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01/24/11 - Marymere Falls

Marymere Falls is one of our "too lazy" hikes. It's about 45 minutes round trip, including gawking at the falls. As usual in the winter, the falls were roaring. See the arty pseudo-panorama to the right. Eventually, they'll get cameras for taking pictures of stuff like this, but for now we can be arty.

The top of the falls

The full falls

Middle falls

One of the side waterfalls

The bottom of the falls

Barnes Creek down below

The new bridge over Barnes Creek

Keywords: barnes creek, winter, panoramas, marymere falls, waterfall

01/23/11 - The Special Bonus Surprise Waterfall Is Back

Our special bonus surprise waterfall is back, thanks to all the rain we've been having this winter. It flows down what we call the Cliffs of Neurosis. They're like the Cliffs of Insanity in the Princess Bride, but not quite so high. Usually, the area is quite dry, but during the rainy season there is often a bit of a flow. This year there wasn't as much of a stream as some winters, but it's nice to see we're having a properly wet winter.

It's a bit hard to see, but there is a stream flowing down the rock face.

Mount Storm King with a bit of snow

A sunny winter day

Keywords: lake crescent, surprise waterfall, winter, waterfall

12/29/10 - Dungeness Spit - Tides and Sand

For a while there were terrible hiking tides at Dungeness Spit. If there was a low tide at all during the daylight hours, it was perhaps a foot or two above the high high tide. That meant that there wasn't much beach for walking, high tide or low, so we stayed away. More recently, the real low tides have returned, so we took advantage of one recently.

Sometimes it is hard to hike the spit even at low tide, because the beach is too rocky. When the sand washes out, as often happens in winter, it can be rough going. This year things look better. The tides were low, and there was a good sandy beach for hiking. We didn't go far, just a bit past the one mile marker, but there are some more good tides in two weeks. We'll try again.

The Dungeness Spit as seen on the climb out

Looking north

Looking south

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, winter

12/26/10 - Lake Angeles Trail - Not Quite Winter Wonderland Yet

We finally nerved ourselves and went back to the Lake Angeles Trail. The last time we were there the trailhead was blocked off by snow and ice, and being not so intrepid travelers, we turned tail. This time, the parking lot was clear. In fact there was no snow on the lower 300 or 400 feet of the trail, but as we climbed we started seeing bits of the white stuff. By the time we reached the bridge there was a good fraction of an inch of snow on the trail. This was enough for us to declare winter, but not quite enough to transform the trail into a winter wonderland. We aren't worried. There are forecasts for more snow, and if there isn't enough snow by the bridge, then we'll climb the trail to its higher reaches. We can see snow on the mountains. Winter wonderland is out there.

The bridge

A bit of snow

Some snow pretty

Keywords: winter, lake angeles

12/13/10 - Winter Eagles

While we aren't the biggest fans of winter, we do like the way it reveals things. Most of the trees around here keep their leaves, but there are enough deciduous trees so that the forest seems to open up for the season. There are all sorts of things hidden in the canopy, like this eagle nest near the Dungeness River, shown with its two proud owners.

Keywords: dungeness, winter, birds, eagle

12/02/10 - The Winter Farmers' Market

It's the winter Farmers' Market, and we've gotten way behind with our photos and updates. Just about all of the summer vegetables are past, but this is our favorite season, so there are finally lots of lacinato kale, all the great local potatoes, carrots, cabbages, and brussels sprouts. Everything was a bit late this year, and it has been a cold autumn, so we have been making the most of what is available.

If you do go, remember that Preston and Tuna Dan have been selling salmon, steelhead and black cod, and Preston has been selling chanterelles and white truffles. It's a great place for food shopping. We get our eggs, Clark Family beef, Bell Street Bakery bread and most of our seafood there. The Mystery Bay folks have been at the market too, selling oysters and clams, in the shell or steamed with butter and garlic. We've been sore tempted on some of these cold days.

Lazy J Farm

Johnston Farm

Nash Huber's Produce

Westwind Farm, a carrot close up because we didn't take an even number of photos.

West Wind Farm

Keywords: autumn, farmers' market, oysters, shopping, winter, clark family, westwind farm, johnston farm, nash huber, salmon, kale

11/22/10 - First Snow of the Season

We've been getting a lot of snow today, over a foot. Here's some video of the accumulation at Lake Crescent Cottage. Keep your eye on the table out on the deck.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, let it ....

Keywords: winter

10/26/10 - Speaking of Winter

We were just talking about winter on Hurricane Ridge, and its seems the snows have followed. The webcam at the ridge has been a bit hard to decipher lately with rain drops and white outs, but now things have settled enough to make out the fallen snow. There's quite a bit. The Hurricane Ridge weather station says that there's been about 20 inches which looks about right.

The first snow on Hurricane Ridge

Keywords: hurricane ridge, weather, winter

10/23/10 - Wild Sky at Hurricane Hill

Winter is teasing Hurricane Ridge even now. There's already a touch of snow on the lodge roof and a fair bit more fresh on the distant mountain tops. There's still a lot of autumn color, but now that is starting to fade. We started our latest hike with the mountains shrouded in white cloud and a light sleet, but the clouds parted and swirled. The sky was gray, nearly black, then white, then gray again, then blue. It was quite a show. It made up for the lack of marmots, now sensibly drowsing, we presume. It won't be long before the dominant shade is white, and getting to Hurricane Hill will require skis or snowshoes, so this might be a good time to say goodbye to autumn.

