A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Walk in the Wet Woods

I am not a water person. I do not care for rain that much. Yet yesterday I forced myself out into it rather that sit inside and brood. I got dressed for any rain that might happen and went for a hike in the forest. You know what? It was pretty neat. In fact I had a grand time. First off, if you have good gear and keep warm and dry, I found it isn't so bad after all. For me the most important part is my Goretex hiking boots. If my feet are happy, then all of me is. Secondly, I discovered the environment is so different from the usual hikes I've grown accustom to. I think the biggest factor was sound. The forest had a completely different sound to it what with everything wet and drops continually falling from the trees. The flora and fauna changed also.
The ferns and mosses are once again green and lush.

Mushroom and fungi of various species come to life after lying dormant throughout the dry summer.

Madrone trees take on a new clean sheen to their branches.

Best of all though...
...the salamanders were out and enjoying themselves in the damp moist forest floor.
I just could not get them to sit still long enough for a good picture. They had places to go, things to do and were not cooperative in the low light up close photo conditions. I tried to get a picture of their brilliant yellow underbelly but they immediately righted themselves after my flipping them onto their backs. I tried a couple of times then gave up, not wanting to torment them anymore .
[ I had a hard time identifying these guys once back home. Problem was, they're not a salamander but a Rough-skinned Newt]

Upon entering, do leave an offering to appease the forest spirits for a safe journey. Too bad for me, I was going the opposite way and on my way out at this point.
Now I look forward to a full on rainy day where I will slip and slide down trails, forge raging creeks, dodge falling trees and hopefully not get thoroughly wet, cold, catch pneumonia and be laid up for several weeks.


  1. Looks like a wonderful trip. It's something special walking in the forrest with different sounds and smells from time to time. ...and yes, boots are important. Boots to keep you dry and also warm.
    Wishing you a nice week:)
    Greetings, Berit.

  2. glad to hear that you were comfy in good gear. I know from personal experience that there really is no such thing as bad weather just inadequate gear. Oh, and by the way. All newts are types of salamanders (not all salamanders are newts though). And your little dude is a California newt, evidenced by the light yellow of the belly extending above the eye. Rough-skinned newts have dark around the eye. CA newts can have rough skin. They are toxic (don't eat 'em) and even rubbing your face after touching one can cause a reaction.

    Fun post.

  3. Hey, those are really cool shots -- especially like the wet Madrone.

  4. Thanks for taking us on your lovely walk. How nice to have such a beautiful place close to home.

  5. What a beautiful walk in the rain! It is nice to know that others appreciate the rain. What great finds on the trail.

  6. Thanks for your comments. You will be pleased to know that starting this weekend we are looking at an upcoming full week of rain. I plan to go for that full-on rainstorm hike in the forest on one of those days. Stay tuned.

  7. ohh! that madrone shot is awesome! what great trees. I never get tired of 'em! Rough-skinned newts are really neat too, I miss those guys. I hear ya about the rain but the gear really really helps!


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