Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thick Stemmed Chanterelle

We found this beauty in Downtown Shelton today. I guesss it's safe to eat. But will the mushrooms in town be safe to eat if we get four new biomass incinerators in Shelton? Will there be any woods left for mushrooms to grow in?

I'm going to try canning these tomorrow.  Who has experience canning chanterelles and can give me some advice?  I have a pressure cooker and I know how to use it.

Honey Mushrooms

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Doing the Dose on the only dry day this week

Pictures like this draw me in  and  make me want to walk down
 the trail to see what is around the corner.

This fell down since my last hike

I got my little one off to school and headed for Dosewallips. The Dosewallips road washed out several years ago and now the only way to get to the National Park campground, at the end of the road, is to walk 5.5 miles down the washed out road. This road might never be repaired.

Same sign before it fell down

Since the washout occurred the road has been further damaged by the Mount Constance fire. Every year this road looks less like a road and more like a trail. In fact, this road was put in right over the top of an old trail. So really the is the re-emergence of an old trail rather than a road turning into a trail.

 It is interesting to watch how quickly the road is fading. I never saw Dosewallips before the road washed out, but I imagine it was crowded and horrible just like Staircase. But, it could be that Staircase is crowded and horrible because it is now the only west side entrance to Olympic National Park. Neither Staircase nor Dosewallips are crowded this time of year though.

I like doing this “road” walk because it is level and it is at a low enough elevation that it can be done year round. I also like the open feeling created by the break in the canopy over the road, compared to the dark and closed feeling of trails at this time of year, when the sky is overcast. And I enjoy the fact that the hike ends at an old car campground with a nice river and picnic tables; it is a very civilized place to have lunch considering that it is now out in the middle of the wilderness.

This should have been an 11 mile hike but I apparently walked an extra couple of miles just wandering around and taking pictures of mushrooms and moss with my external flash. I’ve done this hike many times before but, this was the first time I have been on this trail with my new camera. I had my 50mm lens and my sb600 flash with me. I like that the 50mm lens is light and compact but I don’t like that I can’t easily do landscapes with it.  It is my perfect lens for taking pictures of mushrooms though.

I really enjoyed my hike; I had a blast taking pictures of mushrooms and I enjoyed listening to my MP3 player until it died, I mean it completely died and I will have to get a new one.

I hit the wall at 12 miles, (just like I always do unless I pack a really high protein lunch) after 12 miles my feet and legs hurt and I’m not having fun anymore. But pleasantly enough I reached the 12 mile mark at Elkhorn campground. Elkhorn is a national forest campground that is just a mile beyond the washout. I took advantage of the campground and lay down on a picnic table for about ten minutes and then my feet felt better.

My ankle was pretty good during this. I wore boots again, that is part of why my feet hurt. I did twist my ankle to the inside just enough to hurt when I was about 4 miles into my hike and it continued to hurt until I took my lunch break a mile later. My ankle does not hurt at all today, so I don’t think any harm was done.

When I got home I was totally exhausted so I did not post a trip report. In fact I was too tired to drive very safely on the trip home and they were out of coffee in Hoodsport. But I did make it home ok and went to bed about ½ hour after I got home, because I was tired and my family was being too demanding. For a change the house was relatively clean when I got home. I think my little one is growing up a bit and is making less messes now. I don’t think my husband has changed. And yes, he does enjoy reading my blog and knows what I write about him on here. (grin)

13 miles with 1,300 feet elevation gain

A highly prized mushroom that I don't want people to find with google

Had to do stich to get this little view with my 50mm lens

Dosewallips Falls

Mushroom, mushroom!

Burned in the Lake Constance fire

Tree seedlings grow up in an abandoned fire pit

Don't try to park here

Patches really wanted to go to Lake Constance but dogs are not allowed there

Jupiter Ridge Pano

Moss, I like to walk with it

Almost the pearly gates

This sign  post is buried. I've never been  on the trails beyond this sign.  It's
enough of a hike just to get to this sign and back and Patches is not alowed beyond  this point

Pretty polpore type fungus

Fun with my flash

It must be the year of the huge white coral mushrooms

burned and unburned

Lake Constance trail head sign just hanging on

view of the river from the trail around the washout

Abandoned picnic table

A rare thing to find in the "backcountry"

Hanky or Mushroom?

Nurse stump (biomass)

Ralf the bear lived here

Vine Maple

Shroom on a log interesting moss too
Mushroom, mushroom
Honk if you like conks

Lunch in the backcountry

Profile log over track log

13 miles with 1,300 feet elevation gain

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wild Smoked Salmon Fresh out of the Smoker

We eat like the  bourgeois this time of year, with fresh smoked salmon and wild gourmet mushrooms.  Matsutake soup is simmering on the stove.   The oak tree in the park is on fire with bright fall colors.  I can not capture its beauty with my camera, so I will just sit and enjoy it while I eat my breakfast of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and fresh chanterelles.

Wild Matsutake and Smoked Salmon Still Warm from the Smoker

Hey a polarizer  can turn a gray sky blue and photoshop can help with the leaf colors

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The weekend mushroom haul King Boletes and Matsutake

15 matsutake, many elfin saddles, chanterelles, King bolete (1) Leccinum Boletes Hedgehogs  a puff ball and two pine spikes

King Bolete

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Are these truffles? Maybe Rhizopogon

Are these truffles? We found them under the sand under what I think are Jefferson Pines.

They are kind of spongy.  After doing more research I think these are a false truffle known as Rhizopogon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Copper Creek trail and a 4 hour traffic delay

Taken on the drive to the trail head in the morning Lake Cushman
Copper Creek

I got my little one off to school and headed for the Copper Creek trail. I felt this trail would be a good challenge that would be just short of over doing it. I did not want to overdo it because I have some photography work I want to do tomorrow and I still don’t trust my ankle. I’m happy to report that my ankle was just fine for this hike! I did wear boots and almost got blisters but I am so happy that my ankle was good. I made a point of stretching my calf muscles before I got to the trail part of the hike.  The hike was 4 miles longer that I thought it would be.

This hike starts on a logging road and is longer than it used to be before the 2007 flood wiped out the bridge over Lake Cushman. This time of year you can see all the stumps from the beautiful cedar trees that the city of Tacoma cut down before they damned the North Fork Skokomish River.

I’m still a bit ill,  so I really took my time hiking to the top and I spent a lot of time taking pictures. It was too cold and windy and foggy at the 3,000 foot viewpoint, for me to sit and eat lunch there,  so I had my lunch back down by river near the trail head.

On my way out,I tried to explore some of the mining caves, but my headlamp batteries went dead and it was scary, so I’ll have to do it some other day. I’ve been trying to get my husband to go there with me for years. Now he is too ill to ever make the short hike to the caves, so it’s not going to happen. I’ll have to use Patches for protection.

Near the end of my hike I reached a really peaceful state that might be considered a state of transcendence, or hikers high or being struck by the muse. So when I reached my car I changed camera lenses and went back to the bridge to take a few more pictures. Then that state faded away as began to realize that my back was sore. Anyway, it was fun while it lasted.

On the way back I ran into a huge traffic delay. The power lines that power the damn that they destroyed the river (and created Lake Cushman)  to build, got knocked down by a log truck.

I met a guy name Fred who was from Oregon and was stuck in the traffic jam; the way I met this guy was kind of funny. I had decided to wait out the traffic delay at Cushman Power Park rather than keeping my spot in line in the middle of the road. Cushman Park is nice, it was built by the city of Tacoma, and it has a boat launch, picnic tables, flush toilets, an old apple orchard and a saltwater beach. While there, I decided to head down to the beach to do some long exposure nighttime photography.

While I was taking pictures, I suddenly realized that the music I was hearing was live music and there was a human very near me,  but I could not see him at all. I had thought the music was coming from a distant house. When he was done playing I could hear him walking near me and I could just barely make out his profile on that dark beach, so I said “hi” to him. I think I startled him. It turns out  he was playing a ukulele. He was curious about my photography so we chatted about that a bit even though we could not see each other’s faces in the dark. I felt safe because I had Springer Spaniel Raging, Patches to guard me.

After a bit Fred and I went back up the parking lot and saw that the tribal fisher people who were stuck in the traffic jam and had been out since sunrise, decided to drive their boats home and leave their trucks at the boat launch, rather than wait in traffic. So a long line of them launched their boats in the pitch dark and headed across the Hood Canal at a very fast clip with no light source.   I found that amusing.

At one point I went off in search of apples because I was getting hungry and then I found a young man’s wallet outside the bathrooms. The wallet had tribal fishing permits in it. When I finally got home I was able to find the owner on facebook and he is coming to get his wallet tomorrow. Fred gave me a hardboiled egg and some other food so I stopped looking for apples.

After seeing all the tribal folks take off Fred and I both decided to drive back to Hoodsport and grab some food at the grocery store before it closed. We did this because we were hungry and because the exhaust fumes from all the cars and trucks waiting in line were making the air really foul.

After grabbing some food we pulled off the road outside of Hoodsport to wait out the traffic away from all the auto exhaust. It turns out that Fred is a hiker who had done most of the peaks in the Cascades. I showed Fred my hiking pictures and he showed me his trip pictures. He was on his way home from attending his grand-son’s 6th birthday party on Orcas Island and It turns out that he lives in Nehalem. My great-grandpa is buried  in Nehalem and he used to own a shake mill there, so it was interesting to me that he was from Nehalem. . He also knew about the horrible, but famous trip that my ancestors took over the Oregon Trail. (the lost Meek party) He told me that a man with my last name has a photography studio down there in Nehalem.  I know he must be related to me, everyone with my last name is. Wow, the photography gene must really be in my family.  I need to go track this guy down.

Fred had a bed in the back of his car and he was worried that I would get cold, so he invited me into his car for the night, but I declined. I felt much more comfortable in my own car. Finally at about 10pm the road was cleared so I went home, but first I offered to let Fred crash on my couch, but Fred decided to stay camped on the side of the road until morning.  He said he was more comfortable in his car.  Maybe he did not want to meet my husband?  :)

I did not get home until almost 11pm and when I got home the house was trashed and my oldest needed me to retrieve her earring from the trap under the bathroom sink. I also felt the need to quickly track down the owner of the wallet I found. My husband and my youngest also wanted to tell me about their day. Whew… that was a lot to come home to, as tired as I was after doing such a hike and getting stuck in traffic for hours..

8 miles RT with 2,500 feet elevation gain.

Follow up, the guy just came and got his wallet.  He was one of the fishermen who took off in a boat.


Scary Cave

Vertical Pano of high point cold, windy and foggy

coral mushroom

Could it be a Matsutake????

No it's just a duff pumper (russula brevipes)

Taken while stuck in traffic at night Hood Canal

Hood Canal at night

Fall colors

Having so much fun with my external flash and mushrooms in the low light in the forest near the end of my hike

Pano taken with my other lens after the hike was over

A fuzzy fungus

Honey Mushrooms that I forgot to pick on the way out

Fungus needs biomass
Underside of the bolete below

A squirrel nibbled on this biomass eating bolete

Mystery Fungus

Patches the wonder dog portrait

I'm thinking these are pholiota

But I guess they could be honey mushrooms with out rings

Same possible pholiota or  honey

Pretty purple polypore type fungus

Tiny Frog

Trail head topo map

The only real view on this hike
Stuck in traffic

One way track log going back