Wildlife from our Trip to Lake Quinault

For this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge, I thought I’d share from our recent trip to Lake Quinault on the Olympic Peninsula. Although most of the animals seemed to be tucked away for winter, I did see a lot of birds including crows. Yes, I like these intelligent birds.

This one reminds me of Narcissus, though I think he was more interested in washing his food than looking at his reflection.

This one reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock.

I also saw eagles soaring overhead, and bats feeding at dusk. But my best sighting was of a bird I’d never seen before. We were on our way back from a hike on this trail:

I’d already taken lots of pictures (no surprise there) so my dear husband asked if he could carry my camera the rest of the way. Soon after (uh-huh) I looked up and saw the tiniest owl I’d ever seen perched on a branch overhead. The little fellow was only 6 or 7 inches tall with a round little face, staring straight ahead.

“Bob,” I said quietly. “Stop. Look up. I need my camera.”

It took 10 seconds or so before I got my camera back and tried to focus on the tiny bird above. Unfortunately, I was too slow and watched him fly away. It was a Northern Pygmy Owl!

Here he is: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Pygmy-Owl/id

I did manage to get a picture of the largest herbivore in Olympic National Park, the Roosevelt Elk. We saw one the next day on our way to the Hoh Rainforest, standing by the side of the road, as still as a statue. She never once turned to look at us though we were only a few feet away. We finally realized she was fixated on a hiker walking up the road, so we moved on and gave her some peace.

I wish I could show you pictures of the bear and cougar that live here but I suppose it’s best that they remain hidden. So this will have to do.

~ Susanne

A Peaceful Lake and a Magical Walk in the Rainforest – At Lake Quinault

Earlier this week we spent a few days at Lake Quinault and once again fell in love with the calm and beauty of the lake, and the magic of the rainforest.

It was a perfect time to visit the Quinault Valley. We spent our days exploring and found giant trees – including the largest Sitka Spruce in the world –

and waterfalls at the end of easy hikes with no one else on the trails.

It was all wonderful, but our favorite was the Maple Glade Rainforest Trail, where we saw giant maples dressed in green garments, fringes hanging from their arms, ferns at their feet, streams flowing through, reflecting back their glory.

“Drenched in over 12 feet of rain a year, Olympic’s west side valleys flourish with North America’s best remaining examples of temperate rain forest. Giant western hemlocks, Douglas-firs and Sitka spruce trees dominate the landscape while ferns and moss cloak the trees and forest floor. In these valleys, even the air seems green.”

National Park Service Website

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I hope so.

But I doubt whether pictures or words can adequately convey the beauty of the rainforest.

If you ever have the chance, please go see this magical place for yourself.

~ Susanne

Sunset over Lake Quinault

We happened to pick the best weather days this year to get away to Lake Quinault. The lake was completely still and reflected sunset perfectly.

We also took the most enchanting walk through the rain forest which I hope to share later this week.

In the meantime, hope you have a happy Monday!

Susanne

Some Favorite Photos for #Bloganuary

I haven’t participated much in #Bloganuary; for some reason the questions haven’t resonated with me. And I was going to skip this one too – as it is unanswerable.

“What is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken?”

Are you kidding me? A single photo??

Instead, I’ve decided to pick out a handful from the hundreds I call favorites.

The Birds and the Bees

I love this picture of an Anna’s hummingbird suspended midair, watching me, as they often do. I also like the colorful backdrop, which I miss since the woods were razed behind our house.

I also love watching the bees and other insects as they work my herb garden. I’m blessed to have them visit.

Favorite Places

I’m also blessed to live in Washington State with Mt. Rainier in my backyard. Too, too many pictures to choose from, but I’ll give you this one taken near Paradise, at Reflection Lakes.

And I will never, ever, get tired of Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula.

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for! You didn’t think I would leave these two out, did you?

Tiger

Benji

Together

And that will do for my ‘favorite photo’ at least for today! 🙂

~ Susanne

Morning Shenanigans with the Cats

After I feed the cats, I make my coffee, then retreat to my office to enjoy both – Benji’s on my lap,

Tiger wishes he was.

Tiger finds consolation in the catnip infused toys…

until Benji decides it’s his turn.

Afterwards, they settle in for their morning nap – Benji on the perch, Tiger to places unknown.

A great way to start the day.

~ Susanne, Tiger and Benji

Rhapsody in Blue – Sculptures, Eagles and a Mountain in Tacoma!

Yesterday we visited Tacoma and found everything blue!

Outside the Art Museum was a sculpture by Marie Watt: Blanket Stories: Transportation Object, Generous Ones, Trek;

and nearby was the Chihuly Bridge of Glass.

At Ruston Way the blue sky merged into the bay

where we saw harbor seals playing

and bald eagles overhead.

And by the end of our walk, the mountain emerged from the clouds and hovered over the city.

It was a rhapsody in blue!

~ Susanne

A Challenge in White

Just when I thought it was time to put away my snowy pictures, along came a photo challenge in White from Sunday Stills. What could I do? Share a few more from our recent snowstorm, for starters!

But enough with the snow! I’m ready for spring! Let’s move on to flowers with these beauties from Soos Creek Botanical Garden.

Finally, there’s nothing quite as white as clouds against a blue sky!

And that should do for white!

“Ahem!”

“Oh, sorry Tiger!”

Here’s the handsome Tiger – relaxing with touches of white –

from head to toe.

And now, that will do.

– Susanne

Third Day No Rain – Just Barely

It’s the third day with no rain in the Great Northwest but it was foggy, damp and cold and the sun never showed his face. Does it really count??

We bundled up anyway and went for a hike at Saltwater State Park and on the way my phone buzzed with an alert – beware – tsunami headed for the West Coast – its impact on Puget Sound uncertain.

Duly advised, we continued on our way, finding only calm waters beneath a milky gray sky.

After checking out the beach, we walked through the park in the woods where all was green and damp – as it should be I guess – in January.

But I was most intrigued by the giant stilts – was a monster overhead? A transport out of Star Wars?

No, it was just a bridge, looking a bit out of place if you ask me.

Still, it added interest to our walk.

~ Susanne

First of Three Days

Yes, that is sunshine you see here in the Great Northwest! According to the local news, we are about to experience three rain free days in a row, for the first time since last September!

To celebrate day one, I went for a walk at Coulon Park yesterday wearing a baseball cap to shield my eyes from those foreign rays.

I was not the only one out.

It was a gorgeous day with temperatures reaching close to 60 degrees. But please note, I did NOT say it was cloud free.

This is still January after all.

~ Susanne

The Power of Snoqualmie Falls

We had some errands to run yesterday in the Snoqualmie Valley and stopped by Snoqualmie Falls on the way home. The river has been at flood stage all week – with many parts of the valley flooded. The falls were raging with power, with more water coming over than I’ve ever seen before.

We tried to get a better look and I got drenched by the spray.

Snoqualmie Falls drops 268 feet, higher than Niagra Falls though certainly not as wide. Here’s how it looked on some of our earlier visits different times of year when we hiked further down for a better view.

I wish I had a picture from almost 40 years ago – no smart phones then – when Bob and I dined at the restaurant overlooking the falls – on our first date.

Well done, dear!

~ Susanne

%d bloggers like this: