Last week, Bill and I returned to Cowiche Canyon for our last visit of 2022. We signed up for a guided autumn-color and plant-info hike. Our guide, from the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, informed us that the usual intensity and amount of autumn color would not be present for this hike due to extended heat and drought in this part of the Canyon – higher elevation than most other trails. And he was correct. However, except for one disappointment that had nothing to do with autumn color, what we saw was glorious.
I am in awe of the intense beauty of this harsh landscape. With nothing to protect its inhabitants from wind, intense heat and freezing temperatures, rare plants and a few animals have adapted to these conditions and made a home where few others could survive. Resilient, sturdy, and surprisingly fragile – the tenacity of life is on full display in this remarkable land.