The Kaleberg Journal - January 2017


01/22 - Some Birds of the Season

Despite the cold winter, or perhaps because of it, we've been seeing a number of interesting birds as we make our usual rounds.

A hummingbird on a rose hip in our backyard

An eagle at the Dungeness Dike

Some Dungeness Dike scenery

Another eagle

We've been seeing a lot of these guys

The Dungeness River

Dungeness skies

Swans dropping by, interspersed with ducks

The swans just love this field

We haven't looked this guy up yet. Note the orange cheek patches.

Across the way, the Elwha River

Keywords: birds, winter


01/22 - Marymere Falls and Barnes Creek

So many trails are closed this winter. Most of the Elwha River trails are closed while the flood damage is repaired, and the Spruce Railroad Trail is closed for the next step in its upgrade. The loop to Marymere Falls is one of the few trails still open, so we've been getting there fairly often. For a while, the trail was covered with snow. The Barnes Valley doesn't get a lot of sun this time of year, but the snows have melted, and the snow melt and recent rains have fed the river and the falls.

Marymere Falls, a healthy roar

The steps from the lower to the upper falls observation points, in National Park Modern

They've been rebuilding the bannisters along the trail

A view of Barnes Creek

The footbridge over Barnes Creek

Another view of Barnes Creek

The forest

Another view

and yet another

Keywords: elwha, marymere falls, spruce railroad, trails, winter


01/17 - Dungeness Spit - The New Year

The Dungeness Spit is a five mile long sand spit that juts out into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. It's basically a beach without anything inland. Unlike the littoral beaches of the east coast that parallel the mainland, the spit heads away from land and then turns east. Hiking the spit is always an otherworldly experience. There is salt water on either side and just a long, wild beach littered with driftwood that runs for miles. There are spectacular views of the the San Juan Islands, the Olympic Mountains and often the Cascades. Otherwise, it is sky and salt water.

The spit varies greatly with the tide. The gap between low tide and high tide is often six feet of water. At low tide the beach can be broad and easy going. At high tide it is narrow, just a bit of sand and lots of driftwood to clamber over. In the autumn, the tides make hiking the spit difficult. There are some nice low tides, but only at night, but as winter sets in, the low tides cycle into daylight. By early February there are long low tides, under three feet, right in the middle of the day, so we expect to visit the spit more often as the season progresses.


A winter sky

More winter sky and driftwood

Definitely driftwood

The Olympic Mountains as seen from the sea

Another sand and sky picture

Rocks and driftwood

The spit from the climb out

Keywords: autumn, beaches, dungeness spit, winter


01/01 - The Elwha in the Snow

We took a walk along the closed part of Olympic Hot Springs again. This time it had snowed, so the trees were frosted and the river almost black. We only walked out for a half an hour, but we're contemplating heading farther next time, perhaps to the bridge over the river near Altair. It has been a cold snowy winter, so we'll get out when we can.

Olympic Hot Springs Road

The frosted forest

More frost, more forest

The river

Another view of the river

Snow covered driftwood

The view upriver

Yet another view of the river ...

... and another view of the forest

Keywords: elwha, winter


The Kaleberg Journal - December 2016


12/26 - The Elwha River and a Bobcat

Like many, we have been waiting for Olympic Hot Springs Road to reopen so we can return to the trails out of Whiskey Bend and revisit the hot springs themselves. To see how things were going, we parked at the Madison Falls parking lot and walked along the road, now closed to motorized traffic. The river was winter beautiful with snow on the hills and a cold gray light. The new temporary one lane bridge is in place and a fair bit of work has been done on the road.

We had some wonderful views of the river itself, but then, on our way back, we saw something else, a bobcat in the open field not far from the parking lot. We had seen a bobcat here before, but only briefly as it bounded away in the distance. This bobcat was closer and calmer. We were barely 50 feet away, close enough for an excellent view. It was a real treat in the face of a snowy winter and with so many trails closed in the park.


The Elwha River

Another view of the river

The river and snowy mountains

Across the river

The new bridge

Yet another view of the Elwha

Across the bridge

Through the woods

The bobcat

A closer view

And an even closer view

Keywords: elwha, olympic hot springs, spring, trails, winter


12/22 - Rialto Beach Monochrome

We took a short journey out to Rialto Beach on a gray drizzly day. The winter light was fantastic, almost unreal. The sea was wild and open. The sky was full of clouds. We didn't get all that far in the wind and spray, but it was a wonderful walk.

Driftwood and seastacks

Gray water

More driftwood

Another view of the water

Sea stacks

A view south

The Pacific Ocean, not very pacific

Another almost monochrome view

Water into the ocean

Another view south

Driftwood

Keywords: rialto beach, winter


12/18 - Barnes Creek - Ice and Snow

We've had a bit of snow lately, so we went for a walk in the woods. We took the Barnes Creek trail, but we didn't make it to Marymere Falls. The footbridge was just too icy for us. Still, it was worth the walk. The snow fall in the forest was beautiful.

The path through the woods

Barnes Creek

The footbridge - too icy for us

A river view

Snow in the woods

More snow

More woods (with snow)

An icy scene

Icicles

The forest floor

The icy river again

Keywords: barnes creek


12/14 - Christmas at the Kalebergs

We've got both trees up and decorated. The little tree, the one with the candles is decorated with gingerbread cookies lovingly decorated by our friends who are by far more talented than we are. We provide the cookies and the colored ices, but our friends provide the love and imagination. Every year we hold our cookie party, and our table is surrounded by careful artisans decorating cookies, pausing only for a sip or two of champagne. When the sky darkens, we light the candles and celebrate the start of winter and the coming end of the year.

The cookie tree illuminated

The big tree

Some cookies

More cookies

Even more cookies

Did we mention cookies?

It's a beautiful tree.

Keywords: christmas


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