Two wildlife refuges, Indian Heaven, and trying to keep up with fall colors, Sept-Oct 2019

It has been a busy couple of weeks – a quilt show, a fiber festival, hikes at two wildlife refuges and Indian Heaven Wilderness. Meanwhile, the Mac hard drive is off at the Genius repair shop. I am learning blog work-arounds via iPad.

Friday, September 27 – I attended the Northwest Quilt Expo, admired all the quilts and photographed many. This vintage Tile Friendship Quilt (circa 1900, maker unknown) from the Latimer Quilt Museum, was very interesting. Seemingly random shapes are appliquéd to a plain background, each signed by a different maker in true Friendship Quilt style. It looks very modern, but it is old and entirely hand stitched!

I bought a few fat eighths to add to a batik quilt in my mental UFO list.

Sunday, September 29 -I visited the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby, Oregon, just long enough to buy a lighter weight spindle and more fiber to practice drop spinning.

Then we went to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, our first visit there, and walked around the perimeter. Not many birds have arrived yet, but there are great overlooks and a nice winter trail for future visits. (Hike#44, 3.6 miles)

Great Blue Heron

Hawthorne berries

Looking across the refuge – soon this will be flooded with water and birds.

Great Blue Heron on the return trail.

Saturday, October 5 – We went to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington during their season closing bird fest. We walked the Kiwa Trail and part of the newly opened Carty Lake trail, and also went inside the Chinook Plankhouse to look around. (Hike#45, 3.2 miles)


Sand Hill Cranes

Sand Hill Cranes in flight.

Great Horned Owl

Carty Lake

Chinook plank house

Inside the plankhouse.

Chinook Salmon trap

Sunday, October 6 – We joined friends for a hike in Indian Heaven Wilderness – from the East Crater trailhead to Junction and Lemei Lakes. Late fall colors, thawed mushrooms and blueberries, very pretty. (Hike#46, 8.8 miles, 1000 feet)

East Crater beyond one of many small lakes along the trail.

Junction Lake

Lemei Rock

Lemei Lake

Neighborhood walks – Meanwhile, in Northeast Portland, the days grow shorter, the light angles lower, the leaves more colorful.

Katsura trees


Neighborhood witches hunting…

More witches…

Ash trees reflected in nearby windows.

Rain chain shadows

Knitting – I am making progress on my Meris cardigan….

Fringed Grass of Parnassus at Burnt Lake, Mt Hood, OR (18-36)

Burnt Lake Trail.    8-24-2018        (hike#45)

The Burnt Lake Trail on the west side of Mt Hood leads through a quiet green shady forest that was ravaged by wildfires over a hundred years ago – offering an interesting historical perspective on the present day fires. The trail climbs at a gentle gradient for the first 2.5 miles through second growth forest along the Lost Creek drainage. Sounds of water are never far.



Green understory foliage includes a plethora of plants with white blooming spring flowers (trillium, vanilla leaf, inside-out, bunchberry, Solomon seals, lilies, oxalis).


Today we only see the pops of color that are seeds and berries.

After crossing Lost Creek we pass several giant burned out trees – remnants from the Victorian era fire that burned this forest.



The last mile of the trail is steeper, and traverses many creeks and springs with a few flowers still blooming – though red berry clusters of Devils club are the most noticeable color along the trail today.


Fireweed and cloudy horizon


We drop down into Burnt Lake basin and are awed by the mist rising from the lake and roiling about on its surface while we walk the half mile shoreline trail.


Although the promised reflection of Mt Hood eludes us, the misty atmosphere creates its own moment of grace. We sit quietly for our lunch break and hear a few fish jump, watch the concentric ripples expand and interrupt the reflections and mist patterns.


Fading pink spirea line the lake shore path that leads past a small bog near the inlet where we see, for the first time for me, a wildflower called the Fringed Grass of Parnassus.



Cascade Fringed Grass of Parnassus

Such an elegant name – it has been on my watch list. The flower heads were much bigger than I imagined, and deserve a great name! The white petals are indeed fringed elaborately and glow in the light. I am glad to have finally seen this flower!

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8.3 miles/1600 feet.


I finished another tortilla dishcloth


I added some cross stitched foliage to Jane Austen’s house.


I am still trying to decided what to cast on next…

Cape Horn again, June 16th, 2018 (18-23)

Cape Horn Trail, Washington,  June 16, 2018,  (Hike # 37)

We hiked the upper section of the Cape Horn trail, from Strunk Road to the Waterfall Overlook, with stops at the Nancy Russell Overlook. The last of the larkspur and lupine were hanging on. Prolific flowers were cow parsnip, tiger lily, candy flower, columbine and penstemon. 3.5 miles, 600 feet. Previous hikes: May and November, 2107.


Upper trail


Into the woods


Tiger lilies and cow parsnip



The views:


East along the Columbia River toward Beacon Rock


West toward Sand Island

The flowers:


I’ve turned the heel on the first of the Cornwall socks:


I began the Jane Austen House cross stitch kit, a souvenir from my visit there in April.



We have planted tomatoes, basil, jalapeño, cucumber and parsley – time tested and always consumed in our household.


Garden flowers in bloom:

18. Late Summer on Mt Adams, Stagman Ridge Trail

Stagman Ridge, Mt. Adams, Washington      8/20/2017     (#42)


Looking for a hike that avoided wildfire smoke and eclipse traffic, we headed to the west side of Mt. Adams, north of Trout Lake, WA.  This was our first time hiking this trail. We like to hike in Bird Creek Meadows this time of year, but that area is closed due to the massive Cougar Creek Fire of 2015. The area around Stagman Ridge was also recently burned, by the Cascade Creek Fire of 2012. The trail traverses through burned forest, with occasional forays into unburned terrain. The silver lining is mountain views through the ghost trees.


In many burned places the underlayer is green, topped by a pink swath of fireweed. Pearly everlasting and golden rod are abundant at lower elevations.

Higher up, the last of the asters, lupine and licorice root were hanging on in shady areas.

The open meadow at about mile 3 was green but past bloom – most likely thanks to the intense two week heat wave of early August.  I would like to return when this meadow is in full bloom – with the open view of Mt Adams to the east – it is a lovely spot.



Glacier close up

We continued on past the meadow to the Graveyard trail junction, then crossed the small creek and headed west toward Lookingglass Lake. Riparian flowers lined the creek crossings.

We decided the crossing of Cascade Creek looked difficult so we turned back after a rest at the water with great views of the mountain.


On the way down, we noticed the distance views of Mt St Helens, Mt Hood and west toward Indian Heaven.



Mt St Helens



Mt Hood


There were plenty of huckleberries for the picking.  Berries, flower seedheads and tints of red foliage in the huckleberry and vine maple foreshadow the coming of fall.

A few other items of interest along the way:


lichen and roots


ghost tree


My first time seeing pine drops

Our hike was approximately 9 miles with 1500 feet elevation gain, and the flower count was 34, with 5 berries.

Mementos from my Peruvian travelers:




two more tortillas for the collection

And of course, the Eclipse, which I watched at 99% in my front yard: