|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.
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.
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.
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!