2023 in sights seen

C in the waves at Second Beach, Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. (jby)

To bring this photographic retrospective to a close, we come to images I took of the landscapes in which I found birds, plants, mammals, and other critters. These include lots of mountains and forest trails, but the most dramatic ones might be views from Second Beach at Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge. The beach is shadowed by rocky prominences that loom dramatically out of the tidal spray, some big enough to host patches of coastal forest.

Another view of the offshore rocks at Second Beach. (jby)

A hiking companion provides helpful scale in this kind of image, as for instance C among the Douglas firs of the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, below.

C on the trail in the Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, Washington. (jby)

Or, similarly, on the “Smuggler’s Road” trail on Santa Cruz Island in the spring, where wet weather and a rolling landscape meant there weren’t many views of dramatic peaks to be had.

The “Smuggler’s Road” descent into Scorpion Harbor on Santa Cruz Island. (jby)

I saw more than a few mountains, though, including the San Bernardinos cloaked in snow from a record-breakingly wet winter. The view from Saddleback Butte State Park, outside Lancaster, California, was like nothing I’ve seen since I moved to the region.

The snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains, viewed from Saddleback Butte State Park, California. (jby)

In summer, we found our landscapes in the Cascades as well as the Olympic Peninsula, on hikes to Josephine Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, or at the foot of Baring Mountain a bit farther north and much later in the year.

The view down into Josephine Lake, south of Stevens Pass, Washington. (jby)
The summit of Baring Mountain, Washington. (jby)

There were also some fine human-built views. In late spring I took a hike through light rain up to the ridgeline of Griffith Park with members of the lab, and we were rewarded with the downtown skyline under dramatic clouds.

The Los Angeles skyline, viewed from Griffith Park. (jby)

Then, turning west, there was Griffith Observatory on its mountain spur against the sky.

Griffith Observatory. (jby)

In late April we had a weekend in and around San Francisco, and I saw the Palace of Fine Arts up close for the first time.

The Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco. (jby)

And finally in August, on the way to the Olympics and those views of Second Beach, I got a new look at a familiar part of the Seattle skyline, from a ferry crossing Elliott Bay.

The Space Needle. (jby)