Monday, December 26, 2016

A Christmas Eve Day Hike

It has already snowed a couple of times this year in Seattle. When I left the city for higher elevations in the country, there was even more snow.  I went on the most wonderful hike at Wallace Falls. There was a scattering of snow covering the foliage near the parking lot, which was all very exciting. But as I ascended higher and higher to the top of the falls, I was surrounded by the most exquisite winter wonderland scenery. The snow shrouded forest was so magical, I can't imagine a more perfect place to spend the day of Christmas eve.

This sign was at the beginning of the trail. I love this! I think all nature trails should have quotes from works of literature at the entrance. Here is a link to the poem this quote is from if you would like to read the poem in it's entirety: The Tables Turned by William Wordsworth.

The hike was never silent because always was the sound of water. Sometimes far off when the trail veered away from the river, sometimes loud as the river rushed nearby.

The forest was mossy and soft at the beginning of the trail. Moss prospers in the PNW, where the forests thrive in unlimited rain and clouds, and even the pauses of moisture in the summer are mercifully brief.

I love finding little growths in the forest. Little mushrooms are the best. Fungi is so strange. Probably there is a planet out there where all the living growths are fungi and mushrooms. There are forests of giant mushrooms, and fungi spores constantly floating through the air.

The reason people go to Wallace Falls are for the waterfalls. There are three levels where you can behold the majesty of the falls. The waterfalls are beautiful and grand and powerful.

The forest is one of the best places. Trees are so comforting and peaceful and spooky all at the same time.

The best part of the hike was the top where the snow still clung to the branches and cloaked the ground. Instead of following a trail I was following the footprints in the snow. The sun rays were melting the snow and throughout the hike I would hear the plop of snow tumbling off branches. Sometimes the whole forest looked like it was snowing but blue sky was glimmering between the tree branches above. The snow was falling from the branches not the sky but it didn't matter where it fell from, it still created that magical world snowfall creates where everything is slow and silent and muffled and hushed. 

The most amazing thing happened toward the top of the trail. I saw a bobcat. It leaped from the brush silently and gracefully and bounded forward. It was at a turn in the trail and by the time I rounded the turn, there was no evidence of the bobcat except for this paw print pressed in the snow. It was so spectacular! I have never seen a bobcat in the wild before.

Everyone loves snow around Christmas time, so even though it didn't snow in the city Christmas Eve or Christmas day, it was great seeing it in the woods. Christmas day was icy cold in the city though. Most people were gone, visiting their families in different places. The streets were empty and the town quiet.

The Christmas season came and went so quickly this year. I got my tree rather last minute, but look at it! I love it! In the lower left you can see a little ghost of Christmas skulking by the tree...just kidding...that's my cat!

I didn't have much time for Christmas crafts this year. I didn't even make cookies this year which is quite unusual for me as it is one of my favorite Christmas activities. But I did make this hat for the holiday party at work. We had a had decorating contest. I work at an animal rescue and all the animals on the hat are animals currently for adoption. It was fun to make! I am going to keep it for next year. I'll take it out of the box and reminisce about all the animals. But then, hopefully they will have all found their forever homes, but you never know. We had a dog almost two years before she finally found her home. It takes some dogs longer than others, but they all find their forever home eventually.

The holiday season is almost over... which is sad and happy at the same time. The merriment of the Christmas season is nice, but there is a certain understated merriment that the daily rhythms of life provide. 


Laurie Duncan said...

What a wonderful hike, so beautiful and magical! And you are so lucky you got to see a bobcat! Happy Holidays! :)

Love, Mom said...

The sun and evergreens in the mist is iconic. Love that pic. Bobcat and snow. What a treat. Your Christmas tree is so beautiful. I still love your tree topper. Love you.