Waking Woods

comments: 60


On Friday afternoon, we headed out to Fire Road 15 to see what was happening outside.


After a mild winter's sleep, the woods were waking.


We were, to the day, exactly two months earlier than our walk here last year. Things are only beginning to green, and the greens are still wintry -- desaturated, grayish, and cool.


But it's happening. It's definitely happening.


Or, at least, you can sense that it wants to happen.


It wants to happen.


In a couple of months, this meadow will be filled with wild daffodils and dandelions.


Trillium and yellow violets will cover the floor here. We'll be back.


I said to Andy that it reminded me of a stage set for a ballet that takes place in the forest, how they paint those layers of screens to make the fake forest look all distant and hazy and you say, "Man, that looks so real." And then you realize when you are in the forest that the stage sets look real because that's exactly how it is in the forest, and it's the forest that doesn't look "real," somehow. It's the forest that looks like the painting of the forest. Or something like that.


When you come out of the woods for a moment, you are on a hill overlooking the river. On the right is flat-topped Mt. St. Helens.


The small valley along whose edge we walk is studded by gigantic towers and huge strands of electric power lines.


It's hard to get a sense of how deep and wide it is from this photo.


But it gives you a strange sense of vertigo.


Big, little.


Wow. You know?


Tiny square-dancing skirts for forest frolics.


[Muffled footsteps, sparrow sounds, the smell of mud.]


Nice. I guess I'm glad you ignored my imploring you not to show me your world greening up while mine was still wintery. I think I'm okay with it because we're having a sunny mild spell here. Spring seems like a possibility!

It looks so pretty already. You are a little ahead of us here in Michigan. We were out in the woods on Saturday, but not too much green showing here yet. There are signs of spring here though, the Canada geese are back and the birds were singing.

pretty pix! we are behind you, here in N.England, but I just came in from raking and the sedum have sent up their green, tight-fisted buds already.

Beautiful, and very magical! :)

Square dancing skirts is such a perfect, lovely, magical description for that tree fungus(?)!

Wow. I live in the desert and sometimes miss the smell of a forest. We went to Costa Rica two years ago and spent some time hiking in the rain forest. The smell of a forest is one of my favorite smells in the world.

a truly inspiring post!
Clare xx

Spring! I cannot wait... I was at my mums over the weekend & the daffs were beginning to poke their heads through x

There are snow drops and yellow aconites out here in Norfolk UK. It's still FREEZING though when I go for my morning bike ride. It's been a long cold winter here and the birds and I are really ready for spring.

Susie Sears Taylor says: March 08, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Nothing like being blessed by God to be able to see, smell, hear and feel the beautiful things nature provides. Certainly is inspiring for a quilter/artist such as yourself.

Thanks for these pictures. For a Washingtonian (and sometime Oregonian, though only for 4 years) like me now living overseas they are a balm and a rush of sensory memories. That's the landscape I'll always have with me no matter where I go.

I couldn't help but look for morels in the photos...
I was also overcome by the smell by memory provided to go with the scenery. I wish spring would hurry it up just a little, and I want to get out in the woods, too!

Sharon M. says: March 08, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Maybe next year at this time, four of you will be visiting this lovely spot, Alicia...

I loved this walk through the woods! Man, I miss the trees! There's nothing like the smell of a forest, winter or summer! Clover Meadow looks marvelous!
Thank you for this stroll!

Spring has certainly peeked its head out in your neck of the woods. Gorgeous photos.

Vivi Vinci says: March 08, 2010 at 11:54 AM

I always get a little squirrely starting in mid-February, waiting for Spring to come. It won't hit here in the Mid-West until April/May. Atleast I can get a peek at it in blog-land! Thank you!

Love the way you describe everything so beautifully!

Vivienne x

Lovely poetry~only allowed seen by those who appreciate the transformation.

Mmmm... isn't Oregon lovely?

yes, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!! deep, deep thirsty breaths.....

Love all of your descriptions of the forest, the tiny square dance skirts and the smells. Clover Meadow how she has grown! I don't know if it's the vantage point of where the picture was taken or what but she seem really tall. She's all grown up.

How lucky you are to be close to such an enchanted forest. I go up to Northern Arizona (Sedona) for that but I'd love to gander in your neck of the woods.

the woods are so lovely and green there...still brown here....now...but it will come

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.