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Tag Archives: aspens

Sky and I enjoyed a short hike yesterday with friends. Luna had to stay home. She has an inflamed Achilles tendon and we hope that with rest and ice, it will improve so she can join us on the trails again.

The aspens were stunning and views of the area burned in the recent Cedar Creek fire were pretty unsettling. It was easy to see how that fire could have gotten into the valley and been far more destructive. The firefighters did good work.

Ok, I admit it. I haven’t been editing my photos for the last month. Today I will start to get caught up so here is the first of a long string of new posts.

It’s going to seem like I was out and about a lot during October and it’s true. Sky had been recovering from a shoulder injury and we just started getting out for walks and hikes on October 7th for the first time in weeks. We – me, Sky and Luna – were all out of shape and longing to be out in the hills before winter set in. Our first short walk was to Bear Creek to admire the fall colors. Both girls wore their orange vests in case we ran across any hunters.

This time of year it is easy to soak up all the shades of green like a refreshing drink of water. Soon many of those greens will be shades of pale gold and brown. This pretty draw is on the Big Buck section of the Methow Wildlife Area. The big cottonwood in the clump of aspens always stands out for me.

Jenny and I went in search of wintering birds in eastern Okanogan County yesterday. It was a long day of driving over bumpy, sometimes muddy and puddle-filled roads, avoiding cows – lots of cows – and enjoying long vistas. The weather was very non-typical of early December. Normally we’d be battling cold winds, crusty snow on the ground, fog, rain or snow falling. Or maybe, all of the above. Instead, we had mostly blue skies, bare ground, and green fields of verdant winter wheat dotted with glacial erratics from the last ice age. In other words, it was a great day to see birds! The birds did not get the memo. They were few and far between and while we saw interesting species like Snow Buntings and Common Redpolls, Northern Shrikes and Rough-legged Hawks, we missed out on the iconic Snowy Owls and Gyrfalcons. Still, it was a good day with good company to explore a fascinating landscape.




A glacial erratic splitting in two



We walked all around this stand of aspens and found one Great-horned Owl and some chickadees



An interesting mark left by someone before us



Old scratches in aspen bark



A bird’s nest at eye level



Jenny found this. She identified it as a praying mantis egg case. Pretty cool!



Lots of cows means lots of cow pies to avoid. Some had mushrooms growing out of them.



A suvey marker.



A sharp curve in the road



Moses Mountain in the distance. A special place on the Colville Reservation








Aspen Lake has become a favorite short fall hike. Last year I went with Susan and all of our dogs on Halloween Day. See that day here. Yesterday, just Suzanne and me and no dogs. Deer season starts this Saturday so it looks like we will miss the peak of fall colors up there. Last year, I was too late, this year too early. Either way, it’s still beautiful.



The trail around the lake


I love the movement of the aspens




Methow big sky


These ripples were caused by a giant dragonfly that flew into the water and thrashed around for a while. Pretty soon a fish came and tried to eat it.


Pretty peaceful place


I enjoyed the patterns of the tall grasses on the way down the trail





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