Weldon Wagon Road, WA

5/10/2019

We walked Weldon Wagon Trail on a hot day in May. Balsamroot beginning to fade in the heat. I craved the shade, wished for a breeze in the still air, unlike the windblown walk last week at The Dalles Mountain Ranch. Lupine, clarkia, manroot, various parsleys, cutleaf violets, no sasquatch sighting this year. An enjoyable walk with friends. This will likely be my last of the balsamroot hikes this year! (Hike #22, 5.5 miles, 1300 feet).

DSC00039

Lupine along the trail in the lower woodlands.

DSC00041

First view of the open flowered slope.

DSC00044

Our trail ahead across the balsamroot slope,

DSC00047

and a view of Mt Hood across the valley.

DSC00056

Friends ahead.

DSC00057

Balsamroot

DSC00062

Looking straight up at the steep slope above.

DSC00066

DSC00078

Turnaround point

DSC00084

And back the way we came,

DSC00089

Back into the shade on a hot day.

New or notable flowers:

Neighborhood and Garden

DSC00011

Birthday bouquet

DSC00020

Our rhododendron in bloom,

DSC00026

And our native irises.

IMG_2162

Giant camas in a neighborhood garden.

IMG_2163

Local fairy garden.

Knitting

I finished the Frost Slippers. The fit is a bit tight, but they should fit someone! Interesting construction, including stranding, steeking, and seaming, and I used up a lot of the leftover Dr Who Scarf yarn.

DSC00095DSC00097

Yarn for travel knitting!

IMG_0205

((This post has the first photos using my new camera (Sony HX90V).)

Balsamroot, Bitterroot, and a Birthday

May 2, 2019 Dalles Mountain Ranch, WA

On a very windy double birthday, we followed the lure of the wildflowers to Dalles Mountain Ranch, Columbia Hills State Park, WA. We hiked the Middle Loop, from the Ranch, downhill and then back up again, over rolling slopes and across streams. Balsam root, biscuit root, lupine, and filaree painted  gold, yellow, purple and pink highlights on the hills, and neither words nor pictures can really describe the beauty! But I try…

DSC03676

We started from the ranch trailhead, Mt Hood in the distance.

dsc03828.jpg

Down the balsmroot and lupine filled slopes.

DSC03681

As the trail winds down, the view changes from Mt Hood

DSC03690

to the Columbia Hills.

DSC03703

The Columbia River comes into view,

DSC03707

and so many flowers!

DSC03713

Under oak trees,

DSC03720

Down hill, closer to the river.

DSC03724

Stream crossing,

DSC03728

DSC03735

Puffy mounds of phlox,

DSC03747DSC03748

DSC03768

A patch of death camas

DSC03774

DSC03790

Another stream crossing,

DSC03803DSC03815

DSC03827

Back up the last slope to the trail head.

A few less common flowers seen today:

Later, the same day – camas lilies and bitterroot!

On our way home, we took a short hike at Catherine Creek where the open slopes are already beginning to dry out.

DSC03831I was hoping to see swales of blue camas lilies in the vernal pools, and we found them!

DSC03832

Blue camas lilies growing where the vernal pools are drying up.

dsc03849.jpg

A few white camas in with the blue camas lilies.

A bonus was finding the first blooming bitterroots of the year! We completely missed them last year when we were in Cornwall, so I took extra pictures to make up for it.

DSC03835DSC03839DSC03846

The large pink flowers are so delicately beautiful, and yet grow out of tough black lava outcrops.

DSC03845

Bitterroot blooming on the rocky foreground, camas lilies and buttercups beyond.

This was hike #21 for 2019, about 6 miles, 600 feet overall, but a million in flowers.

Even later, birthday cake and new socks

I made the requested traditional chocolate cake. After dinner out at our favorite local Chinese restaurant, Brian blew out XXVI candles.

DSC03853

Dan will blowout his LXV candles on Sunday when he has his party. Both had ‘medical insurance significant’ birthdays this year. Brian was wore his new socks the next day while watching the Portland Trailblazers squeak out a win over Denver in quadruple overtime! I don’t think there is any adrenaline left in town.

DSC00005

I finished these just in time for Brian’s birthday!

Meanwhile in the garden….

Dogwood trees are blooming all over town in glorious pink, salmon and cream colors. And in our yard:

DSC03647

Only one of twelve camas bulbs bloomed.

DSC03650

Chinese fringe flower and phlox still going strong

DSC03649

Iris

Columbia Hills, WA, Tryon Creek, OR, and some Brioche Knitting

Crawford Oaks 4/4/2019

We had to drive 75 miles east to the Columbia Hills to find a dry hike this weekend. We started up the road to Eight Mile Falls, then continued on the Vista Loop. It was a bit late for grass widows and yellow bells, and a bit early for full balsamroot display, so we had a bit of each, on a windless day. A lovely hike, and pretty easy, compared to when we hiked here about a year ago and I was less than two months post surgery. Next spring, we will attempt this hike a few weeks later to get the full balsamroot experience.

