Continuing on Spring Themes: A Hike in the Woods

Real woods. I’m not talking about secondary growth here people. Woods like I grew up in exploring and camping within, more than half a century ago. Imagine that. Yes, in this forest there was some logging done by the original owners who bought 100 acres from the First Nation peoples in the early 1900’s, but they left left most of the really old aristocrats that had been around peering through the mists of time for 500 to 1000 years. That’s a lot of misty history.

The natural beauty of John Dean Park is a haven of nature and resides about 10 minutes from the town of Sidney. There are fabbo trails, both short and long that wind their way through the incredible old growth trees, grottos of ferns, moss, salal, Oregon grape, many vernal ponds and little streamlets hooking them all together. All of which survive handily under the steady gaze and century to century care of their tree shepherds.

Birds flit about. Ravens grok and croak out their audible messages to one another and to anyone else who will listen. The echoes of pileated woodpeckers beating their woodsy rhythms waft through the as they tear at rotten stumps and trees hunting for carpenter ants, bugs larvae and the odd berry.

Massive base of an elder Douglas Fir. An ancient gentleman of the woods
Only way to capture it’s 200 foot
height is to step way back
and take a panoramic photo
Sister, brother, uncle or auntie
Hard tellin, but magnifient
either way
Remnants of what looks to be an old cedar, logged
many years ago. The dark rectangular slots are
telltales of what are called springboards that
loggers use. They chop a hole and insert the springboard
and stand on it so they can reach higher on the trunk
as they chop away…
Not to anthropomorphize too much, but this poor soul still looks as if shocked that someone would end it’s life after 700 years of co-existance…

Kai… a rare moment off leash on the trail. We keep him attached to us at all times because there be monsters in them thar trees. Ravens, owls, and other flying beasties. Coyotes, mountain lions and other large dogs off leash… are other issues to deal with…
What beasties! I’ll break them
in half. I’ll break all their bones
I’ll pick at their muscles. Bigger
than me. I’m a chihuahua…
there is no bigger than me!

I don’t appear to think it is the right path. Les does, and it is apparent that she enjoys a good hike!
C’mon peeps. I wanna go this way!
A pond au natural… not good for
swimming or wading, but great to keep everything nice and green.
Like most temperate forests…
not a place that you can
easily navigate if there isn’t
a nice trail to follow. The
tangle can stop you in about 2 meters…
Another vibrant patch of tangle. Off piste anyone?
One of the reasons we like boating so much. The views are dramatic… and it’s way easier to walk off piste…

Take care all… Keep the distance, stay the course, and keep the faith…

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