Winter in the Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Peninsula in winter - Stand of Alder

Olympic Peninsula Winter – Stand of Alder

I love this time of year, and dread it at the same time.

If you venture out into the cold wild in the  wind, and rain, you know the challenges it presents for capturing scenes on your cameras.

I’ve gotten pretty good about covering equipment with bags, and more recently a nifty umbrella, which works great until a gust of wind comes up and your tripod is starting to lift off.  Watching the hourly weather and planning more seems to be more of a routine than when I was younger.

However, with all the logistical problems involved, there is nothing like the stark beauty of the Olympic Peninsula in Winter to remind anyone of the beauty nature provides.

During the summer and late spring,  everything is so overgrown that it is difficult to set up anywhere and shoot above the canopy that hugs every square inch of dirt.  The explosion of green is nothing short of miraculous in it’s speed of growth and industry.  They don’t call it a rainforest without a reason.

The winter colors are muted throughout the lowlands and foothills.  The evergreen fir, hemlock, and cedar trees – stand as reminders to the coming seasons.  Forests of alder, birch, and other semi- type hardwoods lay bare of foliage.  The rivers and streams run full and brown from mountain run off from the mighty Olympic mountains at the center of the peninsula.  The sky is most always grey with spots of blue and fog takes over the landscape in a thick heavy soup-like blanket.  The fog covering lasting until late morning …if it lifts at all.


The Chehalis River in Winter

It is this fight against nature that winter presents that makes this time of year my favorite.  Everything about the landscape screams stay away and seems designed to keep us out.  From finding a steady foothold to peeling back the layers of covering, the area is a wild and untamed place.

You can judge the changing of the seasons by the ever reddening of the tops of the alder trees.  They are already beginning to brighten, soon the forest of green will replace the bare vistas.

It is beautiful season and a nature landscape unlike anywhere on earth.  The area is lightly populated, if at all in a majority of the area.

I have quite a few winter scenes available for view on my 500px gallery.