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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


06/22/19 - Little River Trail

We've been regulars on the Little River Trail. We've following spring into summer. The trail is more hidden as the deciduous trees have leafed out and the trilliums have vanished, replaced by Pacific dogwood.

The trail

Plant life

More plant life

The river

Another view of the river, hidden by green

A trillium gone to seed

A salmonberry

Pacific dogwood

Even more plant life

Another bit of trail

And yet another

Keywords: little river, spring, summer, trillium


08/19/18 - Obstruction Point - Lupines and Grice

Hiking the trail out of Obstruction Point is a lot like walking through Venice. It is hard not to take a picture postcard perfect shot by just raising one's camera and pressing a button. This time, we captured the brilliant sun, the late summer scene, some grice or grouses, or perhaps both.

Instant picture postcard - It's instagrammable up there.

Lupines

Mountains

Little lakes below

More mountains

Flowers

More lupines - This wasn't a great season for them, so we really appreciated these.

Green

Another picture postcard

One grouse

Another grouse - To paraphrase Walt Kelley, The grouse is a singular animal; no one can say two of them.

The trail

Even more flowers

Keywords: grouse, obstruction point, summer


07/22/18 - Farmer's Market Crespiou

We haven't been covering the Port Angeles Farmers' Market lately, but we have been shopping there just about every Saturday morning. Summer is here, and the produce has been coming in. That includes Johnston Farm hothouse tomatoes, potatoes from The Family Farm, turnips from River Run and other good things from Nash Huber's. There are also a few other farm stands open, including Wild Edge which has the most amazing scallions. We love them grilled.

With all this wonderful produce coming in, we had to make a crespiou, a French stacked omelet where each layer features a few ingredients. We only made four layers; the details are with the photos. We also got some zucchini blossoms and fried them in searing hot olive oil. All told, it was a real farmers' market treat.


Duck and chicken eggs and lots of berries, but we don't remember the name of the farm

Wild Edge

Zucchini and summer squash

Layer 1 - potatoes and onions

Layer 2 - zucchini and fresh marjoram

Layer 3 - string beans with garlic and pine nuts

Layer 4 - parsley and basil

Zucchini blossoms in olive oil

Light and crisp

The finished crespiou, garnished with tomato

A single slice

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


07/16/18 - Obstruction Point Road - Early Light

We've been getting up early to avoid the summer traffic to Hurricane Ridge. We drove out to Obstruction Point, and the early morning light gave everything an amazing glow with the bright colors set off by deep shadows. These pictures barely capture it.

Morning light

A hare

A butterfly

The trail

Distant mountains

Less distant mountains

A lake below

More mountains

More morning light and melting snow

The trail

Flowers

Keywords: obstruction point, summer


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


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


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