This pandemic is starting to feel like a prolonged marshmallow test. The one where you put a tasty marshmallow in front of a small child and if they don’t eat it right away, they’ve intuitively master delayed gratification and, by doing so, will assuredly go on to success and fame. I passed the test only because I don’t like marshmallows all that much (at least not without graham crackers and chocolate which, fortunately, were not part of the test). I didn’t eat the marshmallow but am still waiting for success and fame. And waiting… 🙄 As usual, people just aren’t as simple as sugary treats and recent research is calling nonsense on evaluating children this way. But, the basic premise, that sometimes you have to wait for the good stuff, still holds. And so we wait – for our turn in the vaccine line, for further easing of local restrictions, for the opportunity to travel again.

Thus the local hikes continue. We’ve hiked around the Ken Denman Wildlife Area a few times, but not in early season. Few wildflowers are out (we spotted one) but there was abundant bird life about, especially the raucous Acorn Woodpeckers. We started at the Touvelle State Recreation Site and followed its interpretive trail into the wildlife area and then a use trail up to the Agate Desert. We continued east to Agate Road and then returned on more use trails past Little Butte Creek to the recreation site’s interpretive trail and hence to the parking lot. It was an easy 4.5 mile (7.3 km) loop, with no appreciable gain, on a warm, sunny Spring-like day (but more storms are coming). Tick season is starting but we weren’t menaced by any. In another month, the Denman will host swaths of wildflowers. But by then we hope to have eaten the marshmallow and returned to adventures in more distant places. 🙂

Blue skies and artful clouds over the wildlife area
Henderson Fawn Lily
Soon, soon last year’s grasses will give way to new growth
On the Agate Desert
A vernal pool on the Agate Desert
Upper Table Rock from the Agate Desert
Mount McLoughlin from the Agate Desert
Teasels from season past
One of the reservoir ponds in Military Slough (a legacy from the Camp White days)
Mount McLoughlin from the Agate Desert
Returning to the oak woodland
Through a colonnade of oaks
Little Butte Creek
Under the oaks along Little Butte Creek
Little Butte Creek near its confluence with the Rogue River
Mount McLoughlin
Little Butte Creek (R) enters the Rogue River (L), with Upper Table Rock on the horizon (L)
Our loop around the Military Slough Unit of the wildlife area