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11/15/23 - Good Day for Hawks at Dungeness Dike

It was a good day for hawk spotting on the Dungeness Dike.

Two on a tree

In the air


Late autumn color

Lens flare

Keywords: autumn, dungeness

11/14/23 - Late Autumn on the Elwha

We took the short walk from Madison Falls to where the Elwha chewed through Olympic Hot Springs Road. The mountains were snow capped and the last of the autumn color was fading.

Keywords: autumn, elwha

11/07/23 - Autumn on the Little River Trail

We've been following autumn on the Little River Trail. The leaves have been falling. The river is rushing. Colors have been changing. Each time we visit, the trail and the river have changed.

A glimpse of the Little River

An old log

More of that log

Fallen leaves

Forest scene

Another view of the Little River

More flowing water

Yet more of the river

The forest trail

There's always something fascinating to catch the eye.

Green and brown

One of the bridges

Funghi, possibly planted by that 18th century mycologist Funghibility Brown

More of the thinning and changing forest

One of the moss and fern covered rock walls

More leaves

Changing color

An autumn montage

Ghost plant

The trail ambience

The thinning forest

Another ghost plant

Slime mold!

Keywords: autumn, little river

11/05/23 - Dungeness Dike

Dungeness Dike is another great place to watch the changing seasons. The new configuration hasn't been accessible for a full year yet, so we're still getting a sense of it. Meanwhile, we've been seeing a good number of fishermen out for cut-throat trout, something new it seems. They must be in season.

The Dungeness River and a winter sky

The marshy fields

More fields and mountains

Another look

And another

Some fall color

Wetlands and gray skies

An eagle in a tree

Last bit of color

More of the new wetlands

Another view south

The marsh seen with an iPhone

Bright iPhone colors

The iPhone is better at capturing fall colors here.

Another iPhone scene

And another with lots of cloud drama

More color and drama

Keywords: dungeness, eagle, autumn

11/04/23 - Morse Creek West and Fall Color

When we don't want to drive far, we'll head east on route 101 and start our walk at the Morse Creek parking lot. The trail crosses Morse Creek on a restored railroad bridge and heads down to the strait where it follows the coast. It heads all the way into Port Angeles and points west, but we haven't taken it that far. The section of the trail from the bridge to the strait is tree lined and, right now, full of autumn color.

Fall color

More fall color

Even more fall color

The trail follows the edge of the Four Seasons development, hence that fence.

Some more color

On the ground

Another bit of color

And yet another

More leaves on the trail

More trail covered with leaves

Even more color

Morse Creek

The railroad bridge

Keywords: autumn, morse creek, port angeles

11/02/23 - Dungeness Highlands With A New Camera

One of the nice things about living in a place with seasons is that every time one revisits a trail one can note the seasonal changes. We're well into autumn now, and leaves have thinned and changed color. They cover the trails. Rose hips and berries are more prominent. Even the sky is different.

We went back to the Dungeness Highlands again. It was further into fall, but we also had a new camera, one of the new iPhones. We usually use a Sony DSC-HX99, but we wanted to play with a new toy. The pictures were pretty good, though distinctly different. If nothing else, the colors seemed less saturated. On the other hand, that could just be another sign of the changing seasons.

Looking towards Port Angeles

A milky sky and bare branches

The thicket without leaves

The path through the thicket with a few leaves still hanging on

A view south along the trail

Basic colors

Looking east

The mountains again and a winter sun

Fading grass fields

A mystery bird, in silhouette

Some final color

Rose hips

Coin flowers

Bare branches, signs of change

More along the trail

A peak ahead

Through the thicket with a patch of blue mountain visible

Another peaceful trail shot

Looking back across the water

Keywords: autumn, dungeness, trails

10/10/23 - Elwha to the Gap

We took a short walk from the Madison Falls parking lot to where the Elwha River cut off Olympic Hot Springs Road. The fall colors are out and the river is running higher as the autumn rains pick up. We were pleased to see that the mules were still in residence. When they leave, it's a sure sign of coming winter. It was an easy walk, but it was all we were up to.

The Elwha crossing Olympic Hot Springs Road or what's left of it

The Elwha

The Elwha again

Another look at the Elwha

Olympic Hot Springs Road continues.

A mandarin duck

Mountain mist

More mist in the mountains

A look back at the river

These trees were barely saplings just a few years ago.

Fall colors

More color

The forest

The road

The mules

Fall color seen through the forest

Across the river

Keywords: autumn, elwha

10/05/23 - Dungeness Highlands

Most people explore the spit when they visit the Dungeness Reserve, but lately we've been exploring the highlands. We head inland along the coast, then cut across the road and follow the main bridle path. We make our way to the overlook with a great view of the Olympic Mountains and a picnic table. This almost completes a loop, but it isn't a very long loop, so we turn around and head back the way we came instead.

On our last visit, the color was autumn with bright yellow and red leaves, golden grasses and blue sky, blue mountains and the blue of the strait as backdrops. There are parts of the hike that remind us of northern California, but it's definitely a North Olympic Peninsula scene.

A last bit of fall color here

The green tunnel is still green.

The thicket

Autumn fields and distant mountains

A pathway through the grasses

Another field

That field with mountains and sky

More fall color and another tunnel

Another field and mountains

Yet another field

Golden leaves

Gold and the hills

View from the picnic table

Slightly hazy mountains

Another thicket

Another field again

A golden field

The path across

Passing through

More autumn and the mountains

Some more color

A passing snake

The strait

Keywords: autumn, dungeness

09/29/23 - Little River

It has been a very dry summer, so we haven't been hiking the Little River Trail. This trail is at its best when the river is flowing in full spate, so we've been waiting for the autumn rains. They've been coming, so we headed up to the hills to see how it fared. It's still early in the fall, but the river was roaring and the trail lush and green. We even found a frog on the trail. There were trilliums and tiarella, well past bloom, but still green. This seems like a good for them.

The trail is much itself, though they've moved to parking area and the trailhead a bit up the road. It's a much bigger lot and the trail still begins with a descent to cross one of the forks of the river.

Mushroom season

The Little River Trail with a bit of mist

More of the trail, dark trees and a lot of green

More trail

More trees and the gateway to the river

An old nurse log

More forest

The Little River

Another view of the river

Yet another view

And another

Pacific dogwood

Pacific dogwood covering the ground

More green forest

More dark trees

The bridge

Some old trilliums still hanging on

The frog

Another view

More trilliums

The Little River from the first bridge

Keywords: autumn, little river, trillium

11/04/22 - Little River in the Rain

The Little River Trail is another great rainy trail. The Little River may be little, but it puts on a good show especially in the rain. We'll confess, we wore rain pants and rain coats and broad brimmed rain hats and waterproof boots. We were prepared. It rained the whole time, but we managed to stay comfy and dry.

The forest was surprisingly bright. Gray days mean fewer shadows, so one can see farther through the forest and in greater detail. It also helped that a lot of leaves had fallen, so we had a wonderful mysterious sense of being in an enchanted forest. Perhaps it was the proximity to Halloween. Perhaps it was the rain.

The trail starts on DNR land, but about 35-40 minutes in, it enters the national park. The trees get older and the forest gets wilder. Then the trail descends and follows the river more closely. We headed upstream pausing to admire the rapids and the full river lapping fallen logs. We made our way to what we call the Healing Pools. It's a good spot to settle with one's feet in the water after a hard week of hiking. We didn't do that this time, not on a cold day in the rain.

Crossing the Little River's other branch

Along the trail

A mushroom

More of the trail

More mushrooms

Descent to the river

A river view

Logs over the river

More river

Another look at the Little River

Another fallen log

Blue and gray water, green forest

Logs and rapids

A bit of snow on the trail

Another peek at the river

Fall foliage

No caption necessary - It should be obvious.

More snow

More trail

Another gateway

The footbridge

An old stump

A skull in the haunted forest

Keywords: halloween, little river, autumn

11/03/22 - Marymere Falls, Late Fall, Early Snow

We haven't been getting out to Marymere Falls lately. The recent rains reminded us that the falls are worth a trip. The signs were good. We were greeted by a rainbow across the lake as we headed west on route 101. There was a thin layer of snow on the ground when we pulled into the parking lot. We headed along the trail, under route 101, and entered the old forest, dark and bright with a dusting of snow.

There was a woodpecker in one of the trees, so we stopped for a while and watched as the bird hammered away at the side of a tree totally unfazed by an audience. Then we walked on. There was snow on the floor of the forest, but brilliant yellow foliage almost glowed around us. It was the last of autumn and the start of winter.

Barnes Creek was in good flow with its icy currents, and Marymere Falls itself roared heartily. This trail is always a wonderful walk through northwest pacific forest, but with the snow and rain it was almost magical.

Welcome to Lake Crescent.

Snow on logs, a hint of coming attractions

Clouds over the lake

Our cooperative woodpecker

That woodpecker again

and again

and again in a great profile

Autumn meets winter

The magical trail

More trail magic

and more again

Water meeting stone at Marymere Falls

Barnes Creek from the foot bridge

The falls meet water

Marymere Falls

The falls again from higher up

Snow in the forest

A view down at the creek

Another river view with the footbridge

Barnes Creek yet again

More seasonal magic - and it's almost time to reset our clocks.

