People say they 'go hiking' to clear their heads, or to 'think' about things. I go to the woods for adventure.
My mind is on absolutely nothing but the curiosities around me. Like the wild strawberry plant found in an icicle on a north facing hillside.
Curious, beautiful, perplexing...but that is the nature of the woods and the reason I go on 'adventures'.
I don't think about my job, any worries that I may have had simply don't exist in the Forest. My mind is on the little things.
The deer tracks, the raccoon tracks, coyote, and 'possum.
The birds singing, the hawk screeching.
The noise of the creek as it runs over the rocks.
The sound of my boots as I splash through the water.
It was nice for the first time in recent memory to be able to walk on actual ground, not a snow pack.
Although the north facing hills still have snow and ice on them and in other spots they are slippery and ... well let's just say I had a nice little 'butt' slide at one point.
But it was worth it.
Today was a vision of oddities.
I found a frog in the stream ... I don't know much about frog's but this one was alive, just very very slow. Do they hibernate and wake up? Did he just wake up?
Anyway, due to his slowness I was able to take a few shots of him.
Here is the above shot:
...and here is his front foot underwater [taken with my Pentax Optio W60]:
Further upstream I laid on the bank and gazed down into a quiet pool and watched small rainbow trout flit back and forth. No good shots of that. I was quite mesmerized by their antics.
Just below 'The Spring That Comes Out of The Hill', I found what I'd come for. The Skunk Cabbage!
They were everywhere!
I laid down on the ground and took a few shots. These plants never cease to fascinate me at all.
Yes, the Skunk Cabbage will stink if you disturb it...and I thought I had.
The smell was something much worse that I'd experienced before.
When I looked around, I found the source. The hide and legs of a deer carcass.
At the Spring I found Marsh Marigold that was beginning to bud. Mind you this bud is less than an eighth of an inch big.
The first yellow of Spring!
Then Morris decided to take a swim. Well actually he didn't cross the creek at the shallow spot I'd chosen and had to nearly swim a small pool. The water was brilliantly clear except where he stirred up sediment.
Then his Jack Russell dignity was sorely injured when he got home and I tossed him in the tub for a bath.
He is such a good sport, really. He just stands there and looks embarrassed while I shampoo him and lift him out to towel him off. No fuss.
Afterwards though, he tears madly in circles around the house like a dog possessed.
What an incredibly beautiful day.
I really didn't want my time in the valley to end.
I didn't want to head home.
I guess I was having too much fun with my discoveries.
He's sound asleep.
One hike and one bath usually wears him out!