Hiking · Local Adventures

Watching Fall Slide In

There is something about watching Fall slide in…it doesn’t happen fast most years. It’s a slow drop. Still gets warm in the middle of the day, but by 6 pm, it’s chilly. On our island, in the Salish Sea, chances are I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and hear the foghorns on the massive ships that ply the water, heading home from Seattle, to China. Calling out in the thick fog of September. The cruise ships sail in the day. Just the cargo ships calling out, and the roosters calling back.

It was something I actually missed in the 2020-2021 years was the lack of foghorns. It was so quiet in the fog. It was both good and bad – good for the whales for sure. The whales all along the Pacific Coast had their highest numbers of babies those years. For that I was OK with not hearing them.

The tip has happened, as we await Fall to claim it’s 3 months. Soon it will be the Winter Solstice with barely 8 hours of “light”. Where hiking must be well thought so one isn’t hiking in the twilight hour of 3:30 pm in December. No late starts then.

So one knows that on the days when the sun shines in September, one is wise to follow it. Enjoy being outside. Soak in the still mostly strong sunlight and build up your stores of Vitamin D.

There is still native Sitka Roses blooming, their smell is so intoxicating in the sun. These are huge blossoms, compared to the other native, Nootka Rose.

Gum Weed flowers line the shore, and the bees love them. It’s one of the last blooms they will enjoy. They are often mistaken for Dandelions if one doesn’t know their flowers.

Sitka Rose rosehips are so big, they look like big cherry tomatoes, especially when ripe. They get huge and red. And full of needle like seeds. An excellent source of Vitamin C to make a cup of herbal tea with (the red part), especially when they are fresh and juicy.

Maybe the Blackberries are not native, but they provide an end of the summer treat of sweetness along the water.

We opted to stay off the beach here. It had a very bad ride tide this summer, which was a reason the mosquito population was so bad this year around us. This is an inland beach, not facing the cleansing powers of the Salish Sea, but rather faces other islands, and the mainland. Pretty to be at, but not clean in the last weeks of summer. At least the smell and the color is now gone. Soon Fall will usher in cleaner water with the first storms.


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