The Kaleberg Journal - July 2016


07/22 - Rainbow and Thunderstorm

You can see the two arcs of the rainbow highlighted against the clouds of a thunderstorm approaching Port Angeles.

Amazing light

Keywords: port angeles, atmosphere


07/19 - Hurricane Hill - Fog and Goats

We recently climbed Hurricane Hill on a cloudy, changeable day. At one moment there was sun, blue sky and a fantastic view of the distant mountains, at another one was walking in a cloud barely able to see a few hundred feet. If nothing else, there was variety. There were also mountain goats. We saw them from the summit. They were along the north face of the ridge, at least ten including a number of kids.

This may or may not have been the same group of goats we encountered on Klahane Ridge. Apparently, the goat population has been growing, and the ranger we talked to noted that there was a goat census in progress. She also asked if we had thrown any rocks at them. We hadn’t, but we’ll carry a sling shot in the case of any problems in the future.


A sunny view

An odd flower season

Fog rolling in, or perhaps out, or even both

Mountain goats

A close up - Ultra-zoom is great!

Fog and goats, as promised in this post’s title

Fogs, goats and bonus snow

Two kids tussling

More rolling fog

Another cloudy view

Bright flowers

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, mountain goats


07/13 - The Mountain Goats of Klahane Ridge

We hadn’t planned on climbing Klahane Ridge. We were just going to climb a few hundred feet to convince ourselves that it wasn’t impossible. Instead, we pushed on, repeatedly promising ourselves that if we climbed just another hundred or two hundred feet we could turn around. Of course, by the time we turned at the 1300’ hair pin, we had no choice but to climb the remained 150’ or so.

The sky had been cloudy, and more clouds were moving in as we approached the top. We could tell that there was no view to the north and the view to the south would be closed in soon. Luckily, a band of traveling players was on its way to provide for our entertainment. We were not the only ones on Klahane Ridge, for along with the other humans were at least a dozen mountain goats including a good number of kids.

These animals can be quite dangerous. Check out those horns. Luckily, they seemed to be calm enough, primarily focused on eating, so not all that much different from ourselves. Needless to say, we did not try to get a good pose with their kids. Instead, we started heading down the ridge. To our surprise, the goats joined us. Maybe they recognized kindred souls, for much as we awaited our dinner down below, they considered the larkspur, lupine and other foliage their open buffet.

Since they were more agile than we and less inclined to follow park rules, they would often take a shortcut and settle in for a course on the trail ahead of us. We humans stopped to watch not wanting to hurry their meal. The nannies would move ahead. The kids would bleat in protest, but eventually follow. We would slink by, hoping our desire to continue on the trail would not be mistaken for a desire for roast cabrito.

The goats left us at the trail junction. They decided to follow a group from Seattle, perhaps recognizing the world class food on offer in the big city. We made our way back to the Switchback Trail parking lot, our appetite sharpened by the exertion of the climb and watching all those goats chowing down heartily.


The Olympic Range appears above Sunrise Peak after 1000’ of climbing.

Pretty mountain country, rising clouds

Mountain goats heading down to join us

Nanny and two kids

Clouds coming in

More kids

Following us down the trail

Further down the trail

Even further down

Flowers too, larkspur and turks cap lily

This was not a good year for the lupines, but the larkspur have taken up the challenge.

Keywords: animals, klahane ridge, mountain goats


07/10 - Lately

Someone has been having a birthday. That means lots of presents and, of course, The Death Cake. It was named for the Death Star, the destroyer space station in the movie Star Wars, except that ours is much larger and more deadly. If you want to make your own, perhaps to destroy annoying rebel planets, try our recipe.

The Death Cake distorting space and time

Lots of presents

A heron down on the waterfront, trying out a new camera

Keywords: recipe


07/05 - Hurricane Hill - The Fifth of July

We took advantage of the cloudy weather to hike up to Hurricane Hill. The distant mountains at times were obscure and at others clear, so the view changed as we walked. Now and then a bright ray of sun would illuminate a field of snow on a mountain top, then the clouds would move and hide the entire range from us.

This has been a magnificent year for larkspur. It loves the rocky mountain soil, but this year seems to have been perfect for it. The wall flowers and phlox are passing, but there were roses blooming, dirty sock plant, paintbrush and a host of other flowers. After last year’s drought left the lupines shrunken, we feared the worst this year. There were lupines out, but it looks like it is still early in their season. The corn lilies on our favorite side spur have grown larger, but are not yet in bloom.

Not everyone likes the trail in gray weather. There is always the risk of fog and rain, and the view can be limited. There is nothing like the crystalline view of the distant Olympics on a bright sunny day, but the clouds add depth and give a greater sense of the sheer majesty of the view.


A view of the mountains

A seasonal lake

Corn lilies

A misty field

Lupines

Last bit of phlox

Paintbrush

Witch’s hair

Hair of the mountain goat

Larkspur

Roses

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, weather


The Kaleberg Journal - June 2016


06/26 - Second Beach at Low Tide

We took advantage of the lovely, sunny day and the -0.3 foot low tide at La Push to get out and explore Second Beach. The forest was alive with green light filtering through the trees, and there was an array of driftwood to clamber over to get to the beach, but the beach was broad and beautiful. Even better, the tide looked enough for us to get out to one of the usually isolated sea stacks.

We made our way along the beach and started our approach. There was a spit of sand jutting out towards the sea stack, but it ended a bit short. There was still a channel to cross, so we took off our shoes and laid them on what passed for high ground. Then we waded out. The water came over our knees, but only for a few steps. Then we were approaching the caves at the base of the sea stack.

We made our way around to the tide pools, and there we saw them - starfish. There was a starfish plague a year or two ago, and it wiped out just about every starfish in the Pacific northwest, even the ones in aquariums. But, here in the tide pools at the base of this inaccessible sea stack, there were starfish, dozens of them. They were clutching the rocks by the pools full of anemones. It was really good to see them.

We only spent so long at the sea stack. The tide was already rising, and our shoes were in imminent danger. We reclaimed them and walked south along beach revealed only when the tide was this low. We made our way to the little sea cave at the southern end of the beach, braving the clouds of sea mist that swirled along the beach. Out at sea we could see the Pacific mist condensing into purplish clouds out past the line of sea stacks.

All told it was an amazing visit. Even when the tide is negative, the isolated sea stack is often still unreachable. We had only made our way out there once before, so getting back out there again was a real treat.


This sea stack is only accessible when the tide is extremely low and the sand available permits.

The caves at the base of the sea stack

A view out to sea

Starfish!

More starfish

Starfish and anemones

The other seastacks

The beach looking south

Sea stacks at the southern end of the beach

The sea cave and lots of sea weed

Another view

Keywords: la push, second beach


06/14 - Elwha Update

Olympic Hot Springs Road is still closed at Madison Falls, but the wild river is still there. One rainy day, we went to take a brief look.

Even more river excitement

A view upriver

A view downriver

A view of the river bed

And another similar view

Keywords: elwha, olympic hot springs


06/10 - Volunteer Park Conservatory

One of our favorite places in Seattle is the Volunteer Park Conservatory. We missed it on our last few visits. It closes at four, and sometimes it is closed when they are updating the plants on display. This last trip, however, we had the perfect spring conservatory experience. Everything seemed to be in bloom.

The Conservatory

Berries

A flower

Carnivorous …

… and friends

Also in bloom

Even the cactus

Another cactus …

… and another

An orchid display

An orchid close up

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring


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