For more on the Morse Creek Trail, check out our Morse Creek Trail web page.
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02/22/13 - Morse Creek West

We often drive out to Morse Creek and park near the old railroad bridge. From there, we walk west towards Port Angeles. It's maybe a mile down to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, and depending on time and energy, we'll walk for another mile or two towards town. Lately, we haven't been getting as far, but we have been seeing some amazing things.

Indian plum blossoms

Mount Baker framed by dark cloud and water

One of the many eagles

Keywords: morse creek, mount baker, port angeles, eagle

01/28/13 - Interesting Stuff on the Strait

The waves were actually a lot wilder than this, but as soon as we raised our camera the ocean stilled. We waited a good long time to catch some of the serious waves and wild water, but these pictures will have to do.

Some spray

A bit more spray - The real spray was suppressed by camera action.

A rendezvous at sea

Keywords: morse creek

12/15/12 - The Morse Creek Trail - Winter Edition

The Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek heads through the Four Seasons community down to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. It's an urban walk, fully paved, and with people's houses nearby, but it changes with the seasons, and the views of the strait are always worth the walking.

One end of the rainbow

The other end of the rainbow

The bicycle people are forever seasonal.

We don't know who the bicycle people are, but we love what they do with their mashed up bicycles.

Another reindeer on board

Keywords: morse creek, atmosphere

05/10/12 - A Local River Otter

We were taking an easy stroll along the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek. A bit past the dike we saw a river otter, first crossing the road, then on the rocks offshore. This looks like a lucky otter, chowing down.,

A river otter

Keywords: morse creek, animals

08/22/11 - Some Notes on Morse Creek

When we are lazy, we take the trail west of Morse Creek down to the strait. It's an urban trail, but it is green and relaxing, and just a short drive. It changes with the seasons, and here we found the first sign of autumn, falling leaves from the old maples along the trail. The trail shoulders have been freshly trimmed to the ground; the peak growing season is over. That's probably another sign of the summer passing.

We also noticed a new fence in Morse Creek proper, visible from the old, lovingly restored railroad bridge. Our guess is that they are counting the fish, first funneling them through the gate and recording them on video. Somewhere, someone is watching the Salmon Channel, and mainly seeing water, but now and then a fish or two. (That is so much like life.) It doesn't sound like a cable option we'd be interested in, but we're hoping for good news on the fish population at Morse Creek.

Signs of fall

Freshly cut

Fish management

Keywords: autumn, morse creek, salmon, summer

04/15/11 - Morse Creek Eagles

We saw two bald eagles at Morse Creek, a young one without the distinctive "bald" head and a fully mature one. It's spring, so there was a lot of water flowing under the old railroad bridge, and further down the Olympic Discovery Trail towards Port Angeles the bluffs have been crumbling and blocking the trail with mud and fallen trees. The professional maintenance team has been doing a good job keeping the trail passable, clearing out branches, removing the mud and redoing the drainage. We should also put in a good word for the amateurs who have been collecting litter and keeping the trail clean.

Can you see the bald eagle perched on a branch over Morse Creek?

How about this close up? (What do you expect from a point and shoot telephoto camera?)

A younger bald eagle was nearby.

The downstream creek

The trail

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles, spring, eagle

03/17/11 - The Bluffs Along the Waterfront Trail

We often take the Olympic Discovery Trail from the parking lot off Four Seasons Road and head east towards Port Angeles. There are nice views and good bird watching along the waterfront parts of the trail, but the winter rains make the high bluffs above unstable. The waterfalls may be lovely this time of year, but it's the water that makes the bluffs crumble. We picked our way through this tumble of trees and mud, though sometimes we just regard it as a sign and turn back. Despite this hazard, it's a great trail for this time of year. When the sky is open enough it matters less that it is gray.

Keywords: morse creek, winter, waterfall

01/15/11 - Here Are Two River Otters on a Rock

It's probably Christmas burnout, or the darkness of the season, but things have been slow here. We did see two river otters on one of the rocks off the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek. We were getting hungry. That fish looked awfully good.

