Pink, yellow, green, grey

It is barely the fourth day of spring.  All that is left of winter is the distant snow on the Olympics and Cascades.  Plants and birds are in a hurry to blossom or migrate.  There can’t be that much color to distract during a run, can there–in just four days?      The Oregon Grape is already covered with the small yellow buds that will change to red; maturing into the grapes themselves before many weeks pass.

Tall Oregon Grape  -- yellow-bud-berry phase
Tall Oregon Grape — yellow-bud-berry phase

 

Flowering pink currant in bloom

 

Flowering pink currant in bloom
Flowering pink currant in bloom

Even away from the sunlit bluff and the openings in the forest where sunlight penetrates there is a change going on.  The mosses and ferns that cover the stumps, scars from the logging of many years ago, trying to somehow beautify what is missing.

Ferns, mosses, and lichens abound around the stumps.
Ferns, mosses, and lichens abound around the stumps.

As the trail winds down into the damp bottom of a kettle, the bright yellow of Skunk Cabbage dots the trailside.  These early spring plants will vanish as the leaves of the trees return.

Skunk Cabbage...
Skunk Cabbage…
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Soon to take over the sides of the trails…
Nettles, the stinging type
Nettles, the stinging type

The temperature was almost 60ºF.  There were wisps of fog here and there — not enough wind to move it.  One outbound freighter was there, barely visible.

An outbound freighter in the morning's fog
An outbound freighter in the morning’s fog

The trails are drying out.  There are damp spots that will vanish some day soon when the trees start drinking again; spots that will stay dry until early fall when the trees decide it is time to doze until spring again.   The many shades of green are about to be joined by yellows, reds, oranges, and the many shades even the mushrooms bring to my forest.  We are seeing and hearing many birds.  Some are returning from Oregon, some from California, some from Arizona, but none seem willing to tell just where they went since we last saw them many months ago as fall turned to winter.  They are in a hurry to get home.  It is time to build nests and watch the sun’s seemingly northward journey.

—– Run gently out there —–