Tramping in the woods

Just in case my earlier bike jaunt wasn’t enough exercise for the day, we packed me, Rozz, Jesse, Jesse’s dog Sweetheart, & Jesse’s bike (unnamed) into the car & drove out to our old neighborhood in East Anchorage at the very edge of Ft. Richardson Military Reservation, where we went for a walk.

The trail wasn’t very good for biking: very muddy. But that was more Jesse’s problem than ours, though we did have to take a lot of side trips into the brush to avoid soaking our feet.

But don’t call them side trips. They became ends in themselves.

Consider that it’s just barely spring here, but most of the trees haven’t even budded out in leaves yet, pussywillows but no flowers. To a certain cast of eye, the forest is dead & dreary — little color to it but brown & grey, dead leaves crackling underfoot, the trail in a mush of mud & brown puddles.

But look again, & there is so much green: the dark green of black spruce needles, the brighter greens of moss & juniper moss & creeping jenny & club moss carpeting the floor. But what I noticed most this trip was the lichen: all kinds of lichen, & lucky for me my camera takes damn good macros. I took a lot of them.

I gather Jesse rode his bike to the powerline & followed it left as far as it goes before that steep drop to the little tributary creek, then came back, & took a little nap waiting for us. But Rozz was investigating things her way, & I was investigating them mine, with the camera, so by the time we got to the powerline we didn’t have much more than time enough to take a look at the wolf scat Jesse had found, fibrous with moose hair, & then head back. (Normally, we have no deadline for a jaunt like this, but we needed to get some groceries at Natural Pantry before the closed at 8:00.)

We all cut through the woods through most of the walk back to the trailhead, Jesse pushing his bike along. He found a really cool cottonwood tree that I was called over to see: a huge thick grandma (or grandpa, didn’t check its sex) of a tree that sometime in its youth had for some reason dipped its trunk downwards, toward the ground, missing it by a foot or so before it grew upwards again.

This was our first trample in the Ft. Rich woods this year. It’s good to go there, every time. I miss living so close that it’s just a step out the door & a walk across the parking lot.

And then we went & got our groceries, & then we stopped by Blockbuster & got some DVDs, & then we went home & watched them.

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