Carter Falls, Mt. Rainier

Last Thursday we went for another hike in Mt Rainier National Park.  Although we only caught a brief glimpse of the mountain peak this time,

the Carter Fall section of the Wonderland Trail is still quite beautiful.

Crossing the Nisqually River on a log bridge is always exciting. Even though it is probably as wide as a normal hallway, it never seems that wide when there’s a river rushing below you.

Although the trail was never as steep as the surrounding peaks would suggest,

it was a steady uphill climb as we followed a small creek up the mountain.

The highlight of this section of the Wonderland Trail is Carter Falls, 

but there is a whole series of smaller falls that are also quite delightful and provide natural air-conditioning.

I was too winded to get a shot on the climb up the trail, but since it was an up-and-back trail, not a loop, this shot of Leslie and Paul walking down the trail suggests the steady, uphill incline .

Even though I prefer loop trails where you constantly see new things, I saw things going downhill that I’d missed on the way up the trail, like this huge boulder that diverted the creek.

Dahlias, and More Dahlias

Long-time followers of this blog probably remember that Loren’s favorite part of the Pt. Defiance Rose Garden is the Dahlia section.  I’m sure that the links that automatically shows similar posts will reveal that I have already posted shots of the these Dahlias, certainly the one with the two bumblebees, but I can’t resist trying to capture there transitory beauty every time I see them.

I’m always gobsmacked by how many different varieties of Dahlias there are: 

I’m hard-pressed to pick a favorite, but I think I’d agree with the Bumblebees that this is the most attractive of them all.

A Walk Through the Woods

Often it’s just too sunny to go to the gym to work out.  On those days Leslie and I often walk down the street to Point Defiance Park. It’s far too easy to take these woods for granted, but the other day I took my new camera with me because I was going to stop at the Rose Garden and check out the Dahlias.

Taking my camera made me realize just how beautiful the walk really, particularly when you’re walking through the deer trails, 

which isn’t to say that it’s not equally beautiful on the well-maintained, main trails.  

I’m particularly fond of places that make you feel like you’re walking through a tunnel, totally immersed in forest.

It’s clear that the designers of the Rose Garden must have been equally enchanted by the deep forest since they mimic that at several of the entrances to the garden.

The deep woods provide the perfect contrast to the brilliant colors found throughout the inner garden this time of year.