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07/09/17 - Port Angeles Farmers Market - July Report

Maybe it's just us, but it seems like summer has sneaked up on us. Nowhere is this more obvious than at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. Somehow or another, we've leaped from spring to summer, and already the tomatoes are coming in. If you're remembering the hardy, but limited, market from back in February, it's time to drop by again and see what's at the market.

Johnston Farm - English peas and lavender

Johnston Farm - summer squash, and Are those tomatoes?

Family Farm - our favorite turnips, among other things

Nash's - spinach, and Are those tomatoes?

Nash's - carrots are back, and more

River Run Farm - fennel and radishes et al

Keywords: farmers' market, port angeles, summer


08/16/15 - In Search of Water

This has been a dry summer, and it shows. Rivers just aren't flowing the way they usually do at this time of year. They're about a month or so off, with the current August flow more like the usual flow in late September. The trails are dry, too, with crumbly dirt and lots of loose pebbles.

In search of water we went to Barnes Creek and were pleased to see that Lake Crescent still has a fair bit of water. We started climbing the Mount Storm King trail to get a better view of the lake, but we didn't get far. The trail was crumbling, and it is a steep trail. If we were slipping on the way up, coming down would be treacherous. We turned around and took a look at Marymere Falls. It was nice to see some flowing water.

At the pebble beach we could see just how low the flow was in Barnes Creek. The river was much narrower and the beach much larger than usual. Then we walked a bit up the Barnes Creek trail and got a few glimpses of the river. We got our water fix, at least for now, but we're hoping for some real rain.


Water in the waterfall

A bright sunny day

Looking up Barnes Creek from the bridge

The forest and bright sunlight

More forest trail

Keywords: barnes creek, lake crescent, marymere falls, storm king, summer, trails


07/10/15 - Hurricane Hill in the Haze

We ran into some foggy spots on the road to Hurricane Hill, more or less centered around the tunnel, but by the time we made it to the Switchback trailhead, the sky was softly milky, but blue. It was dry on the trail to Hurricane Hill. It is only July, but we were seeing late summer flowers, the harebells and yarrow. There were butterflies everywhere.

The clouds below filled the valleys and the haze softened the mountains. This wasn't the usual crystalline mountain air. Mount Olympus, in the distance, was softened, almost part of the cloudscape.

There was a mountain goat grazing not far from the summit and a real marmot keeping his or her distance on the field containing a deceptive stone we call Marmot Rock. The corn lilies were doing surprisingly well. There was a full crop of them, a good number of them already in bloom.

On the way down we passed a young girl heading upwards. She wore a tee shirt exhorting us to "Stop, Smell Roses", so we did. There were a few wild roses still in bloom. Few tee shirts offer such excellent advice.


Soft clouds, soft mountains

Awash with clouds

Harebells and yarrow

More soft mountains

A mountain goat

More soft shapes

A plover

Corn lilies

More mountains awash with clouds

A golden marmot in retreat

We stopped to smell the roses.

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, summer


05/24/15 - Late Spring on the Spruce Railroad Trail

Spring is really moving along the Spruce Railroad Trail. The trilliums have already peaked, and the vegetation is getting lush. Summer is less than a month away.

Lush vegetation

Mock Solomon's seal or is it false mock Solomon's seal?

We aren't sure about this. Maybe we missed the "Don't drink and kayak." sign.

Keywords: spring, spruce railroad, summer, trillium


08/29/14 - Hurricane Hill

We were up at Hurricane Hill, and already we can see the end of summer. Most of the flowers have passed, though there are still some harebells and yarrow. The grasses are turning brown and gold, sometimes with a bit of red. The light is different, more muted.

Late summer colors

A golden marmot

A resting deer

More gold in the grasses

The green valley

More late summer color

Even more late summer color

The side spur path

More grasses

Butterflies

Clouds and mountains

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, summer


08/25/13 - Crespiou

Every summer we seem to wait forever before we can make crespiou. Crespiou is a multiple layered omelet, each layer made with two eggs and a choice of farmers' market fresh vegetables. It really isn't worth making unless we can get enough variety to make at least four layers, but this year we made five.

