LOCAL WALKS: Heart Lake

The first time I visited Heart Lake was a warm summer afternoon in 2018, shortly after we moved to Fidalgo Island. I had just learned about Heart Lake and the Anacortes Community Forest Lands: 2800 acres of forests, wetlands, and lakes right here on the island, with 50 miles of trails for hikers. As if the presence of Deception Pass State Park wasn’t enough, the island also enjoys a fine complex of forest, wetlands, bogs and lakes that sprawl across its middle. Near the shore of one of the lakes a grove of very special trees has thrived for hundreds of years. It’s one of the few remaining stands of old growth trees in the Puget Sound lowland ecoregion, and once I heard about it you can bet I was eager to see it.

That August afternoon I parked at the bottom of Mount Erie, a 1273-foot promontory that identifies Fidalgo Island from miles away. Trails wind up and down Mt. Erie but that’s a story for another day – I was more interested in what lies at the bottom of the mountain. As I crossed the road and entered the forest a striking sight stopped me in my tracks: a sleek but massive Western Redcedar tree with a hollowed-out base big enough for a child to crawl into. The tree stood there like an ancient guardian spirit, wounded but unyielding. Apparently a fire gutted the tree’s core long ago, but gazing upward I could see a dense canopy of healthy branches, far above my head.

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1. The base of the old Redcedar tree (Thuja plicata).

It was an appropriate way to begin the walk – with wonder. I’ve been back fifteen times since then, through every season. Sometimes it’s just to pause near the edge of the woods and photograph the placid lake. Once, last May, I joined a group of botany enthusiasts from the Washington Native Plant Society for a field trip through the Heart Lake woods. But mostly I go simply to tread the trails and commune with the giants.

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2. A path through old growth Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). This trail is designated for walking only; bikes and horses can use other trails.
3. The tree canopy.
4. Western redcedars thrive near the lake, to the right of the trail.

5. The distant shore is thick with Douglas fir trees.

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A little history: In 1919 Fidalgo Island’s only city, Anacortes, purchased a large parcel of property from the Washington Power, Light and Water Company. The goal was to preserve the lakes and the land around them so the island would have a backup source of clean water. That purchase prevented development and protected the forest to a degree but for decades, the city logged sections of the forest for revenue. At one point in the tangled history of Heart Lake, it was managed by the State Department of Natural Resources, which actually proposed a condominium development along the shore! That proposal prompted citizens to mobilize in order to prevent any development at Heart Lake. For a time, Heart Lake was designated a state park. Ultimately the city of Anacortes purchased the land from the state, in 2002. Then Heart Lake and the surrounding forest became part of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands.

But people care deeply for this land and soon, a conservation easement plan was created to add more protection for the land. Acre by acre, forest land is purchased by private citizens or entities from the city and set aside for perpetuity. Easement land can never be used for any commercial purpose. No logging, no mining (yes, there are a few old gold mines in these woods), no leasing or selling the land for any reason. Easement land is safe from the buzz of the saw, thanks to the organizing power of tree huggers!

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6. After this couple passed me I quickly photographed them to show the size of the trees. Mild winters in our region encourage fast growth.

7. Fishing on Heart Lake in October. Mount Erie rises in the background. The lake is stocked each year with trout for recreational fishing, either from the shoreline or from non-motorized small boats.
8. Leaves of the Yellow pond lily (Nuphar polysepala) in October.
9. Cattails (Typha latifolia) at the edge of the lake in November.
10. I found this strange mushroom called Witch’s butter (Tremella mesenterica) in January. Note the spiderwebs! The common name comes from Europe, where the appearance of the mushroom at one’s home signified that a spell had been cast. This odd mushroom is found on most every continent and it may have medicinal properties.
11. This winter has been a good one for moss. February saw abundant rainfall and by March, mosses were overtaking small obstacles everywhere I looked. This clump made its way up a bare stick. I think it’s Oregon beaked moss (Eurhynchium oreganum).

