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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Walking in the Rain

A rainy Spring weekend.  In high contrast with last weekends sunny and 70, it is low clouds and barely 50.  In the mountains, snow is once again falling so I must stick to the wet side.

Yesterday was Biosurvey at Ohop.  My love for this place cannot even be diminished by the rain.

Newly arrived swallows; Violet-green, Tree, Barn and Rough-wing were found swooping all over the fields.  The Rough-wing traced its way up and down the creek, while the others took higher to the sky.

The creek is flowing deep.  During salmon runs it is fairly shallow.  If you look closely at the creek you will see a line across.  This is a device that counts salmon that have microchips.

We rambled the fields for a soggy 2 1/2 hours looking for signs, sounds and sights of living things.  It was slow going.  I am happy to say my waterproof pants boots and coat really do the trick.  Even they, however, could not keep my electronic data recording device from seizing up.

Another two months and this field will be alive with greenery and, no doubt, bugs galore.  The birds eventually will find great feeding in the hundreds of young trees.

The trees and shrubs planted over the last few years are thriving.

Today with rain coming down in buckets I revisited Washington Park to see my flowers.  The rain was really coming down as I neared Anacortes, but by the time I parked it was a more sedate rain.  I figure as I was going to be in the woods most of the way, it really didn't matter that much.  There were only a few souls out.  All were well protected from the rain by a wide variety of foul-weather gear.

And I got my prize.

White Fawn Lily are abundant in the mossy glades. 

The Calypso Orchids are going strong. 


I even found a large number of Coralroot Orchid starting to spike.  Right now they look like red asparagus breaking through the forest floor litter.  I found them all along my route and I don't remember seeing this many in the past.

On the south slope the Serpintine soil supports a wide array of unusual flowers.  Yellow Monkey Flower decorate the rock faces

Spring Gold, Sea Blush, Blue-eyed Mary and buttercup carpet the open slopes.

The rare Puget Sound Juniper thrives on these slopes.

A Banana Slug slips easily along the glacier gouged Serpentine rocks.

That is the front of my size 11 Ahnu boot so you can appreciate how big this fat fellow is.

I officially love my boots.  I got a gel insert and now they fit perfectly!  They are comfy and waterproof too!

Perhaps next weekend we will see how the comfy boots face the threat of cactus


  1. You have the most beautiful wild flower up there. And the rain -- how I would love to have some to go walking in. Gorgeous photos as usual and good to know you love cats too. They are my most favorite animals.

  2. And, of course, I envy you your desert highlands environment. Perhaps next weekend I can get over to our dry side and revel in blooming cactus and odd sand-loving flowers

  3. Superb pictures, Marti. Was at Washington and Sharpe Parks today. Things are really early. The Calypsos are already at their peak and nearly all the other spring wildflowers are blooming. Sadly someone dug the White Calypso. I was so angry when I found the hole I copuldn't talk for a while.

  4. Sharpe Park is south of Anacortes on Rosario Road. There's a small parking area and several miles of trail with some fabulous views from the bluffs, especially from Sare's Head. Saw Fawn Lilies, Calypsos, Red Currant, and it looks to be a good place for Coralroots as well. Tehre's also a wetland area with quite a few birds.

  5. What wonderful photos of flowering plants, Marti. I can feel your excitement when you 'discover' these beauties.
    I do so appreciate good weather gear. We were walking in the park and the rain yesterday and realized an update was needed for Ron for a better rainproof jacket.
    I have to get back to the west coast...it's been far too long.

  6. Thanks for your comments on the Fragrance Lake post. We hiked Mount Si Monday, the Old Si Trail. Lot of snow yet at the top. Tomorrow we're going to Sehome Hill, but we are not going to make the WaNOS field trip. Just too far away on that short notice. The Fairy Slippers seem somewhat spare this year, but next week we're going out by Bonaparte Lake to see the eastern Fairies.

  7. Saw from your Flickr posts that you went to Sharpe Park. Not quite the same abundance of wildflowers that Washington Park has, but still, we thought, a really neat place.

  8. I think you're right, Marti, that things are early here this year. The fairy Slippers are nearly finished already! Oddly, things are way behind on the other side of the mountains, or seem so. We were in the area of Bonaparte Lake earlier in the week and nothing at all was growing or blooming there.