back to the back forty

A few posts ago, we went for a walk in our woods. This time, we’re trying to locate the markers that tell us where our property ends. Machete in hand, Richard leads the way.


The first thing to stop me in my tracks were these trilliums. A smattering of them were sprinkled across the forest floor, with many more just emerging. I will have to go back in a week or so. You can see how here at the forest’s edge they are pushing through a carpet of English ivy. We have been hacking away at the ivy, with the help of neighbors, but it is persistent stuff, and has nearly strangled some magnificent trees.


As we dive deeper into the woods, the ivy and blackberries give way to natives like these fiddleheads. They are said to be a culinary delicacy, but the one time I ordered them in a restaurant they were a feast for the eyes, but just so so on the tongue. I would rather leave them in the woods where they arguably belong.


Patches of oxalis are just beginning to produce flowers, not that they depend on floral display for their charm.


Working our way to the bottom of the ravine, things begin to get boggy. This was one of only two skunk cabbage to come early to the party, but already our noses alerted us to their presence. There will be lots of them later on, so stand back.


Here is one of three itty bitty streams (or are they creeks?) that converge at the bottom and then empty into a small lake out by the main road. The whole area is boggy now. I jumped across the creek and went in to my knees…glad there was a hiking buddy to pull me out.


Love these patches of native Mahonia.


I leave you with the oddity of the day: a tree growing out of the stump of one of its ancestors. Can you see the roots embracing the sides of the stump? Always something new to see out there. Thanks for coming along.

10 thoughts on “back to the back forty

  1. Jo~Yes, but see if this makes any sense to you. We could log off as much as we want (we don’t), but can only paint our house certain colors and would have to jump through all kinds of hoops to add on to our house or to build additional structures.

  2. Hi Ricki~~ Your post brings back so many memories. Before our current location hubby, kids and I lived on 10 acres between Molalla and Colton. Trails, trilliums, fiddle heads, bogs, skunk cabbage and moss, moss, moss were landmarks on our walks. We also had native yellow dog tooth’s violets, bleeding hearts and columbine. I bet you’ll be posting photos of these when they come into bloom. And I remember one large clump of Mahonia that I swear had an inaudible communication mechanism. The flower fragrance was enough to stop me dead in my tracks and completely divert my attention to getting closer for a whiff. Thank you for this trip down memory lane. There is nothing quite like western Oregon forests, is there? I’m sure you know how blessed you are to have your very own piece to romp through.

  3. Grace~I will be depending on you to help identify new things as they come along. Thanks for the preview, and yes, we are filled with appreciation and awe in equal parts every time we venture back there.

  4. I loved the walk! Thank you for sharing. And oddly enough, I’ve always wanted to find a skunk cabbage, but have never run into one.

    I read your post about candied violets. I made some last year for the first time with my hordes of violets. They are one of my favorite flowers, only mine aren’t the odorata kind. They have no scent, and that’s the only thing I’m sorry for when it comes to my violets.

  5. ICQB~The scented violets add a great deal of complexity to the finished product…well worth the trouble to get some started in your garden. Of course yours will still be pretty!

    Skunk cabbage…now that’s on the other end of the spectrum, isn’t it?

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