An unprepossessing sky

Autumn colors

Light and mist

Quickly moving shadows

Harvest gold - it looks better here than on one's refrigerator

Early snow

More autumn color

More wild sky

The glow of the sun

Keywords: autumn, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, marmots, winter

03/18/10 - Lingering Winter

There was a touch of snow on the Lake Angeles Trail the other day. Apparently winter is not quite over, at least not until the 20th, the first day of spring. On the positive side, someone has removed the Christmas ornaments from the tree not far from the bridge. That's a definite sign that winter is passing.

Lingering winter

Keywords: christmas, lake angeles, spring, winter

03/02/10 - Return to the Lake Angeles Trail

We always like the Lake Angeles Trail. It is only ten minutes from town. It offers a good hard climb. You can keep going all the way up to the lake, or you can turn around at a lower elevation. The lower reaches tend to be clear most of the winter, and when they are not, they make for good snowshoeing.

This January, the road collapsed just before the park entrance, so not only was Hurricane Ridge out of reach, but the Lake Angeles Trail was cut off as well. When it reopened, we made our way up a thousand feet or so.

We found the trail is in great shape. There were a few more logs down, but nothing hard to get over or around. In fact, little had changed. Even the Christmas ornaments that someone had put up were still there. It was like coming home.

The creek

Freshly fallen

At least we took down our tree.

Keywords: christmas, lake angeles, winter

02/13/10 - Lake Crescent: Salamander Alert

We know this has been a mild winter, but we didn't expect to see salamanders out and about in February. There they were, right in the middle of the Spruce Railroad Trail. They can be tricky to see, so it is a wonder we didn't step on one. We spotted two or three of them. (We may have spotted the same salamander twice.) We also noticed that the big logs that had been blocking the trail had been removed, clearly by the hand, and most likely chainsaw, of man. The trail is in great shape, and rain or shine, it is a beautiful trail.

Salamander #1


Salamander #2

More scenery

Salamander #3, or possibly Salamander #1 spotted again on our way back along the trail

Keywords: salamander, spruce railroad, winter

02/04/10 - Dungeness Spit

Dungeness Spit is not always an easy hike. The tides vary by eight feet in a typical day, and during high tide the beach is not only small, but rocky. In the winter it is worse. Not only are there fewer good tides, but the winter tides often wash out the sand, so even at low tide, it can be rough going.

This year, however, is a good year for hiking the Dungeness Spit. The beach is broad and sandy, so it is easy to avoid all the rocky patches. The strait is full of seabirds, loons, scoters, cormorants and many others beyond our limited identification skills. Oh yes, there are eagles, lots of eagles. There's no point in waiting for spring to hike the Dungeness Spit. It's good walking even now, and, as a bonus, the Indian plum is already in bloom.

An eagle

Dungeness Spit

Indian plum in bloom

Keywords: birds, dungeness, dungeness spit, spring, tides, winter, eagle

01/10/10 - The Winter Market

We missed the Korean garlic lady last week, but she was back again with her excellent garlic, scallions and Korean goodies including fish soup and kim chi pancakes. Korea gets pretty cold in the winter, so they have lots of good dishes for cold weather, and you can try some at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market.

Another newcomer was the Mystery Bay Oyster guy who sells oysters and clams with lots of garlic and butter. He's usually at the Port Townsend market, but they are closed right now, so he's offering his wares to us Port Angelenos. We had a plate of his oysters, and they were wonderful. We'll miss him when the PT market reopens.

The Korean garlic lady

The Mystery Bay Oyster guy

The Johnston Farm lady

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, oysters, winter, garlic lady

01/03/10 - The Elwha River

We hiked out of Whiskey Bend down to the Elwha River, or rather, to just above the Elwha River, but low enough to get a good view of the flood plain. It was a wonderful green trail, and the Elwha River was wild and full. The winding road to the trailhead does get closed now and then, but it is open for most of the winter, and the Elwha River walks are beautiful this time of year.

On our way down to the river

The river

Our favorite overlook

Click for a bigger version of this panorama

Keywords: elwha, winter

01/02/10 - Winter Market

Just because it is the middle of winter doesn't mean that the Port Angeles Farmers' Market is closed. It's open every Saturday from 10-2 at the Gateway Center, and the farmers are there including Westwind, Johnston and Nash Huber stands along with Tuna Dan, Bell Street Bakery and the guy with the mushrooms and seafood whose name we have forgotten. We bought a lovely piece of black cod from the guy whose name we forgot, so he is worth a trip to the market in his own right.

Johnston Farm

Westwind Farm

Nash Huber

Tuna Dan

Bell Street Bakery

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, winter, westwind farm

12/09/09 - Return of the Icicles

The icicles along the Spruce Railroad Trail are back. We last noticed them back in March. They are as beautiful as ever, especially with the lake's blue waters behind them.

Keywords: spruce railroad, winter

11/04/09 - Snowy Mountains

The Elwha trails out of Whiskey Bend are still wide open, and they offer great views of the snowy mountains across the river. We had to push on to the overlook just for a peek.

Keywords: elwha, winter

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