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Showing posts from May, 2016

Hoypus Point:  The North Fork Trail

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Until now, I had hiked every trail but two in Deception Pass State Park.  This past week, I checked one of those off my to-do list, the North Fork Trail in Hoypus Point.  Setting off, I was not aware of the special treat that was in store for me.  Hoypus is criss-crossed by a maze of interconnecting trails.  To access the North Fork from Cornet Bay, this was my route:
Cornet Bay Road (15) to the South TrailheadWest Hoypus Point Trail (18)Fireside Trail west (19)Little Alder Trail (20)North Fork Trail (22)Old Hoypus Hill Logging Road (30)Julie Trail (26)Fern Gully (24)Hemlock Hideaway (25)East Hoypus Point Trail (17) to the North TrailheadCornet Bay Road (15) Numbers refer to the Deception Pass trail map legend.  Based on the map, the hike would cover about 5.9 miles/9.5 km.

When I set off, it was a bit chilly.  The Deception Pass Bridge basked in the early morning sun.




The giant Common Cow Parsnip(Heracleum maximum, H. lanatum) was blooming along Cornet Bay Road.  The umbrella-like f…

Shedding Light on LED's

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My first experience with LED (light emitting diode) lighting didn't go well.  I have a small desk in the living room where the laptop lives.  A 25 watt incandescent bulb in the desk lamp was just right.  It was enough light for working at the desk and it was pleasant in the evenings.  A couple of years ago it burned out.  I thought this would be a good time to try an LED.  By then I had already converted all of the other table and portable lamps to CFL's, but LED's had become the best lights to use for energy conservation.

I found a "25 watt equivalent" LED bulb at the hardware store, brought it home and installed it.  I felt good about it until I turned it on.  It was atrocious.  First, it was irritatingly bright, much brighter than the 25 watt incandescent it replaced.  And the light it produced was blue.  I mean really blue.  It was so unpleasant it didn't last ten minutes.  I replaced it with a "60 watt" CFL I had and later went shopping for 2…

Deception Pass Rhododendrons 2016

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This will be my fourth spring visiting and photographing the wild Pacific Rhododendrons in Deception Pass State Park.  For National Wildflower Week, please enjoy this gallery of pictures from the 2016 season.  Click or right-click the photos to view them full size.


The Pacific or Coast Rhododendron(R. macrophyllum) is the Washington state flower.  It grows in isolated pockets on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, on the Olympic Peninsula, and of course, at Deception Pass.  Its total range includes southwestern British Columbia and Vancouver Island, south through western Washington and Oregon into northwest coastal California.  At Deception Pass, you can find them along the Lower Forest and Southeast Summit Trails on Goose Rock.








These are understory shrubs that grow in mature coniferous forests.  This habitat can create special lighting and composition challenges for photography.  You can expect deep shade, bright sun, or worse yet, the high contrast of both.  Nature doesn&#…

National Wildflower Week:  A Kukutali Collection

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Western Starflower(Trientalis latifolia)

For National Wildflower Week, I have gathered a collection of photos taken on Kiket Island in the Kukutali Preserve.  This is an undeveloped, natural area managed jointly by the Swinomish Tribal Community and Washington State Parks.  These photos were all taken yesterday during a single hike of about 2.5 hours.  I have worked hard to correctly identify them.  If you spot an error, please let me know so I can get it corrected.  Except as noted, all are natives to the northwest interior of Washington State.

In addition to the wildflowers, the entire island was alive with the humming sounds of bees.  This music was the perfect accompaniment for the visual treats I would discover on the hike.

I have chosen the Western Starflower to open the post.  It could well be considered the floral mascot of Pacific Northwest forests.  Wherever you explore woodlands in the region, you will find this little trailside companion.


Nootka Rose(Rosa nutkana)

The Nootk…