Acer circinatum

Last summer is when I took this, we were getting ready for a walk back to the trailhead several miles through cool, upland forest, having spent the entire day on the beach. My original goal here was comic relief- pictures of the boys’ mother climbing over the labyrinth of driftwood which required various crazy gymnastic maneuvers and as she’s a bit uncoordinated, three feet tall and carries a rope ladder everywhere she goes, it was gonna be pretty good but then I was distracted by the beauty of layers here, the sea stack concealed as it were by vine maple (some ferns and maybe alder, too) and fog and also I had to dodge mysterious rocks hurtling my way, out of the veil.

July 2018 - Second Beach Explorations 96

But on a serious note, that pile of driftwood really was formidable. Which means the boys loved it. This was a fascinating day on the coast in that the fog seemed on the verge of burning off at any moment yet the most tantalizingly thin curtain held for eight or nine hours, right up to the very end. We certainly didn’t mind the air conditioning for it was a brutally hot, dry month back in the city (furthermore, the fog is wonderful for photography). Speaking of which, it’s quite a warm weekend for Seattle.  Adam has a baseball game and the boys’ mother could use some kind of break from foolishness so Oliver Fern and I will catch the boat right after school, maybe you’ll find us in the woods dipping our toes in a cold mountain stream.

8 thoughts on “Acer circinatum

  1. Nice mood.

    Speaking of a formidable pile of driftwood, I have to think back to a logjam at the entrance to Oneida Gorge that was a scaling challenge even for taller people. Unfortunately, Oneida Gorge was at ground zero in the Columbia Gorge fires of 18 months ago (or so) and is still off limits. I don’t know if the pile is still there or was reduced to embers.

    • Thanks Dave. Your note inevitably leads me to wonder how Eagle Creek is recovering these days. It’s such a truly magical, spectacularly unusual place that news of the fires at that time was heartbreaking, in the most non-maudlin way, to me. My last time in there was with my older boy, a few years ago. As for Oneida Gorge, I’ve never had the pleasure of going in there and getting myself all clobbered up.

    • Hi Dan. It is in fact his real name, in honor of two great-grandmothers. It’s just a wonderful bonus that it makes him sound like a mischievous, though quite good-hearted little wood sprite. Though now that I think of it that description isn’t far off the mark.

  2. Acer is one of the very few scientific plant names, that’s taken root in my brain, so I looked up this variety, I’ve never seen a vine maple before, it’s a nice photo. I was interested that you can make archways with this type of maple. We do get a lot of fog in Milwaukee, which I’m enjoying. It’s funny, I was just telling someone about a rope ladder I found in a closet. My grandmother gave it to my dad, when he was in college, and living in an antique firetrap. But he just hid it under his bed, to avoid mockery, and didn’t carry it with him everywhere.

    • Travel cross-country in the Cascades long enough and you’ll see more vine maple than you’d ever hope to encounter in your lifetime. You’ll trip, banana slide, slip, and stumble over it. Get whipped, poked, and pinched in the face. As a courtesy your companion may hold back branches for you in the struggle but a pesky, alarmingly giant horsefly will land on their forehead and they’ll let go to swat the doggone bugger and those forgotten branches will come catapulting back and it’s enough to just close your eyes in time enough for the stinging. That’s interesting it can get really foggy in Milwaukee but then again I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised in the least with the lake, right there. Perhaps this summer I’ll take the ferry over from Muskegon and have lunch with you one afternoon if you’re not off on vacation. Keep it in mind.

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