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Wanderings: Bagley Lakes... and the Clouds

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Hello dear readers! Or reader. Or perhaps I'm talking to myself here. I've been away from the blog for awhile, but am back to share a recent adventure. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to hike the Bagley Lakes trail with my book club friends. For this month's outing, we read Maria Mudd Ruth's A Sideways Look at Clouds, and the author herself joined us on the trails!

I've been absent a lot lately - from the blog, the book club, and many other things that used to be so important in my life. However, it is long past time to reconnect, so that's how I found myself standing at the trailhead on Sunday morning in forty-two degree weather with rain coming down sideways. My nose was numb and cheeks red and stinging within minutes as the cold wind buffeted my Gore-Tex clad body. I was gloriously excited.

Despite the weather, our all-women group was enthusiastic as we set off on the Bagley Lakes trail. Autumn hues were beginning to warm the landscape with reds and yel…

Looking back at 2017: Top 5 most-read posts on the blog this year

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Here we are once again, in the last few days of the fading year, reflecting on the past twelve months and looking forward to what the New Year will bring. Admittedly, I was preoccupied much of the year with caring for my son who was born in May, so I wasn't able to keep up with the blog as much as I'd have liked. However, as is tradition, let's take a look back at the top five most-read posts on the blog this year:

1. Environmental Issues: Plastic Pollution While holding the title as the singular material responsible for the convenience and ease of our daily lives, plastic is also causing an ecological disaster. It's time to consider a new approach to our lives that involves less plastic. Much less. No plastic, if possible.


2. Wanderings: Saint Edward State Park (again) One of the best things about hiking is that you can return time and again to the same place, and not once will you have the same experience. Here, I introduce my son to one of my favorite places.


3.…

Evergreen State Shirts are Here!

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This Nature Nerd decided to take on a fun project this holiday season, and I'm excited to share with you the very first shirt design from A Day Without Rain! This design idea has been in my head for a few years, and I finally found a way to make it happen.

I'm very excited to sport my new shirt on the trails next year, and I hope you all will join me in showing your love for our Evergreen State!

Shirts are on sale now through December 14th.

ORDER HERE


Environmental Issues: Plastic Pollution

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Salty sea breezes, crashing waves and footprints in wet sand. A visit to the beach brings back nostalgic memories of youth, offers opportunities for discovery, and leaves one with a refreshed perspective as we stand before the frothing tide and gaze outward at the vast ocean. When we look at the ocean, we see an immense body of heaving water stretching to a horizon we'll never reach. What we do not see is the alarming volume of plastic churning within those waves.

While holding the title as the singular material responsible for the convenience and ease of our daily lives, plastic is also causing an ecological disaster. I recently attended a workshop put on by the King Conservation District, Horses for Clean Water, and Plastic Ain't Our Bag on the subject of reducing our use of plastics. Although this is an issue with which I've long been familiar, even I was surprised at the information that was presented on the issue as I sat in horrified awe in the classroom at Brightwa…

Wanderings: Saint Edward State Park (again)

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One of the best things about hiking is that you can return time and again to the same place, and not once will you have the same experience. The landscape changes with the seasons, the weather, the time of day. What you notice - hear, see, and smell -  will vary depending on your companions, mood, the pace at which you're walking.

Saint Edward State Park has long been one of my favorite places to visit, and has been featured in many posts here on the blog. It was the place where, on a field trip with my college ecology class, I first forged a connection with nature in a way that piqued my curiosity, commanded my respect, and fostered a sense of stewardship. It was the first place my older sister and I hiked together, the beginning of our adventures which have since taken us to some pretty spectacular places. It was the place my husband and I frequently visited to escape the summer heat when we lived in a condo nearby. It was the first place I took my son for a hike …

Musings: Earth Day 2017

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I wasn't going to write an Earth Day blog post this year, but had an eleventh-hour change of heart and am blinking blearily at the computer screen late on Earth Day Eve, trying to string some coherent thoughts together. The dire state of things in Washington DC on Earth Day 2017 has thrown additional environmental catastrophes into our realm of possibility, with potential effects that will reach far beyond the borders of our own country.

The Environmental Protection Agency has had "environmental protection" removed from its mission; the president is rolling back protections for clean air and water; tar sands pipelines are being greenlighted despite the known pollution risks and contributions to climate change; and a proposed wall along the US-Mexico border is an affront not only to humanity, but to the endangered species whose habitat spans across the border. And, as we reach a never-before-seen-in-the-history-of-humanity 410 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric carbon…

Wanderings: Seeking Spring (2017)

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Yesterday, in the warming afternoon hours following a cool and rainy morning, my husband and I headed for the Trillium Trail in the Redmond Watershed Preserve, seeking to find this trail's namesake flowers, which should have begun to bloom. We'd strolled through the Watershed two weeks ago, more for exercise and fresh air than anything else, but I'd secretly hoped we might catch a few early trillium. Alas, at that time the forest was still well in the grips of winter and there was nary a trillium to be seen among the damp humus of last autumn's fallen leaves.

The spring trillium hunt is an annual tradition for me. When I was a child, my grandpa and I walked through the woods around my house to count as many trillium as we could find. Now that my grandpa is no longer with us, my husband - who is a trillium-spotting pro - accompanies me on the yearly quest for these simple white flowers. The trillium hunt is a way to reconnect to the memories forged in those childhood r…