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08/22/19 - Klahane Ridge - High Summer

Once again we put on our hiking boots, grabbed our hiking sticks and hauled ourselves up to Klahane Ridge by way of the Switchback Trail. We didn't set any speed records, but we made it. The climb was sunny with a blue sky, but by the time we made it to the ridge, clouds were rising from the sea and shrouding peaks and valleys. We rested a bit and watched the clouds rise with the warmth of the day. By the time we made it back to the parking lot, the sky was mostly blue again.

It was a late summer hike. The lupines and larkspur were long gone. Vegetation was thick, but only a handful of flowers remained, mainly in microclimates. Many plants had gone to seed, but the yarrow was near its peak.


Clouds and Mount Olympus

Brilliant sun

Another bright scene

Two butterflies

Those two again

A last bit of phlox

More clouds at the ridge

Clouds seeping in from the north

A view of the Olympic Mountains

Asters

Another spectacular view

Larkspur and paintbrush

Late summer blooms

A view from on the way down

A bit of the trail now that the sun had returned

Paintbrush

A hawk we had seen soaring earlier

A last few lupines

More paintbrush

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge, summer


08/05/19 - Obstruction Point - Flowers and Criters

Here is that post full of flowers, marmots and a butterfly mentioned in the next post.

A happy marmot - Look at that smle.

Another happy marmot - Look at that banquet of lupines.

A resting butterfly

Late phlox

Pink paintbrush among others

Another assemblage of flowers

Some lupines, some snow

More phlox

Some asters among the rocks

Rock plants

Flowers and scenery

Dark headed grasses

Lupines and snow, again

Seen by the trail

Harebells

Keywords: flowers, marmots, obstruction point


07/20/19 - Obstruction Point, First Look

Obstruction Point Road has been open for a while now. We finally drove out and took our usual walk along Lilian Ridge to check out the wildflowers, the marmots, the snow melt fed lakes and the beautiful scenery. Most of the snow had melted, but there were still scraps of it around. We caught some of the last glacier lilies and first lupines. We weren't used to the altitude, so even the 200' or so initial climb from the parking area was a bit of a struggle, but we made it.

Clouds in the sky, color on the ground

Another look

Fields of red and green and melting snow

Distant mountains, descending the staircase

A last patch of snow on broken rock

Glacier lilies

Harebells

The trail

One of the lakes

Phlox

Ripples on a lake

Rock garden

Striking red paintbrush

Four little lakes

Lupines

The trail again

A bit of the view

Another field of color

One of the marmots

Keywords: flowers, marmots, obstruction point


07/02/19 - Klahane Ridge and More

Here are some more photos from our first climb up Klahane Ridge in 2019. The good news is that the alpine flowers are in bloom. The bad news is that there were goats still around. We met a ranger armed with a paint gun who went after them. Then, she had to race off to get to a meeting at headquarters on time. Being a ranger is a job. We walked down from the ridge in a more leisurely manner and took our time admiring the flowers.

The bowl to the north and the Strait of San Juan de Fuca

The goats heading towards the ridge

The goats scampering away after a warning paintball shot

Pasque flowers

Wall flowers

A green collage

Lingering phlox

Larkspur and wall flowers

Larkspur and paintbrush

Some lupines

An assemblage

A close up

Bog orchids by the stream near the trailhead

The little waterfall near the trailhead

A close up of some carnivorous plants

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge


06/28/19 - To the Altair Bridge Again

We took another walk along the Elwha from Madison Falls south to the Altair Bridge. We actually went a bit past the bridge to take a look at the waterfall across the river. The roses are all gone, but the summer flowers have been coming in.

If you make it past the Altair bridge, watch for this little waterfall across the river. It is visible just a bit past the gate.

A waterfall closeup

Another closeup

Olympic Hot Springs Road where we turned around

Olympic Hot Springs Road towards the new branch of the Elwha

The Elwha below

Another Elwha view

Elderberries

Elderberry closeup

Fern forest

More fern forest

One of the summer flowers

Ocean spray

The detour

Tiger lilies

A butterfly

That butterfly again

That persistent butterfly

A bellflower

Keywords: elwha, flowers, summer, waterfall


06/26/19 - Hurricane Hill - Last Visit for a While

With the construction, Hurricane Hill is only open a few days this summer, but we managed to get up there one more time. We were pleased to see the lupines in bloom but a bit worried by the advanced state of the snow melt. Still, the flowers were beautiful. We are going to miss the corn lilies, but we could see them coming up. We are also going to miss the marmots, but they seem to be do fine without us. If we manage to synchronize our schedule and the construction schedule, we'll try for a visit later this summer, but it doesn't look promising.

