Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Monday, July 12, 2004

I've been gone, for those of you who noticed. I've spent the past five days at my cabin near Mount Rainier with a group of friends. We've been doing this annually for over thirty years. In recent years the feeling from the guys (yes, it's a male chauvinist group)was that it should be twice a year, so this was the summer gathering. The cabin is close to the Nisqually River and I often walk down to see how the river bed has changed. It's one of those rivers, at least here near the source, the Nisqually Glacier on Mount Rainier, that looks like one that is often used in western movies, broad and sprawling and relatively shallow with several channels which the river chooses as it pleases.

This week I found a real puzzle. Along a stretch of fairly moist sand, elk tracks were easily seen. What was peculiar about these tracks was that there was a single line of them. The last time I saw an elk it had four legs and four hooves, two on each side. Here was this single line of hoof prints and there should have been a second set parallel to the first. Nothing but smooth sand. A real enigma. To make up for this, one early afternoon we saw three young deer, two does and a young buck, with single spikes. Obviously these three are siblings, I thought. And it won't be long before the buck goes off alone. But then I remembered that a doe usually bears one or two fawns. I don't think three. So how did these three get together?

Wildflowers abound along the road nearby, white field daisies with their golden centers, tall stalks of foxglove and wild sweet peas. I found a low plant with red lacey leaves which my friend, Dan, thinks is stinky geranium. I picked a leaf to dry between the pages of a book. I'm curious to know whether it will hold the red color. And then I found a mutant fern. Well, not quite. It didn't glow in the dark. Nor attack. But it was almost white, having very little chlorophyll. Well, I guess that's enough of a nature tour for one day.


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