DSC02566

Bird welcoming us to the trail.

DSC02570

The graphic showing the depth of the Missoula Floods here always impresses me.

DSC02577

Eight Mile Falls

DSC02581

Looking back west toward the river and Horsethief Butte.

DSC02599

One of the scattered early blooming balsamroots.

DSC02606

View to the west, toward The Dalles

DSC02616

View to the east toward Biggs

DSC02617

Looking north to the Columbia Hills

DSC02624

One swale of shooting stars – first of the season

DSC02636

A blue jay near the trailhead

DSC02640

Last look at Horsethief Butte

DSC02643

Hike #15, 5 miles/1000 feet

The wildflower suite:

Sunday dash around Tryon Creek to see the Trillium

4/7/2019   A rainy weekend in Portland, a weather window, so we went:

DSC02663DSC02661DSC02674DSC02681

Trillium in swathes in the woodlands, and individually along the trail.

Version 2Version 2

DSC02686

After a weekend of rain, some flowers were becoming transparent

Other flowers included skunk cabbage in the bogs near the creek.

DSC02665DSC02672DSC02698

Lots of water dripping, but we mostly avoided actual rain.

DSC02680DSC02679

DSC02677

cedar

DSC02646

violets

DSC02644

Oregon grape

DSC02667DSC02684

(Hike#16, 2.2 miles, 200 feet)

Knitting

Progress on the Vintage Prim hat, with brioche:

img_2055.jpg

I will just say that there has been frogging, and use of lifelines. I have even learned to fix one or two stitches, but a big fix is still beyond me with this technique. I do love how it looks!

Spring Break 2019 – Knitting and Cherry Blossoms

Knitting – Frost Slippers

I crocheted the steeks,

DSC02381

and cut,

DSC02398

and cut again.

DSC02412

I have basted the edges, and blocked.

DSC02562

Frost Slippers – uppers and soles, blocked.

Next I will sew soles to uppers, then add cuffs. There is a lot of finishing work in these slippers, but so far I am intrigued enough by the process to keep going!

Lyle Cherry Orchard, WA    3/29/2019

A beautiful day to hike up the cliffs above the Columbia River with friends, and try the new trail switchbacks. There are a few old cherry trees along the uppermost cliff loop that were not in bloom today, but we saw many wildflowers, including some balsamroot. (Hike #14, 5.6 miles, 1500 feet)

DSC02422

DSC02419

We are headed to the top of the cliffs…

DSC02431

The second bench

DSC02435

River cruise below…

DSC02451

One of the vernal ponds along the upper trail

DSC02453

View to the east from the Cherry Orchard

DSC02459

And to the west

DSC02461

One of the new switchback legs – nowhere  near as steep or cliffy as the former trail.

Plenty of new flowers along the way:

DSC02460

Yellow parsley and gold stars

Neighborhood flowers…

Lots in bloom these days,

including poetry:

IMG_2001

Portland Cherry Blossoms –  Sunday, March 31

The waterfront on a sunny day with cherry trees in bloom. Today is a day for embracing the crowds.

DSC02470

We decided to walk up onto the Steel Bridge to look down on the waterfront.

DSC02474

Views from the Bridge:

DSC02487DSC02489

DSC02511

I love the railing shadows.

DSC02502DSC02508DSC02513DSC02517

Wandering around amongst the trees and crowds:

DSC02523

DSC02530

A maple tree budding out, with bugs!

DSC02535DSC02536

DSC02543

White Stag and Old Town Water Tower behind the trees.

DSC02544

DSC02552

View of the eastside of the Willamette River.

DSC02556

And a little Portland weirdness, because it is always here.

IMG_2014

Group-peddled brew cycle.

Spring Flowers, Coyote Wall and Portland

Coyote Wall, WA,  Thursday, March 21, 2019

Up the Little Maui trail, more up on the Old Ranch Road and Coyote Wall trails, then, down the Little Moab trail, with the early flower suite just opening…(Hike #13, 4 miles, 1100 feet)

Hiking up the waterfalls of the Little Maui trail:

DSC02313

DSC02315

Gold stars and Salt and Pepper (biscuit root) sprinkled across the landscape.

DSC02319

Long banked switchbacks to aid the cyclists

DSC02322DSC02324

DSC02328

Lunch stop

DSC02329DSC02331

DSC02339

Columbia Desert Parsley guiding the way

Looking up to our cliff-edge destination along Coyote Wall from Old Ranch Road:

DSC02346

Views from the cliff:

DSC02347

First look.

