Another rainy morning. My plan to take a long walk through my nearby mossy forest may need to be postponed. The trails in the forest become slippery – clay soil covered in fir needles and maple leaves add to the slick surface – and even with good hiking shoes it can be a risky walk, especially downhill. I had intended to visit my young sequoia grove – I haven’t visited the little trees for a while. A few native plants are waiting to be added to the grove and this is the best time of year to do so. Mahonia, oxalis, and a tray full of dicentra formosa root clumps are outside my front door, nestled in their containers soaking up the ample rain from a classically beautiful Pacific Northwest drizzle. Gray, soft, quiet – the beauty of this region. We have less of these autumn days than in years past.
Looking out my front window I see squirrels, Steller’s Jays, a few Juncos and Towhees, and my crow at a platter full of seeds and nuts. They’re braving the rain. But, they are better dressed for it than am I. Slowly, I’m talking myself into bundling up and heading out to the forest. I’ve worked in mud for so many years that it is second nature to me. Most PNW gardeners feel the same way. After all, the sun may shine later today or tomorrow – or later in the week, or next. And when that happens, these young plants should be in their permanent location to spread their roots and turn their leaves and stems to the sun.
So, I think I’ve talked myself into the forest walk and grove visit initially planned. Because, a true PNW day calls for wet gloves, damp hair, and the subtle beauty of gray. And a hot cup of coffee when I return home.
I wish you sure footing, smooth trails, and the joyous sound of birdsong.