Friday, September 18, 2015

One Way to Get a Fish Dinner

He was standing by the road in downtown Petersburg, his thumb out, fishing pole in hand.    We knew him, had even given him a ride before, so pulled over. 

“Where you headed, Lorry?”

“Ohmer Creek,”. he responded in his characteristic gravelly voice — a voice often heard on KFSK, Petersburg’s public radio station where Lorry volunteers to host an eclectic mix of shows from classical music to rock.

“You’re in Luck, That’s where we’re headed.”

Only Karen and I were headed off for a hike on one of our favorite trails while Lorry was headed for one of his favorite fishing holes.  With a short detour we delivered him unscathed to his destination with a promise to check to see if he wanted a ride home when we headed back to town.

                       A handicap-accessible portion of the OhmerCreek Trail parallels our favorite beaver pond.

                   Nearby looking towards the pond.  Come to think of it, perhaps I should include a shot of the pond.

There:  This is a blog readers challenge.  Use the reflection of a leaning spruce tree in the beaver pond along with the image of the shoreline and that of seeds of something washed against the foot bridge to create your own image of the pond.

Oh yes, the foot bridge.  We intercepted the migration of a porcupine crossing the bridge.  After several unsuccessful attempted detours he or she retreated.  Good thing, too.  It was much safer where it came from.

For us the day proved to be the kind that makes us love the mystery of this coastal rainforest with the added bonus of autumn colors — at least a few in places where they decided it was time to shed their summer green mantle.  We lingered long and often.

                 By lingering (waiting for me) Karen discovered this Sitka Spruce limb cut down or off by a beaver

                        And these low-bush cranberries which had a short survival span after she spotted them.

This is about a colorful as alders get in fall.  Although they are related to birch trees, one thing they do not share is the wonderful yellow color as summer transitions into winter.  However, their bright spring ""plumage," not dissimilar form these fall colors, somewhat makes up for it after a drab winter.

                Karen "waltzes" through the muskeg adjacent to the trail being careful not to step on any cranberries.

At last we completed the two mile circuit the trail offered over a variety of surfaces — older gravels melded into the forest floor, across a weathering bridge we dread seeing the day it has to be replaced, down slippery single plank boards, over an area of little more than mud holes between exposed roots and finally a brand new elevated gravel pad that removed us psychologically from the forest until the route ended on on a gravel road for the last half mile or so — the last segment  decorated with seemingly lost wooly bear caterpillars, the larval stage of tiger moths.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar on an alder leaf.  Now I've been seeing these caterpillars in the fall for a number of years, and rescuing them as they crossed the road for the same number of years -- tossing them into the grass, but it finally took Karen's keen observational skills on this hike to figure out where they really belonged.  Yep -- they like munching on alder leaves. 

As promised we returned to Lorry’s fishing hole to see if he was ready to “hitchhike” with us home.

“Naw, I think I stay a while longer.  Oh, would you like a coho,” he said pointing to a large, bright salmon laying nearby.  We drooled.

“Are you sure you don’t need it?” I replied, but Lorry was sure and in the end he added a nice cutthroat trout to the ante.

                                                              Lorry and his gift.  He even cleaned it for us.

And all we wanted to do was give a kind gentle man a lift.