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Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday ramble

After yesterdays wild weather it was good to get out from a walk in the woods.  Here in my neighborhood we had some pretty good wind along with thunder and driving rain.  Down the Sound there was a waterspout that showed enough rotation that a tornado alert was triggered.  Check out the video from the Nisqually Nature Center.  It shows the spot from interesting clouds to funnel.


Professor Mass has posted a discussion about the funnel


It has been about 50 years since the Columbus Day Storm which saw a F3 tornado hit the Kent valley, so they can happen here.

And that is why I love this time of year.  warm days that make you think summer will never end followed by crisp nights and foggy mornings.

We don't get the fantastic color in our natural environment, but the local ornamental trees are busting out with colors.

Our woods are more about a slow and quiet change from green to yellows, browns and blacks.

I went over to Cougar Mountain Park for a couple hours of rambling.  After yesterdays rain the trails, covered with Big-leaf maple leaves are just perfect.  The leaves are not crispy, so they are not great for shoofling through.  They do, however, make nice quite stepping.  Easier to hear what is about.

The mushrooms are coming on.  So many shapes and sizes.

Tall shiny ones

Big shaggy ones

tiny dew covered ones

and Angel Wings, the ones you want to pick and take home

I leave them for the critters.  Douglas Squirrels and Flying Squirrels will harvest and take these for drying.  You will sometimes find them out at the end of fir tree branches, drying.

Feeding flocks were out and about with Gold and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, the chickadees,nuthatch and Hairy Woodpeckers all over the place.  Tree Frogs could be heard most everywhere, impossible to spot.

This Woolly Bear was easy to find.

The trails in the park go every which way and a walk all the way out the Wild Side Trail takes you to the entrance of the old Ford Slope Mine.

It is hard to imagine the saw mill, mine support structures and the town that was once in these woods.  Nature has done a pretty wonderful job of covering it all over.  These mine entrances pop up, usually with suitable warning signs showing Mr Stick Man in peril.

One can ramble for hours on many trails.  There are good water features here.  Even after yesterdays rain, it will take a while longer before we can expect good running creeks.  A few of the bridges had shallow rivulets under them.

Given the forecast for the week ahead, the water will rise soon enough.
I love this time of year.