Thursday, May 26, 2022

Chanterelle trail

Lots of new green

Today Melanie and I decided to head up the Chanterelle Trail, one of our favorite wintertime hikes. We may be doing these lowland hikes many times more during the coming season, since it's still snowing in the High Country. I just heard on the news today that our local ski areas will remain open until mid-June because of the snow situation up there. 

Vanilla-leaf plants

I noticed today that the vanilla plants have come to bring their flowers out. Those straight white flowers are what give these plants away. From that link:
In the months of March-June Vanilla Leaf send forth a bottlebrush-like flower featuring 8-20 long white stamens that form a showy spike positioned above the center point of the leaves. The flower spike can range from 1”-3” in length.
The leaves smell strongly of vanilla when dried. It is also known as Deer's Foot, but I have only heard the plant called vanilla leaf. Anyway, it was nice to see these lovely three-leaf plants appear since all the trillium have faded away. At least, we didn't see any of them today.

Dandelion gone to seed

We saw lots of dandelions, both in their blooming state, but also gone to seed like this one. Melanie said when she was a kid they called them fairy dust as they blew the seeds, like this:

Mel scattering seeds, or fairies, in the forest

Although it was forecast to rain today, it's not supposed to get here until later. We were off the trail by 2:00pm, so we escaped the rain. The beautiful trail pulled us up until we got to the Viewpoint.

Whatcom Lake

It was quite warm, for us anyway, with the temperature in the mid-sixties (18°C) and quite humid. But the humidity didn't deter us as long as it didn't turn into rain. Now that I am home, I see in looking out the window that the rain has started. 

Looking at the viewpoint from the trail extension

We thought about going farther up the trail, where the second half gives us another five miles and plenty of elevation, but my knee was already complaining so we turned back. We ended up hiking almost six miles and 1,400 feet of elevation gain and loss, so we did get a pretty good workout. I'm happy and not completely tired out.

Mossy tree

I was taken by the design of the moss on this tree as we headed back down the trail. It's also got a couple of vanilla leaf plants at its base. All in all, it was a very good day, and I'm always glad when we have three wonderful items in our day's exertions: (1) no rain, (2) good company, and (3) great views. Now it's time to begin the rest of my day. Hope you're having a good one, too!



  1. That photo of Whatcom Lake is downright heavenly, what a view. That's also surreal about the snow in upper parts, but there's another blogger from Washington who shared a photo of her daughter hiking in the snow just yesterday. Well DJan, it doesn't exactly look arid in your neck of the woods there, but glad you got a hike without the rain! .🙂

  2. So a smart hiker/walker knows when to go and miss the rain.

  3. Totally green and lovely. I like your three things too.

  4. That view of the lake is splendid, well worth the 6 mile hike. Had to smile at Melanie scattering seeds. Did a lot of that when as a kid also. Now days, I try to mow them before they can spread.

  5. I passed a nice field of dandelions that I thought would make a good photo. But they soon good to seed, and I didn’t get there in time.

  6. Nice view of the lake. It must be very peaceful over there.

  7. Another great hike. Love that new green of spring!

  8. I noticed vanilla leaf in our yard last week. I'll have to check to see if it's blooming. Rain has held off so far this Friday but I guess it's coming.

  9. Ha ha ... please blow those dandelion seeds the other way, away from my yard! (But it's a great photo!)

  10. This all sounds like a wonderful hike and a wonderful day with a friend. I never knew what a vanilla plant looked like. I've just returned from an overseas trip. It's nice to touch base again.

  11. Never have heard of or seen those vanilla leaf plants. Hotter than normal in Fargo, too. Was 83 degrees yesterday and we had frost warnings a few days ago. Glad you had a fabulous hike with your wonderful friend. :)

  12. We have lots of those dandies in the yard...nice to think of them as fairies:)

  13. Missed this post Sunday... but glad I saw it today. Love all the green you get to see... and the Dandelion and the mossy tree base! Have been side-tracked a bit these last few days.


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