Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve

This post is a little delayed.  I've been a bit busy with my family arriving from Virginia, moving into a new house, having our household goods (HHG) delivered, and trying to dig ourselves out of the sea of cardboard boxes.

The weekend before my family arrived, I went for a very nice walk through the Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve.  Sitting here now, looking at that website for the nature reserve, the photos don't look very exciting, and I probably wouldn't have gone out of my way to go there.  Actually, I ended up there sort of by accident, but I'm very glad I did.

In searching for a new park to explore, I was just scrolling around Google Maps looking at the green spots that represent a park of some sort.  I noticed Stavis Creek and read a bit on the web about the wildlife that can be seen in this park, so I actually went in search of Stavis Creek.  I tried to get at it from a couple of different approaches, but I kept running into private property and no trespassing signs and turning away.  It didn't bother me though, because I was enjoying the drive around the countryside.  I ended up driving by the Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve sign purely by accident.  I needed to get out and stretch my legs, so I stopped to check it out.  (Post Facto Comment:  I eventually found out how to get into Stavis Creek, but it wasn't until after I had finished my walk in Guillmot Cove and it was way past time for lunch.)

The trails are well-defined and easy to follow.  There are a couple of trails to choose from, but they all lead down to the cove.  Unfortunately, you don't get a trail map until you get to the bottom.

Down at the bottom of the hill near the actual cove, there is an information kiosk with a map of the property and the trails.

At the bottom of the hill, I discovered the trail to the cove itself was washed out, and I wasn't wearing shoes for trudging through the marshy bog.  Even so, there are a couple of loop trails going off into the woods along a gurgling stream.

There's an old abandoned house and barn at the bottom of the hill.  There are signs posted on the barn that the structure isn't safe for entry.

During my walk through the nature reserve, I heard beautiful bird songs that were unfamiliar to me.  The birds I saw were too fast for my camera, and I'm not very good at identifying them.  The only one I readily recognized was a beautiful red-headed woodpecker.

There were flowers of every shape and color imaginable.  Everywhere I turned, there were beautiful pink rhododendrons in bloom, plus an abundance of little yellow buttercups closer to the ground. 

I kept seeing these berries, and I wasn't sure what they were.

Then I saw this flower and remembered looking up the name of the flower after my Green Mountain hike, and it was called salmonberry.

Ahhhh, it all makes sense now!  Salmonberry!

This one was new to me - American Starflower (Trientalis borealis).

This was also new to me - Nootka Rose (rosa nutkana).

This was the first time I had seen Foxglove.  Since then, I've seen it along the side of the road just about everywhere I go.

There were some beautiful mushrooms and fungi growing here and there along the trail, too.

On my way back to the information kiosk and the trail back up to the parking lot, I rounded a bend in the trail, and I'm not sure who was more startled... or the deer.  

The deer didn't seem to mind me after the initial surprise.  She continued to munch on the grass and slowly walk ahead of me down the trail. 

Trip stats from the Garmin.
(2.7 miles walked, 1 hour moving, 42 min stopped)

It was a very enjoyable walk through the nature reserve, so I was in no hurry.  By the time I got back to my car it was well after 1 p.m. and I hadn't had lunch yet.  There isn't much between there and Silverdale except for my new favorite restaurant on the peninsula - Barbie's Cafe in Seabeck, so it was an easy decision to stop there for some of their kickin' crab chowder (crab and corn chowder with jalapenos) for lunch on my way back.


cal said...

I like that your new favorite restaurant is Barbie's. It looks like those are Salmon Berries and can be quite delicious if you get them at the right time. Sometimes they can be a bit bitter if they aren't ripe though.

cal said...

woops, if only I didn't miss that one line about you finding out what they were.

Celia said...

Psst: Salmonberries are delicious. Also, you'll probably find loganberries near your house. Make sure they're not sprayed, obviously, but pick away! (We used to pick berries all summer.)

Your photos look great! I hope you all are adjusting well to NW summers. :)

Chris said...

Anyone remember Euell Gibbons from the Grape Nuts commercial? He had a great book called 'Stalking the Wild Asparagus' (I'm just getting the pun after 30 years!)It's still a great guide for eating wild food. Chris @ Coleman Kayak