It was a gorgeous morning, when we left this past Wednesday, headed for the Schoolhouse Gap trailhead. After dropping our van off at the parking lot for the Chestnut Tops Trail, we got into Kit’s car and finished the lovely drive to our beginning point. With walking sticks in hand we began our journey, occasionally stopping to admire some of the few brave wildflowers to be among the first to bloom. Mostly it was violets, as well as Trilliums that were blooming, with a few Plantain-leaved Pussy’s Toes blossoms here and there. With the recent rainfall, the moss was lush and soft and beckoned to be felt at every possible opportunity. The three of us contentedly plodded along making our way up the winding path, until we found a lovely location for enjoying our picnic lunch. Wes and I enjoyed our usual PBR, or peanut butter and raisin sandwich, complete with dark chocolate for dessert!
A gentle breeze blew as we sat there eating and enjoying the beautiful view, complete with cloudless blue skies above! By this time we were on the sun drenched, south side of the mountain, meaning it was warmer and this sun-loving girl was in her seventh heaven! Right away I noticed a few more wildflowers blooming, and I began adding to my mental flower list for the day, including numerous Trailing Arbutus, with their intense sweet fragrance making them a delight to stop and smell!
The afternoon breeze was delightful as we walked along admiring the vistas still viewable with the leafless trees. Along the way, we saw Dry Valley, Laurel Valley, and Townsend as well as the mountain, which our house sits on the side of. Later on, we found ourselves rounding the corner, joining the popular spring trail destination, Chestnut Tops, where we started seeing even more wildflowers blooming. By this time the large white petals of Bloodroot, the teeny-tiny white petals of Great Chickweed, Cut-leaved Toothwort and the delicate Bird’s Foot Violets were also showing off their blossoms.
Reaching the end of the trail, or beginning depending on which direction you are hiking it, hillsides were covered in large-flowered and Yellow Trilliums creating a stunning show! Several delicate Rue-Anemone and Crested Dwarf Irises, and the miniature upside down bowl shaped flowers of the Bishop’s Cap, as well as the occasional bright red blooms on the Fire Pinks, joined in on the colorful show.
~ Fresh off the easel ~
I finished my miniature painting of our friend Don’s handsome cat Koko, this past week, while Wes continues to paint on his Otter. You can see both paintings, step-by-step, on our Facebook page. Starting this week I’ll be posting more often with the new bi-monthly posts on Wednesday highlighting questions that are commonly asked us at shows or other insights into our business!