Yeah, some of the pictures are arty, but then, this is dish is a real work of art.


Heirloom zucchini & Cherokee Purple tomato

Pine nuts & basil in olive oil

Pan fried potatoes

Zucchini & onions with thyme

Green beans with herbs

Red peppers & anchovies

Potatoes & purple onions

Tomatoes, pine nuts & basil

Zucchini & onions

Green beans with garlic

Crespiou

Keywords: food, summer


07/11/13 - Klahane Ridge - To The Top

We made it to the top of Klahane Ridge the other day. As usual, it was a serious hike, but we pushed ourselves onward and made it to the ridge. The view north was cloudy, but the view south was spectacular. We rested a bit, and while we sat, we could watch the clouds to the north getting thicker and thicker. We rested longer, and then the clouds thinned and parted giving us a fairly good view north.

The lower reaches of the trail are lined with lupines, larkspur, paintbrush, turk's cap lilies and a host of others. The upper reaches are scented by patches of phlox. The middle range of the trail has yet to blossom, and the trailsides lined with green. We'll have to climb again and see how the alpine summer progresses.


Imagine our disappointment. This was the view north.

Luckily the south view was fairly good.

Snow patches and lifting clouds

Mount Angeles

Phlox

Fields of phlox scenting the air.

The crags

A very green trail with flowers to come

Snow melting and feeding a stream

Flowers

and more flowers

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge, summer, trails


09/17/12 - Klahane Ridge and Beyond

Whenever we climb up to Klahane Ridge and find ourselves with a tiny bit of strength in reserve, we like to continue our climb another ten or fifteen minutes exploring a particularly beautiful area that one hiker we met called the "kick in the ass". The views are amazing from the ridge with Port Angeles, Vancouver Island, the San Juan Islands and the Cascades all visible to the north, and the full glory of the Olympic Mountains visible to the south. In fact, it can be a bit overwhelming. That's one of the charms of heading on and climbing another 100 or 150 feet.

The trail heads across the usual sloping alpine field until you get the rocks, the gateway to a series of rooms, each with its own carpet of ground cover and its own arrangement of rocks and wind twisted, stunted trees as furniture. We think of them as rooms, though often the walls are transparent, presenting fabulous views north and south, but framed by the presence of the space. We almost always explore the first few great hallways, but sometimes we continue until the trail starts its descent to Lake Angeles in earnest and then turn around.

If you ever do make it up to Klahane Ridge and find yourself with a tiny bit of strength in reserve, walk on a bit and see something very special.


A typical view from the ridge

The view north and east, and a bit of snow remaining

The Olympic Mountains

One of the magnificent carpets

Late lupines

Another room dominated by a great stone

One of the portals

Another view, another carpet

Alpine summer

More of everything

Mysterious stones

Keywords: klahane ridge, summer


08/24/12 - Signs of Summer's End

It isn't just the back to school sales. There are other signs that summer is drawing to a close, among them the profusion of red berries amid the late summer green foliage. Here are some examples from a recent walk on the Lake Angeles Trail.





Keywords: lake angeles, summer


08/12/12 - Klahane Ridge, Hurrah!

This time we made it up to Klahane Ridge. We were horribly slow. We kept having to stop and rest, but then we pushed on. The hanging gardens were lush and green with lupines, turks cap lilies, yarrow, cow parsnip, larkspur, paintbrush and even some phlox in bloom. The usual summer drought has not set in yet, and might not this year.

The view from the top was as spectacular as ever. To the north we could see the Dungeness Spit, the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker rising above the Cascades. To the south were the grand Olympic Mountains clad in their glaciers. Like many things this year, we were late in our return to Klahane Ridge, but we did it.


Mount Angeles and a bit of snow

The view north

The view to the east

A view north

Another view north

The trail through the green

Lupines

Did we say lupines?

