Today (written Sunday, 12/29/13), in between dropping things off at the gallery and battling with this website, I took Finn for a walk in Canemah. It’s always amazing to me that this little stretch of “wilderness” is right here in the city. It’s not really a park, more like habitat; in fact, Canemah contains a variety of Northwest habitats: oak savannahs, Douglas Fir stands, madrona woods, and wetlands.
Almost any time of year a hike provides tons of “salient detail” as an artist friend of mine once said. In addition to the natural areas, there is an old pioneer cemetary and before that, the terrain has been shaped by years of cultivation by Native Americans. In the spring the camas coats the terrain and summer provides stretches of fresh berries, igniting my imagination about foraging off the land.
This time of year the landscape is more barren than usual, but walking through it is still an adventure. The birds challenge with their calls, a few early chorus frogs warm up their vocals, the trees bend and creek a greeting.
Textures are more apparent than in the spring. Nothing here is smooth; everything is dry or crinkly, twisted or broken. But that doesn’t make it less beautiful. Today a new tree had come down and its bark and moss were starting to dry out. The color is amazing, pale yet distinct.
A little further I saw a madrona leaf that had clearly had an interaction with something, but I don’t know if that’s a food trail or a path.