Friday, September 30, 2016

A Walk in the Woods

Come along with me as we take a woodland walk
near my home in the Cascade foothills of Washington State.

Whitey Bear, one of my American Eskimos, leads the way.

Late afternoon light casts a soft glow.

 My daughter's two mini-dachshunds
Peanut and Weenie-Baby :) tag along.

I am pet-sitting for the weekend.

Kai is also part of the pack,
but is too fast to capture in a group shot!

Peanut keeps her eye on him.
He's been known to come up so
fast from behind that he knocks her right over!

We are on the look-out for critters,
and today we have found five
for 'Five on Friday'
Saturday's Critters

The first critter we see through the gate,
as we get to the end of our country lane,
is a very healthy-looking cow elk.

She is lured by the neighbor's apple trees.

She is not too sure about us,
so takes one last look before she disappears
into the shadows.

We leave her in peace.....

The Black Cottonwood trees are starting
to drop their leaves, carpeting the ground
with a tapestry of burnished hues, providing
a thick mulch for plants below, such as these
Western Sword Ferns.

Black Cottonwood has a sweet, balsam scent
that is especially lovely this time of year.

These trees are the tallest, fastest growing
hardwood in the Western US and can
reach heights of up to 225 ft with a diameter
of up to 100 in.

In May they release their seed which fills
the air with tiny cotton tufts, hence their name.

The second wildling we see is the Douglas squirrel,
or Chickaree. These active and vocal little squirrels
eat seeds, mushrooms and fruits.

The cones of the Douglas Fir are a favorite.

The female has 4-6 young in early spring,
which will stay with her for most of their first year.

They especially love to 'scold' the dogs
as we walk below their tree.

Another favorite treat are the winged seeds of the
Big-Leaf Maple. They help to disperse
the seed by severing the clumps so they fall
to the ground for gathering.

Big-Leaf Maple gets its name for obvious reasons!

These are very large trees unsuitable
for the average backyard.

They frequently grow in clumps
where Licorice Fern thrive
in the accumulated debris between
the trunks.

The third creature we see is this
sweet little chipmunk who has climbed to the
top of a snag to get a better look at 'the pack'.

The dogs have not noticed, so I quickly
move them on so the chipmunk can climb down and hide.

A scarlet leaf of creeping blackberry
among mossy rocks and dry leaves.

Moss will grow on anything stationary in
our cool and damp climate.

Blue berries of Oregon Grape are a favorite of
birds and small animals.

It was an important food source
for our native peoples, also.

This arching, evergreen ground-cover is
very handsome in the forested landscape
and is frequently sold in nurseries for landscaping.

We look up to hear the screeching call of
the beautiful Steller's Jay, our fourth wild sighting.

These are large Jays (11") that mate for life
and live within 10 miles of their place of birth.

These are highly intelligent birds that mimic
the cries of eagles and hawks to warn
other birds of danger.

Mushrooms are common this time of year.

I always love discovering these magical fungi
on my woodland walks.

I wonder who lives here?

The pretty seed-heads of Hawk-weed.

Late afternoon sunlight on Western Red Cedar.

As I gaze upward I see movement in the trees.

The fifth wild sighting is this beautiful
 and very well-camouflaged Rough-Legged Hawk.

You can see that he spies me, too!

What are you looking at?

These smallish hawks (22") migrate south
for winter after nesting in Canada's Northwest Territories
and Alaska.

He keeps watch on the dogs as he turns
to prepare for flight, showing us
the beauty of his markings. (Or hers :)

These small hawks hunt for snakes, small animals,
and large insects.

He takes one last look before flying away.

And off he goes......

The craggy trunk of a large Douglas Fir.

Weenie Baby and Kai investigate a scent nearby.

Can you see them?

I find a Mourning Dove's feather.

Some early fall color.

We arrive back home
after a wonderful walk in the woods today.

Time to relax with a cup of tea and a favorite magazine.

