Except for a handful of exotics here and there, we’re about out of fall color here in Washington State.
Great. Just in time for all that extra darkness.
Many folks I know are working hard to adjust their habits or their personal environments, trying to stay one step ahead of seasonal gloom. And even though I’m a very un-SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) person, I find myself doing my own version of this on my walks, snapping photos of whatever brightness I can find during a sunbreak in an otherwise dingy forest.
But what about when there is no sun? We have a LOT of those days here in the Pacific North-wet.
Ugh, why even bother to go out? Just plug in the Christmas lights.
I won’t dignify that question with a response, except to say this: today, on one of the greyest, most monochromatic days of the year, I made a startling discovery about light. Shining light. Turns out, our most emblematic native tree, the madrona, practically glows on days like these.
Now, this particular tree (on my neighbors’ property) is one I’ve loved for two decades; I even adopted its crazy loopy branches as my emblem when I became an author. (That’s another story.)
But my POINT is, despite a close relationship with this tree, I had never really thought about how its bark gleams when wet.
And not just “my” tree–any madrona! Red or green, there’s just something about their surface, more skin than bark, that turns to spotlit satin in the rain.
After rhapsodizing for a while over what’s been under my nose for years upon rainy years, I headed home…and stopped dead at a patch of salal. Guess what?
So. Moral of the story: in this greyest of seasons in this greyest of regions, there’s plenty of light out there. All we have to do is accept the gift of gleam where we find it.
Anyone else have their own version of “the gleam”–maybe in a region much different from mine? Please share a description!
As March draws to a close, this will be my last Road Trip Retro post for now–and hopefully, ever! This is the time of year when, in “normal” years, we’d have just gotten settled back into the home routine: me working at the bakery, The Mate clearing fallen branches around the property and getting the lawn mower in shape.
It’s not a “normal” year. But things are turning that way, even though I’ll never think of “normal” again. (The other day I went into a friend’s house for the first time in 14 months and felt like crying with joy.)
So let’s finish up with Road Trip VIII, shall we? That year, three years ago, I became aware that we had fallen into a pattern with our first couple of road weeks. So I determined to NOTICE stuff that I might have bypassed before. Starting with this amazing “We Can Do It!”” cloud in Tacoma.
Passing out of Oregon into California on Rt. 199 (a fave), I captured this sign which we’ve always enjoyed:
Visiting our favorite Prairie Creek redwoods, I decided to highlight the less obvious parts of the forest.
Visiting our wee cuzzies in Oakland, I tried to capture the sense of their neighborhood…
…and just up the road in Berkeley, this wonderful memorial to the Free Speech movement:
Next up, SoCal. With our sons long graduated from college and my grandmother long since passed away, we visited a more obscure bit of coast, just the two of us…
…before heading into LA for the usual family & friends visits. Then, the Big Left Turn, and off into Arizona, where, for once, we rented a cabin near our favorite park-nobody-seems-to-have-heard-of, the Chiricahua National Monument.
In Albuquerque, I captured a piece of a “ho-hum hike” at the base of the Sandia range, right there in town…
…and finally remembered to give their spectacular cuisine its photographic due:
Speaking of noticing: we also finally decided to let Oklahoma show us its best stuff. Frequently terrible weather (blizzards, tornadoes) keeps us from crossing OK, but in 2018 we stayed in TWO different state park cabins, at either end of the state.
Nothing breathtaking, but very pleasant (too cold for us to camp). And I got to see this porcupine asleep high in a cottonwood!
The eastern park, Lake o’ the Cherokees, featured 1930s-era cabins made by the WPA.
Passing through Missouri (another rarity on our eastbound journeys), we stopped to recreate in some federal scenic river land. The name escapes me–but this beaver didn’t!
Cutting down through Tennessee, we treated ourselves to a date in Nashville.
With our friends in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina, I tried to focus more on the background of the place–its rhododendron thickets…
…though who can resist a mountain sunrise?
At the apex of our journey–my home stompin’ grounds of Durham and Chapel Hill, NC–I focused my camera on some of my personal NC icons:
…and, of course, the culmination of every annual NC pilgrimage, the ACC Men’s Basketball feast:
Heading north this time, we made a straight shot to our other cousins, in southern Vermont, where all the little things I might have noticed were immediately blanketed by snow.
Heading home through Kentucky: isn’t this the best bike path bridge ever?