An amazing sky

Two marmots

The same two marmots sparring

The Olympic Mountains

Another view of the mountains

Alpine flowers

That's the little seasonal lake in the background.

Field of corn lilies

One of the corn lilies

Another view, so very green

A view north and west

Soft skies

Blue and green

Another marmot amidst the dirty sock plant

A view through the trees

Avalanche lilies

We are sure we looked these up once.

A floral arrangement

Larkspur and wallflower - if your browser supports the SCENT tag you should smell the wallflowers.

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, marmots, summer


06/11/19 - Hurricane Hill - Up Close

We were so excited to be getting back to Hurricane Hill, that we took a lot of pictures, so many that we need a double post. This post has the close ups.

The setting

Golden marmot

A seasonal pond frequented by bears, but not today

Early stage corn lily

Pasque flower

Spot the chipmunk

Chipmunk posing

Phlox and some more drama

Avalanche lilies

Lupines

Wallflower

Yarrow

More lupines

More avalanche lilies

More phlox

A rock garden

Lupines up close, with beads of water

Keywords: hurricane hill, flowers


05/25/19 - Hurricane Hill - To The Summit

We went back to Hurricane Hill again, and this time we made it to the summit. The trail is still closed every other week and never open on Wednesdays, so it if you want to enjoy it, check the Olympic National Park website. Be prepared to walk maybe ten minutes from one of the two picnic area parking lots to trailhead proper. The road there is closed. On the plus side, there are bathrooms at both parking areas.

The alpine flowers were spectacular. There would be waves of sweet scent from the phlox as we walked by. All of the snow on the trail has melted, but there is still snow in the shade and on north faces. There isn't much more to say. Enjoy the pictures.


One of the many views of the Olympic Mountains

A view from the summit

As the season progresses, this snow on the north face melts and fills a little lake, now visible as a few blue spots.

Another view

And yet another

Still another view, follow that strip of white down ...

... and at its base, the snow melts and forms a stream.

It's hard to know where to look.

Patchy snow in a bowl below the trail

Glacier lilies

More glacer lilies

An arty view

Sweet smelling western wallflower

We looked these flowers up once, but forgot what they are.

Phlox

More phlox

Even more phlox

Paintbrush

Yarrow

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill


05/06/19 - To the Altair Bridge

We've been slowly reclaiming the Elwha, hiking farther along now disused section of Olympic Hot Springs Road. This time we made it all the way to the Altair Bridge, sort of a breakthrough for us. The bridge is still there. It's just farther away. It was great seeing the view of the Elwha from the bridge again, and we're hoping to go farther, perhaps to dam site overlook. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy the river and the flowers.

Along the detour

Paintbrush

Flowers

An orchid

Mahonia

Trilliums

More flowers

The view of the Elwha from the Altair Bridge

The view in the other direction

Skunk cabbage

One of the Elwha's new branches

A view of the old Elwha campground

Another orchid

Tiarella

More flowers

Forest

Dogwood

Keywords: elwha, flowers, spring


04/15/19 - Spring Flowers on the Elwha Detour

We finally followed the Elwha detour from where it leaves Olympic Hot Springs Road about a half mile past Madison Falls to where it rejoins the road past the old Elwha campground. It's a 250 foot or so climb, but it goes through forest, and the forest is full of columbines, trilliums and other spring flowers.

The detour trail heads up past a work area at the end of the service road and then heads higher to a junction with the Cascade Rock trail. There are glimpses of the Elwha along the way as it follows the ridge past the washout. After the junction the trail goes down a bit, then up a bit, then slowly descends behind the old campground. There is a sturdy tributary of the Elwha running between the trail and the collapsed campground pavilion.

The trail lets out a bit past the washout but before the ranger station and work area. It took us about 45 minutes from Madison Falls, so it would be another 15 or 20 minutes to the Altair bridge. We didn't make it that far, at least not this time.


A perfect place for columbines

Columbines

and more

and more

and even more



Other spring flowers

The trail ahead

One of the many trilliums

and a pair, overlapping,

and another

and yet more

Skunk cabbage, a sure sign of spring

The old campground pavilion across the new Elwha channel

More of the trail

We forget what this is called

Mysterious rock overhangs and mysterious caves

A glimpse of the high country

Keywords: elwha, flowers, spring, trillium


03/29/19 - Cherry Blossoms at UW

Spring is here or at least in Seattle. We made a quick day trip to Seattle to check out the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. They were in full bloom, and the quad had the air of a festival with hundreds of people out admiring the flowers, taking pictures and celebrating the arrival of spring. We joined in and took lots of pictures.

Cherry blossoms - We're not going to have a lot of captions here.


