well-camoflauged fungi on tree
Needing a low-elevation hike to avoid the cold and snow, I took a walk out the Flume Trail, starting at the Indian Creek Nature Trail.
The majority of the mushrooms were now mostly melted into or onto the ground, but I did notice a few here and there that looked as healthy as ever. Due to the large number of downed branches in this area, I end up staring at my feet most of the time to avoid tripping, but the times that I happened to look up I found some interesting sights, including the almost invisible fungi [above] and the burl [below] that resembled a camel's head.
unusual burl on tree
forest detail, Devil's Garden
If there was ever an area made for not-cross-country travel, it would be the Devil's Garden area, the drainage between Soapstone Gulch and the Cliff Lakes basin. There are signs of selective logging maybe 50 years ago but fortunately it lacks the grid of logging roads that are the usual result.
I like it because after a few moments of moderate to severe bushwhacking you feel as if you're in the middle of nowhere, which isn't far from the truth.
creek detail, Devil's Garden
Hedge Creek Falls
Looking for a short walk (and they don't get much shorter than this) I took a look at Hedge Creek Falls. There was little of the "Demon Ice" that sometimes coats the rocks early in the morning, making walking around them an "adventure", and no other people — hard to improve on that combination.
Now that I was on a waterfall kick, I thought it only appropriate to check out Burstarse Falls, which involves a somewhat longer approach than Hedge Creek.
Being on the shady side of the canyon on a January morning was a bit chilly, but up above it was a nice sunny day. However, a slight breeze was blowing the middle part of the falls around, making it seem like the water started down the cliff, then disappeared, then appeared again at the base.
Kegg Cinder Pit
With the number of semi-warm days this time of year in short supply, I leaped at the chance to get outdoors and went up to Butte Creek to look around. The big cinder pit at Kegg has some very colorful shades of volcanic rock everywhere you look, and it seems a shame to know that such a nice display is normally beneath the ground, where no one can see it.
Butte Creek was flowing along nicely and I followed it for awhile, stepping over and around zillions of downed trees and branches in the process until I came upon the abandoned cabin below, home now to a family of wood rats.