For more on the Morse Creek Trail, check out our Morse Creek Trail web page.
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03/21/24 - West of Morse Creek

We often hike west from Morse Creek down to the strait. It's a nice, easy walk and doesn't involve a lot of driving. It looks like the trail is passable again, at least on foot. We checked out the flowers and did our best to spot a woodpecker who just wouldn't pose for the camera.

Some forest floor flowers

Down by the strait

The dike detour

A hard to spot woodpecker

Not cooperating

More of the trail

And a bit more

Keywords: flowers, morse creek

12/11/23 - Morse Creek West

We often follow the Olympic Discovery Trail from the parking lot near Morse Creek. We head west towards Port Angeles. The trail, an old railroad right of way, passes through the Four Seasons subdivision and down to the strait. It is open all year and not very far from where live. It's also a great trail for tracking the seasons.

The Strait of San Juan de Fuca

One of the sea ducks

The trail by the strait

A seal at sea

Another photo showing the mottled pattern and, if you look carefully, whiskers

The trail again, wet and wintry

The dike

Winter patterns

The dike again

Winter foliage

More winter patterns

A last few coin flowers

A coin flower and the ground

Rose hips

A look west at the dike

A loon

Winter color

More winter color

The last of autumn

Some fallen leaves

More fallen leaves

The railroad bridge

Morse Creek

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles, winter

11/04/23 - Morse Creek West and Fall Color

When we don't want to drive far, we'll head east on route 101 and start our walk at the Morse Creek parking lot. The trail crosses Morse Creek on a restored railroad bridge and heads down to the strait where it follows the coast. It heads all the way into Port Angeles and points west, but we haven't taken it that far. The section of the trail from the bridge to the strait is tree lined and, right now, full of autumn color.

Fall color

More fall color

Even more fall color

The trail follows the edge of the Four Seasons development, hence that fence.

Some more color

On the ground

Another bit of color

And yet another

More leaves on the trail

More trail covered with leaves

Even more color

Morse Creek

The railroad bridge

Keywords: autumn, morse creek, port angeles

10/18/23 - Morse Creek West

There's a tricky curve along route 101 where it crosses Morse Creek east of Port Angeles. The road turns and descends, then it turns more and rises again. There's a parking lot for the Olympic Discovery Trail where it crosses Morse Creek at the lowest point of the curve. We often head west from there following the trail down to the strait and then along the water. The trail heads into Port Angeles and continues west, but we don't get that far. We get down to the sea and enjoy the scenery and salt air, then we head back.

It's a good place to watch the leaves change. There are a lot of maples along the way, so the trail gets covered with lots of leaves. It's hard to say when we have peak foliage. This isn't New England. Still, it's near its peak now and will soon be passing.

That's the Girl Scout Wall, a retaining wall painted by a group of Girl Scouts some years back.

The trail lined with leaves

More of the trail

Ghost foliage on the dike by the strait

Some of the last coin flowers

A sunnier view

More fall color

Yet more

One of the "art" bicycles

The art of fallen leaves

A darker section

Keywords: flowers, morse creek, port angeles

08/04/23 - Morse Creek West - An Owl and a Hawk

The Discovery Trail heading west from Morse Creek heads across an old restored railroad bridge down to the strait. We head down that way and walk along the water when we want an easy walk rather than something more challenging. This time, there was a bit of drama as we returned across the old railroad bridge. First, we had a spectacular view of an owl in a tree beside the bridge. Then, the owl was spooked and flew off pursued by a hawk. The hawk landed briefly on the bridge railing but then flew off again chasing the owl far into the trees.

The Discovery Trail along the water

A view in the other direction

Blue water and kelp

The dike

The forest trail

The old railroad bridge

An owl

A better look

Looking at us

Looking elsewhere

Ready to fly

A terrible picture of the hawk who terrified the owl

Not a very good photo - maybe a Cooper's hawk

Morse Creek

Along the old railroad bridge

Keywords: morse creek, birds

09/01/22 - River Otters

The river otters were out in the strait on the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek. We took a late summer walk, and it was nice to see them.

Late summer on the crumbling dike

Along the trail

Wonderful shade

An otter peeping up at us

An elusive otter or two - No photos!

