September 2008October 2008 November 2008

10/29 - Here Too Are Salamanders

It pays to keep one's eyes on the ground, even on the Dungeness Dike Trail. While enjoying the fall foliage we found this little fellow, an Olympic torrent salamander.

Keywords: dungeness dike trail, animals, salamander

10/27 - A Quick Trip Into Seattle

We made a quick trip into Seattle and flew Kenmore Air. It was a great flying day, and we had window seats, so here a couple of pictures from our flight, and one picture from Seattle proper. It seems that summer is over in the city as well.

Dungeness Spit

The Dungeness River - Can you see Dungeness Valley Creamery down there?

A city scene

Keywords: dungeness, dungeness spit, flying, seattle, autumn, kenmore

10/25 - Last Call For Klahane Ridge: This Time For Sure Rocky

We have had a magnificent year for Klahane Ridge. The late rains meant a great wild flower season, but now autumn is upon us. The shadows have grown longer, and the first snows have appeared. Soon, the trail will be closed for the winter. Still, we hope to be able to take one more climb this year, if only for another look at the fall foliage and the incredible views.

Long shadows and early snow

The mountains are ready for winter

More snow

Fall color

The end of the season

Brilliant fields

No longer lush, but still beautiful

Keywords: autumn, klahane ridge, winter

10/21 - The Morse Creek Trail

The Morse Creek Trail is not one of the great trails of the North Olympic Peninsula, but it is a little gem in its own right. If nothing else, it is convenient, with its trailhead right off of route 101. East of Port Angeles, it runs along the waterfront, but even away from the water it has its charms.

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles, trails

10/20 - The Thirteenth Stroke of the Crazy Clock

We don't set our clocks back an hour for nearly another two weeks, but we've been reading up on daylight saving time anyway. From the 1950 World Almanac on the Ups and Downs of Daylight Saving Time (p535):
In 1949, Grand Central Terminal Station in New York City, used by more passengers than any other railroad station in the country, adopted two sets of summer time. The New York Central adhered to eastern standard time. The New Haven changed to daylight saving time. While trains departed on their regular schedules, they were apparently an hour apart. To accomodate travelers, all clocks were furnished with an extra hour-hand.
It has to be true. I read it in the World Almanac.

Keywords: science, humor

10/15 - Hurricane Hill Dusted

There was a dusting of snow up at Hurricane Hill on our last visit. This winter is starting slowly, so we've been able to watch it. Some years, winter waits, then delivers one big snow, and the mountains are covered with snow for the season. This time we are getting a bit of snow here and there, some autumn colors and slowly dropping temperatures.

Keywords: autumn, hurricane hill, winter

10/11 - Some of the Otters

There were some river otters swimming off the Morse Creek Trail today. This isn't a very good picture. They kept diving for fish, so it was hard to get a good shot.

There were five otters off the Morse Creek Trail today.

Keywords: morse creek, animals, otters

The Port Angeles Farmers' Market at the county courthouse

10/11 - Farmers' Market Update

We've been regulars at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market, but we haven't said much about it lately. We really should. This cool summer has delayed a lot of the produce, but now the lacinato kale, the pumpkins and winter squashes, the potatoes, the braising greens, the fennel and garlic are all in. The Johnston Farm still has a few of their melons. Dry Creek Farm is out of stewing hens until January, but they still have their wonderful eggs. Some farmers still have a few tomatoes, but the real fall harvest is coming in. For more info, check out the market website, or our market fan site.

Keywords: dry creek farm, farmers' market, johnston farm, port angeles, kale

10/10 - Duck Confit

The autumn is upon is. The first duck confit of the year has been preserved Chez Kaleberg. It is a bit of a production. If you want to make your own version, you can try following our recipe which derives from Paula Wolfert's.

There it is, in all its glory.