Stopping for a bike ride in Topeka, KS, we pretty much stumbled onto this historic site: the school where Brown v. Board of Education began.
Heading for the Rockies, we took advantage of some friends’ spending a sabbatical in Colorado Springs.
A hike at Mesa Verde, where we had the trail to ourselves…
Our annual get-together with Adventure Buddies (you know ’em well by now) Tom & Kate was near Page, AZ. Just noticing this piece of the map (so near to the Grand Canyon) was new to us.
One thing we did that I’m not real proud of: took a boat tour on Lake Powell to see Glen Canyon, or what’s left of it. What I mostly noticed? My conflicted feelings.
Finally back in Washington, going for a walk as we waited in the ferry line, I kept the theme going, capturing the beauty of our Salish Sea environment…
…every tiny bit of it.
Thanks for riding with me through most of the past ten years! Tune in next time for something a little more current, ok? And be well.
I know I make it seem like interrupting our Road Trips with airplane flights is an anomaly, but 2017 actually managed to involve a plane ride too. Just a short one, right at the start.
See, I’d pitched this new idea to my two older sisters: “Hey, as each of us turns 60, let’s have a Sisters Weekend Getaway, in a town that’s new to all of us!” Since that’s something we’ve never done in our lives–all 60 years of them, for some of us–they thought that was a pretty good idea. That early spring, the eldest of us was up, and she picked…
San Diego. So Road Trip VII began with me flying there to meet my Seesters. We rented a house, went for lots of walks, and ate a LOT. We weren’t full-on tourists, but we spent one full day at the famous zoo…
and another out on Point Loma.
The tide pools got an A+ in my book.
First Seesters Getaway under our belts, we went our separate ways–one to Michigan, one to Texas, and me back to LA where I met The Mate and Red Rover. We visited with all our LA dear ones, and then headed out across the desert, like most other years.
In Albuquerque, our friend Beth helped us indulge our craving for green chile at a very cool restaurant, The Range.
Armed with leftovers, plus the Sisterhood of the Traveling Avocado (from my cousins’ tree in LA), we beelined for our favorite part of North Texas, Palo Duro Canyon, where it was just barely warm enough to camp.
Next up, Dallas, where our friends treated us to a bike tour around the less-well-known parts of the city…
As often happens on our late-winter road trips, the route from TX to NC was a blur, which means the weather was probably lousy. We did manage one hike at the TN-NC border.
During these days, a new tradition was born: “Noodlebag.” How’s that work? 1. Cook noodles at friends’ house; add salt & olive oil. 2. Steal some of their leftovers. 3. Over the next three days, add whatever’s in your ice chest, and heat in the microwave of whatever cheap motel you’re staying in.
In North Carolina at last, along with my Amazing Parents, Son Two met us for basketball, BBQ, and Being a Good Son.
Basketball. Family. Critters. Family. Basketball. Mama Dip’s Fried Chicken. Basketball. Wild trout lilies. If you’ve been following this blog for even a couple of posts, you probably know the drill by now.
Snow in NC, in March? OK. So of course when we left, we drove North.
If happens sometimes. This was one of those times. We had a brand-new little baby cousin to visit!
But hey–at least New Englanders know how to deal with snow!
Also, I grooved on being able to help our cousins bottle-feed some of their new lambs, overseen by Ben the Shepherd Donkey.
Heading home through upper-middle of the continent, we had a couple of notable recreation stops. First, a bike trail that was once the tow path for the Illinois River barges, just like the song I learned from my friend Lance: “Every day I work on the Illinois River/Get a half a day off with pay/On the tow path hauling barges/On a long hot summer day...”
Second, we diverged into Colorado at the end of the Plains to meet our Intrepid Adventure Buddies (say it with me) Tom & Kate in Estes Park…
…on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. I got sick while in Colorado, and spent most of my time walking slowly and enjoying the scenery from the back of the car. Still worth it.
Finally, back in Montana, we stopped at this special spot where the mighty Missouri River is born from the confluence of three smaller rivers. Lewis & Clark camped here.
Onward! Homeward! Apparently quite a bit of snow had fallen while we were dallying in the Rockies, but we’d given Idaho time to clear its highways.
So, a road trip with extra sisters, a son & a new, wee cousin? All gravy. Yes please!
Tune in next time for RT2018. Gonna ride this retrospective right up till the last one. Maybe then I won’t notice the lack of RT2021.
