Sunday, July 23, 2017

Up the Hill to Reed Lake -- PM (Part II) of Thursday, July 20, 2017

 A catamaran sails really fast (unwise) into the harbor oblivious (unwise) of the crab trap buoys floating about.  Oh, No.  She turns, then goes into reverse to anchor.  (Which is voluntarily restricted to protect Eelgrass). Unbeknownst to him or her driving, the cat is also drifting back to the crab trap buoy.  Just in the nick of time a person on board sees the trap and calls to the pilot to stop.  The catamaran abandons anchoring and hooks a nearby mooring buoy.

Someone’s dinner is saved.  Someone’s prop is not fouled. (No photo posted to protect privacy.)

After the lunch of ‘no crab salad’ today, Herb and I rest a bit, then dinghy back to the beach at 4P for a walk on the trail to the left.  It will take us to Reed Lake and ultimately to Cypress Head at the southern tip of Cypress Island – should we decide to go that far in one walk.  We opt for Reed Lake, a distance of only three quarters of a mile, whereas Cypress Head is two and three quarter miles.  We need to be back to Willie’s Tug by Happy Hour!

As we ‘find Willie’s Tug,’ we take particular note of the white balls in the water.  The one to the left of her is a mooring buoy; the one lower in the photo near the tree limb is also a mooring buoy.  But – the tiny one to the right is a crab trap buoy.  If you watch your surroundings, you can see them.  We are glad all was good.

The Department of Natural Resources Interpretive Panel shows the map of the trail to Reed Lake and tells us it is a natural wetland, but was altered by the earth dam built at the outflow.  It was planned to be a water source for a proposed development.  

Since 1987 the lake has been owned and managed by the Department as part of Cypress Island Natural Resources Conservation Area, one of the first such areas in the state of Washington.

The intent is to conserve its unique ecological values, but the process of change continues.

Continuing on the walk, we begin an uphill climb. 

And we continue to climb uphill.

It is not only up hill, it is a very steep uphill climb!   Steep.  Who knew?  I walk progressively slower and slower and rest a lot.  I will not turn around.  I persevere.  But I don’t take many photos, wisely conserving my energy.  So Herb, bless his heart, sends me his photos for posting in my blog.

We arrive at Reed Lake at 5P and it has been worth the trek to find such a lovely scene.  We both take photos.  First the map of the Reed Lake area, then a zoomed shot of the lake, which is abound with lily pads, seemingly undisturbed.

I suppose burning all those calories is what causes me to take off my jacket and sip from my water bottle.

The lake sits in a basin carved out by the Vashon Glacier, part of a large continental glacier that covered the area 11,000 – 15,000 years ago.  Up to 5,000 feet of ice covered Cypress Island.  When released from the ice 11,000 years ago, Reed Lake was lifeless.  Erosion from streams and rainfall carried nutrients to the sterile lake, and new life colonized the waters.  Bacteria, algae, and protozoa, blown in from surrounding lad, fed on materials deposited in the lake.  Seeds and spores, perhaps dropped from the feathers of visiting waterfowl, allowed plants to take hold.  Changes leading to today’s Reed Lake had begun.

I walk much faster going down the steep hill, than I did going up, so I can stop and take some photos.   In most places the path is wide enough for a Jeep to easily travel, but narrows to a more interesting trail now and then.  I take the time to enjoy the scenery off the path, and especially these rocks in a stream runoff.

It is a great walk today, and I would do it again another day, but might consider starting in the morning and bringing a picnic lunch.

I especially like the quote printed on the Interpretive Panel:

“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir

Willie of Willie's Tug,

   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, July 20, 2017

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