To observe, enjoy and create in everyday life

Fall Hike

I think September might be my favorite time to go hiking. It's typically not too hot, there is often a mist in the air, the trails are not as crowded, and you get a beautiful color combination of green mosses and ferns with the orangey-yellow leaves on the ground. 
This last week my friend Sadie and I met up for a fall hike. We piled a few of our pups in the car and explored two areas not far from our homes. Our first stop was at Lucia Falls. This is really a short loop, but there are fantastic views of the falls. We also, thanks to the dogs, stumbled upon the beautiful hillside covered in ferns. What a gorgeous spot to discover! There are many, many oak trees along this section of the river, and on our way back to the cars, we found some oak galls (some people call them oak apples) on the ground. Oak galls are a funny, and often large, growth on the twigs of the oak tree caused by the California Gallfly. The gall was home to cynipid wasp larvae earlier in the season. But as you can see, they have left their home already. This particular type of gall does not cause any significant damage to the tree.
Sadie and I decided that since the rain was pretty much holding off, we wanted to walk on further. So, we drove a few miles further up river to Moulton Falls. Here there are many more trails to walk as well as offshoots to other trails. In the summer, this is a popular swimming spot. I was surprised at how many other hikers we saw in the middle of the week...on a soggy day. We had a wonderful time walking the trails, smelling the wood smoke in the air from a nearby home, and just soaking up some of the beautiful fall day. I was so thankful for the time to get out in the woods with a friend. It's always the best of both worlds...exercise outside and good conversation!
I hope you get a chance to explore some of the areas near you this fall!


  1. Sounds like a lovely day, Bekah! Bathing in nature, good for the spirit! (And I read that it's good for our physical selves, and not just because of the actual exercise.) Interesting plant life you have there - the one photo looks like spaghetti growing out of the ground. (LOL!) Fern? Maybe a type of fungi?

    I LOVE the smell of wood smoke, too. My parents used to have a wood stove when I was growing up. Coming home in autumn and winter from school and walking up the driveway, I could smell the wood smoke coming from the stove. Comforting. It was good to be home. Whenever I smell that now when I am out and about, it always takes me back to those "easier" days.

    I have been thinking about getting the mister to join me on a hike in a park near here. It's not overly "rough for hiking" - many trails, actually - but there is a lot of wildlife (deer, birds, etc.). The chickadees will come and eat seeds from your hand. I haven't been there in years. It always feels so good to spend time just appreciating something that is... well, natural. :-)

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. I do hope that you and your husband have the opportunity to get out to your local trails! It's such a good time for it. That's crazy the little chickadees would eat out of your must be an amazing experience.
      I had thought the one photo was of a young fungi as well. I know there is a coral-looking fungus that grows in the area, and I imagine this was it...just very young!

  2. It does sounds like a good day! And your pictures are wonderful (somewhat creepy with the gall and then the mushrooms...I assume that's what they are in the next to last photo. See I need that plant ID app!). I always think things like galls are creepy. Wasps building nests in parts of a tree. But I like that you got out and about. We have the Finger Lakes Trail near me and I keep meaning to go hike it with Anna but I keep forgetting until I'm driving past on my way somewhere. But I need to do it before hunting season since some of the trail closes during hunting season.

    1. Galls are creepy, but interesting. And, yes, that is a fungus. I didn't attempt to ID it more than it is one of the coral-like fungi that grow here in the Pacific Northwest.
      You should put a hiking day on your calendar! It's worth it. I promise!