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01/04/20 - Marymere Falls and the Barnes Creek Trail

Marymere Falls is always at full flow during the winter as is Barnes Creek. We made our way up to the falls, then, on our way back, took the side spur up the Barnes Creek Trail. We didn't get very far. The trail was completely flooded. This has been a wild year for the weather.

Marymere Falls

Forest view

Barnes Creek

A side stream

Another Barnes Creek view

The bridge over Barnes Creek

The flooding on the Barnes Creek Trail

A log enjoying the weather

A more typical puddle

Barnes Creek again

A less happy log

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, weather, winter


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


01/01/19 - New Year on the Spruce Railroad Trail

We decided to start the New Year with a walk along the Spruce Railroad Trail. With the government shutdown, we weren't sure of whether the trail would be open, but it was. At least the first three miles are open. There were signs indicating that the section from the second tunnel to the western trailhead was still closed for remodeling. We joined quite a number of other people enjoying the trail and the good gray weather. The water was still which made for a sense of calm and great reflections of the mountains and forests around the lake.

The footbridge

Storm King, quite placid today

A small waterfall, where we turned around

Mushrooms

A small stream, the outflow from the little waterfall


Another dreamy view of the lake

Keywords: spruce railroad, storm king, waterfall, weather


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


10/24/17 - Along the Elwha

Olympic Hot Springs Road was closed for a day or two due to weather related damage, so we got to walk along the roadway south from the Madison Falls parking lot. We had been taking this walk a lot while they were repairing the road, but once we could get the Whiskey Bend and the like, we zoomed right past this area to get to our trailhead. With the road closed, we revisited. (The road has since reopened.)

Did we mention fall color?

Twisted Halloween trees

More color

The Elwha

Another view of the Elwha

Misty mountains

One of our favorite views

A view upriver

More misty mountains across the river

Keywords: elwha, halloween, weather


10/22/17 - Morse Creek Color

This has been a particularly good year for fall color. The trees and the weather have been cooperating. We had a wonderfully colorful walk west from the Morse Creek parking lot.

Some fall color

More fall color

Another bit of color

Keywords: morse creek, weather


08/08/17 - Bad Air at Hurricane Ridge

In case anyone has been wondering why we Kalebergs haven't been getting out much, we've been cowering indoors with the air filters running to avoid the bad air blowing in from the forest fires up in British Columbia. The air is still terrible and the weather not much better.

From the ridge

Actually, kind of pretty if we didn't have to breath it

More bad air and pretty mountains

The road to the ridge

Another view

Keywords: weather


04/30/17 - Russian Easter

We Kalebergs recently held our annual Russian Easter party to welcome in the belated spring. Given the cold spring, it is no surprise that the real Russian Easter was some time back. Now that the green leaves are returning and the weather has grown milder, we filled our champagne pool, broke out the blini, boiled up the pelmeni and allowed ourselves to rejoice at the end of winter. We even burned Moscow to fight off the monster Napoleon.

Champagne

A spring-like spread

Truly Russian, at least in spirit

Moscow in flames

Defending Mother Russia from the monster Napoleon

Take that you French, and your French brandy

Routing the invaders

Keywords: russian easter, spring, weather


09/07/16 - Hurricane Hill in the Mist

The weather in the high country is as changeable as ever. That means packing a light raincoat and making the most of whatever the mountains and clouds offer. We didn’t expect much from Hurricane Hill on a cloudy day, but the round trip walk takes over an hour and a half. That gave the clouds plenty of time to shift and change. At times we were wrapped in fog, but we still managed to discern a blue grouse and a marmot. We also had some spectacular scenery and a beautiful walk.

Mixed skies

Autumn colors

Mist

One of the views

A blue grouse

Autumn colors and autumn mist

The flooded foot path

A marmot in the mist

A closeup of that marmot

Some teasing blue sky

Another view

Keywords: grouse, high country, hurricane hill, weather


08/13/16 - Rialto Beach

We’ve been having some clear sunny weather, and sometimes it has been a bit warm for hiking inland, so we decided to head out to Rialto Beach where the cold Pacific Ocean keeps things cooler. By the time we arrived any morning fog had vanished. The sky was an intense blue and the waters were calm.

We didn’t go all that far, just up to the first headland. The tide was nice and low, so we could explore the tidepools. We barely noticed Ellen Creek. It flows beneath the sands, so we had to check inland to make sure it was still there. To the north, the sea stacks and tide pools beckoned. We found anemones, but no starfish. We have been following their slow recovery, so this was a little disappointing.

Given that we are having what passes for a heat wave in these parts, it was a relief getting out and enjoying the coolness at the beach. Even the parking lot seemed warm in contrast.


Tidepools, sea stacks and mysterious islands

A river otter on land

That river otter at sea

Seastacks

A view across the water

Mysterious, even on a clear sunny day

A view north to the headland

Another tidepool

Rocks and tidepools

Some denizens

A view south

Keywords: rialto beach, weather


07/05/16 - Hurricane Hill - The Fifth of July

We took advantage of the cloudy weather to hike up to Hurricane Hill. The distant mountains at times were obscure and at others clear, so the view changed as we walked. Now and then a bright ray of sun would illuminate a field of snow on a mountain top, then the clouds would move and hide the entire range from us.

This has been a magnificent year for larkspur. It loves the rocky mountain soil, but this year seems to have been perfect for it. The wall flowers and phlox are passing, but there were roses blooming, dirty sock plant, paintbrush and a host of other flowers. After last year’s drought left the lupines shrunken, we feared the worst this year. There were lupines out, but it looks like it is still early in their season. The corn lilies on our favorite side spur have grown larger, but are not yet in bloom.

Not everyone likes the trail in gray weather. There is always the risk of fog and rain, and the view can be limited. There is nothing like the crystalline view of the distant Olympics on a bright sunny day, but the clouds add depth and give a greater sense of the sheer majesty of the view.


A view of the mountains

A seasonal lake

Corn lilies

A misty field

Lupines

Last bit of phlox

Paintbrush

Witch’s hair

Hair of the mountain goat

Larkspur

Roses

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, weather


11/28/15 - Ice Crystals

The weather has been getting colder, but the water in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca is still warm, at least comparatively. Along the coast this means morning fog and condensation on the cold ground, and that means ice crystals. They were lining the dike along the Olympic Discovery Trail about a mile west of Morse Creek. The crystals form on the plants, rocks and pebbles and grow hoary whiskers like something from a moon garden.

The dike, looking west

Ice crystals

Click for a closer view of the ice crystals

Ice whiskers

Ice covered pebbles

More ice crystals

Are you cold yet?

Even more ice crystals

The busy harbor in Port Angeles with two ships and an arctic drilling rig

Keywords: morse creek, weather, atmosphere, science


03/18/14 - It's that time of year.

It's still too cold and awfully rainy, but spring is upon us. We humans may lack the sensitivity needed to recognize the incoming season, but the salamanders have it. This little guy, sighted on the Spruce Railroad Trail, was out enjoying our wet spring weather.

Keywords: salamander, spring, spruce railroad, weather


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