Thursday, June 30, 2022

Lily and Lizard once more


Today Melanie and I decided to head over to Blanchard Mountain south of Bellingham, for a trip to Lily and Lizard Lakes. After days of serious heat, today we woke to moderate temperatures and mostly sunny skies. It was actually even a bit on the chilly side when we started out, but once we got moving it was perfect: a light breeze on top of lots of shade from the sun.

Our forest trail

We walked up the beautiful trail, enjoying the view although I (at least) struggled with the uphill part of our journey. We actually ended up going up and down 2,200 feet in around eight miles. A little more than last week, but today we had more steep sections. I took the uphill easy and then groaned when my knees complained on the downhill. I could not have done it without the help of my trusty trekking poles.

I was glad to rest awhile

Mel took this picture of me on the way to Lily Lake, and I kept watching for the benches I knew would appear sooner or later. I was surprised to see my spooky "friend" behind me, but the picture was too good not to use.

Nature's bouquet

Although the heavy rains of previous weeks are past, we still see plenty of signs of mushrooms. I like this "bouquet" of some kind of shrooms. We did see lots of oyster mushrooms still around (these are not them) but I do like seeing the composition of these.

Lily Lake

We made it to Lily Lake just a little past noon, so we stopped for a wonderful lunch. Melanie had brought me some of her homemade zucchini patties, which I ate enthusiastically, and then she pulled out some lemon cookies (no eggs, gluten free, and delicious) and I helped myself to them, too. She is a great cook and I knew I would probably not have a chance to eat any of my boring health bars.

Lily pads and blossoms

This closeup of Lily Lake shows some of the beautiful lily pads which give the lake its name. Flowers on the lily pads are abundant out there, too. Then, after lunch we decided to make a loop, rather than return back the way we had come.

Mel is figuring out the distances

Mel let me decide which way to return, and as the three options presented to us were all about the same in distance, we headed over to the Alternate Incline trail, which would take us to the service road and back to the car. I chose that route, although I knew the steep downhill would be a challenge for my knees. However, I did it but not without some complaining.

Alternate Incline trail

The Alternate Incline trail was beautiful, more lush and green than I've seen it before, and we enjoyed it, even with the steepness. You lose about 900 feet of elevation in just over a mile. And then we were on the service road, which was mostly shaded by the foliage and trees, so it was actually quite pleasant.

Foxglove on the side of the road

We passed by huge stands of foxglove, just newly opened, to admire and exclaim at their beauty. Many of you might know that foxglove (digitalis purpurea) is widely used as a heart medicine. It is highly toxic when consumed unawares, but when extracted and made into a drug (digitalis), it's commonly used in treating heart problems. We love the way they look, but just like the mushrooms, we'll leave them alone and just admire them.

So that was how we two spent our Thursday. Now that I am home and feeling pretty darn good, considering all that exercise, I am happy to state that I do feel more like my old self these days, even if I must be careful not to overdo. I am grateful to Melanie for the company, the food, and especially offering encouragement. Onward and upward!



  1. So cool - I did not know that about foxglove! Very interesting! It is amazing how much we could do by harnessing the power of nature! That Lily lake was absolutely lovely! Cudos to you fer getting out there and working through your pain. Hugs

  2. Foxgloves are beautiful and no more poisonous than WOlf’s Bane. I don’t know of any poisonous cat plants. Just sayin. 😇😸

  3. The foxglove is so pretty! You will have to get Mel's recipe for the lemon cookies! They sound wonderful!

    1. It’s just shortbread with lemon zest-2 lemons zest per 1cup of flour. Score baking, sprinkle with sugar or decorative sugar.

  4. When many good things come together it makes for a great hike. You had a very enjoyable day.

  5. You certainly have lots of trails and lots of names. Glad Lizard Lake doesn't have Nessie in it! Be careful with those knees. Linda in Kansas

  6. You are looking good and seem to be doing some challenging walks these days. This one was beautiful with the lake and then all those foxgloves to admire on your way down.

  7. Well done. And hooray for trekking poles, encouraging friends and delicious snacks. Gorgeous views are another bonus.

  8. Lily Lake has lily pads. I thought it was named after someone name Lily!

    Another wonderful hike. It always makes me smile to read of your exploits!

  9. You go girl. So glad you are using it instead of losing it. I was wondering if you have ever tried a compression sleeve for your knees to help with the down hills?
    Melanie's treats do sound better than health bars.

  10. That hike is for intrepid hikers like you. I'll settle for those zucchini patties and lemon cookies! Yum. Gigi hawaii

  11. Great photos DJan (but what pulled me over here was that title). Y'know, reading this I was thinking "Melanie seems like a pretty special friend" and then got to the part about the lemon cookies. :^) Anyway, she's just as lucky to have you. PS. This is ApacheDug--it won't let me sign in your page??

  12. I like Lily Lake. Downhill is always worse than going up.

  13. You see so many wonderful things on your nature walks, DJan. You're lucky to have Melanie who is also likes to trek out in the woods.

  14. Sounds and looks like a lovely hike. Love the pic of the incline trail. And I'd love to know the recipe for the gluten free lemon cookies too. Did she use GF flour, measure for measure, or no flour?

  15. Another wonderful hike with a wonderful friend and beautiful scenery. What ore could one ask for! :)

  16. Hi DJan, In your comment on my blog, about 6 hours ago, you said, “… it makes my day much brighter when I see your pictures.” I love that and I’ve got to say it back to you for YOUR photos. I clicked on the images to get the larger view and I must say, you got some really great shots! I admire the way you and Melanie go for hikes on these Pacific Northwest trails. I am so happy to hear you are feeling “pretty darn good.” 😊 Thank you for sharing and for your kind comment on my blog. Wishing you and SG a good weekend and a Happy July 4th!

  17. Great hike, and glad you made it through!

  18. Happy 4th DJan! I'm glad to say hello again. Thanks for keeping me in your blog territory. Your were missed!


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