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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

June 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Paul Bannick wins a big one — see his work Saturday at the Burke

Congratulations to local wildlife photographer Paul Bannick who is a Canon Award winner in the International Conservation Photography Awards competition. Here’s his prize winning photo: Paul Bannick’s winning photo, Arctic Emissary, taken at Ocean Shores in February, 2012. Here’s his artist statement for this photo: “Powerful wings propel a snowy owl vertically into a hunt during…



June 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Rebuilding the beach at the mouth of the Elwha: the big picture

Here is a fantastic aerial from Ian Miller, coastal hazard specialist for Washington Sea Grant, based in Port Angeles, documenting the rebuilding of the beach at the mouth of the Elwha:


Lenses of sand building on the beach at the mouth of the Elwha. The arrows indicate the areas of new sand deposition. The sand is rinsing down from what used to be Lake Aldwell, now a free flowing stretch of river since getting Elwha Dam out in March. Photo by Ian Miller.

Meanwhile contractors are continuing to tear down Glines Canyon Dam, requiring road closures during the day on the Whiskey Bend Road from June 25-29. The popular trailhead can still be accessed in the evening,

The road will close at 7 a.m. each day, to allow passage of heavy equipment up to Glines Canyon, then re-open each day at 5:30 p.m. to allow public access.

For a look at dam removal as it is progressing, check out the Park Service blog.

And here is one more fantastic photo from documentary filmmaker John Gussman: check out how much sediment is stacked up at the former Lake Mills, and how vigorously the newly free flowing river is chewing through it.

lake mills sediment.jpg

This sediment layer is about 15 feet thick. Photo by John Gussman



June 20, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Seeing is believing: Sediment is rebuilding the Elwha

With sediment trapped behind two dams for a century, the shore by the mouth of the Elwha has become rocky and eroded. The river itself has also starved for the sediments locked up behind the dams. But that’s starting to change. Amy Draut, geologist with the USGS Pacific Coast and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz,…



June 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Use caution when visiting the Elwha — logs on the loose

I just got an email from Tim Randle, manager of the sedimentation and river hydraulics group at the Denver Office of Bureau of Reclamation, which is leading the management of the sediment out of the Elwha. In it, he warned that as the Elwha kicks back to life it can be quite hazardous. It’s moving…