Early February 2023, hiking, quilting, knitting…

This post updates my activities for the first part of February…

Knitting: I’ve made progress on two blankets – one for me, and one for the Puddletown Knitters Guild Service Project:

I had planned to crochet the guild blanket, and tried my hand at a sample, but I’m not quite ready to commit to such a big crochet project yet. Maybe the next one.


Practice crochet swatch

Quilting: I’ve worked through all the clues on the Modern Mystery Quilt, and pieced the blocks. We were asked not to share the finished look until March 3rd.


Modern Mystery Quilt 2023 tentative layout…

In bloom: Our first crocus emerged from the mostly dormant garden beds on February 9th. Just about the same time as the first grass widows were blooming in the eastern Gorge.


Our first crocus

Hiking: Both hikes were in the eastern Columbia River Gorge, Washington:

Eagles again!  Bitterroot-Rowland Trail at Catherine Creek, WA – February 8th:

Lots of water here today – in vernal pools, and oozing out of the grassy slopes. No actual flowers, but plenty of emerging foliage – just waiting for a bit more warmth and sun.


Catherine Creek/Sunflower Hill


Fairy pools


Up the Bitterroot Trail,


The Arch


Mt Hood with fresh snow


Mt Hood close up

Meanwhile, as I was admiring these plants at the edge of Rowland Wall, a juvenile eagle swooped by at eye level.


View west from Rowland Wall


Bald eagle…


circling back,


and around again.

Then the entire eagle family circled its way up Rowland Wall, juveniles and mature adults – perhaps the same flock we saw a couple of weeks ago over Lyle.


Adult bald eagle


The whole family is here.


We continued down the wall, and back to the trailhead, imagining the flowers that will be blooming soon.


Looking back up Rowland Wall.


Another vernal pool. The frogs were really loud, but became instantly silent as we approached.

Crawford Oaks-Vista Trail, Columbia Hills, WA – February 14th

A cold, slightly windy day – fresh snow on the Cascade Peaks. We walked the five mile lower loop and were rewarded with seeing the first grass widows – next week there will be a purple bloom here.


View west from near the trailhead – Mt Hood and Horsethief Butte


Mt Hood

Eightmile Creek Falls was fairly full…


Eightmile Creek Falls


Rainbow and plunge pool

The view from the waterfall to the east across the Columbia River:

We continued up the road, across the creek, then south on the Vista Loop, to our usual stop near the power pylons, where we often see the first flowers blooming, and the first grass widows were just beginning to open in the cold breeze…


grass widow


A few purple buds opening in the grassy slopes

We continued around the loop, to the high point, then back around to the view of Dalles Mountain Ranch. A good walk on a brisk day.


West from the high point


East from the high point


Dalles Mountain Ranch

There will be more hikes in February – in the next post.

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