Say Hello to Autumn

No time to post this yesterday (it was written, but I didn’t have time to edit until now)….so it goes out now (from Iceland!). Stay tuned…next blog entry within the half hour is from Iceland.

Written on Tuesday, September 15th:

In my head, it is officially Say-Goodbye-to-Summer-Time.  Today’s walk over to the Volunteer Park Cafe for lunch with Rick was a dose of reality for me.  Autumn is here.  It seems to have come abruptly on the heels of an unusually hot Seattle summer.  As we walked over to our neighborhood cafe, a few red maple leaves brightened the sidewalks, their colors matching the pro-teachers’ strike chalk-graffiti on Steven’s Elementary School stone wall.  (And it felt very eerie to walk past the very quiet empty school on a Tuesday.)

Below are a few photos from an interesting and pleasant hike I did with Leslie and Winnie two days ago to the Lime Kiln Trail. 

As the name would suggest, the trail meanders through a mossy forest and leads to a lime kiln.  Walking through the forest, it is really surprising to come across the old limestone kiln, embedded in the forest, a relic from the past.  It seemed to have jumped out at us when we least expected it.  The kiln is 20 feet tall and covered in moss and ferns.  The forest has almost completely taken over the area and today you can only see remnants of a business that was thriving and employing hundreds of people.  The kiln is in the Robe Canyon Historic Park and the trail is a gentle 7 mile round trip.

The kiln

The kiln with old broken saw blades.  I can only imagine how many trees needed to be cut in order to produce the wood that kept the kiln burning hot.

Below is the explanation I found on the kiln and how the limestone was used:

The kiln was built in the 1890s and used until the early 1930s to convert local limestone into “lime,” i.e. calcium oxide. The product was transported by the adjoining railroad, mostly for use as a “flux” to promote melting of ores in smelters in the Everett area. The limestone apparently was loaded into the open top of the kiln from carts that approached from the uphill side. Unfortunately, none of the loading structure remains. The kiln has stoking ports on three sides where fires would have been tended–gathering sufficient dry wood as fuel in this very moist area must have presented a challenge!

Close up view of one of three kilns

Close up view of one of three stoking ports

Another view of the kiln.  Here you can see the moss and fern covered walls.

Another view of the kiln. Here you can see the moss and fern covered walls.

Broken Saw Blade Composition

Broken Saw Blade and Mossy Tree Composition

Dense mossy forest of Kiln Trail

Dense mossy forest of Lime Kiln Trail

Our girl Winnie at riverside lunch spot.

Sentinel: our girl Winnie at riverside lunch spot

Serene lunch spot.  Already the maples are changing colors.

Serene lunch spot. Already the maples are changing colors.

I will also include a few photos from a summer hike to Pete Lake.  I didn’t have time to post these photos earlier and the place is so beautiful (another long but easy hike!) that I just had to include these few photos:

Gorgeous Pete Lake!

Gorgeous Pete Lake! (Model: Rick Clark!)

Scenes like this make me feel like I am in a movie.  I truly love summer and hiking in Washington!

Scenes like this make me feel like I am in a movie. I truly love summer and hiking in Washington!

Squirrel (one of the most difficult words for foreigners to say in English-especially my Italian cousins and my Japanese friends!).  This friendly guy kept trying to get into our packs in search of food! Probably getting ready for Autumn which is already upon us.

Squirrel (one of the most difficult words for foreigners to say in English-especially for my Italian cousins and my Japanese friends!). This friendly guy kept trying to get into our packs in search of food! Probably getting ready for autumn which is already upon us.

Besides colorful autumn leaves, spider webs are another sign that summer is on its way out!  Spider webs are everywhere at Ocean Shores.  I can’t walk in the garden without barging in on one.  These photos are of the webs up close. I caught the fractured sun beams and imagined this is how the spider admires our garden at Little Renaissance:

Our garden and forest from the Spider's Point Of View

Our garden and forest from the Spider’s Point Of View

Fractured Light from the spider's web

Fractured Light from the spider’s web

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3 Responses to “Say Hello to Autumn”

  1. Beth DiPasquale Says:

    Fran,

    As always, I just loved your latest blog. Doug and I have determined to get to take the walk to see the kiln ASAP. We are in the midst of a remodel in our garage, so may not be able to get away as colder weather may be coming.

    So many of my friends have made a trip to Iceland recently. All have thought the trip there very interesting, beautiful and worthwhile. In fact, one ski club friend is leaving to return to visit Iceland and taking 3 others with her. It seems as if some of the airlines offer a stop in Iceland at no extra cost. My friends are continuing on to do a river boat cruise in Europe.

    I will be looking forward to viewing your blog of what you see in Iceland.

    Doug and I are taking a trip to Machu Picchu & the Galapagos followed by an Amazon River cruise and Rain Forest trip. We leave Seattle for Lima on January 2nd. I so wish I had your sense of fantastic photographic scenes. But, we will certainly be taking many photos.

    Stay healthy and keep sending these lovely photos.

    Beth

    Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:03:47 +0000 To: bethdip@msn.com

    Like

  2. Bev Gonyea Says:

    Enjoy your posts and pics. We hike Pete Lake often. Let me know when you are in Cle Elum area sometime. Tea on our deck gazing across valley at Mt Stuart and Enchantments

    Like

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