Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spray Park

Mt Rainier

My own photos are boring me so I'm posting an old postcard. Mt. Rainier is the tallest mountain in Washington State and one of the tallest in the U.S. It is easily seen from Seattle, where I grew up. It is a dormant volcano and would easily destroy Seattle if it ever decided to erupt. Not a nice thought since I still have family there.
As a kid I hiked many times on the mountain but my favorite place had to be Spray Park. It is an alpine meadow with many small pools of water and broad swaths of wild flowers. Every summer we would shoulder our backpacks,hike in to some wonderful mountain location and camp. In the old days we trampled at will across the meadows and camped wherever we pleased. I have a feeling, given the fragility of meadow regions that now everything is roped off, museum fashion. This is as it should be but still it is a loss.
On one of our jaunts to the park, I was fishing around in the ponds and found a polliwog. Being a budding biologist, I captured one and took it home. The polliwog later turned into a salamander I creatively named Sally, not that we had a clue what gender it was. Sally was an attractive glossy black with a broad yellow stripe down her back. I'm guessing from memory she was less than two inches long. I checked salamander photos on Flickr just now and I think she was a long toed salamander.
I learned to catch bugs for Sally which I would wave in front of her using a pair of tweasers. It sure helped cure me of any bug phobia I might have had although I still don't like spiders. Sally would sleep under her water pond and come up for food and air periodically. One day she declined to reappear and that was the last we saw of her. She lived for a couple of years which was better than most of the frogs and toads I had previously caught.
Last time I saw my younger brother, he was unsurprised I now had a turtle. His comment was I always had interesting pets as a kid. Oh.

1 comment:

Jud said...

That is a great story. My feet are itching to get back to the Pacific Northwest. My Dad went to a mountaineering school on Rainier, and he often spoke about how much fun it had been.

You may be bored with your photos, but I think I can speak for the lurkers and posters of your blog and say that we have yet to tire of your work.