The Kaleberg Journal - April 2021


04/13 - Up The Elwha To Altair

We've been getting out more thanks to the warming weather and our COVID vaccinations. We've been wandering up Olympic Hot Springs Road along the Elwha starting at Madison Falls where the road closes to traffic and up to the Altair Bridge. There's a detour through the hills behind the old Elwha Campground which was washed out along with the road. All along the way we've been spotting signs of spring.

Already, the columbines and trilliums are coming out, and the skunk cabbage is nearing its peak. The river is still calm before the spring melt, but with ten plus feet of snow at Hurricane Ridge, we expect an impressive flow when the melting begins in earnest. We'll keep coming back to see how things progress.


A columbine bud

A columbine flower

Another columbine

Trilliums

Another trillium

The Elwha

Fiddleheads

Ferns, also known as grown up fiddleheads

Skunk cabbage

The view from the Altair Bridge

A swamp marigold blossom

High contrast forest

A small bird - probably an American Dipper or Water Ouzel

An early columbine with its leopard leaves

It's a short season, so we took lots of photos.

Yup, another

The forest path

A trillium as the season starts

Along the Elwha

Keywords: elwha, spring, trillium, weather


04/12 - Some 2021 Sightings

Since we haven't been updating much, here are some of the birds and animals we have been seeing in the area. We've seen more, but so many are photogenic but camera shy.

Elk in someone's field off Route 112

Those elk again

Eating, eating, endlessly eating, just like us

Wild currant

A red breasted sapsucker near the Elwha

The Elwha

A river otter in the Elwha

River otters in the Strait

Those two returning to dry land

Two eagles in Sequim

Swans in Sequm

Keywords: animals, birds


04/11 - Sol Duc Falls and the Forest

When we realized that Sol Duc Road was open, we went out to the trailhead for Sol Duc Falls at the end of the road. The resort was closed, as was the campground. The parking lot was not very full. The day was cold and gray, but we entered the forest heading down a series of steps into a world of tall trees, mosses and ferns. There was also snow here and there beside the trail.

The falls were impressive, but we've seen them even wilder. Once the snow starts melting, the river will grow in force. We crossed the river and headed onward taking the trail to Deer Lake. There was no way we were going to make it to the lake. With patches of snow down at the level of the falls, the trail leading 1600' up to the lake was surely quite deep in snow in its higher reaches. We had hoped to make it to the bridge over Canyon Creek and perhaps up about 700' to where we could see the snow melting.

We didn't get all that far. We had seen signs of windfall on the trail to the falls, but the trail had been cleared. The trail to Deer Lake still had downed trees and branches blocking it. We clambered over a few, but then we reached a downed tree trunk that lined up to block the trail for some ways. We considered squeezing our way alongside it, but given the state of the trail, odds are we would run into another obstacle afterwards and then others beyond.

According to the park website, the resort and the campground open on April 16th, so it is likely that more trails will be cleared as the season progresses.


Forest steps

Snow beside the trail

More snow

Sol Duc Falls

Another view of the falls

Yet another view with some foreground snow

Other Sol Duc waterfalls

The forest trail

Another world

More forest steps

A forest stream

A stream through stones

That stream aagain

Keywords: deer lake, sol duc, trails, waterfall


The Kaleberg Journal - April 2020


04/24 - Where Have We Been?

We've been holing up and avoiding the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of Olympic National Park is closed as are the state parks. We do get outdoors a bit, and our online shopping habit has taken off. On one of our excursions we spotted a familiar figure. He or she - it's hard to tell - was sensibly wearing a mask and carrying a spray container of disinfectant.

Is that who we think it is?

Keywords: port angeles


The Kaleberg Journal - March 2020


03/12 - 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


03/08 - Last Winter Hiking on the Lake Angeles Trail

We hiked the Lake Angeles Trail a few times this winter. By late February, there was only a little snow on the lower reaches of the trail. That's as far as we went, though others we met on the trail had made it all the way up to the lake. It's one of the easier trails to get to from town, but with all the rain and cold weather, we haven't been getting up there lately.

The footbridge about 700' above the trailhead

Running water

Snowy scene

The boardwalk

Despite the snow, there was lots of green.

The trail with a light dusting

More of the trail

The footbridge again

Wood and snow

Another trail scene

There was snow, but the lower trail was easy going.

Light snow and a fallen tree

Very little snow on the lower part of the trail

Icicles

The frozen curtain of drips

More frozen drips

Almost vernal

No snow at all down here

Lower part of the trail

Keywords: lake angeles, trails, weather, winter

Keywords: lake angeles, trails, weather, winter


03/04 - Spruce Railroad Trail Before Closing

The Spruce Railroad Trail is closing early this March and not likely not to reopen until October or November. They are finishing the widening and paving. It still has beautiful views of the lake, even if it is now more of a transportation corridor than a hiking trail. We decided to get in one last walk before the final transformation, and have to admit, it is still worth walking.

A little waterfall

The bridge at the Devil's Punchbowl

Calm water

At the end of our walk

The trail

A local eagle

A bit more of the trail

Keywords: spruce railroad

Keywords: spruce railroad


The Kaleberg Journal - February 2020


02/19 - Seattle Winter

We took a short trip into Seattle for the SIFF Noir City Film Festival. We took our usual trip up to Ballard Locks where the water was running at full force. The fish ladder was closed for repairs as was one of the locks, but the winter and early spring flowers were already in bloom. As a bonus, there was a tree full of nesting herons. We've never seen them there before, but this time there were at least six and possibly more.

Seattle in the evening

Daphnes in bloom

Early crocuses

Water at full flow

A more distant view

Herons in the tree

More herons and their nests

Herons and nests from a distance

Frothing water

An empty lock

The view downstream

Edgeworthia chrysantha with a wonderful scent

Berries

Evening in Seattle

Another evening view

Post Alley at night

Pike Place Market at night

Another market view

Seattle streets

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring, winter

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring, winter


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