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Posts Tagged ‘Walks’

Of Weeds and Roads

There’s a certain intimacy in walking. You notice things that have been there all along like some secret. Like the sound of a tree falling in a forest when nobody’s there. You come upon things just merrily thriving in spite of, or perhaps because of their obscurity.

I came across these weeds on a walk in Point Richmond on holiday over the weekend. I couldn’t help but think of nature in a battle with man’s stamp on the world. It is easy to imagine how quickly our “stamp” would be absorbed.

Today I walked to the auto repair shop to pick up my car. My walk took me over Interstate 205. I was going to title this “life on the interstate” … it could have been a Japanese garden — it was so rich and varied.

It was unexpected and gave me a thrill. But then again, the sun was shining after a long wet spell … so I was easy to please. Even the marquee against the sky was lovely.

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False spring

Early February is a lovely interlude in the Pacific NW winter. We get a few weeks of warm blushing weather that fools you into the false belief that winter’s over. It’s as brief as it is pleasant. Who knows? Maybe this year with El Nino … anything’s possible.

“Silhouetted limbs” against the sky …

And swelling (lilac) buds …

This weeping willow is opening leaves already …

The days are longer now. Here’s a view over Lake Vancouver at about 6:30PM.

The steam is from a plant in Portland just past Kelly Point. The lights to the right are from the Port of Portland.

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City Walks

The weather has turned quite chilly — but also clear-skied. We’re getting 20’s at night and sunny afternoons in the 40’s.

Our first city walk was along the “Alameda ridge” … a rocky elevation in the wake of Rocky Butte during the Missoula floods. It was rife with stair cases and glorious (and sometimes historic) older homes.

Having just watched the documentary A Man Named Pearl, I noticed the topiary.

We came across poetry kiosks, Beverly Cleary‘s neighborhood and these lovely decorative sidewalks.

One resident invited us into their backyard to see there spectacular Koi pond. The yard was on a steep hillside. They just built a deck and filled the difference with water!

You can see more pictures of this and other walks in this slideshow.

I’ve been busy lately finishing up the Master Gardener program, taking the QuickBooks ProAdvisor exams and getting ready to leave for a 2 week stint of traveling with my sister in her van in California.

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Close to home

During the winter months, the 50+ hiking group goes on shorter hikes closer in. This week’s trip consisted of two city walks. This post is about the 2nd, shorter walk. It was along the waterfront of Vancouver: the Renaissance Waterfront Trail — something I didn’t even know existed.

We head out in an eastward direction along the water. This afforded great views of Mt. Hood, the airport and the tip of Mt. Jefferson far to the south.

It turns out that one of the hikers lives in the condominium complex along the trail. A bioswale was expanded into a lovely pond. Two geese were purchased to grace the pond. But as they were non-native to this area, they had to be spayed after their first batch of goslings were sent off to more appropriate locals.

It was a beautiful fall day. We had a warm, still and sunny afternoon. You can see that as the 4 o’clock hour approached, the light began to dim.

It was probably about a 3 mile loop. We came back along a broad paved path. I’ll add this to my repertoire of local walks for guests.

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Autumn Walk

I walk most afternoons about 3 – 4 miles through various neighborhoods. I wish I could say that it’s helped me loose weight. At best, it may keep me from gaining. Alas.

In any case, every now and then I come across the odd or unexpected … like this Boletus (Porcini, Cepe) mushroom beside a mailbox.
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I thought this weeping pine or fir was intriquing. It’s been trained along a chain-link fence.
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It  made for nice contrast to this fallen leaf.
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I love the color of these mums in a neighbor’s garden.
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There are berries galore for the birds this time of year.
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This ivy grows on a stone wall along a major boulevard. Usually I’m speeding by. But on foot I come face to face with the leaves.

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Leaves

This part of the country is all about trees. And this time of year is all about leaves. The fall color display is our terrestrial northern lights.

I like the odd places single leaves land.
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And the contrasts in shape and color this creates.
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I came across these trailing leaves against a wall on a walk.
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What says “fall” more than a gutter full of maple leaves? They’d make a good computer background.
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Clark county is renowned for its walking trails. As a newcomer I dutifully got my Walk-around Guide. The Lucia/Moulton Falls trail has intrigued me ever since.

I passed this lovely scene en route. The bridge spans the east fork of the Lewis river.
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I’d intended to hike the trail, but failed to print the trail map out — assuming (falsely) that there’d be maps posted when I got there. No, some 25 miles later I arrived to beautifully appointed and well-marked parking lots — but there was ner’ a map nor a porta-potty to be found.

The only trails I came across wound in small circles, but the falls were audibly evident and easy to get to.
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There were inviting deep pools.
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But the water was fiercely off limits, with barbed wired along the road and signs like this one. These rivers are protected salmon spawning areas.

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A few miles further up the road was Moulton Falls (equally devoid of maps or porta-potties).
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I have the cultivar of this in my garden. This is one of the Centaurea plants aka “Knapweed” — some cultivars of which are considered an invasive species.
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The maintenance crew arrived with the porta-potty as I was leaving. Oh well. I spied this oddly pruned tree on my way home. Ought’a be called “pitch-fork tree”.

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Yes, the sky’s white. That being the marine layer that brought the temps down from the 100’s to the 70’s. No complaints here!

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