I’m writing this on the anniversary of the cutting-short of last year’s Road Trip (X), when The Mate and I turned tail and fled home from NC in under a week, driven by our COVID fears.
Five years ago, RT6 also ended abruptly, but only for one of us. I flew back, leaving The Mate to follow in Red Rover at his own pace. No global pandemic fears that time, though. Just a bakery opening.
Holly B’s Bakery has been trading in Love & Butter since 1976, and I’d been working as a baker there since 2011. But in 2016 Holly retired, selling the bakery to my brand-new boss, Stephanie. After receiving her promise that I could make pie (something Holly wasn’t into), I agreed to be there to help out on Opening Day–March 17. Which meant flying home from NC.
So with that in mind, I enjoyed the Half-Trip as wholly as possible. Let’s revisit, shall we?
Starting with our friends the redwoods again…
After visiting with our Oakland cousins, we spent a couple nights camping in Pinnacles National Monument (now it’s officially a Park, I think).
That place is so cool. They have condors too, though we didn’t see any that trip.
Next up, SoCal. Again–I’m skipping over photos of some very dear folks we stayed with and saw down there, to include this photo from the San Bernardino Mts. Turns out Son One, on a rare stint not in the jungle, was working nearby, and met us for a day hike.
Once again we had a date with Intrepid Travel Buddies Tom & Kate, this time in a park new to all of us: Anza-Borrego National Park.
The sun felt good enough to make us appreciate the shade of the palm oases.
We sojourned in Albuquerque again, but only briefly, and my photos were only of friends. A day later, we were meeting more friends, from Dallas–not in Dallas for once, but in Caprock Canyon State Park, which we’d stumbled on the previous year.
Unfortunately our friends hit a deer on their way to join us, totaling their car and shredding their nerves. So we didn’t stay long. But it was a good reminder, once again, not to dump on North Texas for lack of scenery.
As usual we zipped across the lower South…not much in the photo record there. Except for one special place that we’d learned of from fellow road-trippers Eric & Laurel, aka Raven & Chickadee: Oak Mountain State Park outside of Birmingham, Alabama. We fell in love with this place.
When we got to Georgia, we treated ourselves to a special kind of camping trip: Cumberland Island, reachable only by ferry.
Cumberland Island has one of those classically conflicting Southern histories, but today at least, it belongs to the people.
Did I mention the feral horses?
Back at my folks’ farm in Durham, NC for the ACC Tournament once more, we threw ourselves into basketball, of course…
…and also farm life. Not only was Son Two visiting then, but so was my niece, all the way from Texas (I know: something else great about Texas!).
Knowing I was there for a shorter amount of time made me appreciate the visit all the more, I think.
I focused less on the clutter of my childhood home, and more on its distinctness, like the many sculptures made by my very talented German grandmother.
Going home so soon, while spring reins in the upper South?
Wait, why am I leaving again?
So, back in 2021…here’s to health, security, maybe even travel before too long–and don’t forget the love & butter.
If you read the previous post, you’ll know that RT 2014 came with extra drama. But the following year, as memory and these photos remind me, the sun SHONE on Red Rover and her occupants.
Our blessings started with a quick detour in southwestern Oregon’s Illinois River scenic area, which we’d driven past for years.
Sunny riverside or pitcher-plant-filled swamp, this place deserves the word “awesome.”
Next up: a precious visit with our now-toddling twin cuzzies in Oakland.
We then made our Big Left Turn a bit earlier than some years, skipping LA to head straight over the mountains and into Death Valley.
Winter did catch back up with us in Albuquerque, but we took advantage of the snow to go for an extra-beautiful hike with our friend Beth in the Tent Rocks National Monument (one of our favorite spots when we lived for half a year in Santa Fe twelve years before).
Not many photos follow, so we must have zipped across the lower half of the country again…but then found ourselves once more in the Asheville area, soaking up the Blue Ridge. Since I grew up in NC, these mountains were my earliest benchmark of beauty.
Next up–the perennial apex of our trip: Durham, NC, my hometown. There, as always, we hung out on my folks’ little farm, which is slowly being donated to the adjacent Carolina Friends School, which they helped to found.
Since the place is undergoing these changes, I took some photos to document the delightfully messy present that was also my childhood.
Remember those blessings I was talking about? In 2015, we were gifted with the opportunity not just to cheer for our beloved Tarheels on TV, but to attend a game in person.