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The walk around Heart Lake doesn’t feature many expansive water vistas. Vegetation grows right down to the shore, as it would without human intervention and the trails are mostly set back from the shoreline. Exploring these trails is an up-close and personal experience, with countless fascinating life forms to examine. At the same time, the immensity of the trees puts you in your place, a feeling that isn’t always easy to come by. I think it’s worth spending time in places where humans are dwarfed. Lingering under these great trees, I stretch and strain my neck to discern their distant tops, then I bend down to peer at odd mushrooms and delicate wildflowers. I listen for the croak of a tree frog or the piercing “kireee” of an eagle, and I breathe in peace.

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12. Buttercups (Ranunculus sp.) along a Heart Lake trail.
13. Simple Forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) always delight me, even though they’re not native plants here.
14. My backpack rests against the massive trunk of an old growth Douglas fir tree.


15. And now my phone.

16. A section of bark on an old growth Douglas fir reveals woodpecker damage, fire damage, spider webs, lichens and moss. With a hand lens we would see more life forms. The Heart Lake old growth trees grow where moisture is abundant and fires are infrequent. Severe damage from fires and windstorms historically happens only every few hundred years but we can still see the “biological legacy” of charred bark on the old trees.

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What is “old growth?” As a definition, old growth varies – the term doesn’t indicate a particular age or species of tree. Here in the Puget Sound lowlands the small amount of old growth that remains is made up of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata) and Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). One quality common to any old growth stand is structural diversity: there are trees of different ages and sizes, there are logs, snags, and clearings where trees have fallen. Look in any direction and you’ll find trees in a variety of conditions: small saplings reach for the light, some sprouting from moss-covered logs, mid-sized, straight-trunked trees are common, older trees appear like sentinels and a host of “dead” wood – snags, stumps, logs, and broken branches is scattered everywhere. The snags and logs may look dead, but they are fully engaged in the life of the forest. All manner of plants and animals take advantage of the changes that follow downed and broken trees: increased light means opportunities to grow more quickly, dead wood provides nesting spots, and insects, arthropods and their predators busily maintain the critical rhythms of decomposition and nutrient recycling.

Old growth is about age but it’s also about the complexity of an ecosystem that has evolved over time. In forests west of the Cascades it can be 175 – 250 years before the intricate layers of ecosystem diversity begin to emerge. After a century or two the forest looks more and more “spacially patchy” as ecologists say. An old growth forest looks nothing like a neat, even-rowed, managed forest. Irregular patches of growth support a community of wildlife, invertebrates, fungi, understory plants, mycorrhizal fungi and microbes, all living in concert with the tree layer. Here in the Pacific northwest, more than half the forests were in the old growth phase when Europeans arrived. Now perhaps 10 – 18% can be considered old growth, so even small remnants like the 20 acres of old growth around Heart Lake are precious.

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17. Rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) leaves spring up from a bed of moss on the forest floor. Flower stalks will bear tiny orchids in the summer.
18. A fern leaf casts a shadow on a fallen log.
19. In June, the Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) trees drop their catkins.
20. It’s November and the Red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) bushes are shedding their leaves.
21. Believe it or not, this was taken a few days before Christmas. The evergreen understory of Salal (Gaultheria shallon) and Sword fern (Polystichum munitum) blends seamlessly with the graceful, feathery branches of Western Redcedar.
22. Wetlands border the lake; this one has Swamp lanterns, aka Skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) blooming in late March.

23. Even at 1pm on a summer afternoon, the light is subdued.

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The forest and wetlands around Heart Lake seem almost pristine now, after decades of protection. The single road that passes the lake isn’t busy; traffic noise doesn’t invade the forest. We need these quiet, outdoor places more than ever. For many people, spending time immersed in nature is very difficult right now. So far we’re lucky in Washington State – the governor said getting exercise outdoors is fine as long as we maintain a distance of six feet between ourselves and others. People are still going to the parks. In my experience, they respect boundaries by stepping off the trails to let others pass. Everyone is polite, almost painfully so. As nourishing as time spent outdoors is for body and soul, it can feel fraught in the moments when we encounter other people.

