Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trillium time in the Chuckanuts

One of dozens of trillium pictures I took
Today eight of us Trailblazers went to three different destinations in the Chuckanuts: Chuckanut Falls, Raptor Ridge, and Madrone Crest. The weather forecast gave us a 90% chance of rain for the day, with showers in the morning and rain in the afternoon. But we woke to sunshine, not rain, giving us hope for another not-too-wet hike. We were rewarded with a dry day after all, but the sun left before we even began to hike at 8:30am.
Our first stop was the falls, a short side excursion from the Hemlock trail. This is a fairly new trail in the Chuckanut trail system, and the falls might be more spectacular after a heavy rain, but we were happy to see it, some of us for the first time. It's certainly green around the falls. Early in the day, my trillium pictures all had their heads hanging down from the previous night's rain.
I tried to get a picture of the falls without the log in the foreground. Since it wasn't all that good, I decided to appreciate all the green ferns growing out of the log. Our next stop was at Raptor Ridge, a couple of miles farther up the trail. The view from the ridge was diminished by low clouds, so as we left we played with our poles, making them resemble crossed swords. I asked Peggy to come back under them so I could capture a shot of seniors acting silly. It was fun and made for an interesting picture.
Our last stop was at Madrone Crest. The madrone trees are almost all gone now, but the trail is one of my favorite places, and if you're lucky you can get a view of Mt. Baker. We didn't expect much, since Raptor Ridge was basically socked in, but we were fortunate indeed. Still no rain; although the low clouds spit at us now and then, we stayed dry. Every moment we expected a deluge.
By the time we had our lunch at Madrone Crest, we had traveled more than seven miles and had plenty of distance still to go. The hike was intended to be shorter, but since it never did rain, we kept on going, making it almost ten miles by the time we got back to the cars, and covering almost 2,500 feet of elevation up and down. When we returned to the Senior Center and I got out of Al's car, my stiff old body groaned and creaked a fair amount.
Not only the trillum flowers are out everywhere, but the ferns are unfurling. This bracken fern will be out in a day or two; they are so fascinating to observe on their way to becoming full-fledged leaves. I took this picture just as we finished our hike. I had tried all day to get a good shot, but they kept being fuzzy in the low light, and my cohorts are likely to leave me behind if I fiddle around too long. The light wasn't perfect, but this one WAS in focus! It's probably unfurled more than this already.

But I wouldn't know, since I'm home, warm and toasty. And tired. Once I get this on line, I'll go pour myself a glass of wine. It's time to relax for the evening.


  1. Can't you use the flash on the camera to compensate for the low light?

    Pretty pictures, as usual. I chuckled when I saw the crossed swords. It reminded me of when my friend got married to a major in the army years ago. She and her new hubby walked below crossed swords after their wedding. Cute!

  2. fiddling around with fern fiddleheads. :) loved the trillium. i've seen the red ones featured on other blogs, but i grew up with these white ones in wisc. :)

    the scene w/ the 'swords' was too cute. and i'd like to sit down and have a glass of wine w/ you. :)

  3. smiles...glad you all have such fun on your trips...very cool view from on top def enjoy a bit of a relax...

  4. The Trillium is so pretty..ours will bloom in about 4 more weeks. Loved the Fiddleheads unfurling..sometimes it helps to point your camera skyward to catch the light instead of straight on..practice makes perfect! :)

  5. You must have had your lucky jacket on again. ;)

    Loved the silly seniors pic and you are getting some beautiful shots. The log in the falls picture was pretty with the ferns on it. The trillium and the curled fern--gorgeous. I love your header, too, BTW. The picture of you is glorious! And the other two aren't to shabby, either. ;)

  6. Trilliums, ferns growing out of logs, a shot of a beautiful mountain peak, and an unfurling fern = the treasures we get to see because you suffered through the rain. I'm sorry you were stiff and sore when you finished, but we sure enjoyed seeing what you captured with your camera lens for us. Enjoy the wine. You deserve it.

  7. There's something interesting around every bend. You found all kinds of good things around those bends. The guys I used to hike with had only the destination in mind rather that what was on the journey.

  8. Jan, I've seen my first trillium photo this evening! :)) I've never heard of it nor seen it, so I'm thankful that you posted it.
    I began reading your blog and read that you were expecting rain again. I smiled and wondered if you guys and gals ever go hiking NOT expecting rain. You are such a trooper, as are your hiking friends.
    I love the log with the fern growing from it. God put it right there so that we could all enjoy it too! The view of the mountain is so pretty, Jan; I love the mountains, and to see this one with snow on the top...ahhh...a feast for the eyes.
    I'm glad that you take the time to take photos as you hike. You do a good job! Here's hoping the li'l fern is unfurled and basking in the morning light tomorrow.
    Enjoy your rest this evening. Thanks for taking us "with" you as you hiked today.

  9. Trillium are the official flower of the province of Ontario (where I live) and ostrich (fiddleheads) ferns.. I can hardly wait until they begin to unfold here. They're delicious.. and I'll bet that glass of wine was, too. ;) Fun day and I thank you for sharing it.

  10. I do love trillium, ferns growing in rotting logs, and ferns uncurling themselves in response to the arrival of spring.

  11. I always enjoy your views of the lush green forests on your side. The trillium is gorgeous.

    From the crossed poles I can tell you were all having a great time. I'm glad the rain held off.

  12. I loved the shot of the Silly Seniors, the trillium, the fern unfolding and Mt Baker. You certainly deserved wine o'clock. Thanks for another beautiful post.

  13. Good morning - What beautiful scenery. Love the fiddleheads and just anticipating my first full dish, boiled or steamed just right - dash of salt n pepper and right onto the dinner table. Why is it that those first dishes taste sooooo good. Like your first strawberry shortcake, blueberry pie, or "dish of fiddleheads" :)
    Love the hiking "swords" in the air - walking into the "Hall of Senior Hikers" :)
    Great post DJan and wonderful photos. Cheers

  14. Love the photos. You live in a gorgeous part of the country, at least for three seasons out of the year.

  15. Oh, DJan... I LOVE the photo of the Trillium. It is my favorite wildflower and is protected by law in these parts. Thank you for posting!

  16. the crossed swords shots is fun! and all the blue jackets pop in all that green

    beautiful shots
    I like the log in the waterfall shot

  17. Wow.....what spectacular views!!! I always enjoy going on these hikes with you, and I've said it before ---wish they had something like this for us seniors HERE. Of course, bah!!---no mountains here. That fern photo is super.

  18. That is quite a hike, lots of miles and yet you had a great time. Seeing seniors having fun times is encouraging to the younguns. At our senior center we have some just over 60 all the way to mid 90s. All still enjoying life. You got some nice photos on this hike. I like them all.

  19. I wonder if you know how much I appreciate taking these gorgeous hikes with you vicariously! Every trail is sure to have hidden delights that you find with your camera. I love all the photos, and would be hard pressed to choose a favorite! I always love red, so the one with the trail sign, red gloves and leaning poles was especially attractive to me. Of course the trillium was beautiful. I like how you caught the fern in the process of unfurling. But, the one that made me smile was of the crossed poles! Thanks for taking me along!


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