Since I had published Book Two of my YA Flying Burgowski trilogy, Headwinds, at the end of 2014, this road trip featured another reading at Durham’s famous Regulator Bookshop. This time I enlisted my old middle school English teacher, Henry Walker, and a couple of current Friends School students, to do a dramatic reading with me!
Yet another blessing, as we headed home: discovering this amazing chunk of scenery in the Arkansas Ozarks.
So pretty–all that beautiful brown sandstone!
We stayed in a state-run lodge as nice as anything you’d find in a national park.
On the way home, latitude I-40, we stopped to recreate near our favorite chunk of North Texas–but this time, instead of Palo Duro, we discovered its cousin, Caprock Canyon.
As if all this scenery weren’t enough, we made time for a quick detour back to the Mother of All Gorge-ousness, the Grand Canyon. Only for a day hike–but I made the most of it.
Near Page, AZ, The Mate and I took a slot canyon tour–not the overly-famous Antelope Canyon, but a smaller one.
Blessing #…oh, I’ve lost track…was meeting Adventure Buddies Tom & Kate (by now you should remember them) outside of good ol’ Joshua Tree National Park for three days of desert togetherness.
We also drove down near Palm Desert to walk through a beautiful oasis there, traditional lands of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Band of Indians.
Driving home on the eastern side of the Sierras, we found public campgrounds still closed, but managed to squeeze into a small private one.
Next along the way: Mono Lake. We only had a couple extra hours, but…it’s right there!
In northern California, near Susanville, we scored what is still one of our all-time favorite rail-trails. I mean–come on!
Next, a state park in middle Oregon, near Prineville, by the Deschutes River…
Final night, before entering Washington? We camped in Oregon’s famous Columbia Gorge. A fitting reminder of what gorge-ousness exists in our very backyard.
Final lesson from this retrospective of 6 years ago? All road trips are gifts. But some gifts have more facets than others. 2015 was extra special that way. Leaving me extra grateful.
RT4 started out in what was becoming a familiar pattern: a beeline south toward our far-and-dear in Oregon, then California. Those dear ones include some very big redwoods.
This year was especially exciting because we got to meet our “placeholder grandchildren,” our wee twin cousins born in the summer of 2013.
Then, to add to our joy, we arranged to meet both our sons for a night of camping in Big Sur. Son Two was about to graduate from college; Son One was a year past graduation.
Both of them, to our (somewhat surprised) delight, still seemed to enjoy hanging out with the old folks.
But my joy in these days was increased many fold by my own unfolding writing project. My first novel, The Flying Burgowski, was edging toward final publication. The story of one Jocelyn Burgowski, a northwestern island girl whose family life has melted down a bit, takes a flying leap into oh-so-possible fantasy when Joss discovers, on the evening of her 14th birthday, that those flying dreams she’s been having are NOT…JUST…DREAMS.
All that remained, after years of writing and revising, was one last round of edits before hitting the magic “publish” button. I well remember paging through the proof copy of The Flying Burgowski in our tent by flashlight.
Saying goodbye to our boys young men, we headed east across the deserts. Lack of photographic evidence from that part of the trip tells me we didn’t linger long. But we were with our friends in Dallas when I finished my editing, started my publishing process—and ordered a few dozen copies to meet me in North Carolina, where I had a date with a bookstore.
We did camp once on our way through Arkansas, but it was a pretty weird experience. We were the ONLY people in the campground.
But remember this blog’s heading–going airborne? Crossing Tennessee in a torrential rainstorm, lil’ Red Rover did NOT do that…but she did, suddenly and terrifyingly, start hydroplaning on an I-40 bridge over a swollen creek.
Bouncing off a guard rail, she ended up facing the oncoming traffic (mostly semi trucks)…but, thanks be to all the gods, upright, and safely on the shoulder. Thanks be also to the fact that none of those semis came sliding into us. After realizing we were still alive and finding that Red Rover still functioned, we turned around and drove, very slowly, with flashers, on three functional and one absolutely shredded tire, the 20 miles to the next town. In Cookville, an extremely nice mechanic took Lil’ Red in even though it was closing time. We bedded down at a motel feeling extremely lucky to be alive.
Not pictured: any of that.
But our accident put us in reach of the winter storm we’d been running ahead of. Next morning Red was fixed up, but the roads were now pure ice and snow. We drove the same speed as post-accident, trying to stay out of another one, and got as far as the NC mountains before calling it a day.
