And So Cometh The Solstice To Our Realm and Environ

December 21st, 2022… a winter solstice marches onto the stage and takes a bow. Oh yes, the days will now become measurably longer… and colder. It takes a while for the extra energy hitting our planet until our Northern Hemisphere begins to warm. It is a slow process… and just remember, the Southern Hemisphere is at the height of summer. Flip flop, T-shirt and shorts weather… But for us: A winter wonderland. The day before the Solstice:

The view to starboard…
Sea Weasels (river otters to you) adorn the dock with their playfulness and excretions. Apparently they can’t poop in the water so the sully the docks willy nilly. It does change ones perception of otters. eh?
The long dock that leads to our humble abode… laced with otter tracks in the snow. Our high temperature for the past few days has been around 25 degrees F. It is colder at night. It is a third of a mile to the parking lot… a bit longer than most driveways. Groceries and all else is “trucked” to Great Northern via a pull wagon.
One of our favorite Port Ludlow hiking trails: The Osprey. Ice cleats are recommended.
Heavy hiking boots adorned with ice cleats, multiple layers of fleece, windproof pants, a thick down parka, wool hats, food, water, emergency kit etc. are in order.
The Osprey along the creek that flows through the ravine that the trail meanders through.
What goes down must go up. Parts of the trail are quite steep. A volunteer group maintains the trail, affixes log stairs on the steep up and down parts. Hiking the Osprey is a great way to get a natural cardiac workout. It is part of our almost
daily hiking experience.
15 minutes later we find ourselves wandering on the more level Talbot Trail… on our way to the Rainier Trail. The Talbot is where Les tripped and broke her ankle about a year ago. Lots of tree roots crisscross the trail. Hard to see in the snow. We both now have much higher and more supportive hiking boots.

Winter foliage on the Talbot.

Les stayed at the boat the day of the Solstice. I went hiking solo at Fort Flagler on Marestone Island. Flagler has wonderful trails that are well maintained with gentle ups and downs. The park is mostly wooded with a perimeter trail that carves its way along the Northern and Eastern bluffs. There are “spoke” trails that radiate from the Bluff Trail. This is one of them:

Salal draped with blanketing show.
Building 31… which I believe is an old pump house.
Another “spoke” trail. This one with cross country ski tracks left by an earlier voyager.
Pretty sure that this is Battery Calwell, one of the old fort’s gunnery positions, overlooking Admiralty Strait with Whidbey Island in the background. A tug and barge ply the icy waters of the Strait.
A frozen bog…
The Bank Trail which intersects two of the “spokes”. A delightful quarter mile or so passage way between two of the wider trails.

An so ends the day before and the day of our Northern Hemisphere “Winter Solstice” hikes. We hope you have enjoyed the pictures that we snapped along the way as we wandered through our woodsy landscape. We are looking forward to our 46th anniversary tomorrow, the 23rd… with Christmas and New Years day shortly thereafter. To celebrate our partnership of 48 years together, we will mostly likely go to the gym and swim a mile or more. Why not!

Les, Leo, and I wish you the best. Enjoy. Get out there and take a walk, a hike, ride a bike, sit in the back yard and watch the birds, breath some fresh air. Spend time with friends and family. Hope to hear from you…

2 thoughts on “And So Cometh The Solstice To Our Realm and Environ

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Les and Leo of course! Hope to see you in ’23 .Love and hugsElaine Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


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