One afternoon in early October we wanted to go on a wander, but wanted to try something a bit different. Instead of going to the shore, we stayed inland, right in the middle of the city of Olympia to be exact. Watershed Park, right smack in the middle of town, is a great forest area only a few minutes from pretty much anywhere in Olympia or Lacey.
What’s really cool about this city park is that it’s completely surrounded by civilization, but you’d never know it once you get down into the forest loop trail. The I-5 freeway, a main city boulevard and residential houses all create the boundaries of the park.
We entered the park off Henderson Boulevard, and you quickly drop down from the road into a lush, green forest. We quickly spotted a handful of fungi. An added bonus would be semi-clearing skies after a morning of drizzle. That means rays of sunlight would be streaming into the forest floor, lighting up some mushroom patches for us, nice!
My wife pointed out this little orange and white mushroom that I thought was wet from the rain, but that was its secretions, not water. I had never seen that before, too cool. These next few photos I think are pretty cute. Little vignettes of mushroom kingdoms, I can almost hear the soundtrack to a Super Mario Bros game as I saw these little scenes.
In my last post I mentioned that we lolly-gag on trails so much that, a 1 mile trail takes us 3 hours to complete. This trail was no different. People out for their daily jog or walk would pass us quickly and disappear just as fast as they appeared. But that’s just fine, we’re taking advantage of a great park just like them, but in a different way. Getting outside and enjoying the day is what it’s all about.
The mushrooms on display at this park were just as plentiful as the last park we went to (click here to read my post about the Newt Trail at Woodard Bay Conservation Area). When lit up nicely by a sun beam, a mushroom really comes to life, each one with it’s own personality.
There were a few slugs we saw along the way, some of which didn’t make it across the path unfortunately. But that’s the way of things I guess. In-between mushroom hunting I managed to snag a photo of one of these pretty creatures making it’s way along the forest floor.
Another interesting thing about this park is the small stream that runs down the middle of it at the bottom of the small valley. The sound of running water is just so relaxing and calming. There’s a few view points built out next to the water so you can take a break to enjoy the sights and sounds.
As we made the final stretch of the trail, it comes pretty close to the I-5 freeway, so you can hear the traffic just a bit, but a wall along the freeway does help keep the sound to a low hum. After a few more passes over the stream and a few more fungi sightings, we made our way back to the car park. You’ve got to check out this cool park if your in the Olympia area, you won’t be disappointed.
All photos made with a Panasonic Lumix LX5