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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Monday, October 11, 2010

Taking flight...

The other day, Tom and I decided to go for a hike up in East Sooke Park.
There are many parts of this 3,512 acre park on the south eastern tip of Vancouver Island.
We started our trek at Aylard Farm.
Still a few traces of the people who once farmed here back in the early 1900's...
rose hips and galls brighten up the greenery...
The path leads from the fields to the start of our climb...
Don't let the sign fool you, it's much more than a 'hill'!
The first part of the walk is deep in the woods...
 I can't help myself for taking MORE pictures of mushrooms and fungi...
The knobby shelf ones...
The trumpet, orange ones...
The 'lean on me' buddy ones...
The hedgehog ones...
The heavily multiplying ones...
The one who fell in love with a feather...
And every so often, you run into one of these banana slugs, ready for it's close-up...
Then things start to lighten up...
The landscape becomes drier and more scrubby...
Still a few mushrooms even up here...
This is one of my favorite lichens...
Up close, it's like this tiny little ghostly forest...
Up higher, the lovely Arbutus trees become more abundant.
These trees with there pale olive brown skin, shed their bark instead of their leaves...
Many a painter has been inspired by such beauties...
And then, finally, after an hour and a bit, we reach the summit!!
The view is spectacular today, the clouds give everything texture and depth...
Looking across to Washington State; Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge.
 But this is the reason we climbed this high...
Turkey Vultures.
Every year at the end of the summer, they gather in large groups, sometimes up to 400 and ride the thermal updrafts before they migrate south. Some as far as Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America.
These are strange, big birds with a wingspan of 6 feet. They only weigh about 3 pounds and are weak flyer's, therefore depending on the thermals to aid them in their travels.
(photos by Kaceelyn on flicker and Harry Fuller of towhee.net)
After spending some time watching these magnificent birds, it was time to head back down...
Into the woods...
And home to rest our weary bones...

9 comments:

Shammickite said...

OH my.... can I come with you next time? I'd absolutely love to go on that walk. Beautiful forest, fungi and view.

Cobalt Violet said...

Awesome post, my friend! Thank you for taking me on a beautiful hike! LOVE the mushroom shots!
Really beautiful photos from a really beautiful place.

Cobalt Violet said...

P.S. Love the shot of your sweet pup taking in the view!

endofera said...

You really can take the perfect snap. It makes me just want to pack my rucksack and head off straight away....let the wind take me where it wants to and get lost for a few hours. I'll have to go on a few adventures of my own with the girls. Majestic is the word I was looking for .....yes ....Majestic...thanks for the majesty...

Shammickite said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Yes, TessaDog is a golden doodle, she's 3 years old and still as bouncy as a 3 month old puppy. Her favourite hobbies are running fast, eating whatever food the baby drops on the floor, chewing rawhide bones and rubbing her head in raccoon poo.

Shammickite said...

That's FRESH raccon poo. The best kind.

Sherry O'Keefe said...

dang. i come to your blog for so many reasons and then i leave so very relunctantly. your POV is tremendous and (as i've said before) i love love love your neck of the continent.

yearning....

Marylinn Kelly said...

Your photos are a vehicle, the fungi especially - though familiar to you - are as strange and other-worldly as any alien visitors. Tree bark like heated paint curls. A joyous excursion, thank you.

Jaime said...

Such a peaceful place to be....I love how every fifteen minutes or so on that trail, the landscape completely changes.
Beautiful images.