Mushroom of unknown variety

I hope you took advantage of the gorgeous weather we had last week between Christmas and New Year’s. Yes it was cold but we didn’t get the east winds that can freeze you to the bone in about 5 minutes. It is really special to see blue sky in the winter in the Northwest. It’s usually gray and raining. If you go out later in the afternoon you will see some absolutely perfect alpen-glow sunset light on Mt Hood. It’s worth the cold for that. If you weren’t on Mt Hood skiing there were plenty of great hiking spots close to town. My husband and I went back to the spots I spoke about earlier this year. The photos, this time, are from the Summit trail on Mt Talbert. We were quite surprised to see these out in the open with the cold weather. We expected them to look like they have been frozen and on the way out. Not quite sure what they are but they deserved to immortalized. The leafy one looks like a lichen, not quite peltigara family, perhap nephroma family. There were a lot of people out on the trail when we were there but it seemed less crowded and more quieted than in the summer. I thought that was unusual. There were all ages and the young ones were keeping up quite well with the adults.

There has been more clearing of the fir trees up at the summit to make room for the white oaks. They need more light and firs can have a bit of a smothering nature once they get into an area. The Parks and Recreation folks are trying to retore the area to its natural setting. Sad to see the firs go but the oaks are not commonly seen around anymore and they were here first. It will be exciting to see how the area develops over the years. Deciduous trees offer a different canopy for the hikers which changes with the seasons also.

On another day we took a trek up the Springwater Corridor trail from the end out in Boring at the new park. We have not hiked in that direction before. Discovered there are parking spaces and restrooms at the north end of the park. The entire corridor is a great bike trail and is protected from traffic as it is back off from any roads. It is interesting to see some hidden homes and nurseries and who lives back off the main streets and byways. There are many beautiful hidden niches.

The last hike we took on New Year’s day was over the newly renovated Oregon City Bridge. We went across it on the opening weekend back in October but wanted to do more exploring on the “other side”. There is a park that goes under the I-205 brigde and along the river. You can get access by going left off the West Linn side of the Oregon City bridge and continue back around to the left or you can go right along the road, go past the gas station and come down the streets to the McLean House and then go back under that way. There is a tiny little beach that would be a nice place for lunch sometime. Definitely worth another exploration.

Now, unfortunately we are back to the wet and rain. But we are, of course, in the Pacific Northwest. This makes for good snow and skiing. So get out, one way or another. Dress appropriately and enjoy all the seasons this region has to offer. Make this a year of more exercise and adventures. Get some trail books and information on the plants, animals and birds of the area you will be exploring. It makes it more enjoyable and adds more purpose and learning opportunities for the hike.