Oops need to write said entry.
Anyway welcome SRM and see my comment in last post about your questions. I am happy to help you plan. I am also hoping you will start a blog about your home state.
Last Saturday, feeling the burden of being house and office bound for yet another gray drizzly week I went down to Pt Defiance in Tacoma. The weather report was for clearing, but at home it was certainly a dreary scene. Well a walk in the deep woods, in the rain is not so bad. By the time I got to the southbound freeway I could see that a convergence zone set up showed clearing skies to the far south.
The parking lot was already filed when I arrived at 915. This large park, situated on a peninsula at the mouth of Commencement Bay is a popular destination for runners and walkers. The one way loop road lends itself for a nice metered 5 mile course. How nice it would be to have such a place near by. As I walked along the road I found a little hidden treasure. This culvert is signed in white pebbles " 1936 WPA". This road is a wonderful WPA project.
Thank you to all the hard working men. The WPA projects around Washington are still treasures. See my entry from last September ( Nisqually and Mt Rainier) to see a tunnel and a lovely stone bridge made by the CCC ; the Civilian Conservation Corps, established during the same time.
The entrance of the park is dominated by two large formal gardens; Rose and Iris. Come Spring this is just the place for a camera nut to explore. Attached to the Rose Garden is a lovely house, built in 1898 by the original keeper of the park, Ebenezer Roberts. The house , now called The Lodge, was built for a whopping
get ready for it
Pt Defiance is home to a nice little Zoo that focuses on Pacific Rim animal species. The Aquarium is well known for its Marine Mammal rehabilitation and they have received Walrus and Sea Otter rescued from unfortunate circumstance. It is a bit odd to be walking along and see Caribou and Musk Ox. I struck off into the wonderful woods. There are three major trail routes. I picked the one that bee-lines down the spine of the peninsula. Here the trees are wonderful. Many of them quite super sized.
You can appreciate the effect storms have in this place. Gaps in the canopy and tumbled logs can almost map the historic storms of the last 20 years. Even the previous weeks rain brought down a lot of little limbs and many tips and bits off the ends of branches.
In woods like these logs are usually sawed through to allow the trail passage and left in place. The serve a vital function. Nurse logs support and give rise to new growth. Logs also are shelter and highways for animals of the woods and they hold and stabilize soil.
A handy stump can be converted to a well placed sitting place. I have seen fallen trees cut into 6 to 8 inch thick slices and the discs serve as "stepping stones" in mucky places.
This fallen Western Red Cedar burst on impact. The smell was wonderful!
The westerly trail ends at Pt Defiance itself. Here you can see the beginning of the infamous Tacoma Narrows, home of Galloping Gertie. An early explorer said of this place that with a gunnery at this point and one across the water he could" stand in defiance of the world". These illuminated trees are Madrone. They are hallmarks of Puget Sound cliff sides.
With sunny skies there were many folks about. Some of the runners were clearly men from the nearby Joint Base Lewis / McCord. Nice to see but "excuse us Ma'am" as they ran past... well sigh.
Turning my eyes to nature study
Like all wet side mixed conifer woods this one is filled with life of every size.
Tiny moss spores
Licorice Fern growing on a trunk. This ferns rhizome tastes like licorice. Native peoples used to chew it or use the extracted juice for cough. There is also a mention of using it as a body wash for measles. I am sure it is a good astringent. I would say, too, it sweetens the breath.
It is a potent taste and a little dab will do ya.
I recognized several trees here from Dr Kruckbergs garden; a Japanese Larch and a Spanish Fir. They also have a Moon Bridge over the water complex. See my Kubota Garden entry from October 2010 for a formal garden with a Moon Bridge.