July 2014August 2014 September 2014

08/29 - 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


Clouds and mountains

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, summer

08/27 - Lake Angeles Trail - Notes and Berries

We've been climbing the Lake Angeles Trail a bit lately, partly to get into shape and partly to avoid the brilliant summer sun. We noticed a memorial stone placed near the trail for Barry Koehler, the pilot who died here when his plane crashed. The two survivors of the crash are now running Harbinger Winery and Adventures Through Kayaking these days. It's been ten years now, but clearly he has not been forgotten.

On a cheerier note, we also noticed a lot of berries. It is late summer now, and all sorts of berries are ripening. So the forest is accented with reds and oranges and brilliant blues. Some we recognize, while for others we'll just share our curiosity. We haven't made it up to the lake yet, but we'll keep trying.

There is a memorial for Barry Koehler a bit off the trail.

The cathedral of the woods

Pacific dogwood

More pacific dogwood

We're not sure of these

Knick knack

More of those blue berries


We're not sure of these either

Mahonia berries ripening

Salal berries

Keywords: harbinger winery, lake angeles

08/26 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market Update

We've been remiss in updating folks on the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. It is full summer now with tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, scallions, berries and just about everything else, except for winter squash. Wild West seafood has fresh salmon and Clark Farm has been selling beef and pork. There's no point in going into details, things change from week to week.

River Run Farm

Johnston Farm

More Johnston Farm

Nash Huber

Spring Rain Farm

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, salmon, spring rain

08/25 - Second Beach - Surf's Up

We were out at Second Beach for a moderate low tide. Most of the driftwood where the trail meets the beach is gone, so it was easy going. The tidal flats were broad and sandy, but wet. There was a bit of ocean fog which lent an air of mystery to the scene. The tide was still going out when we arrived, so we slop-slop-slopped our way along the beach to the south.

There were a lot of folks camping, including a den of pirates, possibly hiding out from the minions of the RIAA. We also saw a few surfers, black forms in their wet suits. They splashed their way out from shore, then rode the waves gracefully back to the shallows. Second Beach is not a tropical paradise like Waikiki. It's a more mysterious place with fog, cold water and an essential wildness, and all the more attractive for it.

We made our way to the sea cave and tide pools at the south end of the beach and are sad to report that there were no star fish there. They've been dying from some mysterious disease, but we had hopes.

Ocean fog and low tide

More fog

Wide, flat beach

Magical light

Pirate's den


Actually surfing

More surfing

Homeward bound

The rocks and tide pools

Anemones, but no starfish

Keywords: second beach

08/23 - The Latest in Vodka

We aren't big vodka fans. To be honest, we loathe the stuff, but we couldn't help noticing the latest and greatest on the shelves at our Safeway. From left to right it runs the gamut. First, there's the Vodka Diet. While losing a few pounds might be good for one's health, this is probably the least healthy way to go about losing them. Then, there's the Patriotic approach, most likely pandering to our concerns about Putin, Russia and the Ukraine. We aren't sure of the appeal. Is it drink vodka for Dutch courage or to forget about the whole mess? Finally, there is the diplomat's special, combining the best of both worlds: America's love of junk food and Russia's love of hard liquor.

As we said earlier, we just aren't big vodka fans.

Keywords: art, food

08/21 - Artichokes

We often walk down the Olympic Discovery Trail from the Morse Creek parking area to the strait. Not far from where the trail meets the water, there is a chain link fence and a gate. Often we'd see apples for sale in a little box near the gate. It isn't quite the season for apples, but the artichokes are in. They're big ones too. Whoever is selling them also provides some bags, so they are easier to carry. We passed on this opportunity, but if you are ever in the neighborhood and get a craving for an artichoke, they are in season.

Artichokes for sale

Keywords: morse creek, food

08/19 - Spruce Railroad Trail Closed for Paving

For at least five years, and probably longer, there have been plans to turn the nature trail along the north shore of Lake Crescent into a road for bicyclists. Various plans had been floated, and hearings packed with road lobbyists have been held. The environmental plan, which flatly asserts that a four acre asphalt feature hard by a deep water lake has no environmental impact, should be good news for developers everywhere.

The official notice
For years, the project seemed to wait, but earlier this year, we ran into some folks from the park service who were salvaging some of the hundreds of ferns and other plants that would be destroyed by the road project, Now the project is underway. The trail is closed at the eastern end. We noticed the signs about a week before construction started. The park and local media have been surprisingly quiet about the project, though the park did issue a press release at the same time they posted the closing notices. The construction is expected to run through late October. We are definitely going to miss the old trail. If nothing else, we're tender footed and like to walk on a soft dirt surface now and then. This is another victory in the war on nature trails. On a positive note, we are hoping that bicyclists and others, who might never have considered an unpaved trail, will enjoy the new paved version which will connect Sequim, Port Angeles and the West End. We gather this stage of construction will run to the Devil's Punchbowl, ending at the first tunnel, so you can still grab a kayak or canoe and explore the trail to the west, or you can drive around to the western trailhead via Camp David Junior Road which starts near Fairholm.

Keywords: lake crescent, trails

July 2014August 2014 September 2014