Spa Park is better known for its mineral baths, golf courses, swimming pools, and performing arts arena than for any wilderness areas. But then there's this lovely ravine, where the pines and hemlocks crowd close, and a small stream splashes and tumbles along the trail that runs downhill between steep wooded banks. The ravine provides a cool shady respite from summer's heat, as well as the perfect place for a short winter's walk. And it's also wonderfully sheltered from the wind.
A picturesque little bridge crosses the stream, and a handsome basin carved out of granite offers spring water during the warmer months. Unlike most of the other springs in the park, this Ferndell Spring is neither carbonated nor highly mineralized, just cold and fresh. But this day, the basin was filled with only cold fresh snow.
Another of my favorite walks in this park is a long allee under towering pines, a pathway that the park management kindly plows for the ease of walkers.
This pathway is especially lovely when the interweaving branches overhead are covered with snow.
These grape clusters, topped with puffs of snow, were silhouetted against a pale gray sky.
I was surprised that the birds and other wild creatures had not consumed all the fruits by now.
In such a monotone landscape, any touch of color stands out as worth attending to. Here was a branch of a fallen limb, with a mound of feather-light snow topping the fungus- and lichen-encrusted bark.
I loved the contrast in texture between the green lichen and the white snow.