Next day, we attempted a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
We holed up with our friends near Asheville for a couple of days as winter storms continued in waves across the country. My folks in Durham were suffering under a second ice storm, with a third predicted the week of our arrival.
So The Mate and I did something we’d never done in our lives: bought plane tickets to use the very next day. Then we bought the Lonely Planet guide to Puerto Rico, drove to my folks’ house, said hello and see you soon, and left Red Rover parked at RDU as we took to the air.
After three gloriously warm days of plantains, fish, and pork, we flew back to my folks’ place in Durham, NC. There I launched my book at my old favorite bookstore, The Regulator—and launched Jocelyn Burgowski into the sky.
Of course our NC time wasn’t all about my author-self. We spent time with my folks as always…
…and my dad treated me to an insider tour of the Duke Primate Center, which he co-founded.
And then of course there were our beloved Tarheels! Did they win the tournament in 2014? I have no memories of that (though you can bet The Mate does). But who cares, when there’s Allen & Sons BBQ with hushpuppies and fried okra?
Heading back west, we took a more southerly route with few stops. It was a rough winter. When we got to Arizona, though, we cut north into Utah, then Nevada, to explore a new national park: Great Basin.
We then had a date with Adventure Buddies Tom & Kate (remember them?) at Yosemite, but since it was March, of course Tioga Pass was still closed. So we had to go ALL the way south and loop around the bottom of the Sierras in order to drive north again. Still worth it.
And Son Two—having just finished his final quarter at Santa Cruz (graduating early) met us there before wandering off to Central America.
A week later, back home on Lopez Island, The Flying Burgowski launched again–on, or rather from, home turf, with local students participating in a dramatic reading at our community library.
So I’ll let you be the judge: Was RT4 an abandonment of the sacred principles of Road Tripping…or just a sweet, lucky time, and who cares?
(Jocelyn Burgowski & I say, flying doesn’t always make things better–but sometimes, yes, it does.)
Welcome back to NOT-Road Trip I, a wistful review of the past 10 years of criss-crossing this great continent in Feb-March. Looking back at photos from 2012 is like seeing broad stripes of color on a blanket.
BLUE and WHITE. We started in Yellowstone as a special Valentine’s Day gift to ourselves. Thanks to a kind of bus on skis, and our own snowshoes, we penetrated deep into a park otherwise closed to traffic…the human kind.
You can bet this has become one of our favorite photos of ourselves.
BROWN and OLIVE. Needing some warmth, we headed straight down through Utah to Arizona.
One of the most accessible national parks is Petrified Forest–right off I-40. Since winter storms were threatening, we opted for the ease of a ride-through, and kept on our way.
RED. After holing up in Albuquerque for a bit, we headed sadly for Texas, knowing that the Panhandle is one of the dullest parts of a state which guards its scenery pretty closely. But following our noses to a small green blob on our map, we discovered Palo Duro State Park–amazingly, the second-largest canyon in the US, and one that we nor anyone we knew had heard of.
WHITE and BLUE again (warm shades). Another brand-new discovery for us (though much better-known): Florida’s National Seashore, where we camped and rode our bikes, in awe of the ivory sand.
Having crossed the country at top speed, outrunning storms, we found ourselves with a full extra week in Florida, which we spent bopping from one gorgeous state park to another.
We did also ride our bikes through the Everglades and visited friends in the Keys, but frankly, I found the environmental degradation there more depressing than inspiring, so I won’t revisit those places here.
BROWN & GREEN (wet version). Okeefenokee! Need I say more?
Since Georgia’s wild places have such great names, we also joined some friends in paddling the Ogeechee River.
Back at my parents’ farm once more–don’t forget, dear readers, that NC in March is always the apex of our Road Trips–Son Two joined us again from college, for Tarheel basketball, great BBQ, and cuddles with Stevie, World’s Cutest Ass.
SILVER. Unlike the previous year, winter weather precluded heading very far north, so we made the Big Left Turn and headed west through the middle of the country, taking one touristy, cultural stop–unusual for us.
BROWN & BLACK. Astonishingly, while Flagstaff got a foot of snow, just north of there, we found Estes Park, Colorado, on the edge of Rocky Mountain N.P., nearly snow-free.
The “Black” comes from another new find (to us): Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It was too snowy to hike down, so we snowshoed along the rim.
RED again. First, we camped in the lovely & accessible Colorado National Monument outside Grand Junction.
To this day, this remains our only sighting of desert bighorns–right across the road!
