Thursday, April 27, 2017

Lily and Lizard Lakes, plus North Butte

Lots of green today
Boy, it's definitely springtime here in the Pacific Northwest: everything is in bloom. Fifteen Senior Trailblazers enjoyed a favorite hike on Blanchard Mountain today, starting at the Upper Trailhead and going first to Lizard Lake, then a foray up to the North Butte, and finally Lily Lake before returning to the cars.
The sun breaking through the trees
It was overcast when we started out and on the chilly side, but there was none of the possible rain that was predicted. We had a 50-50 chance of having our old friend join us on our hike today. However, we made it to Lizard Lake without a raindrop, where we saw lots of beaver activity.
Lisa admiring the recent beaver enterprise
Almost every time we've visited this lake (which is almost identical to Lily Lake, except that it's a little less accessible), we've seen that the beaver are busy as, well, beavers. This tree has recently been felled, judging by the fresh wood chips.
A closeup of the chomp
They chose carefully where to start and ended up with the tree falling just where they wanted it to go. Although I haven't actually seen any of them around, they're here and are definitely making progress toward their dam. Or beaver house, I'm not sure which. Since it was still early, we headed up to the North Butte from Lizard Lake, but it began to rain lightly as we ascended the steep grade.
Carol and Victoria
By the time we got to the top, we had experienced not only rain, but some hail as well. Since I didn't have a good view from the top, I put these two lovely additions in for interest and color. That was the last of the rain we would have for the day, but we didn't know that, and we were cold in the wet and wind, so we decided to head down to Lily Lake for our lunch spot, which is a bit more protected.
Lily Lake lunch spot
By the time we reached the lake, we had more and more sunshine, although the clouds came and went. We were not warm, by any means, but the company was pleasant and every time the sun streamed down on us, you could hear a palpable sigh of contentment.
I'm so pretty
I wandered around after lunch while everyone else was finishing up, and I saw this pretty skunk cabbage, or swamp lantern, apparently singing with joy at the beautiful spring all around it. Does it look like two arms and a head to you, too?
Heading back
And then it was time to head back to the cars. By early afternoon, the skies had cleared so that we had sun streaming through the trees, and we were able to shed more clothes as we descended. All in all, we went up and down about 1,800 feet, covering somewhere short of nine miles (8.6), which is to me just about the perfect distance for a day like today.
Happy trillium
Every time I've seen the trillium prior to today's hike, their petals and leaves have been covered with rain and not perky like this one. You can see why it's called a trillium: three leaves, three petals, and six yellow stamen in the middle of it all. I love these early spring flowers. It was a fine day, and I'm happy to be able to say that my hip seems just fine after the exercise.

It always helps to have sunshine and a beautiful place to immerse oneself for the day. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty darn good right now. And wonder of wonders, it's time for some wine!


  1. Yay! All better! Well done, Jan.

  2. I hope you are loving your well deserved wine o'clock.

  3. I love skunk cabbage and trillium too.
    We managed to walk and work in the garden today with only one rain shower. that made us happy too. Sure could use a bit more warmth, though.
    Well done on your recovery and another vigorous and beautiful hike.

  4. Awesome hike and views from the top !
    I love seeing Trillium in bloom.
    Thank you for sharing such beauty and views I would never be able to experience.

  5. We stayed overnight in Bellingham last week and got down to the Tulip Festival. Drove from Port Angeles and later north back to Abbotsford. What a spectacular landscape! Now I understand your hikes so much better.

  6. That up and down weather just makes for more variety. I keep saying a very beautiful area.

  7. Thanks for a peek at the Skunk Cabbage and Trillium! I am winter weary. Good to hear your hip is all better and you are hiking up and down with no problems! :)

  8. So glad your ole buddy rain stayed away. Thanks for explaining Trillium. All the shots I have seen of it I never noticed the "threes".

  9. Hard to believe you had just had to deal with hail before that lovely lunch shot. Yes, arms and head singing to me. ;)

  10. Another dry hike! Loved the trillium. I need to go looking for some of them around here...

  11. As you wrote about beavers, I realized I've never seen one!

  12. I can't believe you experienced hail on your hike. Hope it didn't hurt your head.

  13. Oh yay! The trillium are blooming. I was wondering how skunk cabbage got its name. That's a huge tree the beavers felled.


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