It's been rainy and cool for the last few days, so yesterday I decided I would go hiking in the rain and mist at McLane Creek to look for banana slugs. That park is just as beautiful in the rain as it is in the sun, and I actually didn't get that wet hiking in the trees.
I wandered off the trail at one point and almost stepped on this little guy.
And to show you how 'city' I am, when I first saw it I thought that someone had dropped their headphones. Heh. Nope. No headphones, just a naturally occurring amphibian. Then a few feet away from the salamander I saw my first banana slug!
Not the most strapping specimen, but still pretty cool. If it had been stretched out I would estimate it to be 3 - 4 inches long. The poor little thing is in some kind of defensive mode with its eyes pulled in. Here's another picture where it looks even more like a frightened, greenish penis:
After this I went back to the trail and obeyed all posted signs. I saw another salamander and, at the very end of the trail, another banana slug. Boy am I lucky! This one has those characteristic spotty-banana markings, too.
Jackpot, my friends. It's good to have that checked off the list. There were also a ton of cool-looking mushrooms, if you like that kind of thing...
And so my attempt to reprogram myself to the Pac NW made some significant progress this weekend. I have to admit that Nico and I are still recovering from living in Aberdeen. We were so used to being home-bodies there and keeping ourselves aloof that it is still an effort for either of us to get out of the house and do something, try something new. But we're working on it. Last night we stopped by Orca Books for the first time. I can't believe we waited so long to go in there. It was great! It made Oly feel just a tiny bit more like home. And then afterwards we went to Quality Burrito and I actually remembered to order my burrito without rice this time. (Rice in the burritos. That's something that deserves its own blog post; I don't want to get into it right now.)
And then there's the wedding planning, which must begin in actuality now. It will be around this time next year. I was worried that having it in early October wouldn't be the best idea because the leaves might not be pretty enough yet, but they are. So that will be good. And now we're beginning to look for an actual place in Oly to throw this shin-dig. There are a couple of possibilities in the works that we're planning to take a look at, but it seems like every place I find is possibly too small (we don't know how many people we'll have, how many will be able to travel from AZ/MN) or a little far away or maybe a little too expensive. We'll figure it out.