Keywords: autumn, food, recipe, kale

10/09 - First Snow at Lake Angeles

The Lake Angeles trail is one of our favorites. It climbs over 2400' passing from rain forest to alpine forest; it leads to an amazing mountain lake surrounded by fantastic ramparts of stone, and it is only about 10 minutes from our house. Every climb is different. Sometimes the trail is lined with trilliums. Sometimes it leads from rain and fog to brilliant sun. This time, it took us into the land of winter.

The skies were cloudy at the trailhead, and the trail was wet from recent rain, but the real treat started around 1700' above the parking lot. Here we saw the first dustings of snow. Most of the trail was clear, but here and there a patch of snow made it through a gap in the canopy. As we continued to climb, we could see the light snow. It would stick to trees and mosses but melt on rocks and the trail itself.

As we climbed, it grew colder, and the light snow became constant. We entered a wonderland of winter. Our traction was good and the weather well above freezing. The lake beckoned. We had to see what the snow was like around Lake Angeles proper. Somehow, we pressed on and were well rewarded for our efforts. Clouds hid the ramparts, but the white accent of snow made everything look magical. The little island seemed something of Arthurian legend.

Every climb is different.

Clouds hid the ramparts.

The mystic isle

An enchanted lake - Is that a hand with a sword?

More winter wonderland

Another view of the isle

Even a light dusting of snow makes the familiar seem different.

A simple shrubbery

The trail was clear.

Snow on the trail, but not very much

One of the rocky outcrops along the trail

Snow on the moss

Keywords: lake angeles, winter, trillium

10/07 - Enterprise Rent A Car Park, Follow Up

We wrote to Enterprise about their little park near Seatac airport, and here is the response we received:
Thank you for your inquiry. Officially, we call our park a Japanese Rock Garden. We wanted to beautify the un-useable area infront of our business, so we developed this area into the garden about 3 years ago. Thank you for noticing our efforts improve the Sea-Tac strip, and I hope you continue to enjoy it!
It was nice to get such a good answer so quickly. Then again, we've always had good luck when dealing with Enterprise Rent A Car. We won't suggest taking a trip to Seattle just to see this park, but it is worth a peek if you are in the area.

Keywords: seattle, flowers

10/05 - First Snow on Hurricane Hill - Part 2

It wasn't much of a snow by mountain standards. Last year we had over 40 feet, and the record fall was over 60 back in 1999. It was just a dusting, but it was enough to set off the autumn colors, and enhance the other worldly beauty of the mountains.

Keywords: autumn, flowers, high country, hurricane hill

10/05 - First Snow on Hurricane Hill - Part 1

There was a dusting of snow in the hills the other night. When we woke up there was a fresh coat of snow on the mountains. We weren't sure if we could get up to Hurricane Hill, but we called 360 565 3131. They had the update from the previous afternoon. The webcam had been down since around 4:30 on Saturday. A little after nine we got the word. The road was open, so we set out for the high country.

We could see fresh snow on the distant hills, but we didn't see much by the road side until we were at the Hurricane Ridge parking lot. The trees were frosted, but the road was clear. We headed on to Hurricane Hill, and we were rewarded for our persistence. This had been a wet summer, so the alpine vegetation was lush and the grasses higher and fuller. There had been a profusion of flowers. In September, temperatures started to drop, and the autumn colors came in. There were the golds and reds and browns. Now, an early snow had come, and highlighted all this rich color.

Keywords: autumn, flowers, high country, hurricane hill

10/04 - Enterprise Rent A Car Park

When we stay near Seatac airport in Seattle we often walk by a small vest pocket park on International Boulevard near 190th Street. There is a big Enterprise Rent A Car sign, a driveway and this park surrounded by a high metal fence. International Boulevard is the main airport strip, so it is mainly hotels, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, long term parking lots and the like. None of this is much to look at, but Enterprise has this peaceful looking little park, right on the main drag. In fact, their main operation is a half a block down that driveway, which might have something to do with this little park. Granted, we have never seen anyone in this park, and we can't figure out how to get in ourselves without the key or climbing the fence, but it still offers an oasis of calm and peace, right along the main frenetic drag.

A place of peace, kind of

Keywords: seattle, flowers

September 2008October 2008 November 2008