Cathedral Hills Park (Oregon) 26-Jan-2022

We had a huge, intense dump of snow over the Christmas holidays. Rejoicing ensued – as this was seen as the start of the promised (and much needed) wet, cold La Niña winter. 😃 Then high pressure settled in – there has been no precipitation, much less snow, for three weeks. 😥 All the snow and cold has skipped over us and gone East, where it won’t be as appreciated as it would be here. A faint odor of trepidation as to the moistness of our future hangs in the air. We need gloomy weather rather than to be gloomy about the weather. It also doesn’t help that, in the spirit of ” fair and balanced” (cue some sarcasm 😏), we got online subscriptions to both the New York Times and the National Review. These weather worries and too much left/right doomscrolling are starting to make our metaphorical glass seem less than half full.

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Again to the Hills (Grants Pass, Oregon) 29-Jan-2021

This is a replacement for an earlier version of this post that had to be retired due to erratic behavior. 😥

After my hike in Cathedral Hills two weeks ago, I promised to come back with The Loved One, start at a different trailhead, and do all of the loops. Today, after several days of welcome rain and snow (welcome around here at least), that promise was fulfilled. Capitalizing on a break in the weather and in The Loved One’s library volunteer schedule, we started from the Skycrest Trailhead (we’ve always started from the Espey Trailhead in the past) and strolled around the Skycrest, Wild Rose, and Outback Loops. The cloudy day squelched the few big views these trails offer. So, when I wasn’t trying to keep up with The LovedOne, my gaze went (again) to the little things near the forest floor. The LovedOne did her share of little thing gazing too. Overall, this excellent leg stretch on great trails came to 7.3 miles (11.7 km) with 1,350 feet (412 m) of gain. As usual, the sun 😎 didn’t appear until just before we got back to the trailhead.

Starting out on the Skycrest Trail
Madrone abstract
On the Skycrest Loop
Madrone abstract
An old oak leaf hangs on
A tiny lichen and moss garden fills a cleft in a madrone
Bone lichen
Near the Walker Trail
Mushroom and leaves
An orange jelly fungus sags
Wood grain in a madrone
Stump
Listening for birds on the Backside Loop
A pond in a leaf
Moldy madrone leaves
On the Wild Rose Loop
New life from an old madrone
Mushroom and tiny leaves
Droplets and whiskers
On the Outback Loop
Stacked tree fungus
Back to the trailhead
Madrone abstract
The clouds parted over Grants Pass 10 minutes before we finished the hike 🙄
We hiked all the parts of Cathedral Hills
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Return to the Hills (Grants Pass, Oregon) 11-Jan-2021

Young 2021 seems to be off to a, uh – difficult – start. The Big V is still raging, vac jabs are in short supply, political anarchy is lurking about, and a pathetic fantasist is pouting. 😦 But this sea of troubles is out there. In here, we’re going for a little walk through little bits of Nature in a little local park (no, not that park, a different one). Are we thus unmindful of the world’s travails? Are we just pollyannas on the trail? Well, no, we’ve never been accused of excessive optimism. We just figure that you can read or hear about the world’s troubles in plenty of other places. No need for that here too. Our posts are, hopefully, just little respites. Think of them as taking up arms against that sea of troubles. 🙂

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Madrones in the Abstract IV (April 2019)

Natural processes create a seemingly infinite variety of abstract patterns in and on the bark of the Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Southern Oregon’s signature tree. So, as winter starts being pushed aside by the warm caresses of Spring, here are more images selected from the bark of these endlessly fascinating trees.

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Madrones in the Abstract III (January 2019)

Natural processes create a seemingly infinite variety of abstract patterns in and on the bark of the Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Southern Oregon’s signature tree. So, as another round of winter weather (with snow! 😀 ) closes in on us, here are more images selected from the bark of these endlessly fascinating trees.

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Cathedral Hills Park (Grants Pass, Oregon) 05-Feb-2017

Cathedral Hills Park Grants Pass Oregon

It was the driest of times; it was the moistest of times.  Well, mostly moistest lately.  So when the forecast shifted abruptly to “possibly clear” for the morrow’s morning and early afternoon, we felt compelled to seize the moment.  But what moment and where?  After consulting the oracles (and Glenn & Carol’s website), it was decided that we should make our first visit to the 400 acre Cathedral Hills Park just southwest of Grants Pass, Oregon.  Using the park’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) map, we sketched out a double lollipop with the Skycrest Loop to the north, the Outback Loop in the middle, and the Wild Rose Loop to the south.

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