious! A perfect autumn cookie.
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Iced Pumpkin Cookies

I made these for a potluck. That was my first time making pumpkin cookies. They were pretty cakey, but not bad!
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Devil’s Food Cake Snowballs
I baked these as a birthday treat. They didn’t quite turn out how I wanted them to. They were incredibly dense. I won’t be making them again, but rather I’ll stick to cookies and muffins.
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I am glad I put that baking sheet under the pan. Look how much it overflowed.
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And of course, they look nothing like the photo. It’s also hard to tell how dense they are just from that photo. But trust me, it wasn’t light and fluffy like a cake ball.

I might be updating in a few days with a Halloween costume I’ve been putting together. I have been spending my last two days trying to dye a blonde wig dark purple. So far, I’ve tried three different methods without much accomplishment. Tomorrow, I will try one more method before I give up.

Also, the more time I spend in Seattle, the more I like it. There are so many beautiful parks (Gasworks is my favorite park with the best view so far) and tons of awesome bands have been through the city in the past two months. I need to start bringing my camera to Seattle with me.

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I volunteered at the Oregon Natural Desert Association’s 25th conference. Here are some photos from the drive and the hike.
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I’ve been back on the West Coast since mid July. I’ve been interning as a vegetation surveyor, and I’ve been learning a lot. It’s also been keeping me super busy, so I haven’t really had much time to put into this blog or photographing my baking/cooking.

Yesterday, I went on my first wildflower hike (finally) at Mt. Rainier and it was absolutely amazing.

We did the Skyline Loop which was 5.5 miles round-trip, 1700′ elevation gain and an average hiking time of 4 1/2 hours. Map and info of the trails here.
We saw plenty of wildlife on the trail (right next to the designated hiking trail), none of which cared that we were there, so I was able to get some nice shots. Though, apparently we missed out on a fox and buck by just a few minutes.

I just brought my simple point-and-shoot camera because I was already bringing a heavy load and it was supposed to rain (it ended up just being misty/drizzly) and I didn’t want to risk my DSLR getting wet. I’ll definitely be bringing it next time.

This hike was incredible. I was in absolute awe the entire time! The higher the elevation, the less the visibility. At Panorama Point, we were supposed to be able to have a view of the entire mountain range (even to Mt. Hood in Oregon), but we could hardly even see ten feet out in any direction. Even so, I found the fog to put a whole new way on looking at things. It made the many shades of green really pop out and it was absolutely exquisite. This was my first strenuous hike since the New Zealand trip, and I really need to be doing this more often. I’d love to be able to do these hikes every weekend.

The first .5 miles or, we saw a handful of hiking groups, but the higher we got, the less people we saw. At Panorama Point (6800′), we only saw two small groups (2-3 people per group). And it wasn’t until the last mile or so of the trail where it started getting crowded again. It was weird, and I ended up feeling a bit grumpy once we entered back onto a crowded trail close-by to the lodge/parking lot. It’s really a wonderful thing to have such tranquility (and quietness) at such high elevations. It also wasn’t the best weather for it, but i’m just really happy there weren’t any mosquitos and it didn’t downpour.


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Hoping to find a job in the field doing conservation, restoration, research, or something similar back on the West Coast soon…