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Tag Archives: wildflowers

We all went camping last week and had a nice time away from home in a beautiful and place and offline too. It rained some. There was one big thunderstorm that went on for an hour or more. We never got too hot. Or cold. Sky may have jumped in a lake or two. Or three.

Of course we enjoyed lots of walks and here are a few highlights from the last month and a half.

Yesterday afternoon we walked here on our hill. It was nice to get up into the tall bitterbrush and sage that did not burn four years ago.

Seasons have changed. Generally speaking, we have three seasons defined by color – white, green and brown – and we are officially in the brown season now. Or maybe it’s more of a golden season. That sounds nicer. Most of the foliage that grew vigorously in the late spring and early summer has dried to a yellowish tan with a few sparks of color here and there. Remnants of wildflowers and berries. Aspen leaves – some still green, many yellow and some more orangish.

Summer has come to an abrupt end. The good news is that wildfires no longer threaten people and their homes and soon the smoke will be gone from the valley.

Last week Mary and I and our pack of dogs headed for Harts Pass and the Pacific Crest Trail. We had a good hike to Grasshopper Pass, going past many PCT thru hikers who were anxious to keep walking. If everything went well for them, they’d be in Canada, 35 miles away, the next day. A few flowers were still blooming and we heard marmots and pikas and we ate a few huckleberries along the way. We had a little sunshine, some breezes, a little misty rain and ever-changing light. It was really lovely.

The Skyline Divide trailhead is at the end of the road where we were camped so that was our first hike. It goes about two miles steeply through the forest with occasional meadows before popping out on top of a meadow-covered ridge. I’m sure there are wondrous vistas to be seen at that point however it was pretty smoky and we could not see the mountains at all. The smoke was thick enough that I could smell it and I’m sure a vigorous hike in those conditions was not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. I was not alone. We saw several other hikers that day. We could have gone farther on the trail to find that we could not see other vistas so decided to just stay on the ridgetop and enjoy the flowers and bugs and also Black Swifts that seemed to be migrating in big flocks. This is a hike I hope to do again on a non-smoky day.

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