Keywords: morse creek, otters

12/28/10 - Antisolar Crepuscular Light

One of the things about the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek is the amazing view of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. It is about 30 miles to Vancouver Island and farther to the San Juan Islands. The Cascades and Mount Baker are even farther, so there is a lot of sea and sky visible. Looking north, away from the sun, one often sees patterns in the shadows of clouds falling on other clouds. This is known as crepuscular light, and it can often be subtle, but sometimes the rays of light are impossible to miss. Just in case you are having trouble seeing them in the picture to the right, roll your cursor over it to see a contrast enhanced version.

Keywords: morse creek, atmosphere, science

12/19/10 - Mount Baker from Morse Creek

The air was extremely clear a few days after that pineapple express that blew through here. We had a great view of Mount Baker from the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek. We could even see a bit of the foothills.

Keywords: morse creek, mount baker

12/16/10 - Morse Creek in Flood

Shortly after the big rain, wetook a walk on the Olympic Discovery Trail, heading west from Morse Creek. The river was swollen, frothing and muddy. We know that the old railroad bridge over it was well designed and lovingly restored, but our perch still seemed precarious. We could feel the river racing below.

Wild waters

More wild waters

Morse Creek

You can see Morse Creek's waters heading out into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca a bit below the horizon and parallel to it.

The trail itself was blocked. What a mess.

Keywords: morse creek

07/10/10 - Morse Creek

We were down at Morse Creek recently. For a consolation - we're too lazy to get out there hike - it's awfully rewarding.

Shallow water, low tide

Morse Creek - mystical light

Morse Creek - reflections

Keywords: morse creek

03/21/10 - Morse Creek Wildlife Area

There have been some changes at Morse Creek curve on Route 101, that roller coaster turn east of the Walmart. There's the new fish crib that seems to be complete, possibly save for the fish, and there's the little building to the east of the creek which seems to have been spruced up somewhat. That's the interpretive center for the Morse Creek Unit of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The fish crib is apparently a survival plan for the Elwha River salmon who will be having their river remodeled in 2012 when the dam comes down. Think of it as temporary housing. If all goes well, they'll be back in their new, improved digs by the middle of the decade, but we all know how remodeling works. Still, it's good to know that there is a plan in place.

The interpretive center is part of the 133 acre Morse Creek Wildlife Area. It was closed when we dropped by, but it looks lived in. We'll see how it shapes up.

The interpretive center

Keywords: elwha, morse creek, salmon, washington state

03/21/10 - Bicycle Art

Now that they've paved the Morse Creek to Port Angeles leg of the Olympic Discovery Trail, you might think that you'd see a lot fewer bicycles with bent wheels and damaged frames, but you'd be wrong. One of the local families, with one of the prettiest gardens, has put up an art installation that can be seen as either an ironic comment or perhaps a warning against tresspassers. We'll let you judge.

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles, art

01/29/10 - Our Measuring Log at Morse Creek Is Gone

The log we have been using for years to measure how high the waters are at Morse Creek has vanished. Presumably, it has been washed away. When the waters were high, they washed over the horizontal log; when they were low, they passed under it. Now the log is no more, so we'll have to guess. (For some pictures of the log in better days, click on the Morse Creek keyword below.)

It's gone!

Keywords: morse creek

01/15/10 - If The Creek Don't Rise ...

With the recent rain and warm weather it looks as if the creek has risen.

At Morse Creek, we use that almost horizontal branch on the left as our benchmark. The waters are usually a foot or so below its bottom, but with the recent rise it is well over the top.

On the Lake Angeles Trail, the little rivulets, often dry, that cross the path are full of water. Ennis Creek, the stream under the log bridge, was roaring.

The Dungeness River was in full fettle. The little side channel visible from the Dungeness Dike Trail, which is often empty in the summer, is a veritable torrent.

That's the view downstream from the railroad bridge.

There's lots of water under the bridge on the Lake Angeles Trail.

The Dungeness River is roaring as well.

Keywords: dungeness dike trail, lake angeles, morse creek, weather

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