The boss (
lucky bugger) headed to Hawaii last Thursday and won't be back until next week so I've been able to set my own hours for work. It is nice to have a few extra days off while Troubadour isn't working.
Today we weren't sure what the weather was going to do and decided to go for a long walk through Bald Hill Natural Area - 284 acres of hiking, biking and horse trails. It is one of our favorite areas and it is within walking distance of our house (1.5 miles / 2.4 km). It is shorter if we take 53rd but who wants to take the direct route? Well, as long as we walk down our road, cut through the Christmas tree farm, down a path, through the hole in the chain link fence and over the railroad tracks.... technically it is near the house.
Here is a link to the trail map ----> LINK We enter off of Reservoir Road and walked to the barn then to Oak Creek Drive and back to Reservoir tracing our steps.
We had a mixed bag of trick as far as the weather. It started off sunny, changed to overcast, a little rain when we hit our turn around point, more sun, more rain and more clouds. Not bad for a 5+ mile walk. If we had more time we would have hiked further up the trails.
I brought the little Canon HS300 with me and took some photos. The changing light made for some bright and some dark photos. Here are the better ones. They were all taken in Bald Hill Park.
|(Little ways into the park - slight incline)|
|(Little further up the multi-use path)|
|(Farmers' fields to the north and east of the path)|
|(Apparently we have newts)|
|(Left turn to the barn and Oak Creek - right to 53rd St.)|
|(Trails leading off of the main paved one)|
|(On the way to the barn and Oak Creek)|
|(Another view of all those oak leaves)|
|(Soon the restored barn is spotted to our left)|
|(Walk up a gravel path to the barn)|
|(Restored barn - can be reserved for special occasions)|
|(I wish there was a sign to tell us the history of the barn)|
|(Surrounded by oak trees)|
|(Looking west - path beyond the barn goes to the top of bald hill - gives you a valley view)|
|(From the barn looking east towards Corvallis)|
|(Back down on the multi-use path I spotted mushrooms)|
|(And Hawthorne berries)|
|(And blackberries that hadn't quite ripened)|
|(Looking southeast across the freshly sprouted grass fields)|
|(Looking south towards our starting point - black clouds moving in)|
|(Looking North - straight stretch towards the turn around point)|
|(Our half way point - and also where it started to rain)|
|(We turned back around and headed south)|
|(Towards the ominous clouds)|
|(And found a woolly bear - larval form of the pyrrharctia isabella, aka Isabella Tiger Moth)|
(Looks to be an average winter coming)
|(The Teasel have gone dormant and lost their purple tufts)|
|(Not a lot of color in the hills)|
|(And still more clouds)|
|(Oak marble galls - fallen with the leaves)|
|(Inside of the gall - the galls are very brittle)|
|(Oak marble galls are caused by the gall wasp laying eggs)|
|(Two different leaves with two galls each)|
Stopping to photograph the galls was our last photo break. It was after 1:00 pm and we were getting hungry for lunch. We picked up the pace and booked it for home.
I do apologize for the lengthy post. I managed to take 95 photos, so I think I actually narrowed it down quite a bit.
Back to the office for a little while tomorrow then I shall take Friday and Monday off. I wonder what kind of mischief Troubadour and I can get into.
" I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." - William Shakespeare.