The forecasts for this weekend were nothing to be happy about. It seemed doom and gloom but the reality was not that bad. I was fully prepared to get soaked through and went prepared with a full change of clothes. We had, however, the most glorious morning. It did in fact get downright hot while working. Mind you we had pretty much full sun and digging and whacking is hard work.
The property is one I had not been to before, The "Allen Estate" on the east edge of Ashford, right at the Mt Rainier NP gateway. www.nisquallylanddtrust.org/mtrainier/php
I had not been this far up the road in so very long. This property is that of the historic homestead of Oscar Dana Allen. Mr Allen was a contemporary of Gifford Pinchot who was the first chief of the US Forest Service and coined the term "Conservation Ethic". Along with his sons , Mr Allen made the first botanical assay of the park. He and his sons went on to be key in the administration of the park and state forests in the early half of the 1900's
My drive took me through the Ohop valley where last Halloween we had a work party to plant the valley floor. I stopped along the way to take a picture. While you might not be able to tell, I can see the green shrubs and trees we planted, hiding amid the tall grasses that have since sprung back up. There will be another Halloween work party this year and you can bet I will try to attend. You can see the photos from last years event in my 10/31/2009 blog entry.
Recycled Spirits of Iron by Dan Klennert
The rough grass needs to be whacked back and the turf and soil removed, the hard part. Dig and plant, the easy part. Well the easy part was based on where you dug. Clearly there was a large rock topped drive under this spot. From the state highway we drove up what once was an access road. Joe's truck created a perfume of "mint" as he drove over the greenery that carpeted this path through the woods. The only native mint I know of is Self Heal. I have never crushed it to see if it smells as lovely as this. The open area was overgrown with native blackberry, nettle and non native Scots Broom. Hidden was where the access lane continued on. Shovels found it in the form of rough egg sized rocks covered over by soil.
PS This lovely lady showed up at the work party and was justly given a photo op. I tentitively id her as a Shamrock Spider, Araneus trifolium belonging to the Orb Weaver spider group. I owe some photos to a young man who was working with his Dad and was most excited about his discovery