Friday, November 1, 2013

Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain

Earlier this week it was sunny and inviting so we took a chance and went to Tiger Mountain near Issaquah, Washington located on the way to Snoqualmie Pass, for a walk in the woods.  Tiger, Squawk, and Cougar Mountains (foothills) form what are sometimes called the Issaquah Alps with donated land providing a nice wide green belt with plenty of trails.  New housing fills almost all the other surrounding spaces making this green-forested area more treasured. 

The forest walk has several connecting trails of varying lengths, not much climbing up and down, mostly just a pleasant walk in the woods.  We went on the loop around Tradition Lake including the Big Tree trail and the Swamp trail.  Some discussion ensued about how far we had gone, I thought close to 4 miles but the other opinion was approximately 3 miles or maybe even between 2 and 3 miles.  Much to our surprise there were a few wildflowers still in bloom and too many different mushrooms (toadstools) to count or attempt to identify.  A Discover Pass is required to park in the lot. 

Tradition Lake from the viewpoint along the loop trail

Beautiful trails meander through the woods

The crinkliest mushrooms we saw—some type of morel or false morel

Bright orange and clustered together

Small white buttons with yellowish centers

Large with a variegated brown/tan color and a detached veil

Crinkly and wrinkly, very short stalk and wide top

These were like cups and held each cup had some water inside

The color was a more intense purple than the photo

This mushroom was 9 inches tall by 9½ inches diameter.  We tried to get a spore print but it had a very disagreeable odor, also was housing some nematodes so the project was abandoned and the toadstool ended up in the clean green bin.

Two views, one with a person and one without show just how big this tree has grown.  Long ago the middle of this tree was burned in a fire but the tree did not die, continued to grow and is now huge and old. 

This is another trail system that is family friendly and even has a special section for school groups.

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