Early March at Coyote Wall

DSC_1536Coyote Wall is one of my favorite places to hike in the Columbia Gorge. The area is also known as Catherine Creek. And there’s a connected area called Labyrinth. The parking area is near Hood River, and ducks abound this time of year in the shallow ponds. Some of the most prominent types include American Wigeon, Ring-Necked Duck, and Bufflehead.

DSC_1508It was a gorgeous, sunny day for a hike. I got so warm that I took my coat off and my sweater, too! There were a fair amount of bike riders on the two-track road up to the wall, but they can be avoided by taking the smaller (and more scenic) trail closer to the cliffside.

DSC_1511My favorite features of this hiking area are the following: rocks with character, streams, frogs, ducks, swooping ravens and falcons, cliffs and views, and… the wildflowers!!

DSC_1516I couldn’t believe how many wildflowers there were already. Many small varieties were the most frequent type. At lower elevations, there was a huge abundance of a purple flower. I was enjoying the hike too much to stop and take photos.

DSC_1528Another great thing about the hike is the Western Meadowlark. His call is a delightful sound, and, although he is incredibly good at hiding, when you catch a sight of him, you’ll be delighted by his appearance as well! Bright yellow and full of personality. (Unfortunately, I have no good pictures of him. No zoom lens today!)

DSC_1517Mount Hood was visible in the distance. Ah, it was such a beautiful day. I am smiling just thinking about it. Windy, warm, smelling like grass and dust, and with the sounds of frogs, Western Meadowlarks, and ravens.

DSC_1518Looking eastward, the landscape becomes even drier. Soon enough, I am planning to hike at the Deschutes River State Park, further east near The Dalles. It is one of my most favorite hikes, definitely.

DSC_1529This scraggly, stout tree was a favorite for the birds.

DSC_1532The sign is almost completely faded! As you can see, this is a well-used trail. I would recommend coming on an off-day, during the week. Even during the week, the parking lot was full when I finished walking.

DSC_1533What is it about blue skies and wispy white clouds that makes me sigh? Perhaps it is all the associated feelings and sensations, like wind blowing, warm sunshine, birds flying and chirping. Or maybe it is the calming psychological effect of the color blue. I look forward to my next hike in the desert.

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