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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


02/21/14 - Amazing Skies at Hurricane Ridge

The snow came late this winter, but there is a fair bit of it up on Hurricane Ridge lately. Even more amazing are the webcam images. It's 17 degrees up there now, and the road is closed at the moment, but the skies and mountains are at their winter best.

Looking east, towards the sunrise

Looking to the south

Keywords: hurricane ridge, weather, winter


02/01/14 - Marymere Falls - Rainforest for Rainy Days

The skies this winter have been rain skies with gray clouds and a menacing air. That's perfect weather for exploring, of all places, the rainforest. We checked out Marymere Falls. It's a perfect threatening-rain hike, just 45 minutes, so one can dash back to the car if the heavens open.

The falls

A classic national park stairway

Logs in Barnes Creek

Keywords: marymere falls, weather, winter


09/25/13 - Hurricane Hill - After the Equinox

Obstruction Point Road has already closed and the weather has been changeable. Instead of the usual September sun, our skies seem to be visitors from October. We hiked the Hurricane Hill Trail on a quiet day and watched Mount Olympus fuss with its wreath of clouds before vanishing. The marmots were out, but turning darker and browner for winter. Only their hindquarters were golden. We saw only a handful of flowers, dried yarrow, a few harebells, and the like. Instead we saw fall foliage with the grasses turning golden and leaves turning red and brown.

Golden fields and misty mountains

One of five marmots we saw

Another marmot in closeup - not very golden

A view

A misty view and changing colors

Mount Angeles

To the north, a touch of blue

The first bit of snow, near the summit

A band of gold

A mushroom

Last of the flowers

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, marmots, obstruction point, weather, winter


08/31/13 - Lake Angeles Trail

We've been having some changeable weather lately with rain and wet and then sunny and dry. The Lake Angeles Trail takes one through a variety of climes. Here's a photo of a gateway into the sun and mist of our local forest.

Gateway

Keywords: lake angeles, weather


05/10/13 - Hurricane Ridge Melt Watch

We've been watching the snow melt at Hurricane Ridge on the park webcams, and we've been following the snow depth at the weather website, but we had to drive up and see what is happening live.

The Kaleberg Report - The snow is melting rapidly. We were quite surprised. The phlox is in bloom a bit below the Switchback trailhead, so the high country is opening for the season. The biggest surprise was the state of the road to Hurricane Hill. It was blocked off by a barricade of orange highway cones, but instead of the usual high ramparts ending in a wall of snow, the road seems to have been plowed, at least as far as we could see. It may even be open now as you read this.


There's more and more grass showing.

We are reminded that summer is coming.

More signs of melting snow

The ramparts and the barricade

but, the Hurricane Hill Road has been plowed and may soon open.

Keywords: high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, weather, kale


03/30/13 - Sunny Day and Low Tide at Dungeness Spit

Saturday was a perfect day at the Dungeness Spit. The low tide was negative a bit after noon, and the weather was sunny and warm. It may have been a bit bright for some, but for most it was a perfect spring day. The walking was fairly easy with a fair bit of sand, though there were some soft spots. Take a look at that sky in the photos, and you will wish you were there.

The view from the spit

The view of the mountains

Driftwood

Keywords: dungeness spit, spring, tides, weather


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


06/08/12 - It's Going to Take a Lot of Melting

We've started our seasonal Hurricane Ridge watch, waiting for the high country trails to open. There's still a lot of snow up there, and the webcam points at a southern slope, so it doesn't reveal much about how clear the trails are. Another useful resource is the real time Hurricane Ridge weather report which gives the snow level. The park posts its own trail condition reports, and while things are thawing, the cool spring means that much of the high country is still closed. We'll be heading up to the ridge now and then to see what things are like, and we'll post a note when we get our first high country hike of the year.

There was a lot of snow.

These ramparts are lower now, but there's still a lot ot melt.

We walked the road to Hurricane Hill a bit. When we last checked, it wasn't plowed far.

Keywords: high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, spring, trails, weather


01/31/12 - Very High Tides at Dungeness Spit

The winter storms a few weeks back led to very high tides at the Dungeness Spit. We looked at our tide table and saw a seven foot tide, falling, so we imagined a narrow beach, but a passable one. When we got down to the beach we saw something else, no beach at all. The stormy weather had brought in an extra foot or two of water.

So, instead of a hike along the spit, we walked along the bluffs, and things were different here as well. We had noticed some serious erosion on our last visit, but it appears that an entire chunk of the old trail has collapsed into the strait, and a new trail has been routed inland.

So, on one nature walk, we were reminded of both the beauty and the power of nature.


The view back south

The view out on the spit - You can see how little beach there was.

Another view out

Another view of the spit, or what's left of it

The eagles don't seem to be bothered.

Some frost on the ground.

The new trail a safe distance back from the crumbling bluffs

A view of the mountains from the bluffs

They have a fence closing off the old trail, and it's just as well.

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, weather, winter, eagle


01/05/12 - Dungeness Spit

No, we didn't see any snowy owls either, but there were lots of people out looking for them on the Dungeness Spit. We did take advantage of the relatively good tides, and there are better tides to come later this month. You can check out our tide pages or just look at the fine print in the left margin of our home page. We also took advantage of the good weather. It's the Northwest, so we live for sunbreaks. It was wonderfully sunny and bright for most of our walk, but it was raining by the time we returned to the parking lot. That's typical.

It was a great way to start the new hiking year, 2012.


The tide was high, but going out, which made for good walking.

The view back of the mountains

Some kelp

The ridge of the spit

Amazing light and clouds and cloud shadows and reflections

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, weather


11/13/11 - Port Angeles Farmers Market Report

The autumn market is here. There are potatoes, in red, brown and blue, squashes, pumpkins, celery, lacinato kale, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, baby turnips, bok choy, savoy cabbage and all of our fall favorites. The four stalwarts, Nash Huber, Westwind Farm, Johnston Farm and the Korean garlic lady are all there along with a number of other sellers.

It isn't just vegetables either. You can also buy beef, pork, lamb, cheese, salmon, halibut, steelhead, oysters, bread, and an array of seasonal mushrooms. If you search a bit, you can find a last few tomatoes, arugula, coriander and a few other hold outs, but the cold weather is coming.

Don't miss out on the prime of the harvest. Drop by the Port Angeles Farmers' Market this coming Saturday.








Keywords: autumn, farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, oysters, port angeles, salmon, weather, westwind farm, garlic lady, kale


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