Finally, some real rain!

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The skies cleared a little this morning, so we decided to venture out and see what the rain brought up. Surprisingly, we didn’t see that many Banana slugs. Less than ten on our entire walk. We did see these little guys, though. I’m gradually learning to remember the names of the local native wildflowers with practice, but I didn’t think to bring my backpack with my Redwood Flower Finder for such a short walk. I’m pretty sure these are little Milkmaids (Cardamine californica).

It’s so easy to take such lovely little things for granted, not to even bother learning their names if they’re not immediately useful in our own home gardens.

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Or even to think of them as weeds! But now that I’ve been out here in the woods for a few years, the very brief bloom at just that certain time of the year–part of the beauty is in the anticipation of their arrival, and the sadness when they die. My favorites are the trillium blossoms, which I’m hoping to see soon. I look forward to them the way I used to look forward to the crocus when I lived back east.

Milkmaids don’t have the sex appeal of a huge display of hothouse hybrid tulips in the store, but our local wildflowers call our attention to the passing of the seasons even more acutely if we take the time to pay attention. Somehow spring’s lesson of death and rebirth doesn’t have the same immediacy when you can get any color tulip you want at just about any time of year. On the other hand, there is no nursery or grocery store that can sell you a little Milkmaid sprouting up opportunistically along the road.

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We’ve been measuring other things besides the passage of time. This enormous earthworm, for one. We didn’t have a tape, so we measured using our hands. Huge!

Helen decided to climb to the top of the Hollow Log to see what she could see, and found some very extremely tiny things, like this little mushroom and the little fernlets around it. No bigger than the tip of her finger!

Then we saw some very extremely large rain-looking clouds approaching, so we decided to head back and make some hot tea!

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