Califlory - flowers growing out of the tree trunk















A sign of thanks

A magnolia tree joining the fun.

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring


01/10/19 - Flowers in Bloom

It’s awfully early, but we saw some salmonberry flowers, and it’s barely the middle of January. These usually bloom in early February.

Salmonberry flowers

Keywords: flowers, port angeles, weather


07/08/18 - Klahane Ridge - Flowers

It's still early in the season on Klahane Ridge. The lupines are back. The phlox is passing. Here are some pictures.

Western wallflower

Lupines

Not sure, but it's pretty neat

This is likely a chipping sparrow.

Paintbrush

Toad lily or chocolate lily, take your pick.

Bloodwort

Shooting stars

Bog orchid and friends

Just a bog orchid

Cow parsnip, ox parsley?

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge


06/30/18 - Obstruction Point - Flora and Fauna

The drive to Obstruction Point has its hairy moments along with its spectacular scenery. In the forested areas, where one cannot see the mountains, the forest floor is covered with avalanche lilies this time of year. In the fields as one approaches the point, there are marmots out foraging.

One of the marmots with glacier lilies

Glacier lilies up close

Early flowers

More blossoms

A little bird by the trail side

Phlox

Avalanche lilies

Glacier lilies

A view from the road

Another marmot

Pasque flowers

Keywords: marmots, obstruction point, flowers


05/27/18 - Hurricane Hill - First Ascent

This time we made it to the top of Hurricane Hill. Most of the snow has melted, except for a long stretch between the bench and the "hamper". All sorts of flowers are starting to bloom: glacier lilies, yarrows, violets and avalanche lilies. The lupines are getting ready. Spring is here. We even saw some marmots.

Phirst phlox

Glacier lilies and others

One of the marmots

Another marmot

One of the views

That lake to the north of the peak

More flowers

Grasses in bloom

Yarrow

An assemblage with phlox

An avalanche lily

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, marmots, spring


05/20/18 - Hurricane Hill - First Look

Despite the delays on Hurricane Ridge Road, we made our way up to the Hurricane Hill trailhead. There was still a lot of snow, but some of the trail was clear. The sky was blue and the view of the distant mountains was crystalline. Only the bravest plants, or those lucky enough to have an especially warm microclimate, were out and in bloom, but we could see signs of alpine spring.

Stay tuned. We'll be back, road construction or not.


Snow on the trail - still passable

More snow on the trail

Someone getting a head start

Melting snow on the mountain

The Olympic Range in its majesty

Another gorgeous view

Paintbrush getting out in front

Keywords: hurricane hill, spring, flowers


03/21/18 - Cherry Blossom Special

We had been following the action on the webcam. The buds were starting to open. It was too much to resist. We Kalebergs just had to be in the quad where it happens, so we headed into Seattle, up to the University of Washington and onto the quad where the cherry trees were at peak blossom. These were big old trees, gnarly and dark with a cloud of pale pink flowers about them. The quad was full of people there to enjoy the blossoms and the late start of spring.

Cherry blossoms

More cherry blossoms and admirers

Admirers and cherry blossoms

An old gnarled branch

More CBs

CBs

Dark bark

Another branch

More CBs

Did we mention cherry blossoms?

I guess we did mention cherry blossoms.

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring


02/26/18 - Winter Garden at the Seattle Arboretum

We've been having a bit of winter weather. Even in Seattle, there was snow on the ground, and the temperature seemed to be stuck on much too cold. So, we dropped by the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden in the Arboretum. Here, there was snow on the ground, but there were also flowers in bloom. There were all sorts of witch hazel, some scentless, some spicy, some sweet, and there were hellebores and a few hardy cherry blossoms. We're sure that spring is out lurking somewhere, but until winter ends, we'll make the best of it.

Cherry blossoms

A rhododendron

A snowy scene



WItch hazel

Another witch hazel

Brightly colored grasses

Cyclamen in the snow

Azaleas

At least the pond wasn't frozen.

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring, weather, winter


08/20/17 - Hurricane Hill as Summer Passes

The summer is passing. More gold and brown are creeping into the colors of the high country. We hiked the Hurricane Hill Trail again and saw a bit of drama, two young marmots were attacked by a hawk. They were unharmed, but one tends to thing that these things are just staged for nature documentaries. Not true.

We also ran into the team planning to rebuild the trail. The Hurricane Hill Trail is heavily used in season, and it has been showing signs of wear. We're hoping they don't have to close the trail for too long. We've been having a lot of trail and road closures lately.


Summer colors

Still plenty of green

Mountains in late summer

Another view

The view to the north

Clouds add drama.

A silky sky

Late summer flowers

The season

Yet another view

The trail planning team at work

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, marmots, summer


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