Of course the ultimate RED is found in Moab, UT, jumping-off spot for three major national parks.
There, we began what has remained a tradition of joining our Adventure Buddies Tom & Kate for, well…
COLOR US HAPPY. Back home in Washington, we managed to meet both our sons on break from college, and celebrated with sushi at Fujiya, our favorite restaurant in the world.
So that’s Road Trip II–colorful, warm, and now folded in the closet of memory. Catch you next time for RT III–thanks for traveling with me!
Full disclosure: this post has nothing pithy nor deep to add to your thoughts today. This is full-on escape. I was able to take last Sunday with my overworked Ironwoman Goddaughter to drive, then hike up to nearly 7,000 feet on the Cascades’ Pacific Crest Trail to breathe some clear air and see some fall color.
May you all be well and find some inspirational beauty where you can. Till next time…
Like probably most people in the world right now, my sense of the calendar has gone all wonky. I’m frequently not sure what month it is, let alone the date. Day of the week? Forget it.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I know all too well what year it is.
The arrival of fresh cherries and strawberries at a fruit stand took me by surprise. Wait–it’s Solstice already? Since then, I’ve been trying to pay more attention. Salmonberries have helped.
Salmonberries are a huge thing around western Washington. Whether battling them as ferociously scratchy pests around our yards or admiring their bright pink flowers in Spring, we probably spend more time thinking about them than we even realize. And then they make berries!
If looks could taste…
I used to make fun of salmonberries for being so un-delicious: The only reason anyone even thinks about eating you is because blackberries aren’t ripe yet.
But (again, like a lot of folks) I’ve been walking even more than I usually do, and trying to pay even more attention to things besides the global pandemics of COVID and racism. So I’ve been nibbling salmonberries again, as part of my noticing–and guess what? Turns out if you wait to eat them till they’re so ripe they’re juuuuust about to fall off their thorny ol’ bushes, they’re actually pretty tasty.
So what else merits my noticing, and my thanks?
The tide. Twice a day. EVERY day. Talk about essential work!
I know this isn’t exactly a glam shot, Tide–but this is you your work attire.
And some of the humblest of flowers–look at these ones here, engaging in a socially-distanced Easter bouquet!
C’mon, guys, it’s June, not April. Shouldn’t you be decorating for wedding season?
That’s more like it.
What basic, REGULAR things are you feeling grateful for right now? Postal carriers? Baby birds? Marshmallows on display shelves? Let’s celebrate the regular where we can find it!
Around here–and probably around anywhere in the Northern hemisphere not covered with asphalt–May means wildflowers. Yes, like that childhood riddle, except that here May’s bringing more showers than April. My walks lately have been interrupted by…
Larkspur (with Death Camas)
not to mention
Spotted Coralroot orchid, in its own ray of sunshine
Oh–and the salmonberries!
Not as delicious as you’d hope–but who cares?
But this month I also love to notice and give praise to a subtler kind of new growth…the kind that puts BOTH the “ever” and the “green” into “Evergreen State.” I’m talking about the fresh, new tips of our conifers. Now, pine trees make you suffer all sorts of pollen-clouds to get up close and personal with their newborn bits, but firs? Fir tips you can fondle.
Softer than you can imagine! (Also edible to more than just deer, though some might dispute the idea)
And hemlocks…well, their tips are just an adorable mini version of the firs.
Not to forget our non-coniferous evergreens: the noble salal. You might focus on their honey-sweet, bell-shaped blossoms…but I’m looking at the bright, baby-soft new leaves.
Aren’t they sweet? Stop looking at the flowers.
Of course no forest looks truly LOTR-fantastical without ferns of some kind, or all kinds. The type we have around here don’t start as fiddleheads (thereby saving themselves from human over-consumption), but they do stand out–if not UP–as cutely floppy, gawky adolescents:
“Let’s be fronds.”
The most amazing new bit of green May growth to my mind, though, is one of the least visible: the mosses. On today’s walk, I was noticing one of my favorites turning slightly more golden, thinking, “Yeah, almost midsummer, time for these beauties to be dying back,” when I looked closer, and–whoa. Check this out:
Rated “M” for Mature
Fruiting thimgamagigs! Right out there for all to see, shameless! Gorgeous! Fresh! New! Woohoo!
Gimme an “E”! “V”! another “E”! “R”! Gimme a “G”! another “R”…!
OK, you get it. MAY we be green. MAY we be evergreen. MAY we be happy.