More of the trail

More wildflowers - an amazing season

The little waterfall near the trailhead

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge, mount baker, summer, waterfall


08/05/12 - Farmers' Market Update

The Port Angeles Farmers' Market is finally warming up for summer. The sparse stands are now abundant.
  • Johnston Farms had its last English and snap peas, but is now getting great salad greens, thai basil, garlic and the very first tomatoes. We got a basket of a heritage variety and had our first real tomato salad of the season.
  • The Korean Garlic Lady has gone full summer, and the garlic is back, along with potatoes, scallions, cucumbers and romaine.
  • The Family Farm has gone back to its roots with potatoes and kohlrabi, along with their wonderful flowers.
  • Clark Family had their usual beef, but also some young goat. We had goat mixiote (more below), and it was wonderfully tender and mild.

Goat mixiote is based on one of our favorite dishes at Rosa Mexicano. You can make it with lamb shanks, or goat, or pork for that matter. You just make up a chile paste with dried chiles, add some oregano, cumin thyme, garlic, cloves, pepper and a splash of cider vinegar. Rub down the meat. Wrap the various pieces in parchment, secured with twine. Then steam them for two or three hours over boiling dark beer. Be careful opening the packets, because the meat will be falling off the bone and delicious.


Nash Huber's stand

Johnston Farms

The Korean Garlic Lady

The Family Farm

Johnston Farm tomatoes

Tomato salad

Clark Family goat mixiote

Keywords: clark family, farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, summer, garlic lady


07/25/12 - Hurricane Ridge and Sunrise Point

We are usually more adventurous, but now and then we need to take it easy. We just weren't up to a real serious hike, so we parked at Hurricane Ridge and climbed Sunrise Point. That's maybe a 200 foot climb, and we never got out of key clicker range of our car.

This year spring came late and summer came later, and that meant that the rains lingered into July. Cool wet weather make for lush green vegetation and lots and lots of alpine flowers. Some years the lupines barely grow as they race to bloom before drying out in the summer heat. This year, they've grown and grown, and while they are blooming now, they are still early in the cycle with many flowers yet to come.

It's like this for all the flowers: a late start, a lot of green, and a lot of flowers. This may be one of the best years in a while for high country blossoms, and you don't even have to walk very far.


A great view of the mountains and the fields

Lupines in the foreground

Lingering snow

Avalanche lilies

Phlox

More avalanche lilies

Guess

A very lush field of lupines

We aren't sure about these, but they're pretty.

Another lupine view

A lot of lush green means more to come.

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane ridge, summer, weather


06/20/12 - Dungeness Spit - Good for Walking

There are two challenges involved in walking the Dungeness Spit.

First, you have to get the tides right. At high tide, all you have to walk on is a narrow strip of sand, rocks and driftwood. This gets tiring after two or three miles, and the lighthouse is about four and a half miles away. That's why we use Tidefinder to figure out the promising tides, during the daytime and under three feet.

Second, even when the tides are low, the going can be very rough when the beach is mainly small stones rather than sand. Usually, the sand is washed out in the winter and builds up through the summer. Some years, the beach stays rocky, but this year the sands have returned, and at low tide, there is usually a sweet strip one can walk on. It's hard work, but it's much easier than it could be.

Things look good this year, so tide and sand permitting we'll be making our way out to the lighthouse this summer.


The sandy beach

Driftwood and stones

Footprints in the soft sand

Keywords: dungeness, dungeness spit, software, summer, tides, winter


06/13/12 - Port Angeles Farmers Market

This has been a cold spring, so the Port Angeles Farmers' Market is still a bit lean, but there have been signs of spring, and, with the solstice coming soon, we are hoping for signs of summer. We've been buying eggs, spinach, arugula, chards of various colors, salmon, halibut, salad greens, potatoes, garlic and asparagus. Yes, Westwind Farm still has asparagus in June. According to the farmers, things are looking up, but already we are buying more and more of our groceries at the market, and we're looking forward to more.

Nash Huber

Westwind Farm

The Korean garlic lady, with greens

Johnston Farm

Kol Simcha with lamb - The Clark family was also there selling their beef and pork.

The Family Farm is back.

Mystery Bay has steamed clams and oysters.

