Grouse
Olympic National Park - Hurricane Hill
Elston and Jackline Hill
September 2, 2009
This morning Jackie and I hiked to Hurricane Hill in search of wildlife. Only a few weeks ago the hill was a carpet of flowers. Many
times we encountered numerous marmot and deer. Today the grasses were all brown and the mammal wildlife was nowhere to be
seen.
Finally, we encountered one lonely Grouse.  I took a few pictures and then turned down the hill where I noticed Jackie taking
pictures.
There in front of Jackie was a mother and her teenager. It turned out she had two teenagers. Note how well the birds blend into
the grass. I suspect many people climb the mountain without even seeing them.
The teenagers seemed less concerned with our presence than mama. Indeed, they came so close that we had to step back at
times to get their pictures. And mama had to stay with them.
It was fun to listen to the Grouse talk to each other. I thought they sounded more like our cat talking when he is grumpy than a
bird.
The best hikes in the Olympics that I
have taken this summer have been my
hikes with Jackie. Every time we take
one of these slow hikes, something
special happened.

Normally, the Grouse are skittish. But
just standing still in one place, the
Grouse got use to us. We spent some
twenty minutes standing in one place
watching mama and her two teenagers
meandering around us.

At one point one of the teenagers
scampered past Jackie in pursuit of a
grass hopper.

We arrived at Hurricane Hill at 8 a.m.
We finished at 10 a.m., just as the first
visitors arrived. Hurricane Hill was our
special place of solitude for two hours.

I love to get up early. There are no
people and the lighting is so special.
It was a very special morning with my Sweetie.