We recently took the dogs for a little hike around Deep Lake at Nolte State Park. This is a state park within 10 miles of where we live. It has a beautiful, wide hiking path that goes all around the lake.
We walked through old growth forest carpeted with ferns, berries and wildflowers.
|300-500 year old Silver Fir Tree|
The enormous trees make you feel quite small!
As you walk you get glimpses of the beautiful blue/green lake, shimmering in the sunlight with the steep face of the mountain pass in the background.
There is a sandy beach alongside grassy picnic areas with tables and bbq's, some of them under cover.
There is even a children's play area with swings and play equipment.
You can also bring a small row boat, canoe or kayak and paddle around.
When my children were young, we spent every sunny summer day here.
I would come with my Dear Mother, and/or my sisters, loaded down with picnic baskets, floats, swimsuits, blankets and towels.
And lots of kids.
It was the perfect place to keep your children happy and clean on a hot summer day.
Sometimes the guys would join us after work for a swim. We would grill burgers or hot dogs and stay until dusk.
Oh, how I loved those long summer days spent with family at this beautiful place.
It's still wonderful to spend the day here. Whitey and Champ enjoyed the change of scenery and all the new scents.
These two are still in training.
They are learning to get used to people, bicycles, baby carriages and other dogs.
Everyone we encounter gets barked at loudly at first.
That is a no-no.
So we are taking them out as often as we can and introducing them to new situations.
So far, so good.
But they are works in progress.
Nevertheless, we had a wonderful 3 mile hike around the lake.
|Self-Heal - Prunella vulgaris|
There were beautiful herbal wildflowers,
Cow Parsnip leave a blistering rash when exposed to the sap. These are also very difficult to distinguish between Water Hemlock, Hemlock or Hog Weed, all very toxic. Water Hemlock and Hemlock are deadly! Remember Socrates?
Another reminder to always make sure you know what you are touching out in the wild, especially with children!
|Forest Habitat Stump with Turkey Tail Mushroom|
There were many signs of wild life along the way.
The ghostly flowers of Indian Pipe grew in clumps, here and there. I even saw a bee on one of the 'flowers'.
|Conk Mushroom growing on tree stump|
Large mushrooms grew along old tree stumps, like weird alien life forms. These were not nibbled on, so maybe they were poisonous, or maybe they just taste bad!
|Tiny star shaped leaves of Cleavers, a medicinal herb|
This beautiful place was donated to the State Parks and Recreation in the early 70's by the Nolte family who ran a resort here.
The lake is over 100 ft. deep, which is where it gets it's name - Deep Lake.
It is fed by glacial waters.
I have just read that visitors to our National and State Parks has significantly decreased in the last two decades.
These beautiful parks are our country's treasures.
It is important to support the last of nature's beauty by visiting these beautiful places.
You can find a link to Nolte State Park in Washington State here: http://www.stateparks.com/nolte.html