Posts Tagged With: beaver

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK-HURRICANE RIDGE

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Glaciers still survive on Mount Olympus, but fast melting has certainly affected the area.

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Normally at this time of year, this vast ridge is snow-covered. We enjoyed the scenery and the beautiful drive up to Hurricane Ridge even so.  Olympic National Park has a fantastic film about the flora and fauna, the rainforest aspects, the water shed and natures balance. Once neglected, “…nuthin’ up there but stunted trees…” made it possible to save species known to exist only  here, the marmot is one.  Unfortunately, people have introduced invasive species, the natural predator, the wolf is gone, black bears are gone and deer have to be thinned. Maybe someday, the predators can be reintroduced.

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Two major paved trails, Hurricane Hill and The Meadow were available. We chose the Hurricane Hill trail, from which you can see Vancouver and the entire sound. We got to within an hour and a half of the top before it got too steep for us. There are many trails, unpaved, off the two main ones for avid hikers and back packers. And, many deer. We met this one on the trail walking toward us, quite unafraid.

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She simply walked around us…DSC09588 (Copy)

…and returned to the path behind us.

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As we hiked, the mountain to our right as we climbed, is a mountain that gets less rain on its western slope.

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I spotted a Christmas tree.  It looked as though someone took the time to add silvery glitter to the top of the tree. It sparkled in the sun. Could it be ice? Or…?

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A close up reveals the source. It is sap. We noticed this sap on several trees after this one.

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As we hiked in a strong breeze, we noticed the wind sculptured trees. We warmed and I peeled my hooded sweatshirt off and wrapped it around my waist.

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This lone alpine blue bell was on its last bright show.

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It was a beautiful day to visit. We enjoyed a little over four hours at the park. If you go, bring plenty of water and a picnic lunch.

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As we drove away, we saw another herd of deer along the road. Several are out of sight in the bushes.  If you want to see all of my pictures, click on the link below.

2014-9-8-Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge

 

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GEESE ON THE RIVER

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You’ve heard that song, I’m sure, 99 bottles of beer on the wall?  I couldn’t believe it when I unloaded my camera and I had 99 pictures of geese. I managed to toss 53. Jim always offers to get me down to ten pictures, but, I tell him I intend to paint some day and I need models.

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It was tough to pick photos because we are getting close to our limit on bytes. These geese look like they should be on the Christmas platter.

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This one was just poking its head under the water for a morsel, but often they turn upside down, and I found myself laughing to see three butts in a row sticking out of the water.

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I felt I learned a lot about geese observing them for most of the day while I sat on this gorgeous river bank and read my book with my camera close by.This is a mad goose, steaming through the water, head down, chasing a flock away from a particularly popular log so his bunch could move in and take a bath.

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This is that same stance, this time a mother head down, challenging anyone to interfere with her goslings as she made her way through the crowd.

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Later in the day, they moved onto the grass to feed on bugs and grasses. They feed in a group with an ever protective gander watching over all.

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Actually, these mallards had the log first and got chased away by the geese.

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I took a short walk along the river’s edge where bright flowers grow in the sandy soil.DSC06998 (Copy)

Folks, including me, appreciate the river on a hot Saturday afternoon, quiet and soothing.

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Fishing, kayaking and canoeing are popular. I was grateful no one used a noisy skee-doo. It is quiet and beautiful here at the Elks Club where we will be parked until I fly to Las Vegas on the 5th. It was hot yesterday and the river is cooling.

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I spotted this little turtle making a bee-line to the water. The minute I got close enough to take a picture, he stopped and hid from me. As soon as I walked away, he completed his journey.

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From out of the woods came this mystery animal. Some type of rodent, I think.  At first, I thought it could be a baby beaver.

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I got a good look at its tail. I remember beavers having a flat, rounded kind of fleshy tail. I looked up nutria and they have definite rodent, rat-like tails. This is a mystery animal. If anyone knows what it is, let me know.

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OTTER CREEK ON THE BLUE RIDGE

From Mary’s desk:
After a peaceful night at a Moose Club in Vinton, a small town near Roanoke, VA. we got back on the parkway. A morning haze covered  the peaceful mountain, heavy with leafy trees.

As we rose in elevation the trees changed to more stunted growth; trees are yet to gain full leaf, here. The forecast was for rain, but the day was mostly overcast as we drove along.

Many vistas. So far in the Blue Ridge we have seen deer, turkeys aplenty, squirrels, many birds and butterflies which seem to drift in front of the motor home. Two turtles in the road where we hoped other motorists would miss them as we did. This area backs up to Jefferson National Forest with treed hillsides as far as the eye can see.
The first wild rhododendrons in bloom, not that my through-the-window pictures do them justice. Rocks vary the landscape.

Another beautiful stone bridge, of many.

The park design was deliberately zig-zagged to take advantage of the view, always the views were the foremost consideration. As below, the James River.


At Otter Lake we realized we were at the lowest elevation on the parkway at 649 feet. We stopped to have a bit of lunch and play. Rock climbing and photographing the little plants and flowers about the creek. Noticing a beaver chewed tree.

At Otter Creek Camp Ground, which was unexpectedly open, we found a drive through spot right along the burbling Otter Creek.

We explored, walked, read a bit. No sooner finished, Jim brought in the chairs and boom. The thunder commenced and a heavy downpour enveloped us as we sat safe inside with our dinner cooking on the stove. (Glad we were not in a tent.)
Finally the rain ceased. Neighbors Frank and Diane Wilson came by to chat. They were driving in the downpour and got caught about a quarter mile before the campground by a downed tree. A new ranger, without a chainsaw had just come from a class on learning to use a chainsaw. We had a laugh over that. The tree was cut with a handsaw, with the help of travelers, and all turned out well.

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