Today Melanie and I decided to head to one of our favorite places, Lake Padden, and hike into the back trails and, if necessary to get enough steps, take a loop around the lake. The baseball field (in the summer months) was completely covered with frost, so we thought we should take our trekking poles in case it was slippery. (It wasn't, surprisingly.)
|Interesting moss on that tree|
The area had changed a bit since we were last here a few weeks ago. We've had some rain, and then a long dry spell, and plenty of wind and cold temperatures to encourage the leaves to fall. But the sunny day made us quite happy to be out and about. There are so many trails behind the lake, and I've walked some of them but it's easy to get lost or turned around. Fortunately, at most of the junctures you've got a map to help you navigate.
|Still some leaves on the trees|
In the unprotected areas, the wind was quite strong and coming from Canada, so it wasn't exactly all that warm. But since we were moving at a good pace, we kept warm enough to take off our gloves, eventually. I did notice some valleys where it was much colder, and where the wind had not yet scoured out the frost.
|An animal's cave?|
I don't remember ever seeing this tree before, with the enormous hole in its side. It's still alive and seems to be holding its own, even with this part missing. I wonder how old this tree is. I'm not sure I could find it again. However, in any event, we decided to head down to the lake and make one loop around it (2.6 miles).
Before we did that, we stopped for a quick snack, since Mel had made these brownies and was convinced that we should have some. She also brought some raspberry jam to spread on them, since she thought they weren't sweet enough. She had cut the sugar in the recipe in half, but I thought they were simply wonderful. Not that I minded having the jam on them. After our repast, we walked around the lake.
|Heron taking in the sun|
It was so bright and beautiful, and this heron on the buoy had found his place to enjoy the view (and possibly catch some lunch). You can see how much the leaves have fallen from the trees on the far side.
|Serenity everywhere we looked|
There were plenty of ducks and geese also enjoying the beautiful day, and we saw lots of people out walking their dogs, as well as a few squirrels here and there. Everyone and everything seemed to be enjoying the day, and we ended up covering 6.5 miles in total, with 1,100 feet of elevation gain and loss. Not too shabby for an almost eighty-year-old. I feel so blessed to live in such a wonderful place, and to have a hiking companion who also feeds me such good food!