We wait and see, each of us dealing with restrictions and anxieties in our own way. This post is an offering of a brief respite.

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24. Heart Lake Road, September.

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79 comments

  1. Such a serene walk in the woods. I’m always happy to see you taking the time to note the finer details as well as the larger views. Thanks especially for 16 and the witch’s’ butter (which I consider a much more attractive name than its most common alias, yellow brain fungus).

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    • It’s great that you appreciate the details; there’s no question that I love zeroing in on them. πŸ™‚ I saw the yellow brain fungus name somewhere…it sounds unpleasant. Maybe witch’s butter sounded unpleasant too, about four centuries ago. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for your comment, and take care.

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  2. Cracking set – a lot of editing – I did something similar last year – ended up taking bucket loads of images – and as much time again editing. But what is obvious from you blog is the range of shots you can capture from these walks, well done

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    • You noticed! Yes, lots of editing, photographic and textual. When you return to a place over and over that’s interesting, you do end up with a bucketload of images. πŸ™‚ I try to get a range of views and subjects so your comment is much appreciated! Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Thanks for sharing Lynn.
    I felt really refreshed seeing the nature around you and the enormous trees. Perhaps the current atmosphere around the world will encourage people to be more aware of nature and the need to restore the pristine country and mountainous terrain from the past (before modern towns and cities took over_.
    Fidalgo Island is a wonderful example to inspire and uplift.

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    • It’s my pleasure, and I’m very glad the images left you feeling refreshed. πŸ™‚ Your thought about people increasing their awareness of nature is a good one. People are talking about positive change coming out of this pandemic so let’s hope it happens. Meanwhile, stay healthy! πŸ™‚

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  4. Your statement that “a grove of very special trees has thrived for hundreds of years” makes me wonder whether you ever feel tempted to use the older past participle and say, for example, that no person could have survived, much less thriven, with as much damage as the western red cedar in picture #1 has sustained?

    Your mention of the genus Pseudotsuga got me wondering what was false about Douglas fir. The relevant Wikipedia article provided the answer: “The common name honors David Douglas, a Scottish botanist and collector who first reported the extraordinary nature and potential of the species. The common name is misleading since it is not a true fir, i.e., not a member of the genus Abies. For this reason the name is often written as Douglas-fir (a name also used for the genus Pseudotsuga as a whole).”

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      • It seems that there’s a synonym for E. oreganum but I don’t think it solves the problem – it’s Kindbergia oregana! πŸ™‚ I’m sure it’s named for the state but why it’s spelled that way, I certainly don’t know.

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    • The older past participle isn’t in my vocabulary, I’m sorry to say. But it’s interesting to hear it! As far as the Douglas firs go, they are the most common tree around here and you can be sure I have read about how they got their name, and about David Douglas, A number of other species are named for him, like our little Douglas squirrel. I’ve seen Douglas fir hyphenated, but not as often as I see it unhyphenated, so I guess I’m just going with the mainstream. πŸ˜‰

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    • That mushroom sure stopped me in my tracks! There is probably a function in those folded and curved forms that we cannot even guess. I like that lonely feeling in the road photo, too – I’m glad you did. As for the trails, I’ve tended to take the same ones over and over. I like seeing seasonal changes by walking the same path again and again. Lately though, I’ve been trying to take more trails that are new to me. When I look at the maps it’s mind-boggling, how many trails there are. We’re not a large island so those miles of trails are wiggly ones that often cross one another. But there’s still lots and lots to see. No doubt, I’ll be posting more from the local forest lands. Thanks Graham!