DSC02353

We go a little higher

DSC02356

Looking back toward Oregon; Mt Hood a faint wisp on the horizon.

DSC02361

Our highest viewpoint for the day.

DSC02364

Starting down – looking east toward the Columbia Hills and Tom McCall Point.

The flowers:

DSC02299

Grass widows

DSC02297

Gold and Prairie stars, Spring whitlow-grass

DSC02306

Spring whitlow-grass, my pinky for scale

DSC02317

Swales of gold stars and whitlow-grass

DSC02293

Yellow pungent desert parsley

DSC02309

Columbia desert parsley

DSC02371

Salt and pepper, and grass widows all the way down the slope.

Knitting

Learning the increases and decreases that make brioche knitting look so magical…with a lifeline!

DSC02378

Vintage Prim Hat, pattern by Andrea Mowry.

Garden – the first tulip! and Star Magnolias!

Better late….flowers are opening in the neighborhood:

IMG_1974

Our first tulip

IMG_1967

star magnolias

IMG_1964

IMG_1975

I don’t remember the name of these.

Late Early Flowers at Catherine Creek, WA, with Robins

March 14, 2019    Bitterroot Trail to Rowland Wall

We hiked a Catherine Creek loop, up past the vernal ponds along the Bitterroot Trail, then down Rowland Wall. (Hike#12, 3 miles, 1000 feet)

DSC02219

Fairy ponds

DSC02230

View to the east from the Bitterroot Trail

DSC02241

The Arch

We saw the first wildflowers just beginning to bloom.

On the upper grassy slopes we noticed robins hopping in the grass all around us.

DSC02247

There are probably a dozen robins bobbing and hopping in this view, though they are hard to photograph as they don’t stay still for long.

DSC02250

Here is one…

DSC02260

And another one in the snow.

The snow level was about 1000 feet, and we could see extensive snow covered landscape in every direction, though it is melting out.

DSC02261

Still looks very snowy out in the high desert

DSC02266

The orchards of Mosier, and Mt Hood

DSC02278

Rowland Wall, Rowland Lake, Mt Hood beyond the Columbia River

DSC02288

Mere

DSC02289

Returning via the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks. Burnt trees on the Oregon Gorge skyline.

DSC02210

Knitting

I finished the soles for the Frost Slippers, but haven’t yet crocheted the steeks.

img_1962.jpg

I have started the brioche patterning on a Vintage Prim hat.

img_1961.jpg

Garden and Neighborhood

The hyacinths finally bloomed out front,

DSC02290

and there was our annual neighborhood St Patrick’s Day parade down the street.

IMG_1950

White herons at Ridgefield

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, Washington,  2/7/2019

Cold and snowy in the Pacific Northwest. We went to the wildlife refuge to stretch our legs and look for birds. We walked the Oaks to Wetlands trail in the Carty Unit. Hike #8, 3.2 miles.

DSC01737

Bridge into the refuge.

DSC01738

Old oak tree.

DSC01752

Great blue heron on the path.

DSC01753

DSC01769

Wild geese in the distance.

We saw several great blue herons, and two of them seemed to have a white egret companion, but after a little googling, we found that there is a white morph of the great blue heron.

DSC01767

Two herons across one of the lakes.

DSC01768

We saw another pair in the distance across the northernmost lake.

DSC01796

Icy shoreline, two herons in the far distance.

DSC01776

Zoomed in – the two herons.

DSC01789dsc01788.jpg

Crafting

I knit a Brioche Headscarf, pattern by Margaret K. L. Thompson, out of the leftover Berroco Millifiori hat yarn. Two evenings of knitting, I just need to add a button.

dsc01808.jpgDSC01818

I am working on framing my Jane Austen’s House cross stitch.

DSC01821DSC01819

Lewis River Waterfalls, a hat finish, and snow in Pdx

January 31, 2019  Moulton Falls, Bells Mountain trail, and Lucia Falls, Washington

Our first time hiking here. We have passed through on our way to Silver Star Mountain in the summer, and noted the crowds enjoying the swimming holes along the Lewis River near Battleground, Washington. Today we stopped to see the waterfalls in the off season, and to hike up the nearby Bells Mountain trail for a view of Mt St Helens.

The rails to trails path along the Lewis River goes over this beautiful bridge, the East Fork High Bridge, which is apparently a popular jumping spot in summer.

DSC01629DSC01630DSC01656

DSC01635

Downstream from the bridge.

DSC01637

Upstream from the bridge.

DSC01648

Looking down…

DSC01651

My shadow self portrait.

Up the Bells Mountain trail – about 1000 feet up in 1.5 miles, so a good work out.

DSC01662

Uphill through ferns and second growth forest…

DSC01664

Until we cross a clear cut area, and the view to Mt St Helens opens up.

