Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Walk In The Park

People talk about a white winter, but here winter is brown.  Plants and trees are dormant, and the woods are quiet.  But the sun came out Monday, so Gunnar and I went for a walk.  He wanted to feed the ducks, so we headed down one of our favorite trails.

In a windstorm late last year the big eagles' nest we've watched for years came crashing down.  I wonder if they'll build a new one nearby, or move on?  Maybe more baby ducks will survive to adulthood, Gunnar hopes.  But it's early for baby ducks.  And we didn't see any adults in the first pond.

There were coots, though, diving for their lunch and rippling the water.

And Gunnar's favorite noisy friends, the red-winged blackbirds, were calling busily.  Maybe the woods are waking up, after all.  They stake their territory with a loud Woo-kah-duh-DEEEEE-doo, and hide their nests down in the cattails.

Not everything is brown.  One of the first to awaken is the Oso Berry, or Indian Plum.  You'll know it because if you crush its lime green leaves they smell like... cucumber.

And truly, we have green all year.  We're called the Evergreen State for good reason.  Gunnar led the way downstream to another pond, still hoping to find ducks.

But first, a favorite tree.  This Western Red Cedar apparently fell across the path, years ago, and was trimmed back.

But it didn't die.  It's branches reach for the sunlight, like trunks now themselves.

People play and swim in this creek in the summer, when the flow is gentle.  Not now.  Rainfall and melting snow have filled its banks to the brim, and above.

We go over this smaller bridge to see the Big One.  A local landmark.

I had to stand back to take the picture, as the spray was billowing up and over Gunnar.  And see the little bit of snow left, on the pillar by his arm?

The boys have waded and played here, on warmer, calmer days.  Amazing how much the water flow changes.

Too bad you can't hear the thundering.

See that nice, long chute of water behind the bridge?  It has gates now, at the top and bottom.

And I will neither confirm or deny what certain kids may or may not have done there when I was Gunnar's age.  ;D

I'll show you what else we saw tomorrow :D


Crystal in Lynden said...

Thank you for reminding me about this place. I will have to add it to our outings list. This County is a beautiful place to live.

Rebecca D said...

What a lovely spot you have for a walk! I could almost hear the water and smell the trees! We finally have snow in the forecast, but I am no longer sure it is welcome... It kinda feels like those house guests who were supposed to be here hours and hours ago, and they finally show up, but you are over it and want the party to end... That is how I feel about snow and winter in general... Silly me, Maine has winter until mid-April...

melanie said...

You need a

.Good Mom Award.

Well done, my friend!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Yah, I thought my local friends would know the spot :D It IS beautiful, year round. And so different, from season to season.

And Rebecca, that's EXACTLY how I'm feeling about snow, and more is forecast for the next couple of days! Probably won't stick - just muck things up.

dlefler said...

WOW. You live in such a beautiful state. Gray winters, yes, but look at those waterfalls! I'm also slightly jealous that you have green leaves emerging... I'm keeping an eye on our forsythia because we've had a mild winter. Maybe we'll see some bright yellow flowers soon!

Though they'll probably show up in mid April, like always. Sigh...

Felicity said...

It looks absolutely beautiful!! And how nice that you can walk around there safely.

The dB family said...

A free water slide -- or used to be, anyways. It is so very pretty there! Here it's so flat. And boring mostly. If it weren't for Lake Huron, it would be really dull, but it's home and I'm happy here.

Hooray for spring!! I saw the first redwing here on Friday. Soooo good to know that the summer birds are arriving. It reminds me that I should be checking on the status of the tundra swans.