Saturday, December 21st was winter solstice. We had errands to run most of the day and we were hoping for a dry evening to have a relaxing night by our fire pit. We finished all of our errands, but a steady rain fell all night long, which meant no fire pit in the evening. The next morning, everything was wet still, but it wasn’t really raining. So we tossed around the idea of a walk or rollerskating, and once again a walk was decided on.
We made up our minds to walk along the Four Cedars Outer Loop trail at Tolmie State Park. It was a trail that we had never taken before. The sign at the start of the trail states; allow 1 hour to complete. So right from the start we knew that this was gonna be a three hour walk, haha.
Right away the trail climbs up over the area. Everything was damp and squishy under our feet. So walking along needed to be done carefully at all times. The warmer rainy temperatures in the 50’s meant there were a bunch of mushrooms along the trail. Even a small handful of slugs were out along the trail doing their thing. Like the little guy above, going along a downed tree branch. They’re always fun to see, so we always stop and watch them for a minute or two.
As we walked now, there was a steady stream of sweet, country-pop music playing off in the distance. We could slightly see some houses through the forest. I guess we were close to the park boundary at this point. Someone must have had a window open or been out in their garage. We thought if we could hear that where we were, their neighbors next door must really be stoked, haha!
I really love how the dead leaf pic above turned out. I was hoping the camera would capture all of the detail in the withering leaf matter. The whole forest is filled with leaves in the same state of decay of course. There’s so much detail to see this time of year, just take the time to look for it.
On the photo above, I finally nailed focus and got this little shroom in all it’s glory. It was standing tall, growing out of the side of a tree in a mini forest of moss. I’m so happy that all the details of it’s structure are in focus, and it was lit up slightly by a tiny amount of light. Sometimes my shaky hands will calm down and let me do something properly for a change!
The trail was extra muddy now, and small streams and ponds had formed here and there. We navigated all the water hazards as carefully as possible and continued along. The really pretty mushrooms above were the most colorful of the day. I love all the different shades of wavy brown tones in the top photo. And the orange/yellow coral-looking fungi was just too cool to pass up. It seriously looked as if it should have been deep under water in some tropical coral reef somewhere.
One of my favorite photos from the day has to be the minimal white coral type of mushroom above. It’s so creepy looking that it’s cool. I’m really happy I spotted it and the photo actually turned out with a neat eery vibe to it. Same for the root system shot as well. I saw that out of the corner of my eye shortly after. The trees up here in the Pacific Northwest grow in strange ways. It really is something to see.
At this point in the walk, we’re about 2.5 hours in, starting to get tired and hungry to be honest, and in need of a restroom break. We could start to hear cars driving around, so we were getting closer to the end of the trail. This small scene of the three orange mushrooms above, caught our eyes. The little guy in the middle looks like it’s propped up by a small stick, even though it was the healthiest of the bunch.
As we made a turn along the trail, this scene was dead ahead of us. In a forest of chaos and mossy greens, the trees just look like a hot mess when you photograph them. But somehow this tree stood alone, with a wide area of ferns all around it. So with a tiny amount of overcast light able to come down onto it, the tree was separated a bit from it’s surrounding friends. Hey, it’s hard to get a forest shot to work out usually, so i’ll take it.
This final photo of the leaf shows that a small amount of the fall season is still holding on. The colors at the end of this branch were so pretty. Well into December and the forest is still shouting out with color. And with that, we approached the end of the trail and the parking lot. Right back where we started, we took a much needed restroom break and then walked out to the shore. High tide was in full effect, so there wasn’t very much land to walk along. We headed home and continued on with the evening which was pretty relaxing after a nice long walk in the forest.
Here’s a link to my wife’s Tolmie Park blog post, she has some great photos from the day, be sure to check them out.
All photos made with a Panasonic Lumix LX5