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  5. A beautiful post Lynn. And yes a respite. Your photos are simply gorgeous. It makes me yearn all the more for tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be released from quarantine and for the first time in 2 weeks can hike my beloved forest trail around the golf course here. It’s not old growth, but it’s still PNW forest and I can wait to get back out in it again.
    Alison

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    • Thanks, Harrie – lots of big trees are on the ground in these environments. you would have fun! It was almost a year ago that we walked around Leiden and sat at that cafe….fond memories! Stay healthy and creative, OK?

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  6. Hi Lynn >>> first, before I forget, are you still in contact with the Bamfords? The last thing I heard, on a Christmas card, was that they were thinking of moving house. I’ve tried to raise them on email, but no replies, and in all this turmoil I’m worrying about them. Any news?

    Lovely set of pictures here, you’re lucky having such a beautiful place nearby. My favourites are 3, 7, 9 fun!, 10 and 22. Thank you for all the many comments you leave on my blog. Adrian

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    • I can try calling them – that would easier for me than it would be for you. πŸ™‚ It’s good of you to think about them. I’ll let you know.
      We ARE lucky to have these places nearby. Thanks to you as well, and stay healthy, OK?

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  7. Your pictures and words always reveal and expose your deep feelings for these places. It’s like a small opening for those that don’t know you to put there eye up to and say yes now I know a little about what and how she thinks. About who she is.

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  8. I love those forest images, Lynn…and still know the smells and feel of being out there, usually alone, when social distance was just a notion. What a beautiful backyard you have….

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    • These days it can get a little hectic from time to time but usually there at least a few chunks of time when I’m alone and it’s quiet. Such different smells from the desert! And guess what I found today, right by the side of the trail…a morel! Just one. I don’t think I’ve seen any for many years. It seems early but maybe not, I don’t know how it works around here. Another layer of complexity to add to the tapestry. Good to hear from you, Scott. πŸ™‚

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  9. The posts on this blog are generally moments of pause and virtual communion with nature, either for the stories told where knowledge and deep respect prevail, or for the beautiful images that you always offers us, or even for the sensitivity shared.
    In these times of “living within four walls”, it feels good to breathe in these places that we don’t know and walk along their paths with you.
    Thank you very much for the walk and for those places preserved by the will of the “tree huggers”. I love it!

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    • I’m so glad you’re able to join me, Dulce. We’re lucky that some trees were never cut and this space can breathe the way it needs to, without (too much) interference. It gives us so much, I hope all is well with you! πŸ™‚

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  10. Hi Lynn, Great post. So interesting about the definition of “old growth”. I often use that term thinking it’s just about the age of the trees. Sad how many ecosystems were decimated early on. Your photographs gave me a much needed moment of solace. Love your images with the paths — I felt like I was walking through the woods. Your lone boater, the cattails, the cool mushroom and webs, the fern shadow. I love your celebrations of nature’s quiet, yet spectacular moments. Thank you so much. πŸ’š

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    • The information about old growth was new to me as of not too long ago, so I understand, and I’m glad it was interesting. There are many huge old stumps in the woods from the giants that were logged long ago – but you’ve seen that, I’m sure. At least the stumps provide places for more growth. It’s good to know that the photos of paths do make you feel like you’re there. I keep taking pictures like that and sometimes question myself. It’s repetitive. But there is something about seeing a path. We had a good hike together today here on the island…ran into a pleasant couple from Seattle. That’s at least 1.5 hours away, a lot farther than the idea of not venturing far for exercise, right? But I can’t blame them and they certainly enjoyed themselves. We muddle through, day by day!! πŸ™‚

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  11. This must have been a huge heap of work, dear Lynn! Such a long and profound text … numbers and numbers of fine photos diligently processed.
    Wood photography is something you can really make me happy with when done in a way like you do it. I feel like having taken a walk – and not like having dug 25m of irrigation hose 6 inch deep into the new vegetable patch as I actually have done today πŸ€ͺ.