Keywords: clark family, farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, oysters, port angeles, salmon, spring, summer, westwind farm, garlic lady


08/22/11 - Some Notes on Morse Creek

When we are lazy, we take the trail west of Morse Creek down to the strait. It's an urban trail, but it is green and relaxing, and just a short drive. It changes with the seasons, and here we found the first sign of autumn, falling leaves from the old maples along the trail. The trail shoulders have been freshly trimmed to the ground; the peak growing season is over. That's probably another sign of the summer passing.

We also noticed a new fence in Morse Creek proper, visible from the old, lovingly restored railroad bridge. Our guess is that they are counting the fish, first funneling them through the gate and recording them on video. Somewhere, someone is watching the Salmon Channel, and mainly seeing water, but now and then a fish or two. (That is so much like life.) It doesn't sound like a cable option we'd be interested in, but we're hoping for good news on the fish population at Morse Creek.


Signs of fall

Freshly cut

Fish management

Keywords: autumn, morse creek, salmon, summer


08/18/11 - Summer Comes to the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

Let's see, there are all sorts of greens, lettuce, chard, carrots, scallions, broccoli, cauliflower, basil, summer squash, bok choy, cucumbers, cabbages, raspberries, and even tomatoes. Don't forget the oysters, salmon, beef, lamb, bread, rolls, croissants and cheeses. You can do an awful lot of your grocery shopping at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market on Saturdays (10-2) and Wednesdays (2-6). (We're guessing on the hours. The official web site doesn't seem to have them anymore.)

West Wind Farms

The Korean Garlic Lady - with a lot more than garlic and dumplings

Johnston Farm

The market survey, preliminary results

The venerable Nash Huber

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, shopping, summer, garlic lady


08/16/11 - Hurricane Hill Corn Lily Update

We took the side spur off the Hurricane Hill trial to check out the meadow where the corn lilies grow. They are most definitely growing. They are even spreading with corn lilies appearing in areas we had not seen them in before. The views, not surprisingly, were spectacular. The corn lilies have not yet bloomed, but lots of other flowers have.

Corn lilies of the field

The corn lilies are not blooming yet.

We always take a picture or two of these rocks for some reason or another.

It pays to look closely.

The snow is melting and the water is trickling down this part of the trail.

Some anemones

Among the other flowers, a glacier lily, a sign of recent melt.

Corn lily shoots coming through the snow

More scenery - There is more to life than corn lilies.

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, summer, high country


08/15/11 - Hurricane Hill Revisited

We took the trail up Hurricane Hill again today. It has been a few weeks, so we expected the snow to be gone and the season to be passing. It is mid-August. In fact, the snow was more or less all gone, but the flowers are still blooming in earnest.

There are still some pretty spectacular views, even this late in the season.

Yep, another spectacular view

The blue seasonal snow melt lake is forming

Is this sweet cecelia? We aren't sure.

Lupines, apparently good for the memory

Pink paintbrush, or so we believe

There are lots of flowers

There are avalanche lilies under the pine trees where the snow lingered.

Bright colors

Our camera does not do justice to the scent of wild roses.

Those masses of white flowers are dirty sock plant. We call this area the hamper.

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, high country, summer


07/27/11 - Lake Angeles, Hurrah!

It started inauspiciously, but by fits and starts and sheer force of will we made our way up to Lake Angeles. It was not an easy climb, and we didn't get any great view of the high cliffs around the lake. It was just too cloudy. Still, we did have the satisfaction of a good workout, and we got to see some of the restoration work at the campground. They had to haul the logs for this up from Heart O' the Hills by helicopter. (We had noticed a little helicopter landing on one of the Hurricane Ridge Road pull offs last year. Apparently, that was part of this.) The campground looks quite different, and there are hundreds of baby trees or perhaps bushes. It will look quite different in another five years. Maybe we'll still be able to make the climb then and see.

So much for the picture postcard view

Some of the myriad baby plants

The logs mean keep off the baby plants.

These logs lead down to the lake.

A really neat looking lupine

Some of the trilliums up by the lake

We've never seen trilliums up by the lake before. This has been a weird summer.

Keywords: lake angeles, summer, trillium


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