Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Autumn Adventures: Edmonds to Perinville

I know, I know, it's been a while since my last post, but I have been away having adventures on the East Coast. (There will be more on that later.)

Before we left, Mr. D and I did a walk that we used to do on Veteran's Day: walking from Edmonds to Perinville, which is about a five miles round trip. This time we did the walk a few days before Veteran's Day, on a cool sunny-cloudy day. Most of the walk followed a fairly busy street, but toward the end, we followed a trail at Southwest County Park that paralleled the road, but took us into what was once old growth forest. Below are some of the scenes that I captured from our walk.

 Mysterious orange berries growing by the side of the road. (I later found out that this is an Arum Italicum plant, otherwise known as the Cuckoo Pint.)

A Japanese Maple in all of its autumn glory. 

The winding trail we followed.

A young tree growing out of the stump of one of the old growth trees that used to fill this forest.
Vestiges of an old love.

I will be back later this week with a post about more recent adventures, and maybe some knitting, too. See you then!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Autumn Adventures: Seattle's Magnuson Park

It's been cold and occasionally rainy, so mountain hiking is over for the year. On November 3, the forecast was for rain, but when we woke up, it was sunny, breezy and cold—a perfect day for a walk. Mr. D and I decided to head down to Magnuson Park in Seattle, about a 20-minute drive from our house. We parked near the shore of Lake Washington, so we started our walk by the lake.

The wind was blowing through the trees that lined our path. Their colors were glorious!

We headed through a meadow, where last summer's blooms were now turned to seed pods.

We headed up a hill and into the woods, where there were more autumn treasures to behold:

We finally headed down the hill and back to our car. Before we left, I took a final wander through The Fin Project, a sculpture installation by John Young, created from the fins of 1960s-era attack submarines. How appropriate that this unusual and peaceful art installation is located on what was once a U.S. Naval Air Station.

Sadly, our walk was over, and it was time to return to the world of errands and laundry, but I was energized by this wonderful start to my day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Autumn Adventures: Wallace Falls State Park

October 25th was a very chilly, but sunny day, and Mr. D and I decided to head north, to Wallace Falls State Park in Goldbar. I've hiked here before, but the last time was at least three years ago. This time, we decided not to hike up to the middle and upper falls, but to explore a new spur off the main trail, and then to hike part of the way up the Wallace Lake trail (we didn't have enough time to do the eight-mile roundtrip to the lake on this day). So take a good look at the little picture in the photo above, because that's all you get to see of the falls in this post.

Just because we didn't go to the falls, does not mean that we didn't see some wonderful sights. This started before we even reached the start of the trail. Just beyond the parking lot, there is a wide vista where you can see the surrounding peaks in this part of the Cascades. There are also tall high voltage power lines, but on this sunny day, they looked like they were leading our eyes right up to Mount Baring on the horizon.

Once we were on the trail, we followed the Wallace River for quite a while, and we enjoyed looking down at the rushing water below us.

Mr. D mentioned that there was a short loop off of the main trail, the Small Falls Interpretive Trail, that had recently opened, and so we decided to explore it. The trail led us to Small Falls, a little tributary of the Wallace River:

We also came upon a tree stump covered with many tiny mushrooms:

We got back on the main trail, and then branched off on the Wallace Lake trail. We headed away from the river and into some of the most beautiful forest I've seen in a long time.  This is temperate rain forest, so there was moss hanging from the branches of almost every tree.

The angled autumn sunlight was magical:

Oh, and remember what I said about no views of the falls? Well, I didn't realize that the wonderful river cascade that is at the bridge is actually the Lower Falls. Our turnoff to the Wallace Lake trail was just above the bridge, so we walked down there and I shot a bit of video so you could hear the sounds of the water. Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Test Knitting

Remember that bit of mystery that I mentioned in my last knitting post? I couldn't tell you about it then, but I can now. Here's the story...

My dear friend and knitting mentor, Christina Buckman, has recently started putting her patterns up for sale on Ravelry. She started with some of the patterns that she designed for the late, lamented Village Yarn and Tea, like one of my favorites, the Bulky Rolled-Edge Hat, which I have knit twice:

A couple months ago, Christy came to knitting group jazzed about a new design she was working on, a 1920s-style hat, knit in gorgeous madelinetosh tosh merino. She worked on the design over the next few weeks, and when it was finished, and the pattern written, she asked me to test knit it for her. I had never done a test knit before, so I was incredibly honored to be asked. What a wonderful pattern! I didn't have any madelinetosh tosh merino in my stash, but I did have Malabrigo Merino Worsted, another single ply merino yarn, with the same gauge as the madelinetosh. Christy's pattern is really fun, interesting and very clearly written, and the finished object is so cute. Here's the Mossy Patch Ear Flap Cloche, which just went on sale in the Ravelry pattern store today: