Tuesday, January 01, 2013

High Tide at the Edge of the Ghost Forest

On Sunday, did went west. It was gray here in town all day apparently, but by golly there was sun at the ocean. It began opening up at Lake Crescent, and just kept getting better.

Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, December 30, 2012 (Click for larger image.)
Eagle at the Lake (Click for larger image.)

Pretty much all I wanted to do was to sit on the beach and read, but it was high tide. No beach. I found a log to sit on that seemed likely to be above sneaker-wave range, and watched the occasional extra-high waves wash salt water right into the forest edge among the ghost trees for a whole hour after the high-tide time marked on the tide tables.

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, December 30, 2012 (Click for larger image.)

Where I was sitting I could see to the north, and my body shaded the book. Almost right away I fell into it— Louise Erdrich's The Round House, wow— and would be gone away; and when I'd come back each time, there it was, the sunny ocean, the sound of the waves:

... (Click for larger image.)

The closest a wave came, it only caught my attention because I was taking a picture of two hikers as they came along the beach, and it washed them up to their thighs. I did a quick assessment: do I need to grab my stuff and scramble further back? No. But just in case I was wrong, I picked up the book and held it above my head.

That wave is probably the one that got them... (Click for larger image.)

There were a few eagles in the day, one in the tree on the point along Lake Crescent (where one often is); another at a turn in the shore along the Quileute River (ditto), one along the highway somewhere past Bear Creek. Not much of gulls, or ravens, or little flitty birds in the woods, or sea ducks.

To look south I'd have to be squinting into the sun, so I didn't, hardly at all.

James Island, Rialto Beach (Click for larger image.)

The web doesn't yet have a way to grant @vcmcguire what she wants, "Wish I could get a few deep breaths of salty Pacific air." But probably Cee is willing to share her soundscape, which might gratify a different sense:

Soundscape for Cee (Click for larger image.)

Thank you, Olympic National Park.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely great soundscape of the waves. Thanks so much for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for these great photos, video clips and soundscapes. Absolutely wonderful to watch and hear.