Sunday, April 20, 2008

Craft Island, Skagit County

Today I accompanied members of Koma Kulshan, the local Bellingham Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, on a fieldtrip to Craft Island. Located along the lower Skagit Delta, we walked through a field of wetlands before reaching the winding trail we followed to reach the top of a large, beautiful rocky bald. I felt myself a curious observer, submerged in the natural Spring beauty - my view so greatly enhanced as I watched in awe as the experts identified and shared their knowledge about the many native vascular plants found there.

My favorite species for the day - the Reindeer Lichen (Cladina Rangiferina). Although I do not think that reindeer or caribou are found in this area, Reindeer Lichen is said to be one of their chief foods. Mound after mound of this beautiful lichen covered areas of the rocky bald and lined our path.

Pausing on the lower portion of the edge of another, smaller rocky bald and listening to the song of the combined voices of assorted birds chirping and flitting about in what remained of a stand of last year's cattails, I was reminded of the poem by Robert Sund that our fieldtrip leader had recited as we first began our trek through the wetlands as he shared early history of Craft Island when artists had moved into the abandoned fish shacks left behind by the fishermen that had worked years before out of the nearby community called Fish Town.

Summer Solstice

(by Robert Sund)

It's been a busy day.
One hummingbird,
Later, remembering that the box for my Mucks promised the boots would keep my feet 100% dry, I splashed through some of the smaller tide pools that remained after the tide had gone far out.

My photos from today's fieldtrip.


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