Saturday, January 5, 2013

Waves and Rialto Beach Beauty

Sometimes, it's not a simple walk on the beach at high tide in winter here on the Pacific. Thankfully the sun graced the skies for another day of exploration and photography, this day at Rialto Beach. Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, is just north of the Quileute Tribe's village and fishing harbor of La Push. From Rialto Beach, there is nothing but wild beaches 40 miles north to Cape Flattery.

 James Island was a refuge for the Quileute when attacked by other tribes

Rialto Beach consists primarily of stones of various sizes. The water is also quite deep close to shore, so the roar of crashing waves from the west, pounding and pushing massive amounts of stones, makes quite an intense and powerful sound. Waves were washing up into the huge debris field of driftwood. This is no ordinary driftwood, as many of the trees here were old growth beauties, now worn down, sometimes thrown on top of one another during the big storms and waves at high tide.

The beautiful sea stacks and dark beach near Hole in the Wall (far right)

It was high tide as I made my way dodging waves and driftwood to the sea stacks at the north end of the beach. The waves keep me close to the shore, but it was a pleasant, slow walk with just one creek to ford. Sunset was imminent as I approached the sea stacks.

 "Split Rock" sea stacks at sunset

 Last light on the sea stacks with a short-lived ethereal sky

The walk back was gratefully easier, as more beach opened as the tide retreated. The light was quickly retreating as well. If I can see stars, the camera can capture many more. This time of year the summer Milky Way is in the WNW, with Cygnus pointing down to the horizon. A 30 second exposure captured the scene. In the far lower right, you can see the glow of crab boats as the crab season was just opened.

 Sunset Glow and The Milky Way

If you would like to view more images from this collection, and at a larger size, please visit my Website/Recent Work> 

Mountains of Snow

 The weather Gods smiled again this year in allowing a visit to Hurricane Ridge for the New Year. The winds howled last year, but there was a limited amount of snow. This New Year Day we were greeted with stillness and mounts and drifts of snow everywhere. The trees were beautifully coated with snow.

Subalpine Fir coated in snow

The landscape had a near black and white tonality, which contrasted well with the warm tones in the sky, created from the sunlight's low winter trajectory filtering through the altostratus clouds.

Mt. Olympus (left) and Mt. Carrie

Looking South, the peaceful Elwha Valley and the Bailey Range

Happy New Year!