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Tag Archives: ponderosa pine

The girls and I enjoyed a pleasant walk in the woods earlier this week. We had no destination and no plan. The pine forest smelled wonderful and the creek was cool and inviting.

After two years of lower than average snowfall, this season we are happy to see lots of snow on the ground with more on the way. We rang in the New Year with below zero temperatures and clear skies and glimpses of northern lights. I enjoyed time with our friends and did not try to get photos on that frigid night!

The skiing on groomed trails is wonderful and up until this week, skiing in the hills and backcountry has been marvelous! It made me wish I had some more rugged skis with skins for climbing the hills. A few days ago the temperature warmed over thirty degrees and it felt downright balmy at 34° Fahrenheit.  Of course, that sort of ruined the two feet of powder snow, leaving a one inch crust on top of it. It makes it very hard to get around once you are off the beaten path. Even for dogs but Sky seems to manage.

Speaking of dogs, Luna had to have surgery last week to remove a cracked tooth and an unusual growth on her side. The growth is benign so we can quit worrying about that. Whew. She has had to be less active and is missing her dog friends and skiing at Big Valley but the stitches need to time to heal. Hopefully in another week or so she can resume her regular fun activities.

Winters can be hard on the native birds so we put out black oil sunflower seeds, nyger seeds and suet for the songbirds. That also attracts raptors like hawks and kestrels who might try to take advantage of the situation. We figure that they all need to eat and are happy to see the diversity of species.

My friend said she was having trouble with her little point and shoot camera and since she is getting ready for a big trip in the spring she is concerned that maybe it’s failing and she wondered if she ought to try to replace it. I said I would give it a try for a couple of days and took it with me on a couple of walks and used it in the house with and without the flash and of course, it behaved just fine for me. It seems like I haven’t been doing too much ‘fun’ photography lately so it was a good exercise for me. The camera is a low end Nikon Coolpix, and not very new. I found it to be serviceable although I did miss having raw files. The color balance was a little skewed, especially in the snow but not terribly so. I was mostly able to adjust for it in Lightroom. Its exposure compensation allowed me to photograph my black dog in the snow and its close-up scene setting worked well for close-ups.

 

 

 

As Luna and I travelled from Deer Park (north of Spokane) to home, we made some stops along the way. I always figure there is no point in travelling straight through in the most direct manner if you have some time to spare. After two days of agility trials, Luna was ready for some ground-sniffing walks without leashes. We both enjoyed the fresh air of autumn in the woods.

 

Happy Dog

 

Beautiful Ponderosa Pine trees

 

Love those undulating hills

 

These mushrooms almost looked good enough to eat but I’m not one to experiment

 

Golden Western Larch needles carpet the trail

 

This is a nice boardwalk over a wetland that is probably teeming with birds in the spring and summer. We only heard a few chickadees and siskens.

 

And a cool bird blind but no birds were in sight

 

I wonder how long ago this tree was cut down

 

Near the summit of Sherman Pass, it was quite cold and silent.

 

Luna and I drove up to Mazama for some errands the other day and on the way home we stopped at Big Valley (part of the Methow Wildlife area and in the winter a great ski trail shared with dogs) for a quiet walk. Summer is drawing to an end and much of the green has faded to yellow. The trail is dusty from use. Walkers, dogs, horses, bicycles and wildlife all share this path through the mixed woods. The river is quite low and yet still inviting and refreshing.

Ponderosa pines

This field used to grow grain or hay. I wonder if this year it is producing canola with the bright yellow flowers?

Still fascinated by patterns in the water

Fish science? 4 meters from the river, something happened. There was a tiny rivulet of a side channel with little fish that might not get out to the main river.

Luna. She hurt her leg sometime after this and won’t be going any walks or playing in the river for a while.

Asters. Nice to see a few wildflowers still in bloom.

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