In February of this year, Shan and I decided to take another shot, or rather a bunch of shots, with our cameras locally before starting on our wonderful treks. So, on a rather bleak Wednesday morning, we decided to see what we could see along Rutter Parkway. This is a beautiful drive, rural country, county parks, Little Spokane River running through it, private homes and terrific scenery and wildlife.
We have a standing nail appointment every other week, and not surprisingly our conversation always turns to our cameras, photos or wishful photo ops. So when Judy mentioned that there was a copse of trees just begging to be photographed, we made a date.
We found little wildlife on this drive, but previously I have observed deer, turkeys, peacocks, quail and the occasional moose. Several years ago, as I happened to drive through, I saw a cow moose chasing deer away from her calf. At that moment, I had to stop the car, search for a non-existent camera and watch the drama unfold. I still haven’t perfected the camera always with me yet.
We do both have our smart phones, but we’re both still a bit purist about our photography. We like our cameras. I’ve seen some pretty good smart phone pictures out there, but I haven’t mastered it yet. Besides, there’s just something about actually planning and fiddling and looking through that camera lens that I love.
Little Spokane River Natural Area: Knothead Loop
8.0 miles, roundtrip Gain: 1000 ft. Highest Point: 3200 ft.
This gentle trail along the Spokane River is the perfect hike for a budding naturalist or nature-seeker. It’s only a short drive from Spokane, so it’s easily accessible and boasts a good variety of wildlife.
This loop hike begins at Painted Rocks in the Little Spokane Natural Area. Meander along with the river and then diverge from it when you meet the Knothead Trail. Towards the middle of the loop you’ll climb a small hill to look out on modest views of Long Lake and the Spokane River.
Keep an eye out for wildlife on this hike; its marshy bogs and forest are home to deer, bald eagles, birds, ducks, herons and turkeys. If you go during the right seasons, you’ll also find wildflower displays and a feast of mushrooms. A Discover Pass is required for this area.
Several years ago, a small fire burned several acres on the south side of the Little Spokane River. Last year we lost hundreds of acres on the north side of the river, the fire started in several different places along the hiking trail. Shan and I did not take the hiking trail that day, but got our pictures from the roadway.
We never captured that stand of trees the way our minds saw it, but we did get some good photos, and we got to explore a little more of our surroundings. Besides, to me a photo trip is never wasted if I come home with at least one good picture. How can it be a waste if you’ve spent time doing something you love, with someone you enjoy being with and you’ve seen some wonderful area in this beautiful world we live in?
We had a great time. It was a good day to take pictures and try out the different settings with our cameras. Shan experiments more with hers that I do, and I am grateful for that as I have already learned a lot from my friend. I still have a lot to go!
Don’t let her fool you. Judy takes some amazing shots. We both push each other, that’s what makes it fun.
Judy and shan