Oh, all right, it’s a slug. I didn’t figure “Slug” as a title would capture anyone’s attention! This fellow was traveling along the Pipeline Lake Trail near the mushroom in my previous post. Like Hobbits, slugs apparently also fancy mushrooms for breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, and so forth. These creatures are not indigenous to Alaska but migrated to the pacific northwest from Europe! They likely came to Cordova, Alaska on a barge from Washington state. They are now well established in our area and are frequently found munching in our neighbor’s flowerbed. While they are quite prolific here, they are not without predators. The local Episcopal priest states that her pet terrapins enjoy them for a snack when they take walks in her back yard!
A sure sign that fall is coming to Cordova is the appearance of these earthy beings! As the salmonberries and blue berries are departing, the mushrooms begin taking their places! When they arrive in full force there will be a celebration that Cordovans call the Fungus Festival. I missed it last year, not realizing that it takes place out on the hiking trails where forestry service workers lead hikes while giving fun facts about fungi along the way! It’s an event that would make the Shire folk proud! Hmmmmm…..I think I’ll whisper an invitation into the wind for the trees to carry over the mountains! Perchance, some travelers from Hobbiton will show up!
Of the sixteen national forrest trails in and around Cordova, my favorite thus far is the Pipeline Lake trail! Its path meanders in and out of the Chugach National Forrest, crosses open fields, and passes several small lakes which are like jewels on a necklace. I am drawn to this trail again and again….
These shots are from my first hike on Saddlebag Glacier Trail, a 3.1 mile trail in the Chugach National Forrest. In Cordova we measure everything by miles “out the road”. Saddlebag is roughly twenty-five miles out the road with the trailhead being one mile off the main road. The trail takes you meandering through rich vegetation with a glacial lake awaiting you at the end!
When I was a boy in Arkansas, I found myself laying in the pasture on many a summer day while imagining what I saw in the clouds. Now, in Alaska, the melting snow formations on the mountains provide ever changing displays for my still vivid imagination. Below, I see and angel blowing his trumpet!