Fallen Leaves

Fallen Cottonwood Leaves

The rainy season has begun and after a glorious and drier than normal October, it’s wet out in the woods. These Black Cottonwood leaves were covering a portion of the trail around Canyon Lake this morning. The Vine Maples lost their leaves nearly a month ago, followed by the Bigleaf Maples. The Red Alders, which aren’t colorful at all, still have a few leaves.

Of course, all the conifers and evergreen ferns are still green. That’s one of the big differences between winter in the northwest and in places that have an almost exclusively deciduous forest. I’ve come to like what we have here and don’t really want to go back to having only shades of brown in the winter forest.

Today’s hike was an easy stroll around Canyon Lake.  It’s about 2 miles and nearly level. There were still a few lingering Tiarella flowers. I saw at least one Large-leaved Geum with its bright yellow flower, and there were several of the non-native Herb Robert flowers around as well. Mostly what we looked at along the trail were the myriad of mosses on rotting logs and tree trunks and the large number of lichens. There were liverworts, too, but they look a lot like mosses or lichens if you don’t know any better.

I only carried my little Canon S70 pocket camera today.  I’d hauled my big camera along the same trail about a month ago, creating a number of nice images that I  haven’t gotten captioned yet.  It’s nice to travel light for a change.

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