Into the Woods
Sunday morning Natalie said, “let’s go for a walk in the woods” and I suggested we hike the loop trail at the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve near Lake Whatcom. It’s an easy 3-mile loop through nice old- and second-growth forest, perfect for a quick getaway on a morning when light rain threatened.
Just a tenth of a mile up the trail there’s a viewpoint to a large beaver-built wetland. This is the view from the trail, with the wetland framed by western redcedars, Douglas-firs, and red huckleberries. The wetland plants are still brown, not yet having started their spring growth in the cold water.
One of our favorite spring wildflowers is the western trillium, Trillium ovatum. They were scattered through the woods, mostly single plants here and there. This one was near the point where the access trail from the parking lot intersects the loop trail and was among low Oregon-grapes. I made this image with my big camera and my 24-105mm lens set at 50mm. There’s another variation on the same blossom that I posted to my Facebook profile that I made with my iPhone camera.
The Stimpson property sits on the east side of a ridge so it gets little direct sunlight and stays moist, ideal conditions for mosses and lichens. These western redcedars appear to have furry arms with all the moss covering their lower branches.
If you live near Bellingham and haven’t visited the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve it’s well worth the time. The trail is walkable year-around. You’ll see fine examples of low-elevation northwest forest habitats and hear lots of birds. You might even see a few. The trailhead is on Lake Louise Road near Sudden Valley.