Last week I had a business trip to Seattle and since it fell right after my wife's birthday we decided to tack on a trip to the Pacific Northwest. The weather there is much more friendly this time of year. So if you can't change the weather then change where you are.
|Hurricane Ridge Road|
The first day we were there we headed up into the the national park to visit Hurricane Ridge. I had a book of easy day hikes. That seemed the right speed coming from incredibly flat Tidewater Virginia, we need supplemental oxygen to climb over the sea wall at the beach, and since we would be dragging our cameras along, short, easy hikes seemed the most enjoyable. We both really enjoy nature photography but it does mean we usually double or triple the estimated hiking time for a trail.
|Waterfall with wildflowers|
We started with a couple of the trails around the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. In spite of the clouds rolling in, the views were spectacular. In spite of us being at only 5200 ft above sea level there was still snow on the north side and we could see several snow covered peaks. The clouds started rolling in soon after we arrived and we could feel the cold, moist air coming over the top of the peaks. It really gave me a chill as it passed by.
While out on the trails we came across several groups of Black-tailed Deer. They are a subspecies of Mule Deer along with the well-known Sitka Deer. Their necks and faces definitely looked shorter than our White-tailed Deer at home. It gave the young a particularly cute look. They were well habituated to humans and even would graze only a few feet from the trails. Even though I didn't have my wildlife lens with me I was able to get some good shots with my 15-85 mm lens. We caught up with one small family with the mother on one side of the trail and the two fawns hidden on the other side. They allowed us to follow slowly behind them as they moved through the trees and out into a meadow.
|Black-tailed Deer along the trail side|
|Black-tailed Deer fawn checking us out|
|Field of wildflowers|
|Sharon enjoying a roadside "garden"|
I hope you have enjoyed the pictures and will return soon for the next post about our kayak trip to Freshwater Bay and a hike to Madison Falls.