Fall before the fall

Wednesday was the last day before the rain began. Off to Cougar Mtn Regional Park with the goal of seeing the Far Country Waterfall.

The trees were glowing. I did not expect the volume of color and sparkle. Nor did I days later realize the storm coming in would whisk these leaves of gold to the ground. Hence we are going to look at Fall before the fall.

Do you feel like you are walking down a country road?
A lacy vine maple is embraced in gold by the bigger maple
Ribbons of gold and black border the old road

Before I knew it I had covered a mile and was where the trail crosses Coal Creek. I would decide to take the lesser trail to the baseball field meadow restoration area. This is where about 130 to 100 years ago the miners played baseball and competed with the other mine camps.

But first look at the dry creek. Not a drop is left in her after this dry and hot summer. If we went there today after our windy storm she would be gurgling again.

Not far from the old field of dreams or a field of ghost baseball players is the fork in the trail.

I will go to the left which is the Indian Trail. It will take us past a magical place where a rock fall has created a fairy land like spot. The rock is covered in the most verdant green moss and they are arranged so one is invited to enter a special world.

Before one gets to that rock fall there is a trail with forested berms on either side. It is a bit dark there but that creates a contrast to the other side. There the sun is bright on more vine maples. Great place for a photo.

At the end of a dark tunnel sun brings sparkle

As usual I take several photos. This next one is a vertical look at the same place but it highlights the contrast of the dark space with the brightness on the maple.

What is that? A green orb with a face!!!

When I first saw this green orb I was shocked. So, I posted it on a paranormal site to see what they thought. Some went with I captured a forest spirit, some who saw it think alien (my husband said that too), and a camera guy said it was a lens flare.

I have since looked at my lens and found a small smudge on it. Probably the green blob is just a glare spot on that transparent smear. However, one cannot completely rule out that it is something special. How does the orb get such a perfect face in it from a dirt speck let alone a faint smeary smudge. I let you decide what you think.

Unknowning of the green orb thing I went down the trail past the wonderful rock fall that was only a few feet beyond these two pictures above.

Rock fall tumbled into little caves.

Onward I went. I was now looking for a spot to go off trail and take a “pee”. No one is around so nothing like a nature bio break. I found my spot and climbed through the brush to get under a big cedar tree. It had the remains of cones or nut shells around one side of the base. Never really saw that before but figured it was a small creature’s trash pile.

There I was in an exposed position and heard something moving around. YIKES!! My mind had animals from fishers, cougars, bears or squirrels flash thru it. Then I looked up and there he was!!

A grey squirrel looking at me and he was giving me the evil eye. He was saying very loudly “What the heck was under his tree?” Guess it was time to get it together and be gone leaving Mr. Squirrel to his privacy.

Back on the trail I was bedazzled by more sun shining through the fall leaves.

Seemed like in no time I was at the little trail that goes down to an overlook of the waterfall. As I suspected it was dry except a little puddle. It did have a little tinkle sound as it flowed under the rocks. Here is what a dry waterfall looks like; rocks, moss and ferns.

Turned around and went back towards a fork in the trail. Decided I had time to go see a view point called De Leo Wall. This trail turned out to be rougher than the nice open paths but so worthwhile. Check out the view and the glory of the contrasting golden trees with dark fir tree trunks.

Peekaboo with a golden tree
A perfect fall moment

If I went back today after our brush with a Bomb Cyclone there would be very few leaves left. They all fell away in the rush to winter’s solstice. Hence Fall before the Fall.


    • Thank you…. little did I know that by a week later most of the leaves would be blown down and on the ground. Ahhh Fall!! Love it – Not too hot not too cold

    • Oh no.. Tub Lake is the last true bog in our area. Plus it is very dangerous so I wonder how they are going to fill it or build around it. Keep up the good work. Do you still need signatures on your petition?

      • Hi, Batgurrl – the bog isn’t slated to be filled in – but a “food innovation center” – inside the park and adjacent to the bog – is in the plans – as well as significant development near it outside of the park. You can see more details at the linked-to site. It looks to me like a possible 100+ acres of forested land is expected to be built on as part of the “Sustainable Airport Master Plan” – basically airport expansion. I’d love your signature and help once the current draft is finalized. If you write to info@KCTreeEquity.or I can put you on the mailing list. Thanks!

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