Ruminations in the Forest (Southwest Oregon) 16-Nov-2020

We got enough rain a few weeks ago to officially break the summer dry spell but it was a paltry effort (hundredths of an inch / a few mm). Over the weekend we finally got real rain (2 in / 50 mm). More than enough to finally quell the last of the wildfires and wash the summer’s grit off everything. Enough to knock down the last of the colorful leaves of Fall and kick start the delightfully fragrant process of plant-based decomposition. Sadly, along with the rain came the predicted winter surge in the Big V, with cases, hospitalizations, and bodies piling-up exponentially, both here and elsewhere. Oregon is going back into a partial lock-down in hopes of fending off the worst of it but it might be too little, too late. A combination of quarantine fatigue, fatalism, ideological intransigence, and lack of coherent federal leadership has brought us to this impasse, which will probably persist until Spring. It didn’t have to be like this but it is. 😥

We had managed to pull some decent summer adventures out of the mess created by the Big V. But everything we did somewhat cautiously—and got away with—in summer carries too high a risk now (for us at least), because the Big V loves winter and we’re surrounded by an ever expanding case load. So it’s time (once again) to hunker down and stay local. So, of course, we headed to the Forest, where we haven’t been since September. We did a short hike, more of a ramble really, and enjoyed a view out over the fog-filled valley and of the still colorful fallen leaves glistening with their recent wetting. There was even a tiny bit of water flowing in Shade Creek! There were cars at every trailhead but we only passed (distantly) two people on the trail. After that, it was back home for some remote work and more hunkering-in-place. 🙄 🙂

Into the forest on the Twin Peaks Trail
A madrone among the maples
Dog days for a dogwood
A Lichen in Winter
A faded kind of green
Mount McLoughlin and valley fog from Twin Peaks Overlook
A tiny madrone grows in the forest
Oregon Grape as centipede
On the Arrowhead Pass Trail
The big leaves have fallen
Along the Shade Creek Trail
Shade Creek
After many dry months, a little water in the creek 🙂
A tiny ‘schroom grows on a small pine cone
Along the Shade Creek Trail just short of parking lot P-5

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