About Me

My Photo
Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday ramble

After yesterdays wild weather it was good to get out from a walk in the woods.  Here in my neighborhood we had some pretty good wind along with thunder and driving rain.  Down the Sound there was a waterspout that showed enough rotation that a tornado alert was triggered.  Check out the video from the Nisqually Nature Center.  It shows the spot from interesting clouds to funnel.


Professor Mass has posted a discussion about the funnel


It has been about 50 years since the Columbus Day Storm which saw a F3 tornado hit the Kent valley, so they can happen here.

And that is why I love this time of year.  warm days that make you think summer will never end followed by crisp nights and foggy mornings.

We don't get the fantastic color in our natural environment, but the local ornamental trees are busting out with colors.

Our woods are more about a slow and quiet change from green to yellows, browns and blacks.

I went over to Cougar Mountain Park for a couple hours of rambling.  After yesterdays rain the trails, covered with Big-leaf maple leaves are just perfect.  The leaves are not crispy, so they are not great for shoofling through.  They do, however, make nice quite stepping.  Easier to hear what is about.

The mushrooms are coming on.  So many shapes and sizes.

Tall shiny ones

Big shaggy ones

tiny dew covered ones

and Angel Wings, the ones you want to pick and take home

I leave them for the critters.  Douglas Squirrels and Flying Squirrels will harvest and take these for drying.  You will sometimes find them out at the end of fir tree branches, drying.

Feeding flocks were out and about with Gold and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, the chickadees,nuthatch and Hairy Woodpeckers all over the place.  Tree Frogs could be heard most everywhere, impossible to spot.

This Woolly Bear was easy to find.

The trails in the park go every which way and a walk all the way out the Wild Side Trail takes you to the entrance of the old Ford Slope Mine.

It is hard to imagine the saw mill, mine support structures and the town that was once in these woods.  Nature has done a pretty wonderful job of covering it all over.  These mine entrances pop up, usually with suitable warning signs showing Mr Stick Man in peril.

One can ramble for hours on many trails.  There are good water features here.  Even after yesterdays rain, it will take a while longer before we can expect good running creeks.  A few of the bridges had shallow rivulets under them.

Given the forecast for the week ahead, the water will rise soon enough.
I love this time of year.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fair Day

Not a sprinkle in sight today so headed for the fair

Who knew Llamas could drive

Craft and Grange, always colorful.  The Dahlia was the supreme champion and my photo does not do justice.

Tricky little critters to photograph

Mechanical things for guys big and small

I'm not sure I knew there were Hairy sheep.

But certainly know about "woolly" goats.  There was an excellent display of different hairs, wools and furs.  The angora goats only outdone by bunny fur

This lovely Brown Swiss won many awards through the morning.

These little peewees were champion and reserve does.  They had to have their ear tattoos inspected and recorded.

At the wash rack

Nap time

Fun time

Snack Time

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Berry Scouting

I took Lil Blue out for a spin along the Snoqualmie River Trail, Duvall to Carnation.

It was super early to beat the heat and I pretty much had the trail to myself.  The air was almost chilly to start

Along the way I noted the bounty of Blackberry, always present in areas like this.

I think it is going to be a banner year.  Many berries already dark and needing just another week of hot sunny day to convert those sugars and loosen up.  The forecast is for a good solid week of no rain, so first pick should be next weekend.

After first pick, which will go into flavored vodka making, there will be waves and waves of berries to come on.  Today I note plenty of green and red berries, enough to make a long season

Birds were everywhere and Robins lead the way.  They gorge on these berries and I saw some evidence that Coyote were here about as well.

Peter Rabbit was plotting his attack on the bounty too.  Cottontails dashed and darted across the trail.

I peddled into Carnation and stopped for a decaf (aren't I wild ) before beginning the five miles back.  Along the way I could feel that point where the rising sun had burned off enough fog and it was the start of another warm day.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Meet Little Blue

A new toy and option for getting out and about.

This is Little Blue, a Dahon Vitesse folding bike.  Seven speed weighs slightly less than 30 lbs.

They say you never forget how to ride a bike.  I have not ridden since I was a kid, when I use to ride everywhere on my 1 speed, coaster break bike.  Aside from a brief ride on a bike at the beach, nothing.  But it does appeal to me in a somewhat limited way.  I am not full of the courage that road bikers have, nor the athletic ability of those mountain bikers.  No for me a paved bike path is just my speed.

I took my first ride today.  Part of the fun is figuring our where to adjust the seat and handle bar height to.  Next is how to sit in the saddle.  I am a horsewoman and have sat in many saddles, good and bad.  This one is going to take some getting use to.  Finding where the sweet spot is will take time.  There is always an option to try a different type.

I drove to Woodinville, the town north of me and headed south on the Sammamish Slough trail, back to Redmond.  I was going to head north but my neighbor encouraged me to try the southbound track first.

It is a pretty trail down the valley.  There are several truck farms and small properties on one side of the slough, the other side is more light industrial and there is a large golf course.  Most of the way, these are hidden behind trees and shrubs.

The trail is popular and I really wished I had a sign on my back saying Olde Fart Beginner.  The speedsters race up from behind (on left on left) and the joggers and strollers are always present.  I made several stops on my way south to enjoy seeing and hearing birds

There was a large encampment at the soccer fields.  Tents, cars from all over the western US and shouts and yells.  I thought at first a soccer tournament, but as I got close I saw that they were throwing Frisbees.   I asked one woman " Frisbee soccer?"  She was a bit aghasted that I did not know "Ultimate Frisbee"

The whole of the area was ringed with tents.  It looks like they are set for a fun, long weekend.

Other people were out having fun.  This looks like a good team building activity.  I could get with this.

I was surprised not to see kayaks and only these two paddle board riders.

A popular trail gets attention and along the way there were a lot of very nice footbridges and some public art.

So a two hour round trip is under my belt.  My first impression , I would have rather have jumped on a strange young horse.  I felt pretty much out of water.  Like riding a horse, you do better if you keep your eyes up and ahead.  Balance comes to me better when I have something to push against when peddling, so I explored learning the gears and what suits when .  The smaller wheels react pretty quickly to a change of balance and I had one brief panic when a speedster snuck up behind me.

I could feel it in my hands and wrists (numb) and now feel it a little in my shoulder, so conditioning into this is vital.  I raised my handlebar height on the return leg of my ride so I will start out higher next time.

I am hoping Little Blue can come with me and explore some areas not so easily reached on foot or by car. There are some nice trails in eastern Washington that go along old rail beds and get you into some interesting countryside.  There is , of course, the 14 mile trail at Long Beach half of which covers some real gain as you climb up to Cape Disappointment.