DSC01665DSC01667

DSC01670

Ice on the trail

DSC01675

Lunch time view – across the Lewis River area to Mt St Helens.

DSC01679

Passing Moulton Falls on the return hike

DSC01696

Nearby Yacolt Falls

And Lucia Falls:

DSC01710DSC01713DSC01721

Total for the day:  6.7 miles, 1100 feet, hike #7.

Knitting

I finished my Brioche Watch Cap, after having to buy an extra skein of Berocco Millifiore yarn, just in time for snow in Portland.

DSC01725

Neighborhood, 2/5/2019

Snow…

DSC01730DSC01732DSC01733

And a view of Mt St Helens and the Ross Island and Tilikum Crossing Bridges from the OHSU eighth floor waiting room. Latest follow up results are all good!

IMG_1843

1/29/2019

 

Silver Falls and Steigerwald

1/27/2019 Steigerwald Wildlife Refuge, WA

A short walk on a foggy day with one of our sons.

DSC01373DSC01375

DSC01378

Ducks

DSC01446

Swans

DSC01390DSC01396

DSC01440

Great Blue Heron near the bridge

DSC01424

Ephemeral reflections

DSC01425DSC01429DSC01430DSC01432DSC01433DSC01423

DSC01437

Bald eagle pair watching over all.

DSC01443

2.3 miles, hike #5 for 2019.

1/28/2019 Silver Falls, OR

Windy and cold in Portland, but warmer to the south. We drove to Silver Falls State Park in the Cascade foothills east of Salem, Oregon, where the North and South Forks of Silver Creek fall in steep drops or shorter cascades over ledges of volcanic rock. We hiked the Trail of Ten Falls, though we skipped one – so the Trail of Nine Falls. One or more waterfalls every mile of the seven mile loop keeps the trail interesting. Lots of water in the falls, compared to my last visit in August of 2017!

South Falls 177 ft

We started at South Falls, but skipped the path behind the falls as I didn’t want to start out the hike wet.

DSC01454

South Falls from the upper viewpoint

DSC01467

DSC01472

South Falls from the bridge.

Lower South Falls 93 ft

DSC01484

Stairs down the cliff.

DSC01485DSC01493DSC01497

DSC01503

Walking behind the falls.

DSC01509

Dan on the left, emerging from behind the falls.

The trail follows the river, with occasional bridge crossings.

DSC01512

Lower North Falls 30 ft

DSC01518

Double Falls 178 ft

DSC01525

Drake Falls 27 ft

DSC01528

Named for the man who created the park.

Middle North Falls 106 ft

DSC01540DSC01545

Twin Falls 31 ftDSC01557

North Falls 136 ft

The trail leads behind North Falls.

DSC01576DSC01584

DSC01590

Behind the falls.

DSC01593

DSC01602

Looking back.

DSC01607

And now we have to climb up out of the canyon.

DSC01608

Looking back down at North Falls.

We did not walk the extra distance to Upper North Falls (65 ft), but followed the Rim Trail toward –

Winter Falls 134 ft

We only saw the upper lip of this one, though there is a trail down to the base.

DSC01620

Winter Falls rim.

This was the last waterfall of the hike (7.0 miles, 1200 feet, hike #6 for 2019).

Wildlife

There was a ladybug picnic on one of the fence posts:

DSC01463DSC01465

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge birds, a lunar eclipse, and new knitting projects

1/19/2019 Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, WA, in the fog

We drove the auto tour in the southern, River S Unit, to see if anyone was out today.

dsc01219.jpgdsc01224

dsc01226

We saw several bald eagles through the fog all along the route.

It was a great day for Great Blue Herons near the road.

dsc01220

dsc01250

Great blue heron standing in the field beyond a flock of Canada geese.

dsc01257dsc01265dsc01270dsc01291dsc01293

We also saw swans and more geese,

dsc01228dsc01229

lots of nutria swimming, and this one crossing the road:

dsc01233

lots of ducks,

dsc01242

We watched a hawk take a bath on a sign near the exit.

dsc01289

1/20/2019 Lunar Eclipse

The clouds cleared for about 10 minutes. We saw the moon just as it was entering totality. My camera could not see it once it went dark, but we briefly saw the orange glow of the blood red moon before the clouds closed in again.

dsc01306

My best image, hand held and zoomed in.

New knitting

I cast on another pair of socks from Berocco Sox yarn – plain vanilla with a 3×3 cable down the sides.

dsc01313

And a Brioche Watch Cap from  Berroco Millifiori yarn – this makes a cushy and shiny fabric, and works up fast!

dsc01316

Good deeds for the week – I cleaned out my sewing cabinet and organized my threads and notions, so now I should be able to find things and get back to sewing. And I enabled a new sock knitter!

Neighborhood Poetry Posting

img_1767

Rest In Peace, Mary Oliver. Your poems will live forever.