Saturday, June 16, 2012

In Praise of Glacier Lilies

Many deer, one marmot, one raven. Lots of little birds. Oh, yes, and the snowy peaks of the Bailey Range.

The View from Hurricane Ridge, June 13, 2012 (Click for larger image.)

By the time JB appeared on Wednesday, it was nearly 5PM, and overcast. But the webcam said it was sunny up on Hurricane Ridge, with deer all over the place in the cam's view at the visitor center. We decided to shift into we-can-have-it-all mode: ignored the clock and the visible sky, grabbed a mug of tea to bring with, and hurtled up the mountain. The overcast was dense dense dense as we drove up through it, in places the heaviest fog I've ever driven in. Finally we popped out into the sunshine. Was the marmot who lives down the slope below the visitor center out enjoying the afternoon? Yes he was.

Blurry marmot (Click for larger image.)

We wandered around. JB much taken with the deer, and the raven. Raven was parading around like he owned the place; as if the people, the parking lot, the cars were all irrelevant. Oh. Right.

Lordly Raven (Click for larger image.)
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The road is open to the Hurricane Hill trailhead, and in fact it looks like it might be hike-able all the way to the top of the Hill already. The only flowers in evidence anywhere were some glacier lilies.

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This year the melt is proceeding much faster than last year. They'll surely open the road to paradise (Obstruction Point Road out to Lillian Ridge) by the middle of July... The server for the snotel website has recovered, here is the graph showing how much remains of the snowpack at Waterhole, halfway out towards the Lillian Ridge trailhead:

JB was especially pleased to finally be in the Olympics, our bijou Alps, which are on his far horizon every year when he visits Port Townsend, Bellingham, Samish Island. I was most happy to see the marmot; and all that space.

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