After spending a month in Washington followed by a couple of weeks in Oregon, including an epic conclusion in snow at Crater Lake (post link), I returned home to summer temperatures. There was only one thing to do, grab the paddleboard and head for Whiskeytown Lake.
Although we received record rain fall over about a month (14″) the leaves stuck around providing weeks of entertainment.
The dogwoods were showing off their pastel colors along the PCT in Castle Crags State Park.
I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon’. “That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf.Thich Nhat Hanh
I found new growth in an area burned by the 2018 Carr Fire.
This is my favorite Madrone tree in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, she’s a buxom beauty.
After all the rain, I couldn’t resist visiting Crystal Creek Falls at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.
Fungi seemed to be happy with all the rain.
Earth stars, a type of fungi. I thought it was the bottom of a pinecone.
When you look closely you might even find a stowaway.
This is a story of good, evil and humanity. The 2018 Carr fire burned this tree. I visited in spring 2020 when I took a photo of this wreath on the remains. When I processed the photo I found a surprise inside. This heavy chainsaw carved bear was a welcome gift representing hope at appropriately named Black Bear Pass. Sadly it was kidnapped in winter 2020. When I returned this fall I was thrilled to find a new bear hiding in the stump. Yes there is goodness in this world!
Lichen and moss seemed to enjoy the extra moisture as well.
And what would a jaunt be without a few blooms?
Although many were ready to spread their seeds.
Soon enough it’ll be time to welcome back the orchid blooms.
But until then I’ll welcome winter. The time for renewal.
I love being able to see Mt Shasta, from 100 miles distant.
One thing nice about having a home base at low elevation (500′) is nearby winter hiking options.
Nature offers up a holiday bouquet.
I wish my friends and followers a wonderful 2022, at least one filled with more peace, unity, kindness, caring, forgiveness, collaboration and love.
Photos are from hikes and walks in the following areas.
- Castle Crags State Park
- PCT/Crags Trail
- Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
- Davis Gulch Trail
- Whiskeytown Falls Trail
- Crystal Creek Falls Trail
- Redding area trails
- Blue Gravel Trail
- Cloverdale/Piety Hill Trails
- FB Trail
- Flanagan/Chamise/Upper Ditch Trails
- French Fry Trail
- Hornbeck/Lower Ditch Trails
- Princess Ditch Trail
- Mary Lake Trail
- McConnell Ranch Trails
- Mule Mountain Trail
- Sacramento River Trails
- Salt Creek Trails
- Trail 58
- Westside Trails
- Trinity Alps Wilderness
- Stuart Fork Trail
- Canyon Creek Trail