Monday, January 19, 2015

Olympic National Park New Year 2015

Winter is a relatively quiet time on the Olympic Peninsula. The weather gods can change their mood overnight, but on this occasion, after some light snow, it was calm and somewhat cold for a week.

Lake Crescent is a restful and beautiful retreat in winter. There was a slight wind this evening, so with a long exposure with the camera, the lake appears to be covered in ice. New snow, lit by moonlight, adorns the ridges, with the summit of Storm King Mountain veiled with a thin line of mist in the background. The distant lights below Storm King are from Lake Crescent Lodge, with the lights from our cabin to the right.

Lake Crescent in moonlight
Second Beach is always a place of beauty.  The feeling of summer was here on this visit. The normal winter surf was absent, a clear sky at sunset, and completely calm.

Calm waters after sunset
As darkness approached, sunlight was exchanged for moonlight reflecting off the beach. A few fine clouds added to the beauty of the sky and the stars. In the photograph below, this portion of the Milky Way, featuring Cyngus, the Swan, while overhead in summer, was now descending in the Northwest. The sea stacks and water were illuminated by the rising moon in the SE. The sea spread across the shallow beach as the tide rose. A tranquil evening, alone, surrounded with beauty.

Sea Stacks lit by the moon, framed by the Milky Way
 We have a small tradition, weather permitting, of visiting Hurricane Ridge on New Years Day. There was just enough snow at this elevation to have a wintry feel. A lovely sunset with warm skies and and very blue light from the east lighting the east side of the Olympics made for a beautiful color contrast on the peaks.

Lovely light after sunset highlights Boulder Peak