Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Easton 6-13-11

The friend who made me the mason bee house has a some property in Easton and has been inviting us over to see it for awhile now. Yesterday was finally the day, and we combined the trip to include a nice hike. On our side of the mountains, it was gray and rainy.

On the east side of the mountains, it wasn't much better at first. The pups didn't mind. We took a trail that headed up that steep hill to the left along the ridge line, then into the trees. The hill part wasn't much fun, but some people think that if you're having too much fun, you're not getting a good workout. You'd think as a short person, I would like a lofty perspective, but I'm pretty happy on the down low. Oh, I still go up the hills, of course. I just don't like them. They make me sweaty.

Since it hasn't been a very warm spring overall, I was surprised to see so many wild flowers already in bloom. I know that the flowers bloom no matter the weather, so perhaps the relative dreariness of this spring made it seem earlier than it is.
Here is a beautiful Western Trillium.

Gray as it was, there was an occasional view through the trees.

These brilliant shrubs were everywhere, but oddly they didn't seem familiar to us. The Big Guy guessed it was a type of berry bush, and he was right. It's a Red Flowered Currant, although the berries of this variety aren't palatable. One thing I will say about the gray -- it sure makes the flowers seem so much more vivid.

Lake Kachess in the distance. The pronunciation of this varies, even among the natives. We say "kuh-CHEECE." Now try Keechelus.

It definitely seemed early for the Indian Paintbrush.

My guys leading the way.

The sun made some breakthroughs about halfway through the hike, dappling the roaring stream
I have flipped through my wildflower book four times trying to find this flower. I've Googled. What is this??

Sweaty and Zuli.

Looking down the hillside to the stream. Vertigo!

A little Douglas Squirrel hiding from the pups.

Red or Sitka Columbine.

Pretty but deceptive. Otter got too close one time, and his life flashed before my eyes. Darn those water dogs.

Fairyslipper orchid! So delicate and pretty.

A big old Western Toad. Don' t let anyone tell you that toads don't like water. This fatty was first spotted in a big mud puddle having a soak.

Star Flowered Solomon Plume. A pretty fancy name for a rather plain-looking flower. I'm not feeling the "plume" part. Sometimes I wish I could re-name things. I might call this Tiny Twinkles.

There's black-tailed deer in the meadow. There's black-tailed deer in the meadow. The grass is as high as an elephant's eye, and it looks like it's climbin' clear up to the sky. Oh, what a beautiful mooooooooooornin!

Vanilla Leaf. Why vanilla? I wish I had known this while we were out there. Apparently, the crushed leaves smell of vanilla. I will crush the next one I see. I have to.