Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Emma and I went hiking at Jakle’s Lagoon again this weekend (I really love that place), but this time we did the loop over the top of Mt. Finlayson. Calling it a mountain is somewhat misleading…elevation at the top is only 285 feet…but there is one VERY steep uphill at the beginning that made me wish I wasn’t carrying a 30+ lb. toddler on my back. Thankfully, once we got over the steep part she was amenable to walking on her own. The trail goes up and follows the ridgeline before descending (steeply again, but at least it was downhill and Emma was on her own feet this time) through the forest back to the beach. Tired Emma went back into the backpack (on tired Mama) at this point, then we (I) hiked along the beach and up another hill to the car. The round trip was about 3.5 miles and four hours this time, because of the steepness, and we both had naps when we got home.

From the ridgeline path, we saw orca whales in the Straits of Juan de Fuca (first pod I’ve seen this year), and a pair of bald eagles, a pair of red-tailed hawks, and a pair of Cooper’s hawks playing in the air currents at the top of the hill. I know where the bald eagles have their nest- in a tree that’s right on the beach, and you can stand nearby (quietly) and watch the parents feeding the nestlings. Truly an amazing place.

The wildflowers were mostly the same as the ones I showed last week, but we did see that the lupines are starting to open.

Lupinus bicolor

It’s a small species, only growing to about 5 inches high, but is this not the most amazing blue you’ve ever seen?

Lupinus bicolor

Walking back along the beach I saw some beautiful driftwood logs, all weathered and silvery, with cool swoopy grain patterns.

And a feral lilac bush. just starting to bloom.

When I was pregnant and after Emma was born, one of the things I looked forward to the most was being able to “show her things” when she got old enough- to go on a walk with her and look at birds or plants or tidepool critters or whatever, and share my excitement at seeing nature. She’s starting, and (among other things) can already identify robins, hummingbirds, bald eagles, crows, ducks, and seagulls by sight, and a winter wren by its song.

I realize that as she grows she will form her own interests and I can't force mine on her, but I hope that starting early will make appreciation of the environment she lives in an enduring part of her life.

Paradoxically, having said all that, can I just say that I am NOT READY for my little baby to be old enough to do this:

So. Not. Ready.


yoko said...

Riding a bike already! I think that's great! And also great that she's learning to identify birds and enjoy nature with you.

waterlilysage said...

oh my goodness.

will you please bring her for a visit here? we have parks! trails! and green! and birds and flowers! and the shore! and hermit crabs! dave's parents don't live in the city! we can visit them!

Maryellen said...

I'm so jealous of your local trails and the fact that you say orca. I want to see orca. Soon both you and Emma can ride bikes together. This summer we have to teach Amanda to ride her bike without training wheels. She'll be seven on Monday and most can already ride. Boy I'll need luck for that one.