Keywords: morse creek, otters, summer

03/12/20 - Morse Creek West

When we are feeling lazy, we'll often take a walk along the Olympic Discovery Trail starting at the Morse Creek parking off route 101. It's a gentle popular trail, but it's nice and wide, so there is plenty of room for social distancing. It had been closed for a while after it was damaged by the wind and rain. We could see some of the damage at the east end of the dike, and the dike itself is in rough shape. One can follow the trail into Port Angeles and continue west, but our "just enough" walk is usually about a half an hour out and another half an hour back.

The pale area is where they had to rebuild the dike.

Trees along the trail

Along the dike

Looking east

Rough water

More along the trail

More salt water

Heading back

Little blue flowers, a sign of spring

Keywords: flowers, morse creek, port angeles, spring

Keywords: flowers, morse creek, port angeles, spring

05/22/19 - Olympic Discovery Trail West of Morse Creek

We took one of favorite easy walks near Port Angeles, from the parking lot off route 101 near Morse Creek down to the sea. We often take this walk during the winter when the trees are bare, but now the trees are covered with leaves and everything is lush and green. We didn't go very far, just down to the sea and a bit farther, but the yellow lupines were in bloom and smelled as sweet as summer.

The dike along the water

A bit of the trail

And another bit

Very green this time of year

Red grasses

Yellow lupines

Pink roses

A hummingbiird

Caught red wing patched

More roses

Another bit of the trail

Trees arching over the trail

Again, very green, quite unlike winter

A snail

The bridge over Morse Creek

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles

03/12/19 - Various March Birds

This hasn't been a good year for hiking, but it has been a good year for bird watching. The eagles are easy to spot from the Dungeness Dike, and we saw a hummingbird in a bush right near the trail. There was a woodpecker on the forested part of the walk to Dungeness Spit, and a big hawk in a tree as we headed west from the Morse Creek parking lot.

A red tail hawk

Just some trees, unless you look closely

They're full of eagles.

A hummingbird at rest

A hummingbird in motion

The sea and sky off Dungeness Spit

A woodpecker at work on the trail

Keywords: birds, dungeness, dungeness spit, eagle, morse creek

12/20/18 - Dreamy Sky, Dreamy Water

We often walk along the Olympic Discovery Trail heading west from the parking lot near Morse Creek. We always try to walk down to the water. Starting about a mile down the trail offers wonderful water views. This day the sky was gray and dreamy, and this was reflected in the water. There were clouds that looked like islands and possibly islands that looked like clouds. There were dark patches on the water, perhaps layers of fog or reflections of dark clouds or mirages. The air was brisk, but it was the land of dreams.

Morse Creek after the recent rains

Ship traffic and dreamy water

We're pretty sure those are cloud banks, not the San Juans, but it was hard to tell.

A cloud bank or fog or ...

Mystery at sea

Sky and water

Along the Olympic Discovery Trail

Not islands, not mountains

Another view

Keywords: atmosphere, morse creek

12/14/17 - Seen Around Port Angeles

Here are some things we've been seeing around Port Angeles.

A Christmas Tree on the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek

A fireboat in the harbor

Some strange clouds that look like trilobites

A little lizard, not a salamander, on the Olympic Discovery Trail

Seen on the internet - We love artificial intelligence.

Keywords: christmas, morse creek, port angeles, salamander

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

09/12/16 - Nearby Mist

We took a short walk through the mists recently. We didn’t even have to drive far. We hiked right along the waterfront trail starting at Morse Creek and had all the mist and mystery we wanted.

Mist and sky

Along the trail

The way back

Emerging sun

Sunny again

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles

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

11/14/15 - High Water Under the Morse Creek Railroad Bridge

After a summer of drought, it's good to see some water. Morse Creek was in flood under the railroad bridge, its waters as brown as chocolate. We could see the brown water in the strait, but the photographs didn't capture the contrast.

The railroad bridge over Morse Creek

Brown waters

High waters

The view upstream

The view downstream

Keywords: morse creek

05/10/15 - West of Morse Creek

We often walk that stretch of the Olympic Discovery Trail that runs west from Morse Creek. It's a twenty minute walk down to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. We had a great walk recently. The first wild rose was out in bloom and we saw one of the river otters out on a rock.

First rose

A song sparrow

A river otter

Keywords: morse creek, otters

08/21/14 - 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

07/28/14 - Kale on the Loose

We've always been big fans of kale. After all, kale is a feral vegetable. So, take a look at this photo. That's the first feral kale we've spotted, growing right along the Olympic Discovery Trail between downtown Port Angeles and Morse Creek.

Wild kale by the side of the trail

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles, kale

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