Thank you for joining me, Dear Friends!

I hope you enjoyed our walk in the woods today!


Today I am linking with:

 Five on Friday
Saturday's Critters

Won't you join the fun?


  1. I enjoyed every step of the wayin the walk through the woods and loved seeing all 5 critters. Of course the hawk was amazing. thanks for sharing such a lovely walks and Hanve a wonderful weekend/

  2. I enjoyed the walk in the woods.

  3. How delightful it is to take a stroll with you and your furry friends through your beautiful woods. So many gorgeous critters to see. Wow,there is such a varied range of beautiful wildlife, isn't there. I love the thought of having a cuppa and browsing through a mag in your lovely home. Have a lovely weekend, lovely Karen.

  4. Oh this was lovely walk <3 I, Junior and doggies would love to walk place like that <3
    Have a wonderful Pet-sitting time<3
    Satu xx

  5. That was wonderful. Such a beautiful and different world to mine. Your Douglas squirrels look so tame. Our red squirrels are very hard to photograph. Love your chipmunks. Pictures of them bring back happy memories of a camper van holiday in Canada around Banff and Lake Louise. So beautiful. Have a lovely weekend. B x

  6. Such a beautiful walk with the Autumn colour coming on and the wildlife flourishing. So glad you didn't come across anything ferocious! Enjoy the weekend. x

  7. You certainly took us on a wonderful stroll, what a delight to see so much wildlife in its natural habitat. You are blessed living in such a stunning part of the world.

  8. Dear Karen, my sweet friend, thank you for this wonderful walk in the woods!
    Sending Hugs and Love and blessings for a wonderful weekend!
    Claudia xo

  9. Absolutely loved walking in the wood with you! What great pictures of the hawk.

  10. Wonderfully interesting to approaching wildlife Karen!You know very well to guide us in your virgin paradise.And how cozy your home looks after the walk!
    Happy October!

  11. What a beautiful walk with so much to see - and smell! Wonderful!

  12. Hello, I enjoyed the walk and all the critters. The furbabies are adorable. The elk is a cool sighting. I love the trees, ferns and the beautiful views. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  13. Gorgeous images. You saw so much wildlife. Loved the hawk it looks very comfortable. The squirrel and chipmunk are adorable.
    Your dogs look so happy as would I be walking around in those woods. It fascinates me how many different fungi you can find when out and about. Loved the maple leaves.
    Have a wonderful weekend Karen :)x

  14. What a lovely woodland walk, you can't help but noticing the autumn colours and I can all but feel the slight nip in the air. I did hold my breath knowing that we were searching for critters with all those doggies - how lovely are you to be dog-sitting?! The crazy poodle is not the worlds best when we meet other critters especially anything that remotely resembles a cat - he loses all his manners completely. Your crowd are obviously much better behaved!
    Have a lovely week
    Wren x
    Wren x

  15. I came over from Five on Friday and really enjoyed the walk with you. I'm your newest follower. Don't want to miss a future critter.

  16. This is a lovely walk. Dogs are the best companions for this!

  17. It was a wonderfully refreshing walk. So wild and earthy. I can just imagine all of the scents in the air.

    Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  18. I always enjoy those walks in your gorgeous part of the world!

  19. I am always struck by the sheer beauty where you live! Thank you for sharing your lovely photos, Karen!

  20. I really love taking walks with you, Karen. The cow elk is grand, isn't he? I'd love to smell the black cottonwood tree with its balsam scent. That's great that you know the personalities of all the critters of the woods. We don't see the chipmunks around here much, only the squirrels. What a pretty picture of the scarlet leaf. And these are interesting facts about the Blue Jays. The Mourning Dove's feather that you came across is special. This is one of my favorite birds of all.

    I have noticed that you respect the animals and the wildlife of the forest, Karen, even the flowers. That is a wonderful thing to do.


  21. I'll take a walk in the woods with you ANY day! What a glorious hike, from the beautiful scenes, to the critters and the sweet fur baby leading us!!

