Things That Go ‘hhhhhhhhhr’ In The Night
Our trip was nearing to an end and this would be our last full day on The Peninsula. Tomorrow we would head back to our hotel in Olympia to be able to catch an early flight the next morning. Wanting to visit some of the other beaches, we traveled back to Forks in the morning, a little less than an hour and a half away. We stopped for a good breakfast at one of the funkiest restaurants I’ve ever been in and after learning about the connection between Forks and ‘Twilight’ (see previous post) we wondered who there might be a vampire.
We went to the Ruby Beach area first which was south of where we had been the day before. There were a lot of rock formations right along the surf. Being Saturday, there were a number of people visiting the beach with kids climbing on the rocks. As you can see from the first two photos below, the sky was cloudy. Several of the beaches had long hikes to get to them. We checked out one trail where a cluster of trees had developed burl knots on them. They looked pregnant! After some scouting around we went back to LaPush Beach where we did some people and bird watching.
There was going to be a full moon that night so I thought I’d go up to Hurricane Ridge where the moon might light up the snowcapped peaks. I set up behind the visitor’s center where I had been the morning before. Brent came out to take a quick look then went back to the car, on the other side of the visitor’s center to recline. (You can imagine, he was getting pretty tired of my photography by this point!) This time, I was the only one there and it was dark … no artificial light, no light pollution … just light from the moon. The clouds seemed to prevent enough light from falling on the landscape but with my red head-lamp on and stopwatch in hand I tried a few shots. I liked the way the clouds looked with the moonlight shining through them. I was using bulb and the exposures were between one & two minutes. I decided I would take one more shot before packing it in. I turned my camera to the hillside and ridge and opened up the shutter. Suddenly I heard a hhhhhhhhhhr … hhhhhhhhhhr! What was that? What could be down in that valley of wilderness making that noise? I listened more closely, rhythmic, with pauses in between … hhhhhhhhhhr … hhhhhhhhhhr. It was getting louder. Holy cr@p … that bush wasn’t there before … it’s a bear! I called to Brent but no answer so I picked up my tripod, shutter still open and dropped it off near the steps. Brent answered as I ran back to get my pack, lens and other things laid out on the picnic table. He came down to see the shadow which had stopped in its tracks at this point and with my heart beating on the fast side I said, ‘let’s get out of here’!
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Tags: burl wood, crow, Hurricane Ridge, landscape, LaPush Beach, night photogrpahy, Olympic National Park, pelicans, photography, Ruby Beach, Washington, Washington State