|Scene at the trailhead
Melanie and I had thought about going up the Fragrance Lake trail again today, but I wasn't feeling all that strong and was not anxious to spend so much energy hiking up that particular trail. So Mel was amenable to changing our hike to one that is almost flat, the Hertz trail, instead. Although it's more than six miles round trip, the elevation gain and loss is negligible. It rained last night but the weather was supposed to be pretty nice today, and sure enough it was. We did have a little sprinkle here and there, but nothing even requiring a raincoat.
|Salmonberry in bloom
One thing that surprised me is that the salmonberries are coming into bloom, which I found to be rather amazing. Where did all this green and all these blossoms come from so quickly? Actually, tomorrow is the first day of April, so it's not really all that early, it's just seems that way; time is rocketing by.
In three miles or so, this flat trail crosses two streams that are graced by lovely covered bridges, and is quite well maintained. It gets lots of use by hikers, dog walkers, bikers, and runners. We saw a little of each today, but basically it was not very busy at all.
|Fresh buds everywhere
We happened to look out at the lake just as we saw a cormorant (we think anyway) dive down and disappear from view. We watched to see it surface with a fairly good-sized fish in its beak (bill?) and wrestle with it for a bit before getting the fish above its head, dropping it down into its mouth, and swallowing it whole!
As we walked, we had a few little sprinkles from passing clouds, then a bit of sunshine (as seen here), and the occasional passerby, but mostly we had this lovely place all to ourselves. After we got back to the car, Mel wanted to stop by a restaurant she visited yesterday, to see if by chance she had left her hat and gloves there. Sure enough, she did, and so we decided to stay and enjoy some lunch. It was just right, and by the time we headed back home, we were treated to full sunshine and warming temperatures. All in all, a lovely day!