    PS...the hawk! Wow. I'm a birder as you already know that would have been a highlight of my day.

    Thanks so much for the condolences of our losing Winston!! Much appreciated.

  22. What a wonderful walk that was, the scenery was beautiful and I especially liked seeing the 'Douglas squirrel'.
    Always nice to finish the walk with a nice cup of tea too!

    All the best Jan

  23. I've so enjoyed our woodland walk with the beautiful trees and all the critters. We are in the midst of an awful heat wave (yes, in October) so a virtual walk is all I can hope for :-)

  24. A lovely walk and lovely pictures...
    The last photo is amazing, what a beautiful view!
    Warm hug from Titti

  25. Hi Beatrice, what a lovely collection of photo shares. Your dogs are so cute and the wildlife is great. Wow a Rough Legged Hawk...I would have thought it to be a Red-Tailed Hawk, so similar in appearance evidently. Have a wonderful week~

  26. Thanks for taking us along on your walk. Lots of beautiful pictures and so much to see!

    Happy Five on Friday

  27. Wonderful walk Beatrice, the cute dogs will have enjoyed this too. So nice to see that little chipmunk and the squirrels, we don't have chipmunks here. Great photos of nature changing in October, enjoyed this walk thoroughly.

  28. Hi dear Karen !!! Qué maravillosa imágenes de esa caminata !!! Un bello bosque ,.. Espero que tengas un bello día

  29. What a lovely walk, enjoyed seeing the dogs and the critters you encountered throughout the walk! Lovely scenery as well. :-) Have a wonderful week!


  30. Dearest Karen,
    A very peaceful walk with you and the cute pack!
    What an abundance of natural beauty around you, also wildlife mammals that reside in your vicinity. Great photos, especially from the little chipmunk that climbed up to hide from the dogs.
    Your huge trees are such gems and they can thrive there, enough space to fully grow out and reach to the sky.
    Thanks for sharing and stay safe and warm.

  31. I so enjoyed my walk in the woods with you, Karen. Those Stellar Jay's are magnificent, aren't they? I must've had a hawk in my tiny backyard, because there was blood, dove feathers everywhere, and tiny bones....the poor dove! I'm sure you see those kinds of things on a regular basis.

  32. What a wonderful walk, Karen! And such gorgeous photos! Beautiful area...I know where we are moving will have some very similar areas and I just can't wait to get there! I am so happy your daughter finally found a house and that it is so close to where you live! That is such a blessing. Unfortunately renting while we look for a house is just not a possibility for us...I am unable to lift boxes and so is my husband. So I am having to place an empty box where it stays, fill it, and mark it with the room it comes from. If we rented we would have to put our stuff in storage, and everything would get mixed up and would have to be moved within our new home from room to room. I am hoping we can depend on the movers to place each box in the room where it goes so I won't have to deal with that when we finally get settled. A house to house move is our best bet. We are getting close...someone is considering a bid we made even as we speak. If this is the one the Lord has in store for us, they will accept. I'll be letting everyone know. I sure appreciate your encouragement though. You and almost all of my blogger friends have been so very encouraging! It helps. Have an awesome day!

  33. Oh what did I enjoy to come along with you. What a walk! So many things I love in this post. Cute dogs also!

  34. Such lovely photos Karen, and it's so nice to see the critters and your daughter's and your fur babies enjoying themselves. How nice that she lives so close to you!

  35. Roses and spiced cake no wonder you two have lasted the distance :) Mind you it looks like everyone is well loved at your place that dog house must be the talk of the park... not that your dogs ever need to go to the park, unlike the crazy poodle!!
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!
    Wren x

  36. What fun it was joining with you on your walk in the woods Karen! I've never seen an elk, and they are just gorgeous. Love the colours of their coats. The jay and hawk are beauties too. I loved seeing all the trees and ferns and fungi. How blessed you are to live in such a paradise.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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