There's an undeniable crispness to the air here in the Okanagan. Summer's taken the first steps to a glorious journey into another season.
The light is low, slanting, with it's golden fingers raking through the yet to turn color leaves.
The Watcher In The Woods
The forest is quiet. except for the call of far away birds, it's an eerie feeling thinking that we may be watched by unseen residents....gravel crunches under our feet as the path takes a steep climb, and breath rasps from our lungs. Putting each foot before the other, concentration forward it's slippery from the rains.
But what about the bears?
My brain says don't worry, there's safety in numbers....but my heart says there's only the two of us... the potential to meet up with the reported Mama bear, and cubs that hang out here may be high, but I'm sure they don't want to see us anymore than we do them.
I keep that thought - on repeat.
Just One More Shot....Please?
It's too tempting not to take photos, to shoot until the images blur in my mind, each drop of sunlight skimming over fallen trees, shimmering off of wet fungi, and glinting through lichen sends shivers down my photographers spine...this is what I love....
My hiking companion's patience with my stopping to take photos is finally exhausted, and we turn back when we reach the "fork" in the trail...
The path continues onward without us, climbing steeper, meandering for another 20 kilometers...we've not gone further than a few hours up and back this steep ravine and heavily forested areas.
Despite my stopping at every fungus photo op, we've made record time to this trail marker, and it's a reward that we stop to congratulate each other on before carefully making our way back down.
We'll leave the other treasures that the mountain will share with us for another day's adventure.