I've been cooped up for so long, it was nice of my master (Jey-hu is not really, but on this day it felt like it.) to take me for a drive in the country. On this particular day, it was sunny - a good start! And it was warm, another good point! And the drive was going to be up around the Loop Road so it would take at least three hours to complete - yippee!! Just like a dog, I had my window down and was sniffing the air for the smells of spring... some were not my kind of smell, but if I'd been a dog, they certainly would have been appealing.
We did this same trip last year about this time, and it was a whole lot warmer then. Curiously enough, in spite of it being warmer, there was more snow still on the ground. However, this year it was clear there has been significantly more snowfall for the month of April at the higher elevations and the mountains looked like an ice cream sundae with whipped cream and sprinkles on top. Big Four Mountain, previously mentioned in this blog (see May of 2009) is shown above.
These little pink flowers were just budding out in the area where the mountain paths begin. Weopted not to make the climb, and just as were concluding that decision and looking around, someone said, "Look, they are now charging a $5 usage fee PER PERSON in order to spend time here!" I am sure the government can justify the demand for funds, but when people are out of work, and want to drive a short distance to enjoy Mother Nature, it seems criminal to charge them something to get some relief from the pressures of the commercial world. This means that a family of four will spend $20 to park there for the afternoon plus gas and food... and there are no provisions for families with small children. Did you know the definition of PERSON is "1. A human being. 2. An entity (such as a corporation) that is recognized by law having the rights and duties of a human being." [Black's Law Dictionary, 7th Ed.] But the definition of 'human being' is not even found in that edition of Black's! One has to go to Ballentine's Law (not sure of date but think it is about 1895) to read that a 'human' is one having the "characteristics of man," and no where in there is it defined as to what a 'human being' is. So I would return any ticket issued to me with the pleasant request that they submit it to the corporation as it is not my responsibility as I am NOT a person. Well. We didn't stop in any event.
We drove on - and I am sure you are glad of that - and found a perfectly serene little spot with a rushing river, lots of rocks and moss and wonderful photo ops. It was kind of dark in the woods, so I tried to use my photo software to lighten this one up... it has a sort of artistic sense to it, it seems to me. I might publish a few more in the next installment.
This stop was also where I found some flowers called "skunk cabbage" in bloom, but I don't believe this is the latin term for these bright yellow and green plants.
They are most generally found where it is damp or literally "swampy" and they supposedly have a "stinky" smell, but I must have been too entranced by their design and color to notice.
When Jey-hu and I are out "shooting" together, we challenge one another to get a "money shot." This kind of shot is the one we both agree could be a postcard or poster or used in some advertising, not shots we actually put into commercial use. So
this last one is my money shot of the day. You are seeing the mountain range called the Cascades, north of Mt. Pilchuck and Mt. White Chuck. It was taken around 3 p.m. PDT, just before leaving the river behind and riding higher in the canyon on the end of the loop road, we were headed into a small town near Arlington, Washington.
And this was a good thing, too, because like most creatures kept in a car for too long, I was longing for relief...