Mima Mounds

After setting up in the rain in Monday,  I stuck to the campground. It would rain all night and again Tuesday, but I decided to brave the rain in the afternoon because it was easing up and head out to Capital Forest State Park to Mima Mounds, where unexplained mounds of earth dot the prairie, about 22 miles long and 1 mile or more wide. The mounds are 15-20 foot in diameter, circular, and about 6 foot high. At first, thought to be burial bounds, excavation found nothing but rich soil and rock. Other explanations include glacial deposits and the remains of places where vegetation retained the soil while water ran around draining a large glacial lake at the end of the last ice age. I favor the later explanation myself.

If you take the long trail, it is about 3 miles plus; the short trial, 2 plus, depending on what else you tack on. I did both and the add-ons, despite being caught in heavy rain and hail, large enough to catch my attention, but not large enough to hurt. The clouds were moving quickly and I was hoping to catch a view of the mountains to the east, in particular, Mt. Rainier, but all I could see was the clouds rising around the mountains, they make their own clouds. I suspected Mt St Helens to the south, Mt Rainier to the east and another nearby, from the three rising columns of clouds cut off at the top by the winds, the clouds resembling anvils pointed eastward.

The flowers were coming out. I counted 3 yellow, 3 white, 1 purple and in the woods another two. Some of the plants I think I know by name now, salmon berry, Oregon grape, buttercup, camas, death camas, chocolate lily, shooting star, tansy, wild parsley,  skunk cabbage, honeysuckle, fireweed, California Poppy, daisy, black eyed Susan’s and several clovers and onions, and of course trillium.


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