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10/24/18 - Local Salamander

We nearly stepped on this salamander while tromping along the Spruce Railroad Trail.

Keywords: salamander, spruce railroad

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

01/24/16 - Winter Salamander

The mythical salamander was a creature that lived in fire. This salamander is a real creature that lives in winter. We usually don't see salamanders active this time of the year, but sometimes a warm January day will do it.

An Olympic torrent salamander

Keywords: salamander, winter

04/18/14 - Trillium Season

It's spring. The trilliums are out at Lake Crescent and the Olympic golden salamanders are on the march. What more can we say?

A trillium

A salamander

Indian paintbrush

More trilliums

Another salamander

Keywords: lake crescent, salamander, spring, trillium

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

10/08/13 - Lake Crescent

The park may be closed, but Lake Crescent is still there, as is Storm King. We took a short walk on the Spruce Railroad Trail and enjoyed the scenery. We also ran into a late season salamander, so it isn't winter yet.

The lake and soft light

Storm King and its shadow

A late season salamander

Keywords: lake crescent, salamander, spruce railroad, storm king

04/25/12 - Low Tide at the Dungeness Spit

There have been some really low tides at the Dungeness Spit recently. That means that there's been lots of beach there. Unfortunately, there are also lots of little stones. Still we managed to pick our way finding a not too rocky path across not too sandy or too wet and soft sand. We haven't made it out to the lighthouse yet, but we'll keep trying.

We also saw some salamanders on the walk down to the spit proper. This is a great season for spotting them right on the path.

The path to the beach

Lots of sand ...

... and lots of little stones

One of the little salamanders ...

... and another

Keywords: dungeness spit, salamander, tides

05/17/11 - Seen on the Spruce Railroad Trail

It's definitely getting more spring like.

An abstract painting (Can you spot the salamander and how many didn't we see?)

Actual flowers

Actual mushroom (Sorry, no plural)



Flowing water

Those spooky old maples

Keywords: flowers, salamander, spring, spruce railroad

03/31/11 - Spruce Railroad Spring Report

At long last, spring is coming to the Spruce Railroad Trail on Lake Crescent. On our most recent hike we were greeted by salamanders, and there was even a bit of wild currant in bloom. It was a typical cloudy day, and the mountains, still covered with snow, loomed mysterious.

Oh yes, the trail is a bit muddy.

"Welcome to the Spruce Railroad Trail."

Snow and clouds in the mountains and valleys

More mystery

Mount Storm King draped in cloud

The rocks are alive.

Some madronas

Some wild currant blossoms

Another salamander

Yet another salamander - There were a lot of them. We stepped carefully.

Keywords: lake crescent, salamander, spring, spruce railroad, storm king

09/30/10 - Save The Spruce Railroad Trail

We are leaving this post up here at the top of our site because we want to get the word about the proposed changes out as best we can. Scroll down a bit for our usual updates.

The Spruce Railroad Trail is in danger. The park service and the county are seriously considering a plan to eliminate the existing wilderness trail and replacing it with a twelve foot wide, sturdily paved transportation corridor relegating its traditional users - hikers, joggers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders - to a three foot wide unpaved margin. Basically, they want to turn it into an urban bike path with some accomodation for the rest of us.

If you explore the Spruce Railroad Trail now, you get a true national park experience, with ferns, salal, mosses, and sometimes salamanders lapping at your feet. You can stop by the trail side an picnic or just rest on a rock or log. The trail has a soft surface which makes for easier hiking and jogging. The proposed transportation corridor eliminates all of this. It uses most of the right of way, eliminating a lot of the vegetation and natural diversity. It will be paved, changing the scent and atmosphere, and increasing runoff into Lake Crescent.

The current trail, and one of the wider sections

The proposed "improved" version
If you want to find out more, you can check the park's web site and the section on the proposed transportation corridor.

The plan is still open for public comment, but not for much longer. They've been rather quiet about it given its impact. There was a small notice on the cluttered bulletin board at the trailhead, but little else. You can:

Keywords: lake crescent, port angeles, salamander, spruce railroad

09/07/10 - The Salamanders Are Back

Now that the rains are back, the slugs and salamanders are back as well. We saw a couple of our local salamanders on the Lake Angeles trail, so watch your step.

They are usually better camouflaged than this.

Keywords: salamander, lake angeles

Yet another salamander

03/16/10 - Seen On The Spruce Railroad Trail

You are probably getting tired of all the pictures of salamanders we have been posting. Sorry, but here's another. We saw five salamanders on the trail, possibly a record.

Keywords: salamander, spruce railroad

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

12/01/09 - The Last Salamander of the Season

This has to be the last salamander of the season. It was an awfully cold day for salamanders when we spotted him on the Spruce Railroad Trail.

Keywords: salamander, spruce railroad

09/24/09 - Lake Angeles Trail Salamander

Olympic salamanders are all over the place. We ran into this little feller on the Lake Angeles trail. Unlike slugs, salamanders can be pretty hard to spot, and it seems that every other twig looks something like a slug or salamander. Still, it pays to watch where one steps on the trail.

We love the crazy geometric background

Keywords: lake angeles, salamander

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