Friday, April 7, 2017

#Windy Wandering - #SaturdaySnapshots

SEATTLE WEATHER FORECAST, April 7, 2017:
* WIND... SOUTH 20 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 55 MPH.
* SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS... TACOMA, SEATTLE, EVERETT, BREMERTON, AND SHELTON. 
* IMPACTS... WINDS OF THIS STRENGTH CAN BREAK BRANCHES OFF OF TREES... TOPPLE WEAKENED TREES AND PRODUCE LOCAL POWER OUTAGES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 55 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. 

When the leaders of our senior center walks saw this forecast, they quickly found a substitute for our planned hike through wooded areas of Seattle. Nobody wanted to risk walking beneath swaying trees or riding in the 14-person, high-profile van through high winds! Instead, we traveled a short distance and hiked 4.5 miles through the Green River Natural Area near Auburn. The spring foliage was beautiful on this cool, cloudy day.
[Click on photos to enlarge]

About halfway through our hike, the wind picked up and a loud 
KRAAACK!!
replaced the sounds of birdsong. I wondered if we'd heard a gunshot. (Do I read too many mysteries?) We all stopped and looked around. Our leader said a tree had fallen. Yikes!  

A little farther along we smelled a skunk... or was it? Nope, the pungent scent actually came from skunk cabbage in bloom. Officially, it's Symplocarpus foetidus, and I can definitely understand why "fetid" is part of its name! 



    

Salmonberry bushes (Rubus spectabilis), trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), and bleeding hearts (Dicenta formosa) are sending out their first blooms, and fern fronds are unfurling.
Trillium
Streams and bogs line much of the trail.

More skunk cabbage!
We stopped for lunch at a little park alongside the Green River. The wooden poles are hitching posts for horses, which share this trail.


Pretty pinkish-purple wildflowers covered the field, but they didn't come close to the beauty of Texas's bluebonnets!

On the way back to the van KRAAACK!! echoed through the forest three more times, followed by loud whooshes. More trees down. We were all relieved when we'd decided to change our route from the dense forest trails to the access road and that we hadn't ventured into Seattle, where the winds were even stronger. 

Back in Auburn, we stopped at Trotter's Restaurant. Over ice cream treats (I had a root beer float) we celebrated another fun hike in Western Washington.






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24 comments:

Brona Joy said...

Sounds like wild weather events are happening all round the world this season (huge floods in Australia over the past week or so) - glad you're all safe and sound.

faith76 said...

Glad you made it back safely, that sounds quite scary.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Fun...but scary! Love your hikes!

Klara S said...

It looks like wonderful walk, in spite of the weather. Beautiful shots of plants. Thank you for sharing. Have a good weekend.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

You always have such wonderful hikes, and I love the photos from this one. You are right about the wildflowers not quite measuring up to the Texas bluebonnets, but they are still lovely.

I am reminded that we have some great trails around here, like the Blossom Trail....but I haven't taken any of them.

Something to ponder. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.



Jackie Mc Guinness said...

We ere caught in 80 mile an hour winds in Las Vegas last week which caused a lot of damage.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I saw in the newspaper this morning that a man in Oregon was killed by a falling limb during this storm. Around here, falling trees are called "widow makers." I'm glad we moved our hike from the forest to the access road with fewer trees looming around, but it was still kind of scary.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I'm glad you enjoy my hiking photos. This trek was a little frightening, however.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I feel like there's safety in numbers when I go hiking with this group (although that wouldn't have protected us if a tree fell!) The leaders are knowledgeable and we all watch out for each other. I wouldn't venture out alone.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Yikes! It was quite a storm. I'm glad it has passed.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Thanks for stopping by. I saw the news about Australia's wild weather. Crazy.

bettyl-NZ said...

That would be a bit disconcerting to hear but it's still a wonderful place to hike.

Poem fanatic said...

I've always found water bodies- no matter how small or large- to be beautiful. There's something quite enthralling about the way they move (or lie still).

Ginx Craft said...

What a wonderful walk. I love all the wild plants that you have photographed.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I feel the same way about watery places. Ocean waves, a calm pond, a trickling stream. They're all appealing. Believers in astrology would say that has something to do with my Pisces (almost Aquarius) sign.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

It was fun seeing plants emerge from their winter dormancy. I'm glad you enjoyed them, too.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

The park offered a variety of trails. I'm sure I'll go back there.

judy said...

Sounds like you had a good time despite the scary possibilities! Glad you only encountered skunk cabbage, not the animal (: I always associate that smell with my grade school ladder bars (which I loved to play on). There was a patch of it right next to the bars. Who knows--the smell may have contributed to our skill at the bars (eager to swing free of the odor)!

Charlie Anderson said...

All those trees going down would definitely make me nervous! When I read the first KRAAAAAAK, I also thought of gunshots! It's ironic because recently I was thinking about a local family tragedy (depending on who you ask) that happened when I was little. I happened to drive past their business (a breeding service) the other day and it brought back the story and I'm thinking about using it for some writing inspiration, but it ended with a KRAAAAAAAAK in the woods and an unsolved murder (still).

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I was amazed at how skunk-like that smell was! Definitely pungent. I can see how it would bring back memories for you.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

A woman who was hiking right in front of me also thought she'd heard a gunshot, so I wasn't the only one.
I like your idea for a story. Perhaps a neighbor heard the sound and thought it was a tree branch snapping until the story of the murder appeared in the newspaper.

judy said...

Yes, pungent--good word! Speaking of words, how many times do I use the word "bars" above? Sheesh. I need a thesaurus, or better editing skills (:

Melinda Ott said...

Wow! You are brave to hike in that storm! We had the same storm and it was bad enough (and the ground was wet enough...) for the kids' school to close for the day! All but one road to the school was blocked by downed trees and then the school itself lost power. The kids didn't complain (but Mom wasn't "prepared" to have them home all day!)