Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Few Days in the Olympics

Winter is a generally quiet time here in the Olympics. There are always a few hardy souls about, but the rain can be quite unrelenting. One has to come prepared for a wide variety of weather. Upon arrival after dusk, snow was falling quietly at Lake Crescent. The moon was near first quarter phase, so did a beautiful job of lighting the ridges and clouds at night during our stay.

Beautiful morning light lasting less than a minute

New Year's Day opened with this beautiful but brief sunrise, and the day looked like the clear weather was going to hold for a bit, so we headed up to Hurricane Ridge. A strong east wind was blowing and patience (and warm attire!) was needed. The patient part was waiting for lulls in order to capture the action and lovely light on distant peaks with my telephoto. Below are two shots about 1/2 hour apart of the same basic scene with rapidly changing conditions as sunset approached.

Mt. Olympus with Mt Carrie in the foreground. Huge clouds of wind driven snow.

Warmer, darker tones 1/2 hour later

Rain dominated the rest of our stay, but this is an expected part of the beauty here. No one on the trails, rain and green dominate the forest.

Patterns of the colorful Pacific Madrone tree

Moss delights in the damp air near Marymere Falls

The last evening was very stormy, with strong gusts at the lake well over 50 knots!