|Nice trail, mostly dry|
|Another nice waterfall|
|Yes, it's really a dragon|
|Nice trail, mostly dry|
|Another nice waterfall|
|Yes, it's really a dragon|
On Saturday, four of us ladies walked around in full sunshine but bundled up against the cold temperatures. We usually warm up more than we have been during recent sunny days, but what's a little of the white stuff (snow and/or frost) when the sun is shining and it's the middle of January? There are plenty of other places in the country that are much whiter and much colder. I'll take our climate, happily.
|More frosty flowers|
I woke this morning with the the memory of an old Cat Stevens song in my head. Do you remember "Oh Very Young"? It was released in 1974, so some of you might not remember it because you weren't born yet. Now why that song kept coming into my mind, a phrase at a time, is curious. I haven't heard it for years now, but of course I had to online to read and remember more. Cat Stevens changed his name to Yusuf Islam and recanted all his old songs, as I remember. But many of his songs are precious to us oldsters.
I didn't remember that his song was an ode to Buddy Holly. Boy you can sure get an education by googling a name or a phrase, can't you? Here's the part that emerged for me, and is still rolling around in reminiscence.
Oh very young What will you leave us this time
You're only dancing on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your daddy's best jeans
Denim Blue fading up to the sky
And though you want him to last forever
You know he never will
And the patches make the goodbye harder still
Perhaps it was listening to Amanda Gorman reciting that amazing poem at Biden's inauguration and thinking about what the new generation is teaching us. I really don't know, but now I can't stop hearing that song!
|The turnoff to the falls|
Today, three of us set off from the Chuckanut Mountain trailhead for Raptor Ridge, a place we often visit during the winter months. This year, it's been visited more often than usual, but we didn't actually make it there today. As we headed up the Hemlock trail, I began to lose steam and had to make several stops just to catch my breath. Melanie and Sue let me make the call to stop and turn around, rather than continue. I don't know why I was feeling so tired today, but they didn't make me feel too bad. We decided to turn around and make a trip to Chuckanut Falls.
|Melanie, "the Dude," and Sue|
We often stop to visit this interesting little configuration in a tree, which looks like a face, often with a doobie sticking out of his "mouth." The reference is to an old movie, "The Big Lebowski," with Jeff Bridges playing the part of "The Dude." It's fun to watch it again, which I did after we discovered the tree. It's on the trail to the falls.
|Overlooking Chuckanut Falls|
We chatted about the falls for awhile, enjoying the mild weather and lack of the you-know-what coming out of the sky. (Earlier we thought today was going to be very wet, but the front disappeared, thank goodness.)
|We enjoyed seeing the falls|
After spending some time at the falls, we turned around and began our return trip to the cars. However, Sue saw some Christmas decorations that had been forgotten on a tree , and she was concerned about birds mistaking them for something edible.
|A Christmas bell and sign|
Melanie and Sue took down the bells and other Christmas ornaments and placed them in a bag, which was left at the trailhead. They are mostly made of glass, and Sue was concerned about windstorms breaking them and causing harm.
|Doing a good deed|
We then turned around and made our way back to the trailhead. We had a short discussion about the ferns that grow out of trees around here. I had learned they are called "licorice ferns," but I'm not sure exactly why.
|A pretty fern-and-moss bouquet|
Although we didn't go as far as we intended when we began, we did manage to get some five or so miles out of it, with plenty of elevation as well. And we were home early, as opposed to last week's hike when I barely made it back in time for our weekly Zoom call with the other Senior Trailblazers. It wa a fine day out, and now I am feeling quite rested and happy to have been exploring with my friends.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
We decided to extend the distance a little by taking the trail to Samish Overlook to see if we might have a view under the clouds. As you can see, we certainly did, looking out over the Samish Valley, and if you use your imagination, you can see a dim bump along the horizon, which is actually Mt. Rainier, seen through the clouds. We don't usually get to see it at all. And lots of evidence of recent rainfall with all that standing water.
Also visible from the Overlook is this delightful view of Samish Bay. We had just about perfect weather, with those high clouds and little wind. Although we had hiked several miles by this time, we had seen little evidence of the windstorm. That was about to change, as we continued on the trail towards Oyster Dome, on our way to the junction with the Lily and Lizard Lakes trail.
|Mel in front of downed trees|
As we ascended, we saw plenty of uprooted and downed trees, and there were times when the trail was completely obscured. All of this happened just the day before yesterday, and the crews have not begun the cleanup.
|Plenty of mangled trees|
It seemed odd, since the damage only seemed to be in one part of the forest, in the area heading up towards Oyster Dome. We lost the trail several times and had to work hard to find our way to the junction, but we did. As we continued towards Lily Lake, the wind damage became less and less.
By the time we made it to Lily Lake, there was little destruction to be seen, but considering that we had lost perhaps a full hour by having to climb over and under trees, and that we still had plenty to distance to cover, we decided to skip Lizard Lake and just head back to the car, given the shortness of our January daylight.
Although it was difficult in some ways, it was also a wonderful way to spend the day, with my friend Mel in rather perfect weather. We covered almost nine miles and more than 2,000 feet up and down. I'm tired right now, but feeling pretty good now that I'm home and finishing my blog post, albeit a little late!
|Kayaks in Bellingham Bay|
|Service road and ferns|
|Mt. Baker and the Sisters|
|Melanie greeting her favorite mountain|
|Me admiring the view (thanks, Mel)|
|Mossy tree in sunlight|
|Big ol' cedar tree|
The Pacific Northwest is home to about forty species of ferns. They can be found in nearly every area of our region, and so there are many appropriate for nearly every garden condition, even sunny rock gardens! True, the majority are shade and moisture lovers and are thought of as a backbone of the shade garden and rightly so. Evergreen or deciduous, they are virtually disease and pest-free, and can provide a range of textures and heights. (from Portland Nursery website)
I can now distinguish several varieties from one another, but my favorite will always be the pretty maidenhair fern. I look for it whenever I'm out and about. This year, I look forward to being able to hike with my Senior Trailblazers once again, and hope I will be in line to get the new coronavirus vaccine sometime early in the year. This past year was really only survivable for me because of being able to get out most weeks with my friend Melanie on some familiar hikes.