Grassy Knoll Trail

Well.  Blogger decided I did not actually want to write a blog post about the birds I have seen over the last few weeks and deleted the whole thing.  I will take that as a hint and write about the hike I did this week in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest instead.  Perhaps if this gets deleted I will try a post about the various bugs coming to the porch light, or a post about how many times a day Ralph tries to lick Jake's weiner.  I dunno.  Throw some shit on the ceiling and see what sticks, right?

Anyway.  I decided to check out the trail to Grassy Knoll, a 3648 foot hill that once hosted a fire lookout.  My original interest had been in Big Huckleberry Mountain but I decided with time constraints (and my slow flower-poking pace) a 12-mile hike would not work out.  Grassy Knoll is less than five miles round trip which leaves plenty of time to look at stuff. 

I got an early start on the 2-hour drive because I happened to wake up early and the day was supposed to get HOT.  The sk…

Nighthawk season!

Common Nighthawk season in my area of the Pacific Northwest kicks off in June, indicating summer is upon us and it's time to head to higher elevations to cool off.  It could also be code for mountain wildflower season and I will tell you right now, there are more wildflowers than birds in this post.  Skip it if you can't handle the awesomeness.

Portland in the distance

Friday night Jacob and I went up to the Clark County Larch Mountain to do some birding, wildflowering, and hopefully find nighthawks.  We quickly found Jacob's county MacGillivray's Warbler but it was too quick for a photo. 

Tough-leafed irises were incredibly common.  I can't remember ever seeing so many up there, it was impressive.

Iris tenax

A patch of penstemon was attracting all kinds of insects.

Tiger beetle? 

 Goat's beard overlooking a clearcut

Eventually it was getting to be that time when we should be listening for peents and booms, so we headed to a spot we thought would be good.  As we …