Trail Talk: Kettle Trails

I’ve mentioned how the PNW fall is dark and wet. As we get closer to December we lose daylight fast. Right now the sun sets around 4:20ish but soon we’ll be experiencing darkness at 4 p.m.

For some this is tough: the rain, cold and darkness causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For me, I overall I don’t mind this weather. I really love the rain. But I do have my ups and downs this time of year, but the key to beating SAD is getting out in all the mess.

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Island Eats: Noshing on noodles

My concept of distance has changed since moving from Dallas where it used to take 20-30 minutes to get to our most convenient haunts.

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Biology lessons on the trail

The woods are full of food and I’m just starting to learn a little about foraging in the Pacific Northwest. In the spring there’s nettles, dandelion and sumac and in the damp fall and winter: mushrooms.

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Relief from rain and darknessĀ 

After a dry September we welcomed the weeks of rain that October brought us. Wild fires raged to the north and south of us and the crispy grass around our property made us uneasy. After just a few days of rain though, the brown landscape began to turn lush again.

And then we began to lose daylight.

Last year the lack of light didn’t bother me, perhaps because I was still in my PNW honeymoon period. This year I’m finding it difficult to get up in the mornings. I haven’t even been to my Master Swim class since September. Some of that is related to east coast work meetings, but honestly, I can’t blame east coast clients for missing all of October.

It’s hard to get motivated on dark mornings. Add rain to the mix and I just want to snuggle deeper under the covers.

The past week however, we’ve had a reprieve. The mornings are still dark and days are still shrinking, but we’ve had sun and relatively warm weather. Saturday gave us clear skies and 60 degrees which made for a beautiful Ebey Bluff to Beach hike. I even took of my shoes and soaked my feet in the Sound.

Yesterday afternoon we enjoyed a hike in South Whidbey State Park. The setting sun filtering through the branches of the towering Cedars released the stress from the long day of work. This is why we moved here: to be more active than an hour at a gym in a city allows, to be outside, to breathe clean air….to explore. I’m reminded that I need these forest baths possibly more often in the fall and winter.

Hikes have been less muddy and the recent sunny skies have helped me adjust to adding layers when I head outside. Perhaps Mother Nature is showing some kindness in my second PNW year….easing me into the wet winter and reminding me she has treasures even when skies are dark and stormy.