Friday, September 19, 2008

Winter Coming Soon: Lillian Ridge

Out to Obstruction Point with P. We were above the clouds that have blanketed town for the past two days, but the air was murky up there. (Maybe smoke in the air. There's fires in Oregon.)

We hiked a little ways in, had a picnic, looked and looked and looked for marmots. It was lavishly beautiful; but dry; and everything seemed over, finished, shutting down, winter-coming, though it was warm warm warm. We saw a horned lark in the grass. Many scarlet patches of Vaccinium deliciosum, all over the landscape. Accenting tiny lakes, and scattered down the slopes.

P. heads down to look for a patch of scarlet berry leaves. (Click for larger image).
Patches of Cascade blueberry, leaves turned scarlet. (Click for larger image).

A mile or so down the road on our way out, a marmot was sitting on top of his burrow, very close to the road. Oh he was so cute, with his little white nose and his body so fat, so ready to hibernate. Didn't try to get a picture, getting out of the car would have scared him off. Sleep well, marmot. See you next year.

Looking back: because we might not see it again until next July. (Click for larger image).

PS Hunting around for some history that explains why there is this astonishing road straight to paradise, I found the Kaleberg's beautiful page of photos taken up there this week. Lots of red, and before the foggy (smoky?) air moved in. Found the history on Nature Education Enterprises blog.

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