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    • You’re too kind, Ule, and I really appreciate your recognition of the work. Joe looks at me working and says, “Isn’t this supposed to be fun?” πŸ˜‰
      It’s great that you were able to join me for a refreshing walk after your labors, wow!! Well, you should get good results from that hose for years to come. Put your feet up and have a glass fo wine! πŸ™‚

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  12. Wow, I’ve enjoyed food with ghee or schmaltz in it, but not sure about that Witch’s Butter. It looks a bit like that witch has been out there in the woods, gathering a collection of waxy ears. Although it does have a very attractive golden color.
    That Oregon beaked moss, on the other hand, is just pure pleasure, what a nice feathery plant. I’ve never seen either of those, or Douglas firs, that was a good idea putting things there for scale, wow, those are some trees.
    #7 the canoeist seems to have just reached the edge of a thin, elongated bluish wedge, separating the lake from the trees, that seems to exactly bisect the picture, that’s a neat picture, to look at for quite a while. #8 the water somehow has almost vanished, so the lily pads seem to be floating in air, that’s cool!
    #9 is such a nice shot, too, with the stalks and leaves looking almost a bit coppery, against a pewter background – the humble cattails look impressive and great, like totems.
    This has been a real tonic against cabin fever, thanks Lynn!

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    • Stick with ghee and schmaltz, your gillygalls will thank you. You’ve probably seen Douglas firs as Christmas trees, a bit smaller, I guess. I’m glad the photos with the phone and backpack helped; it’s hard to convey the scale of really big trees. That lake tends to be very still and calm so the reflections are glassy, making nice effects, as you point out. Thanks for really looking! And the humble cattails were looking proud, that’s exactly what I saw there at the edge of the lake that day. πŸ™‚ It’s good to know this post provided a bit of relief. I hope all is well with you. Looking ahead, I hope that there aren’t any negative repercussions with work. I’ve been reading about how colleges & unis are suffering big losses. Stay healthy and keep your feet on the ground. πŸ™‚

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  13. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Beja Blues | restlessjo

    • Thank you so much – I appreciate that you stopped by and especially, that you let me know you enjoyed the walk. I do “Local Walks” posts every now and then – you can find more under that category. We’re lucky to have the old trees nearby, and so many other incredible places. Thank you again, and enjoy your day. πŸ™‚

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  14. In love with your capture of “witch’s butter”! What delicate buttercup folds and how fascinating to learn of its etymology. I’m wondering if the finding of this near one’s home was a good or bad sign back then…anyways, hoping this finds you healthy and safe. Happy to see that you are still able to enjoy the beauty of your outdoors.

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    • That was such a strange thing to come by in the woods. The other day I came upon another odd growth that confused me – I couldn’t even be sure whether it was a mushroom or a lichen! Turns out it’s an odd lichen called White worm lichen. You can imagine what it looks like. πŸ™‚ As for the Witch’s butter, I think it was supposed to be a bad sign…but good and bad are judgements we try to get away from, right? Yes, we’re OK and feel very lucky to be in a more rural area, where walking in parks is still possible. Thanks for stopping by and take care of yourself!

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  15. What a wonderful selection! I started listing my favourites, but I gave up! Yes, the subject matter is naturally very photogenic but it takes the touch of an artist to compose these pictures.

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  16. Thanks for the deep, peaceful breath this gave me! Or the depth of feeling these lush images evoked. If I must… favorites were: 18- (oh that delightful shadow!) and 21- I can almost feel that moist air exuded by those marvelous trees and (perhaps my most favorite) 23- the god rays.

    I needed this to settle the flighty mind. I’m glad it was waiting here for me.

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    • You know, I can picture you coming across a shadow like that fern shadow and squealing with delight! πŸ˜‰ Thanks a lot, Gunta….I trust you guys are doing well. The early spring wildflowers have been incredible up here – it’s really my first April here since we were away last April, so I’m having a great time discovering what grows where and when. Coming up will be photos of fawn lilies.

