corvi (corivax) wrote,

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green and cedar-red

Saturday, the inhabitants of Biomass (my apartment) spontaneously decided a hike was in order. It was really nice, actually - a time to stop kicking worries back and forth in my head and just look and listen. Lose myself in a hundred scents - cedar and damp earth and mist and dust and moss and the almost-sharp scent of blackberry leaves. Crow calls. We saw what I think was a Western Jumping Mouse - it sat on the path and jumped about three feet into the bushes when we walked up. The mouse's sides were much lighter colored than that picture shows, but the description says 'golden sides'.

I took a camera, because I've found that it helps me focus on what I'm seeing, a sort of visual meditation, and because I do not have any pictures of generic Pacific Northwest forests (as opposed to pictures of my friends being silly in said forests), despite hiking or camping fairly frequently.

Waterfall from an observation platform. We hiked down to the bottom of the valley, and clambered over rocks down there for a while, then hiked back up.

Slope down to the waterfall. The trail was actually very gentle, though, lots and lots of switchbacks. I think we 'ambled' more than 'hiked,' perhaps. Which was fine with me; it was a little hot for strenuous activity, and I was stumbling over rocks nearly blind, having forgotten my sunglasses.

Yeah yeah, I know, another waterfall shot. I was fascinated by the way the water fell into long gossamer sheets, like dancing veils. This picture was taken from atop a large rock near the base of the waterfall.

Last waterfall shot, I promise. One neat thing about this photo is the fact that the rainbow goes all the way to the edge of the image, but when I took it, I could only really see the rainbow right next to the water where the mist was thickest.

Blackberry flowers. These are Himalayan blackberries, which like disturbed ground, and which you're probably only too well acquainted with if you're lucky enough to have a backyard in this area.
We also saw a few trailing blackberries, which have smaller, more delicate leaves, and a softer, greener scent, without the sort of sharp edge that the himalayans have. They grow in undisturbed forest, and produce much smaller, sweeter berries. None ripe, alas.

Ferns, felled tree, cedar, blackberries.

Tapestry of sun and shadow, tangle of cedar roots. Cedar scent rich and heady and warm. After we left the area, in the car ride home, I noticed my hair smelled like cedar, and would have purred like a cat with catnip were I capable.

View parallel to the slope, cedar and ferns, dappled with sunlight. plantae, who is a botanist, told me once that the distinguishing feature of a Pacific Northwest forest was Douglas Fir, but I've privately always considered it cedar.
I grew up in California, amoung redwoods, and on the East coast, where the forests are almost entirely deciduous. Well... I grew up a bit of everywhere, I guess, and everywhere immersed myself in forest-song as much as possible (with my parent's blessing - it was always my job to cut wood, or to gather wild strawberries and choke cherries, or hickory bark, to tend our animals and keep not-ours away), but only here have I seen much cedar. Mmmmm.

Look! Some trees that are not cedars! Amazing, huh? And a whole bunch of sword ferns.

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