Today was one of those days made for just standing outside and staring, clear as a friggin' bell and 75 degrees. And a great place to soak it all in was the end of Whatcom Creek Trail, three miles as the trail winds, through Bellingham to the other side of town at Whatcom Falls.
This stretch of the waterway cuts through the center of town, siphons off hatchery salmon runs - chinook and coho mainly, some trout - and eventually slides by Maritime Hertitage Park before escaping into Puget Sound.
The trail abounds with one of the most diverse selection of greenery in the county - Douglas Fir, aspen, dogwood, fireweed, cattails, cedar - and for our excursion, mostly free of city soundtracks even this late in the afternoon.
Rushing water, quaking leaves, and the usual choral accompaniment of seagulls and crows only competing briefly with a distant Amtrak, but even that was a welcome, jazzy little interlude.