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      • That sounds as though you may have witnessed one of my “outbursts” of excitement or delight! πŸ˜€

        We are doing quite well. Eric has a bit more of a challenge stifling the travel itch, but he’s coping. I seem to be sinking into doing things I’ve put off for far too long. It’s happy and calming. It’s almost like ‘nesting’ for me. Bits of nooks and crannies that could use a touch of paint. Drifting out to hold some seed up for the nuthatches and chickadees… there seem to be advantages in this social distancing.

        Know what you mean about discovering your surroundings. Your keen observation adds to the experience and then, as a huge bonus, you share it with us!!! It almost feels as though we actually had that chance to meet. πŸ˜‰

        Looking around our yard this time of year I’m thrilled to find which of the native seeds I planted have survived. You’ve seen the enchantment I’m feeling at the flowering of the currant bush that’s been showing up when I post. Not to mention the joy at the Camas Lily! I go out every single day to see the buds unfurl.

        We took a short ride up in the hills (to reconnoiter) and found the trilliums blooming at the lower elevations. Some had already turned pink. That tells us that the Trilliums may be opening up in the higher altitudes. Oh good, I’ll get to see what fawn lillies are in your next post. I happened to spot what Eric calls the Wake Robins blooming just a little way up the road.

        Be well (both of you)!

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        • Excellent, I’m really happy to hear you are in synch in a good way. Camas is already up – cool! They’re not blooming here yet but will be soon, I think, and I’m pretty sure I know which leaves belong to them on the balds in the parks. One of the fun challenges is figuring out what leaves belong to what plant before it flowers, right? And I love that you can break for bird feeding! I almost can do that, I just have to drive over to the park where they’re accustomed to being fed, and they almost always are there. One Chestnut-backed chickadee has gray feathers mixed in with the brown so I recognize him/her. (All the chickadees there that come to the hand there are Chestnut-backed). How cool that you drove up into the hills and found Trilliums – happiness! I’m sure they don’t grow here. I too would have to go up higher to find them, but the state park is closed and I’m not sure where else to go. A little envy here. πŸ™‚ (Next post might change but you’ll like it).

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    • It’s probably a good thing that you weren’t stuck in Seattle. Maybe there will be some great fares to take advantage of once the danger has gone down. The other day we were hiking at another one of the community’s forest lands that’s just across the road, but completely different, since it’s steep, rocky hill. We ran into a couple who drive up from Seattle, just for the chance to hike. I hope you do make it up here one day, Otto. In the meantime, take care!

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  17. The sight of these big wonderful trees is really peaceful! I love picture #2 (and all the other tree pictures!). Breathtaking. And the size of these trees is amazing. Unbelievable how high they can get. I think we already talked about this topic and I like your sentence “places where humans are dwarfed” πŸ™‚ I always think of people living in the mountains, that remember all the time, how small you are. That modifies everything, right. I love to watch the stars, that relativizes our human problems. Anyway, this park is beautiful and I am glad it is protected. We lost too many of these precious places with old growth. The numbers of what is left is really sad. You are so lucky you can go there. The moss is so nice as is the fern with the shadow in #18. I love it! I like #20, #21, and of course #23, with this beautiful light in it! The flowers, the mushroom and the cattails are lovely. And #24 is a great shot too. The road leading to nowhere – we don’t know where these times will lead us… Thank you for this break Lynn!

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    • I’m glad the big trees bring you that peaceful feeling – and #2, well they are almost like elephant feet, right? Very solidly planted, very secure. The mountains are the perfect place to remember that you are not so big and important. We need to come back and see the Alps. πŸ™‚ Relativizes our problems – that’s a good way to put it. Yes, we’re lucky these places were saved – there is a strong tradition of caring for nature in the Pacific northwest – more than on the east coast or the southern US. You and Gunta (just above) like the fern shadow. πŸ™‚ I have so many photos of those! I think you’re the only person who mentioned #20 – it’s like a watercolor painting, isn’t it? I really like that image. I love that plant and am always taking pictures of its little leaves. One day I’ll do a post about it. (Vaccinium parvifolium). Thank you for being here, and my apologies again for being so behind with respect to your blogs. I’m outside every day for hours, looking at flowers and then at the computer processing photos (more hours!) working on posts. Spring is just like that. It will calm down in a few months. πŸ™‚