The forest trail in transition

A last look up the creek

Keywords: autumn, barnes creek, marymere falls, winter

11/01/22 - Halloween

We take Halloween very seriously. The fall is when the trees lose their leaves and their needles thin revealing their skeletons, some in fantastic shapes. The colors change as the world readies for the quiet and retreat of winter. It's also the harvest with one last round of fresh local produce. All of that, and it's a great warmup for the holiday season.

Lenore in her web - We have no idea whose brain that is in the cauldron.

Halloween dinner

Pumpkin and oyster soup

Tomato eyeballs stuffed with bacon, arugula, tomato and mayonnaise

Bat burgers with melted gruyere and kimchi

Keywords: halloween, autumn, winter

10/24/22 - Elwha to Altair - After the Rain

At long last, it has rained. We had a long dry stretch, all of September and most of October. Hurricane Ridge Road was closed for repairs, but they promised to re-open it on the 21st. Naturally, we expected the rains to come on that date and the road to the Ridge to be closed due to snow. Our forecast was accurate. On the 21st, the rains came. It snowed on the Ridge. Hurricane Ridge Road did not reopen, but we, down near sea level, had lots of long awaited rain.

We decided to head out from Madison Falls and check out the Elwha River as far as the Altair Bridge. There were wonderful puddles, wet dirt and wet pavement. We weren't the only ones enjoying the puddles. We spotted a frog beside one. Even the park service mules looked happier, though we can't be sure. The river looked a lot less tired. It seemed like the foliage was waiting for the rains to change to its autumn colors, and now that the rain had come there were browns and reds and golds. The colors were muted by the drought, but they were there.

At the start of the trail

Autumn color

A glimpse of the river

A proper view of the Elwha

Wet pavement never looked this good.

Still plenty of green

Park service buildings

The Elwha from the Altair Bridge

Another view from the bridge

A log caught below the Altair Bridge

More of Olympic Hot Springs Road

Another view of the river

Autumn color and misty mountains

Autumn fields

Mist and color

More of the wet road

The green forest thinning

A bit of trail

A dramatic bit of trail

That frog by the puddle

Another view, same frog

Mules in the field

The river at the parking lot

Keywords: autumn, elwha, hurricane ridge

10/22/22 - Little River Trail With Woodpecker

It rained. At long last, autumn has begun. We celebrated with a walk along the Little River Trail. The leaves are thinning, others are turning bright yellow. The river is running more briskly. We saw slugs and snails and many mushrooms. We also saw a woodpecker hammering away oblivious to any audience.

An old stump in the forest

The trail accented with gold

Another bit of trail

Little River and a log

More of Little River

Cool water

Less clumsy people could cross on those logs.

A snail

A shroom

More mushrooms

And even more mushrooms

The green skull - Halloween is coming

Slight mist on the trail






A golden bowl

A freshet

Little River again

Keywords: autumn, little river

10/12/21 - A Side Trip to Madison Falls

After heading up to the Elwha Gap, we took the short side spur to Madison Falls. It's a short, easy, paved path to a pleasant little waterfall just minutes from the parking area. There was plenty of autumn color too.

Along the trail

A first peek at the waterfall

Madison Falls

Some autumn color

More color

That color again

Misty skies and mountains

Keywords: autumn, elwha, waterfall

10/11/21 - A Short Autumn Walk to the Elwha Gap

We took a short walk along the Elwha River starting at Madison Falls where the road ends. The mountains were misty and topped with early season snow. The autumn foliage was near its peak. We walked past the mule camp and around the bend for some good views of the river recently nourished by the seasonal rain. We stopped at the gap in the road cut by a hearty new Elwha tributary.

Misty, snowy mountains

Some fall foliage

Foliage hidden in the forest

Bright yellow and bright green

The river

Another view of the river

More color change

Autumn is here.

Further up the river

The might Elwha

The gap

Downriver at the gap

Upriver at the gap

A vertical view, even more dramatic

The road showing its age

Bright red

Bright yellow

The mules - We always say hello.

The Elwha from the parking area

Keywords: autumn, elwha

10/03/21 - Hurricane Hill - High Country Autumn

There were definite signs of autumn and winter coming up at Hurricane Hill.

Our first frost of the season

More frost

And yet more frost

Frost in the shade

Dry flowers

A golden field

Autumn color

Autumn color below

Another richly colored field

And another colored field

Corn lilies, now mere skeletons

Green, gold, red and blue

Another field

Another view below

A blue grouse

Red, green and white

Dramatic foliage

More drama

Even the walk from the picnic area to the trailhead showed signs of fall.

Keywords: autumn, hurricane hill, winter

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