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Tag Archives: lichen

Luna and I had a nice walk in the woods this afternoon. She wears a brace on her leg to protect her injured Achilles tendon. In a dog, it has a different name but it’s easier to think of it that way. She klunks when she walks with it so we have nicknamed her, Klunker.

Fallen larch needles cushioned the trails. Some snow lingered but most of it is gone with the extreme warm temperatures recently. We often expect to be skiing on these trails by now.

Luna still enjoys walks in the woods and smelling all the smells. I like to see all the small scenes in the woods and the scent of the pine trees.

This time of year it is difficult to find good walking places. They are either covered in soft, unpredictable snow, or slush and mud, or just plain mud. The girls really like a little variety in their lives so I do try to get them out and about to various places. This morning we visited a small piece of public land on the river. It was a mix of soft and hard packed snow, very wet slush and occasionally wet ground. They were ecstatic. And Sky found sticks. Lots of sticks. What more could she want? Luna found smells. Lots of good stinky smells. It was a perfect dog walk.

In a world of little rain, much manages to live and thrive in the desert climate of the southwest. Junipers and pinyon pines, shrubs of all sorts, cacti, lichens of all colors – even blue, and I imagine all sorts of flowering plants that show themselves in the spring. And in an ephemeral pool, I found tadpoles! So somewhere there are frogs or toads, maybe under the crust of a dried up pool. Even the soil is alive with cryptobiotic crust composed of algae, fungi and cyanobacteria. The canyons’ rock walls erode away little by little contributing soil continuously. Roots inch their way into cracks, enlarging the cracks and storing moisture and soil for future growth.

After a couple of months of snow and cold here at home, it seemed downright balmy in western Washington. Folks over there thought it was cold with frost in the morning and cars coated with ice. Walking on grass and dirt seemed almost refreshing. We lucked out and had little rain and the sun even came out from time to time.




Last week Mary Ann and I took our dogs, Frida and Luna to an agility trial about 150 miles south of here. We traveled through the lower Grand Coulee and stopped for a short hike in the basalt country. It’s an area near where I used to live and hike on a regular basis and I miss the dramatic rocks and canyons. This area was formed out of molten lava that flowed from ground fissures. Later it was scoured by numerous ice age floods that sculpted the dramatic coulees and rock formations. Now there are many lakes and other water features – many made by humans with dams and irrigation canals. Still it retains a rugged beauty that I always enjoy. As for the agility trial – we had one good day out of three.

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