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      • It is the same here: I am lot outside or on the deck (it takes me a week or more to put everything “in order”, haha, and it is too warm out there over the day!), making too many photos and so on. Hm, I don’t know when it will calm down. The next thing will be many interesting insects πŸ˜‰ Then the summer flowers and and and…
        I am glad you live in an area where they do so much about nature. A pity it is not common all over the country. But it is the same overhere. – Vaccinium parvifolium, a very big / hight plant. I know only the small ones in the wood or bushes that are cultivated. I bet the leaves have beautiful colors in autumn? I love the tenderness of this picture. And it looks like a good textile design already πŸ™‚ A bit of Japanese style maybe? Have a good time and enjoy these lovely spring days as I do overhere. (Yesterday was Good Friday overhere. Next week it is a year ago we met here πŸ™‚

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        • That Vaccinium can get tall here when it works to reach for the light in the woods, which are full of very tall Douglas fir trees. There never are many berries, but maybe someone gets there before I do. πŸ˜‰ They do turn nice colors in autumn – not bright red or orange but nice yellows. My favorite detail about this plant is that the branches and even the smallest twigs have a zigzag growth pattern – they make slight turns left and right. They’re never perfectly straight. And the branches tend to stay green in color for a long time, and, and, and…. πŸ™‚
          Yes, we’ve been thinking about last year. πŸ™‚ If I didn’t have so many wildflowers I want to post I would post about one year later. πŸ˜‰

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  18. Thank you so much indeed, Lynn, for this brief respite!

    We have not gotten out much here. We could go for the odd walk or two–our neighborhood is not that urbanly superdense–but my wife’s immune system warrants a bit more caution than perhaps what most people would consider “safe”. We sticking to the home front. I greatly appreciate this window into your natural world.

    And as if the forest and the views and the plants and and and weren’t enough to draw me in–you said a magic word…..trout!

    Stay safe and well–

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    • Trout as in fishing or trout as in eating? I do love eating trout, and Trader Joe’s has a little tin of them – smoked – that I regularly scarf down. πŸ™‚ No experience fishing for them though. I’m sorry you can’t get out more, but it’s good that you enjoyed this post. I’m remiss in visiting your blog (and most others right now) so my apologies. Take care!

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  19. This is another wonderful walk with you, Lynn. It’s full of great images, why you might think otherwise is a mystery to me, and so many could be favorites. Witches Butter is one of my favorite fungi, the buttercups are gorgeous, and the fern leaf shadow delightful. My favorite aspect of this post though is the beginning walk through the old growth. We have a few spots here with a mix of old growth and newer but most of New England has been cut, farmed, and then reclaimed as forest as farms disappeared. And, of course, none are Western Red Cedars or Douglas Firs. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you so much, Steve. I’m glad you enjoyed the walk and the images…I have lots of fern shadows and other shadows. πŸ™‚ I don’t think this old-growth is going anywhere soon, thankfully, but you can’t take a walk around here without seeing humongous stumps, often with telltale notches from where they inserted a board to stand on to do the sawing. It’s sad but interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a lovely place to walk and enjoy Nature. I’m happy to have enjoyed it virtually.

    Sadly, much of Australia was burnt to cinders in our Summer. There are signs of life returning, flora and fauna, but it will take a while for some areas to be restored. 2020 has not been a good year for us, so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fires in Australia sounded horrifying last year, even from this far away. It will be very interesting to watch and see what returns and when, but yes, you all have been hit hard. Australia is one of the places I long to visit. I feel like I’d have to give it at least 3 weeks, since there are so many fascinating natural areas to see, and then the cities, too…hopefully, one day we’ll get there.

      Like


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