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05/18 - Lake Angeles With Frogs

We've been trying to get back into climbing shape in hopes of being able to climb in the high country. We made it a little past the log bridge on the Lake Angeles Trail that starts near Lake Dawn. The spring flowers are about, but the special treat was, once again, frogs. There were the usual trilliums and violets and orchids, but also tiny little frogs perhaps the size of a fifty cent piece and large frogs over an inch log. They are very well camouflaged, but once you've spotted the first it is easier spotting the second, third and so on.

The log bridge

Water streaming

Water from the far side of the bridge

A trillium

A tiny little frog

Another tiny little frog

A blurry little frog - Autofocus can't do everything.

Yet another frog - the fourth plague

There may be a frog in there.

Or perhaps one here.

Aha! one of the more cooperative larger frogs


Another mushroom

The forest

A cooperative squirrel

A fawn lily

A violet

More flowers

More Trilliums

Another trillium

Another violet

Keywords: flowers, high country, lake angeles, spring, trilliums

05/15 - Second Beach at Low Tide - Part 1

We like to get out to Second Beach when the tide is low, ideally very low, e.g. a negative tide. A low tide means more beach, but, more importantly, it means one can just walk out to one of the sea stacks that is usually inaccessible. On our recent hike, it was accessible. Interestingly the pattern of the sands has shifted, so instead of having to follow the sand from the left, we could head straight out and cross a narrow tidal stream to get there.

The beach is always changing. One nice change, at least for us, was that there was no maze of driftwood between the base of the trail and beach proper. Many years, there's an entire jungle gym of great fallen logs and ocean washed branches to clamber over. We're not very good at clambering, but there are probably people for whom this is the best part.

The other great change is that the starfish are back. There was a period not all that many years ago where they had vanished. Some starfish disease had wiped out most of them. Now they were everywhere, clinging to rocks in stark contrast.

Trilliums in the forest

The slightly misty forest

This was a bumper year for skunk cabbage.

The staircase down to the beach

A view from the trailhead

The sea stack in question

A wader

Starfish and barnicles

A view from the sea stack

A starfish in contrast

An anemone pool

Looking out to sea

A starfish huddle

The base of the sea stack

A big rock on the beach with starfish

Some of those starfish

Starfish and anemones

A look back at the sea stack

More rocks on the beach

Keywords: second beach

05/14 - Second Beach at Low Tide - Part 2

We made our way south along the broad beach to the sea stacks and sea caves at the base of the coastal bluffs. Again, starfish were plentiful. We explored for a bit. The tide was so low, we could have headed farther, but we know our limits. We had a peaceful walk back.

As a bonus for visiting Second Beach at low tide, our GPS track was underwater. The edge of land ever changes with the tides, so the cartographers tend to mark the high tide line. That means a low tide walk takes one past the land's end.

At the base of the bluffs

A driftwood inspiration

Misty bluffs

Even more starfish and anemones

Variation on a theme

Anemones and more

Another starfish

Starfish in contrast

More starfish at our feet

Looking back

Yet another starfish

Sea stacks in the background

Yet another you know what

The sea cave

At the base of the bluffs

Keywords: second beach, tides

05/10 - Elwha to Altair

We made our way from Madison Falls to the Altair Bridge. The river had been active this winter, so a great log had blocked part of the detour. We had to scramble a bit on our previous hike, but this time it seems the park service had done an admirable job dealing with an immense log.

Still trilliums

The park service cut through this immense log.

The hike was much easier this time.

Along the Elwha


The Elwha from the Altair Bridge

A snake on the trail

Mountains and greenery

More green by the trail

The forest

A toad lily

More forest

The Elwha from the parking lot

Some ground


Keywords: elwha, trilliums

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