Going Down into the Valley
Yesterday morning, bright and early, I decided to throw on a back-pack and head on down into the valley behind the house.
I saw a yellow flutter in the grass and saw a couple of male American Goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) chasing insects near the ground. The one above was sitting on the stalk of a weed, a good 2 inches above the ground.
It was an overcast day and the clouds were threatening rain. The weather service was threatening SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. I brought an umbrella in my pack just in case, but never ended up needing it.
The sounds of the woods increased as I got deeper down the path - birds and wind and the rushing of water.
So much firewood around - too bad I wasn't doing some remote camping.
There were a few mosquitos, but nothing too bothersome. The air was thick and humid and it made me sweat easily as I hiked up and down the ridges.
A wikkiup has stood for at least the last couple of years along the first valley leading deeper into the woods. It is hidden up the slope, but a couple of sheets and some plastic reveal its presence. I don't think it is occupied, and I haven't gotten closer to see - but it is an ingenious shelter: well hidden, strong and has a great potential for weather proofing and could stand up to the winters here.
Closer to the ground, the rain has managed to wash away most - but not all - fungi and mushrooms.
Green is all about and the air smells fresh.
Through gaps in the overcast clouds, pockets of sunlight appear and brighten up the forest.
Gnarled trees remind me of this area's past - orchards and rough terrain.
The heat and the diffuse light of the morning made me tired and decided to head home - but first I wandered onto the pebble and sand beach that lays alongside the river.
A dark swirling mass in the creek attracted my attention - I got closer and filmed it and realized it was a school of minnows, swarming about in the sunlight. It was then time to hike out again.
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