Big Rocks

Big Rocks

This big overhanging rock lives along the Staircase Loop Trail (about a 2 mile loop) in the southeast corner of the Olympic National Park. The trail is heavily used, especially in the summer when the campground at Staircase fills up. It’s a great walk through old growth forest without much elevation gain.

I have visited the area year ’round and have wondered if the overhang provides shelter for any critters during inclement weather … besides hikers. I’ve never seen any, but I expect that critters leave when hikers show up.

Fall: Details

Log End: Mosses and Lichens

Just some details of autumn finds. The log end isn’t particularly autumnish … except for the capture date.

Big Leaf Maple Leaf in Autumn

Calypso Orchids

Calypso Orchids

Also called “Lady Slippers”, these are some of my favorite springtime flowers. Most of the orchids that are native to the Pacific Northwest are even smaller and less showy than these.

Lowland Woods

Nurse Stump

As much as I enjoy the high country, this time of year there just isn’t much access available in the Olympics. So it’s the lowlands. There are plenty of good hikes that are (mostly) snow-free all year, with pleasant views and interesting features. This trail runs out of Dosewallips State Park on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula. The Nurse Stump was amazing and the small creek provided a wonderful sound track.

Small Creek, Dosewallips State Park

Backlit Mossy Trees

Backlit Mossy Tree

One of the things I enjoy about winter in the Olympics is seeing all the moss on the trees being backlit by sunshine. Of course, being Western Washington (let alone rain forest type environment), there aren’t a lot of days in the late fall or winter when you can get a sunny day. This was shot with my Nikon F6 on Tri-X, so I don’t have a color version for you to compare.

But I really enjoy the backlit, glowing green moss outlining each limb of these big leaf maples.

See below for a look at the trail we were hiking.

Dosewallips Trail – late fall

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