Exploring Wildness

Winter Birding in the Okanogan Highlands

Winter Birding in the Okanogan Highlands
Fancher Flats glowed in the fading light. Stefan said, “Scan the cliffs for Chukars. They go to roost up in the rocks. I hope we aren’t too late.” Nothing moved in the freezing air, and it was difficult to see into the shadows. The light had almost disappeared when a “chuck, chuck, chuck” came from our right. Over the next…

Van Trump Trail, Mt. Rainier National Park

Van Trump Trail, Mt. Rainier National Park
Crisp, fresh air – forty degrees -- surrounded us as we started up the Van Trump Trail toward Comet Falls. Massive silver firs, western hemlocks, and red cedars grew over our path concealing the blue sky. Van Trump Creek rushed under the wooden bridge through a narrow gorge providing us with a diversity of sounds and a little movement to…

The Folding and Twisting of a Miocene Lava Flow

The Folding and Twisting of a Miocene Lava Flow
The basalt rocks rose from the roadside to the ridge on our right and ran down the hill to the valley below. Endless red-brown blocks the size of basketballs scattered the hillside with no vegetation growing between them. A few dead trunks had slid from the ridge top where hemlocks, pines, and firs dotted the crest. The slope dropped down…