For once, Melanie and I went on an easier hike — for her sore foot. Usually it's me who is hurting somewhere and asking for a shorter excursion on Thursday. While the rest of the Senior Trailblazers headed to the High Country for a nice journey up to Boundary Way, Mel's foot needed something short and not too far out into the wilderness.
|Lake Padden this morning|
First, we made the two-and-a half-mile loop around Lake Padden, and her foot did all right, so we decided to venture up the highway to Squires Lake. We could have just made a second loop around Lake Padden, but for some variety, we wanted to visit a second lake and add a little interest to our day's fun.
|Trailhead off the parking lot|
The trail heads up a steep section, but it doesn't last all that long. It's only about a half mile from this spot to the lake, and we went up slowly to make sure Mel's foot wouldn't be bothered. She discovered that uphill was more uncomfortable than downhill, but she was doing fine by the time we reached the lake.
|Squires Lake this morning|
It was so still on the lake that the reflections were stunning. Although there were a few cars in the parking lot along with us, we saw very few people out today. We decided to follow the loop around the lake and skip the beaver pond for today.
When we do this hike with the larger group, we go up to Alger Alp after visiting the lake and beaver pond. But today we just wanted to enjoy ourselves and not push it. We saw spider webs with spiders in them, and I accidentally stepped on a garter snake basking in the sun. After apologizing to it, a quick scurry into the forest told me it would be okay.
|Mel's caterpillar capture|
The only other wildlife we saw was this guy inching his way across a bench. Mel tried using the portrait mode but it didn't work; this one seems quite perfect to me. He's not very furry, and I wondered if this means we'll have a mild winter. They know lots more than we humans do.
|Another green composition|
I was struck by the mossy tree growing from the top of an old stump. It almost looks to me like a rocket getting ready to launch. Using my imagination, anyway, and I felt it was worth a picture to share here.
|Lily pads on the lake|
As we walked around the lake, it was sunny and warm and felt suspiciously like summer, not fall. Of course these sorts of days are ubiquitous during our Indian Summer, which hopefully has begun and will continue for awhile, as the days shorten and the nights lengthen.
We have passed the autumnal equinox, and that means that now, until we reach the winter solstice in late December, the length of our nights will get longer, before once again beginning to recede. Until we reach spring, we'll have lots of darker days but then the hope of much light to come. The good part is that in Australia, they have just passed from winter into spring. The cycle of the seasons continues.