Profuse Green

Finn and I went for our usual Sunday morning run at Cougar Mountain today.

My three-plus years in Idaho - where the forest undergrowth is much less dense because of the drier climate - has allowed me to be completely awed at the profuse growth underway here in Western Washington as spring has arrived. I'm being forced to remember that there are stinging nettles and Devil's Club in all this undergrowth! Trails seem to narrow each week, as the mass of plants crowd the landscape.

Finn becomes even harder to spot as he runs a bit ahead of me on these trails. He's actually just around the bend in the shot above. Two months ago I would have been able to see him; the sides of this trail were dormant and brown, awaiting this burst of life.

If you scroll back through just a few blog entries, you'll find photos of Finn on this same bridge, covered in snow! What a difference a few weeks makes.

With warmer temperatures - and more experience with water, like in Puget Sound while at the conference in Silverdale - Finn is far more willing to jump into streams and cool off. He still doesn't drink much; it's more about cooling his pads. But he know understands what to do when I say, "Water!"

He almost disappears because of all the growth around and along the stream bank.

These flowers - bleeding hearts, I think they are - are PROFUSE along the trails at Cougar and Tiger Mountains right now. Trillium, also. HUGE trillium. Flowers so much larger than normal that several people have commented on them. Perhaps it was all the snow this past winter, including snow so late in the season, that allowed such a big display of these early wildflowers. Whatever the explanation, I'm loving it!